Patriots receiver Deion Branch checked in with Mut & Merloni on Monday to discuss Sunday night's 31-30 loss to the Ravens.
Branch was hit hard on two plays in Sunday's game. First, he was drilled in the head by safety Ed Reed after catching a short pass. Branch couldn't hold on to the ball, but Reed was flagged for the hit so the Patriots picked up a first down. Branch and Reed respectfully tapped each other's helmets after the play, and Branch said he has no animosity toward the Ravens defender.
"He's a great player. He made a great play," Branch said. "I wasn't mad about the hit. I was mad that the ball came out of my hands."
Added Branch: "We all know going across the middle you're going to get hit. … Most time I have enough time to catch the ball and get on the ground. But he was on me so fast, I really didn't have time to react. So, unfortunately I dropped the ball. He made a good play. We got a flag out of it. Who knows what it was."
Later in the game, Branch caught a quick pass out to the right and was drilled on a clean hit by cornerback Jimmy Smith.
"The Ed Reed tackle, it was a good tackle. It wasn't as bad as it looked," Branch said. "The other tackle, with Jimmy Smith, now I felt that one. Even though that one was a very soft tackle. … The back of my head hit the ground. It wasn't the tackle, it was my head snapping back."
Branch was playing his first game of the season. He was cut at the end of the preseason and re-signed following New England's Week 2 loss to the Cardinals. Branch acknowledged that he had some "conversations" with the team after his dismissal about potentially returning during the season, but after the team's impressive opening win over the Titans, he wasn't sure the Patriots would need him back.
"After that first game, I was like, 'There is no way I'm going back to the team.' The guys looked that good," Branch said. "They played great against Tennessee."
Following tight end Aaron Hernandez' Week 2 injury, Branch got the call to rejoin his teammates. Now he's feeling the effects of his time off.
"My body's pretty tired today," he said. "I think those two weeks off, I'm feeling it today. But I'll bounce back. I've got to take care of my body. I'm looking forward to next week already. We've got to go in there and clean up this film. There's a lot of things that we left out on the football field, a lot of mistakes that were made during the course of the game that are very correctable. That's what we've got to do, we've got to move past this game. It's over, it's behind us. Regardless of what happened during the course of the game, we had plenty of times to win the game and take it out of the refs' hands."
Regarding the officiating, Branch played down the controversy surrounding the replacement referees.
"The bigger picture that we've all got to understand is that, hey, they're making those calls on both sides of the ball," Branch said. "There were some good and bad calls on the Ravens last night, there were some good or bad ones on us. … Regardless of who is out there, whatever ref is out there, if it's high school refs, rec league refs, we've got to play with those guys. They've got to call the game, and we have to play. That's just the bottom line. Once we all move past that as players -- and as fans --- once we move past that, I think we'll be OK. Because you've got to look at it that from the way things are looking now, it doesn't look like they're going to be changing refs anytime soon."
The Jets announced Monday that cornerback Darrelle Revis will miss the rest of the season after he tore his ACL avoiding a block during Sunday's overtime victory over the Dolphins.
"That's sad," Branch said. "You never want to see a guy go down, period. Regardless if he's on one of our rivals. That's sad. He's a great player. I'm sure he'll bounce back. I'm sure he'll bounce back. He's a tough guy."
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price explain how the Patriots held off the Jets, 17-16, Sunday at MetLife Stadium to improve to 12-3 and lock up a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs.
Greg and Steve give their final thoughts and predictions for what is about to go down at MetLife Stadium today.
Curran calls the guys to discuss the game today and gets into the effect of having no Edelman. He talks about Amendola's role, the Pats running game and more.
Jackie MacMullen, ESPN Boston, talks with MFB about Rondo being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, and how this will have an effect on the Celtics rebuild process
How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...
Sam and Ben talk with Greg Dickerson about how fun this year's Celtics team is to watch as well Jeff Green trade ideas.
Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with former Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester. Jon talks about his experiences with free agency, what it would have taken to sign him to the Red Sox last season, and his experiences with fans since signing with the Cubs.
Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with newly signed Red Sox pitcher, Wade Miley. They talk about the story that came out about the D-Backs wanting him to switch to a gluten-free diet, and what he expects coming from the N.L. West to the A.L. East.
The boys are back at it, Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with former Red Sox pitcher and new Chicago Cub Jon Lester, they then talk with new Red Sox pitcher and ongoing consumer of gluten, Wade Miley.
Pierre joins the show to talk about the Bruins-Wild game, Bruins trade rumors, and the rest of the NHL.
Jack Edwards talks with Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton and drops the bomb on us that based on how the standings look now, the Bruins could miss the playoffs this season.
Pierre joins the guys to talk about the Bruins and all things NHL
Tom joined the show to discuss the close win over the Jets and Rex Ryan's comments.
Tim Hasselbeck on week 16 in the NFL.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
Christian quizzes Lou and Tim on which songs were used for torture by the CIA, and Tim is upset he couldn't remember Team America: World Police
Adam Schefter, ESPN, joins MFB to discuss Jim Harbaugh rumors, Rex Ryan's future, and why the Patriots may be better served by not wraping up the number one seed in the AFC this week
Christian shares what he believes will be the three keys to this Sunday's game against the New York Jets
We check in with the playmaker, the hall of famer Michael Irvin for a look at the NFL and all things Patriots as they prepare to face the Jets.
Dale and Michael discuss the trade of Rajon Rondo, and whether it ultimately was a good deal for the Celtics.
We break down Rex and the Jets vs the Patriots with CSNNE's Tom E Curran
Kay comes into the show to try out for the textress role on the program. We learn about her favorite sports and fondness for Rajon Rondo.
Mikey, Mut, Lenny and Kerry Byrne are taling Patriots-Jets and the potential end of Rex Ryan's coaching career with the team.
Tonight marks 9 straight years of the Planet Mikey Show. We play some sound from the takeover which got Planet Mikey rolling .
Jen Royle joins the show to talk about The Taste and what its like working with amazing chefs and how her personality is going over with viewers.
What should Danny Ainge do with these Celtics? Is Anthony Davis the second best player in the NBA? Are the Warriors truly contenders?
Ryan Lambert of Puck Daddy joins DJ to discuss the "uncoachable(?)" Taylor Hall and revisit the Tyler Seguin trade. Ryan also shares his issues with how the Bruins are run.
Tim Hasselbeck on week 16 in the NFL.More from this show
We check in with the playmaker, the hall of famer Michael Irvin for a look at the NFL and all things Patriots as they prepare to face the Jets.More from this show