Deion Branch on M&M: ‘We have to get back to starting fast’
|11.22.11 at 1:01 pm ET|
Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch joined Mut & Merloni on Tuesday to discuss New England’s 34-3 rout of the Chiefs on Monday night.
While the Patriots offense was excellent in the second half of Monday’s game, it struggled at times in the first half, scoring just 10 points against a Chiefs team that is 25th in the NFL in scoring defense. New England’s first four drives resulted in three punts and a fumble. According to Branch, the Patriots were simply getting in their own way on those initial drives.
“[Chiefs defensive coordinator Romeo] Crennel came in with a great game plan, but the thing is our execution was our fault,” Branch said. “The plays that were messing up on, whether it be protection, whether it be getting the right plays, somebody releasing on a certain route, that was all of us.
“There was nothing that they were doing that was really stopping us within those first four possessions. I’m not taking anything away from them, they have a great team, great coordinator who came in and had a great game plan. But if we go out and just execute our plays the way we know we can, you’ll see the output you saw in that second half.”
Patriots wide receivers combined for just four receptions in Monday night’s win. The production of outside receivers on the New England offense has been lacking, but Branch said that the Patriots are just taking what the defense gives them.
“I think last night we took advantage of what Kansas City was giving us,” Branch said. “We said, ‘Hey, if they want to leave [Rob] Gronkowski in the end zone, let’s give it to him.’ And that’s what we have to do.”
Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
More on the poor start for the offense: “We have to get back to starting fast like we did in the past. ‘¦ We have to get back into that form of doing what we supposed to do in the first half when we get the ball going down for a touchdown. Starting fast, in the first half and also the second half, that’s the most important thing, and maybe it just comes with figuring what we need to do to change a couple things here and there.”
On the improved New England defense: “We see it in practice, we go against these guys every day and they give us their best. Trust me, it’s not easy in practice. ‘¦ If we can do what we do in practice, we’ll be a better team, and that’s what’s going on right now.”
On what he and Chad Ochocinco are talking about on the sidelines during games: “We are always talking on the sidelines, whether it be a play, talking about once we look at the film, once we come off the field to see, ‘Hey, how did this guy play this way, what did you do, how well did you run your route?’ Certain things like that. Just talking about football terminology. ‘¦ The biggest thing is making sure we keep Chad in tune with what’s going when he’s not on the football field, so he’s briefed when he gets on the football field, he knows how to attack a certain guy. He’s asked me how, ‘Hey, how was this guy playing you?’ Or I would ask him the same thing the times that he was on the field.”