Deion Branch Not Looking to Replace Randy Moss and 19 Other Thoughts

Deion Branch Not Looking to Replace Randy Moss and 19 Other Thoughts FOXBORO, Mass. — There has been no shortage on storylines this season in New England, and the Patriots are seemingly trumping themselves every week.

Let's take a stroll through some of the action that has flown a little more under the radar in the last week with these 20 thoughts that you'll be able to read through in two minutes.

1. Before meeting with a mass of media Tuesday, wide receiver Julian Edelman made a wardrobe change, switching out his Patriots winter hat for a San Francisco Giants fitted cap and a big old grin. Edelman grew up in the Bay Area as a big-time Giants fan. The former high school shortstop was excited about the Giants' opening-round victory over the Braves. "They've been doing pretty well," Edelman said. "It was a fun week."

2. Was this a subconscious shot at Randy Moss? Pats center Dan Koppen was asked about the flurry of recent moves and responded, "Whatever is made is made, and we deal with it. It really doesn’t affect the nucleus of this team."

3. Moss jerseys were 50 percent off as of Tuesday at a sporting goods store at Patriot Place. Nostalgic fans can purchase one for $40.

4. The Dolphins will catch a huge break if they play the Packers this weekend without Aaron Rodgers, who suffered a concussion during Sunday's overtime loss to the Redskins. But by the time the Patriots host the injury-riddled Packers in Week 15, Green Bay might be fully comprised of former XFL players.

5. The Jets used Antonio Cromartie on Moss throughout the duration of their Monday night victory against the Vikings. It's somewhat of a damning indictment that the Jets, who know Moss so well, used a lot of single coverage against him.

6. Running back Danny Woodhead has some massive leg muscles, which is the reason why he weighs about 15 pounds more than Wes Welker.

7. Linebacker Jerod Mayo said he made sure to introduce himself to Deion Branch when the Patriots visited the Seahawks in 2008. "I'm excited to see him," Mayo said Tuesday.

8. Eight Patriots on the current active roster were in New England during Branch's last season in 2005 — quarterback Tom Brady, left tackle Matt Light, right guard Stephen Neal, center Dan Koppen, defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, safety James Sanders, defensive lineman Mike Wright and linebacker Tully Banta-Cain.

9. Also on the team in 2005 were left guard Logan Mankins (holding out), offensive lineman Nick Kaczur (injured reserve), defensive lineman Ty Warren (injured reserve) and running back Kevin Faulk (injured reserve).

10. Moss has a chance to be the sixth player since the 1970 merger to play 17 games in a regular season. The other five are linebacker Chris Singleton (Patriots, Dolphins, 1993), running back Dexter Carter (49ers, Jets, 1995), wide receiver Jerry Rice (Raiders, Seahawks, 2004), wide receiver Micah Ross (Chargers, Panthers, 2004) and linebacker Will Witherspoon (Rams, Eagles, 2009).

11. Javarris James' stall was still fully intact in the Patriots' locker room Tuesday morning, with the name plate and No. 35 gear still in place. James was on the Pats' practice squad before getting released last Tuesday. He was signed to the Redskins' practice squad Wednesday and then to the Colts' active roster Thursday.

12. It's just kind of strange that James' locker hadn’t been cleared out after a week. Moss, who was officially traded last Wednesday, had his locker emptied by Thursday morning. The Patriots immediately cleared out Laurence Maroney's stall after his trade this season, too.

13. Pats cornerback Kyle Arrington is from Maryland, about 10 minutes south of Washington, D.C. He said he was a Redskins fan growing up, so I asked if that caused him to hate the Ravens. "I didn’t really dislike the Ravens, but I wasn’t a huge Ravens fan. I was definitely a diehard Redskins fan, but of course, in 2000 when the Ravens went to the Super Bowl, I was kind of on the bandwagon."

14. Arrington said he got annoyed with how many Cowboys fans were in the D.C. area. He knows of one in particular. "My girlfriend is a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan, and she says to me, 'I guess I can root for the Patriots,'" said Arrington, who then switched to a sarcastic tone. "I tell her all the time, 'I appreciate what a terrific girlfriend you are. Most girlfriends, they don’t support their man or anything, so for you to support your man, that means a lot.'"

15. One more from Arrington, who was asked about the Michael Jordan error — err, era — with the Wizards. "Everyone loves Jordan growing up, but it was kind of hard to watch. When you go out on top, and then you come back and fall from grace a little bit … but he did have one or two 50-point games with the Wizards. So that was good to see, but in general, I think he should have just stayed out on top."

16. Mayo weighed in on the difference between lining up alongside Brandon Spikes and Gary Guyton. "Brandon is a great player, as well as Gary," Mayo said. "Brandon is a downhill thumper. I play off him. Gary is more of a speed guy, an athlete, does a lot of different things."

17. Branch sold his condo in Massachusetts in the last year after renting it out to former Patriots linebacker Derrick Burgess. Now, Branch's wife is searching for a new place.

18. Branch said he never asked Welker to get his old No. 83 back, so Branch took No. 84 instead. "I think Wes came in and did a great job," Branch said. "He deserved it. I'm just going to get a number higher, one number higher than his since I'm taller than him, so that will work."

19. Branch was asked if he felt like he was brought to New England to replace Moss. "I'm not here to replace Randy," Branch said. "I'm not Randy Moss. I wasn't Randy Moss when I was here, and I'm not here to replace him. My job is to go out, do what the offense asks of me to do, and that's what I'm going to do."

20. Ravens wide receiver Donte Stallworth, who played for the Patriots' record-setting offense in 2007, won't play Sunday in New England. He told news outlets he expects to be back Week 8 against Miami. Also, Ravens linebacker and special teamer Prescott Burgess will be in town this week. He was the first player to wear No. 93 in New England after the Richard Seymour trade. Burgess, though, only played for the Pats for two weeks in 2009.