Branch: Competition at WR good

Patriots receiver Deion Branch, who agreed on a one-year deal with the Patriots last week, joined the “Mut and Merloni” program on sports radio WEEI on Tuesday afternoon.

He was congratulated on his return to the team.

“It feels great. Going into this year, and towards the end of the season, both sides had the same feeling,” Branch told co-hosts Mike Mutnansky and Lou Merloni. “It was mutual that we wanted this to happen. Another thing, my family and kids wanted it to happen as much as me and the organization.”

Branch didn’t consider other teams.

“I didn’t have that thought. I didn’t even want to allow that to creep into my mind,” he said on WEEI. “My biggest thing is that I want to make sure I retire a Patriot, whenever that comes about, whether it’s two years from now, three years from now, who knows? That’s my goal, and once I sat down with coach [Bill Belichick] and the front office, they felt the same way.”

The Patriots have been active at the receiver spot this offseason, re-signing Branch while also bringing Brandon Lloyd, Donte’ Stallworth and Anthony Gonzalez into the fold. In addition, veteran Chad Ochocinco restructured his contract to stick around.

In Branch’s view, the more receivers, the better.

“It brings out the best in you,” he said. “That’s what it is all about. Competition is always good. I think going into this year, it’s going to be very exciting to see what this next receiving group will look like for next season. I’m very excited to get started within a couple weeks with the offseason program. I think that’s where everything starts, then it’s going to roll into minicamp and training camp.”

A few other soundbites from Branch, a proud Louisville alum who will be pulling for his team in the Final Four:

On Brandon Lloyd -- "I know him outside of football. Great person. Cool guy. Exciting player. I'm just glad to have him on board; I've never had the opportunity to play with him. I'm pretty sure he is going to bring a lot to the team, and that's going to be a good thing."

On Chad Ochocinco having a full offseason -- "I think it will be a big difference with all of us. I wasn't with Josh [McDaniels when he was coordinator] , so I don't have a clue what his forte is and the things he'll do. So it's going to be new for me and new for all of us. Wes [Welker] and Julian [Edelman] are familiar with some of the things Josh is running, but everybody else, it's going to be an open game."

On whether he's watched the Super Bowl -- "Nah. Bits and pieces, I checked out here and there. But other than that, it's behind me. It's behind us."

On the missed connection between Tom Brady and Wes Welker in the Super Bowl -- "It was a play, like we all know, nine times out of 10 Wes makes that catch. Nine times out of 10, Tom will make a better throw. That was just one play in the game. That one play didn’t justify the entire game. There were so many mistakes made across the board by each and every player on the football field.”

On comments made by Gisele Bundchen after the game about receivers’ drops -- “I think she was just speaking from emotion. I know she doesn’t feel that way. I think the fans caught her at the right time. It was right after a loss, and it just came out. I’m pretty sure she didn’t mean that deep down inside. And trust me, I don’t get offended by those things. I understand that she speaks from emotion.”