On Monday, the Colts signed former Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch, five days before they will face the Patriots in the AFC Divisional round of the playoffs. Given that Branch hasn't played since the 2012 season, and Indianapolis' next opponent happens to be New England, it doesn't take much of a leap to think that the only reason the Colts brought Branch in would be to pick his brain about the Pats' offense.
Of course, this happens every time a player with ties to one team signs with another even if there may be no truth to the notion. On Wednesday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick seemed unconcerned that Branch is now a member of the Colts.
“I think that's way overrated,” Belichick said in response to a question not specifically about Branch but regarding those situations in general (via ESPNBoston.com). “A lot of time the information in those situations is misinformation, because things have changed from whenever that person [was on the other team]. I'm not saying that in any particular circumstance, I'm just saying in general, a lot of times a player who has been with another team tells you, ‘This is what they do, this is their call, this is this, this is that,' and then it turns out that's really not what it is.
“So, honestly, we have enough trouble doing all the things we do and getting them right and getting everybody to do them well," Belichick continued. "I'm sure they have the same thing with the amount of volume that you have in your different systems, and the amount of volume that you face on the other side of the ball. To be able to not only know everything you're doing but also be able to figure out everything they're doing, it's pretty overrated.”
That sounds about right. It's not like the Colts don't watch game film, don't know the Patriots' tendencies, and didn't have any idea how to attack Tom Brady and the offense until someone got the bright idea to sign Branch.
Besides, that's what Adam Vinatieri is for, right?