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Deion Branch on M&M: ‘I’ve been doubted my entire life, and I’m still standing’

01.30.12 at 12:06 pm ET

Patriots receiver Deion Branch took a break from Super Bowl preparations for a chat with Mut & Merloni that aired Monday morning. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Branch was emotional after the victory over the Ravens in the AFC championship game, and he explained his feelings.

“I’m a very passionate guy,” Branch said. “I love playing this game. I’m very honored to be back. I truly appreciate the opportunity that this organization gave me, Mr. [Robert] Kraft, coach [Bill] Belichick. Those are the guys that drafted me. Those are the guys that asked for me to come back — ‘Hey, we want you back.’ ‘Trust me, I want to be back.’ I’m very thankful for the opportunity.

“Also, just to share this moment with these guys. Because you’ve got to realize, this might not happen again. It may never happen again. And I think we all as professionals need to embrace that. It’s an honor to be a part of this one event. The entire world [is watching]. And not only just speaking about us, but with all the time that we put together, we sometimes forget about our families. This is their moment, too. That’s the stuff I’ll be thinking about.”

Branch was asked about comments from critics such as Cris Carter, who last year questioned Branch’s reliability in big games despite Branch’s rank as the third-most prolific receiver in Super Bowl history.

“Trust me, I’ve been doubted my entire life, and I’m still standing. So, I thank them for doing that. That helps me. Does it motivate me? No, I don’t use that as motivation? I use my family for my motivation. I don’t need to sit back and listen to what this guy says, that guy, to motivate me.”

Looking ahead to Sunday’s game, Branch said it will come down to execution.

“We have a lot of time, so there’s no excuses for us not to be prepared,” he said. “It’s just all about now going out and executing our plays. The coaches will have the right plays. Coach Belichick will make sure that we’re fully prepared to play the game. Now, it’s all about executing the plays.”

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