Branch: Super Bowl XLII loss is in past for Patriots

INDIANAPOLIS — Deion Branch returned to the Patriots last season after four-plus years in Seattle and learned one thing in a hurry: Whimsical chatter about Super Bowl XLII is a nonstarter in New England.

“This team don’t talk about it,” Branch told reporters Monday, six days before Super Bowl XLVI. “Not about the past.”

Some want to imagine that behind the scenes, coach Bill Belichick and QB Tom Brady are burning VHS tapes of their Feb. 3, 2008 loss to the Giants in a hobo’s oil drum in the badlands behind Gillette Stadium.

Belichick said Monday that he makes upwards of 100 high-octane decisions per day as an NFL head coach, so angry bonfires feel a tad implausible at this stage. If he’s driven by revenge, Belichick has been hammering through a method-acting workshop on the side, because his glowing praise for the Giants and coach Tom Coughlin vibes legit.

“They lost the game. It is what it is,” said Branch, who won two Super Bowl rings and one MVP award during his first Patriots stint. “… This is a different game, different team, different players. And it’s going to be a different game Sunday.”

One that Branch hopes the Patriots can speak of for decades to come.

— Marc Sessler

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