Deion Branch is in a bit of a pickle. The former Super Bowl MVP and two-time Super Bowl winner spent four years in New England (from 2002 to 2005) and five years in Seattle (2006 to 2010). He then returned to New England from 2010 to 2012.
All of which is to say, who the heck is he going to be rooting for this Sunday?
“I’m very neutral,” Branch said on Tiki and Tierney. “I have friends on both sides.”
Don’t lie, Tiki Barber said, laughing. You’re going to root for the Patriots.
“If we go with the percentage of friends that’s left in New England and Seattle,” Branch said in a you-caught me tone, “I think my percentage is very high in New England.”
One of those friends, of course, is Tom Brady, who will be asked to do something Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos couldn’t do in last year’s Super Bowl – and that’s score more than eight points. In fact, Brady will likely need to score in the 20s, at least, to win this game.
After the trick plays and unconventional formations that we saw from the Patriots against Baltimore and Indianapolis, it’ll be interesting to see what Bill Belichick has up his sleeve for his sixth Super Bowl.
“Coaching always has a big impact on the game,” Branch said. “I think that every week. It’s all about what the coaches do. For one thing, I would say (Coach Belichick does) a great job of making sure his coaching staff understands what the rule of thumb is for this one particular game. What’s the game plan? Once that is pushed own on the guys from the coaches, we go out and execute the plays that the guys have spent numerous hours dissecting – whether it be Seattle’s defense or Seattle’s offense – figuring out what plays we’re going to run against these guys. And now it’s all about execution.”
It is interesting, Brandon Tierney noted, that each team has had a different personality over the last two weeks. In his opinion, Seattle has seemed a little more loose, whereas New England has been a little bit more business-like.
Could that influence how the game unfolds, or is that just a storyline for the media to dissect?
“I just think it’s a storyline right now,” Branch said. “There is numerous storylines right now. The Seahawks have been flying under the radar the last two weeks. Trust me, every coach loves that. The players like that. You want all the heat to be on the opposite team. With that being said, the Seahawks are enjoying it right now. Fortunately, Coach Belichick did a great job of tying to kill it before they left Foxboro.”
“It,” of course, refers to “DeflateGate,” which Branch thinks has been overblown (no pun intended).
“I think the Patriots are going to get a lot of heat just because,” he said. “I’ll never forget (what) my uncle always told me: As much as you enjoy seeing champions, a lot of people like to go against them. And I think that’s pretty much what it is right now.”