Colts coach Chuck Pagano: Just made sense to sign ex-Patriots WR Deion Branch
|01.07.14 at 3:55 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Colts coach Chuck Pagano said Tuesday that there was no ulterior motive when it came to signing former Patriots receiver Deion Branch.
In a conference call with the New England media, Pagano said that there were several factors in play when it came to adding Branch, including the fact that they had brought him in for a workout last month, he was local, and he has a track record of success.
“We had worked out Deion three or four weeks ago,” Pagano said of the 34-year-old Branch. “[General Manager] Ryan [Grigson] and his staff bring in guys every week to work out and have guys that you know about and give physicals to in case you have an injury here or there, and we were a little bit short at the wide receiver position, and we had worked out Deion.
“He came in and had a great workout for us, he was in shape, he’s local, he’s right in our backyard, so we knew about him and knew who he was from a physical standpoint. Again, every decision we make is based on two things: what’s best for the team and what helps us win, and we feel like we got a guy that’s a former Super Bowl MVP that’s played a lot of good football at a high level, so he can help us.”
It’s debatable how much impact Branch will have on Saturday night — he only has a handful of days to try and get up to speed in a new system. But Indy quarterback Andrew Luck said he was looking forward to connecting with Branch.
“I definitely will pick his brain,’ Luck said in a conference call with the media. ‘”He’s going to be a great addition to our team. I haven’t had a chance to sit down yet. We’ve been rolling in and out of meetings.”
Patriots coach Bill Belichick was effusive in his praise of Branch Tuesday.
“Deion had a great career here — I think he was here for seven years or north thereof,” Belichick said. “Very smart, professional player. Great leader. One of the top guys we’ve had here in terms of off the field work ethic, leadership, intelligence, preparation, all those things. He had some very productive seasons here. He’s a tremendous person. He’s had a great career.”
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