“They were just looking at me like, ‘You’re playing in your second Super Bowl in your third year?’ It was like they’d give up anything, all those records that these guys have, just to play in another Super Bowl,” he said. “You should take full advantage of every opportunity because you never know if you get the opportunity again.”
At 33, this may be Branch’s last. He was released and re-signed twice by the Patriots this season.
“Regardless if this is your first, second, third year or if it’s your 10th or 11th,” he said. “You never know if you’ll make it back.”
Brady has said he’d like to play into his 40s and shows no sign of faltering. He threw for 34 touchdowns and just eight interceptions this season and was the second highest-rated quarterback in the AFC, behind Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos.
None of that matters now. It’s the second season. And another week of practice for what Brady hopes will be a long playoff run begins on Monday, with a true opponent to prepare for.
“When we figure out who we’ll play,” he said, “we’ll jump right into that and get going.”