Patriots receiver Deion Branch stopped by for a visit with Mut & Merloni at Gillette Stadium as part of WEEI's Patriots Monday and talked about Sunday's 25-17 loss to the Steelers.
The Steelers played more man defense than many people expected, but Branch isn't one of those people.
"I wouldn't say it was a surprise, no. They did what they were expected to do," he said. "There were some times that they played man in the past and did some different things.
"Obviously, we just didn't match the intensity of the game. Just overall, their guys came out with a lot of energy, and we didn't do the same thing. We didn't match the energy at all. As an offense, we didn't take control of the game like we normally would. Getting off the field, three-and-outs, we had a bunch of three-and-outs. A lot of flags. And it seems like I'm talking about the same thing every week. But it is what it is. That's what we're doing. We're killing ourselves. We're getting good drives, then the next thing you know the flags back us up. We didn't do a good job in the red area every time once we got down, putting the ball in the end zone.
"When you start adding those things up, that's what happens with the score, and it leads to losses."
The Steelers did a nice job of stifling the Patriots passing game, but Branch said it's not like the receivers never got open.
Said Branch: "This is the NFL. If you're running a route, my job is to win more than my opponent. That happened. The thing is, sometimes it's the timing. It may be a different look, maybe a little pressure here and there. It's a lot of different things. You can't just sit and say these guys weren't open. That's not true."
As expected, the Steelers defensive backs were physical with the Pats receivers. Branch said he doesn't mind the physical play, but he doesn't like it when a line is crossed.
"I don't mind the aggressiveness. That's cool," he said. "What you [do] mind is all the extra, all the extra stuff behind it. Hey, we're playing football, that's going to happen. I'm going to do some things, they're going to do some things. But there's going to be some extra stuff that happens after certain plays, even through the course of the plays."
Added Branch: "We're always prepared to play that game. I'm cool with that. We know that. That's cool. We don't mind that, the physical play, but do it within the means of the rules. That's what I'm talking about."
Branch acknowledged he gets away with some push-offs just as defenders do, but, "If I'm running around and I'm trying to come out of my break and his arm is standing there holding my jersey, that's different -- him tugging me as I'm running a route. I expect him to tug me and pull my arm. But if I'm breaking, that's different."
Dale, Michael and Jerry dig into the details of this draft for the Patriots with ESPN's Mike Reiss.
Giardi and Price discuss the Tom Brady appeal getting overturned and Roger Goodell's victory tour. The guys can't believe the victory lap and some of his behavior. The more you listen to him, the more frustrating his behavior becomes.
Giardi and Price break down how the teams in the AFC East altered their futures after the NFL Draft weekend.
Ian Thomsen of NBA.com joined Sam Packard and Jared Weiss to discuss the next moves for Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics with the NBA Draft Lottery rapidly approaching. They discussed the crazy ending to Game 2 of Thunder vs Spurs and picked the player they would build their pretend new franchise around.
Kevin O'Connor of CelticsBlog joined Sam Packard and Jared Weiss for a breakdown of what went wrong in the Celtics series against the Hawks. they then played Celtics free agent tinder and looked ahead to the big moves in store for the offseason.
It wouldn't be a Celtics v Hawks Game 6 preview/Game 5 breakdown without ESPN's Celtics Whisperer Chris Forsberg joining Sam Packard and Jared Weiss for some WEEI Studio magic. They discuss the Hawks' transition dominance on their mega runs and the bizarre night for Isaiah Thomas. Of course they also answered your #WEEICeltics Tweet Bag questions!
Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts after the Red Sox beat the White Sox behind a solid outing from Clay buchholz
Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett talked to the Sox catcher, whose two-run homer off of Dellin Betances gave the Sox the lead for good over the Yankees.
Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello, after he pitched 7 shutout innings against the Yankees Saturday night.
DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.
DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.
Butch is joined by two-thirds of the Sunday Skate show in DJ and Pete. The guys discuss the problems with Bruins including leadership and grit, who should stay and who should go and if Claude is to blame.
The show goes completely off the rails in the final hour as Gerry tells stories of dogs that were killed when he was a child, and Kirk says he's probably going to own a dog very soon.
Producer candidate, Lucy, defends herself regarding attacks on her abilities to do the job, from Paul and Ken.
Oscar de la Hoya says that Donald Trump is a notorious cheater on the links.
Dr. Thomas Gill calls in to give his input on Pablo Sandoval's season ending surgery, and tells the guys how long he thinks the third baseman will be out.
The Celtics are approaching a very important off season, and Danny Ainge needs to figure out a plan to get a star in Boston...most importantly Kevin Durant. Glenn, Lou and Christian talk about who the team needs to go after.
Tom Werner was in studio today and Christian could not hold himself back when Tom Werner mentioned the comedian "Whitney Cummings."
John Farrell calls us from Chicago to talk Pablo, E-Rod, Joe Kelly, Travis Shaw and much more.
Four at Four bled into some genuine discussion about who this town's greatest villains truly are.
Inspired by A-Rod's appearance at Fenway, we discuss four of our biggest Villains/nemesis' on the Boston sports scene.
Mikey and Lenny talk Clay Buchholz' struggles, and visit the Ghosts of Baseball past (Well, some of them are still alive...)
Mikey and Lenny talk Sox and Sandoval
It’s all about the music – the crew touches on Prince, and the greatest bands of all time
Ben, Russ & Alex talk about the UCL semi-finals, which have resulted in an Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid final. They also talk about the unbelievable story of Leicester City winning the English Premier League.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price break down the return of offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia and what it means to the future of the offensive line, new safeties coach Steve Belichick and his football relationship to his dad and recap the Patriots 2016 draft and what to expect from some of the higher profile selections in their upcoming rookie season.
Kirk Minihane sits down with co-worker and often times nemesis, Lou Merloni, to talk about their past altercations and their own philosophies about radio. Kirk and Lou discuss some of the issues they have with working at the station and their disagreements with management.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian check in with Raffi Melkonian to get his insight on the 2nd Circuit court's decision and what Tom Brady's options are going forward.More from this show
We check in for the national perspective on Tom Brady's reinstated suspension from MMQB/SI's Peter KingMore from this show
Dino, Gerry and Kirk look at the reports surrounding Prince and his drug use.More from this show
Glenn, Lou and Christian (and ESPN) react to the news that Tom Brady will be suspended the first 4 games of the 2016 season.More from this show
The guys react to the performance of the ESPN broadcast team.More from this show