Branch phones home - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Branch phones home

February 2, 2004

Albany-- To some football fans in Albany, the only thing more controversial than the end of the Super Bowl halftime show was the fact that the game most valuable player award went to New England quarterback Tom Brady and not his favorite target Deion Branch. 

Yes, Brady completed a Super Bowl record 32 passes but 10 of those catches were made by Brady 's favorite target, Deion Branch. And the former Monroe High star wasn't just about quantity with those receptions, Deion also had quality with several of his catches coming in the clutch.

Branch not only scored the Patriots first touchdown, his 52 yard catch in the final minute of the first half set up New England's second score.

And it was Deion Branch's 17 yard reception that set up Adam Vinitari for the game winning kick. Some of the credit for Deion's performance could go to his high school coach Vernorris Bradley, who Deion called before yesterday's game asking his old coach for some advice.

"He called me at about 2 o'clock before they were getting ready to be transported to the stadium. And he said, 'Coach, I'm calling all my coaches, just give me this last word coach, what do I need to do?'. I said, hey be focused, be ready, I said, 'You ready'. And he talked with me for about two or three minutes and he said, 'Okay coach I've got to make a couple more calls,'" Bradley said.

"I mean we've been in numerous tight games. It was never a thing about that we're going to fold or anything. We never panicked when this situation came upon us, we just have to go out and play our game," Deion Branch said.

Coach Bradley says he doesn't know when Deion will make it back to his hometown, but several of his former coaches plan on celebrating with the star wide receiver when he does return to Albany.

Posted at 6:30pm by kevin.mcdermond@walb.com