Celtics

Branch: Football isn't meant for everybody to play

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Branch: Football isn't meant for everybody to play

Bill Belichick's "suck it up" message regarding New England's short week has been received by the team.
When asked if the compressed schedule is good practice for the regular season's Week 11 and Week 12 games (Indianapolis Sunday, Jets Thursday), Deion Branch answered the affirmative.
Will it be exactly the same? No; managing 90 men for two games in five days adds a layer of intrigue that November will lack. But either way, whatever the month, the players have to take what comes.
"Theres one thing aboutme and Tom Brady were just talking about this game just a while agofootball isnt meant for everybody to play," Branch said in Tampa. "Its a very mentally straining job as far as the game. Only certain guys are picked to play this game and the ones who are chosen, those are the ones that stand out. You have to stand strong through these times here.
"But at the same time were blessed and we also love the game as well."
Branch is a sage veteran among Patriots; this season will be his eleventh in the NFL, seventh with New England. He's a go-to for reporters because of his mellow straightforwardness.
Consider all the ado about this year's receiver competition. The team went out and got Brandon Lloyd, Donte' Stallworth, and Jabar Gaffney this offseason. Doubt was cast on Branch's standing.
But as far as he's saying, it's just the same old, same old.
"Trust me, Im dead honest when I say this: Ive gone into each training camp since my rookie season the same as I did this one -- ready to compete and I came in prepared. Just doing everything the coaches ask of me, whether that be special teams, whatever, any position on the football field and making sure I know every receiver position.
"Thats our job and I honestly will say that has been the training throughout my entire 11 years."
A message of its own.

Agent says Gordon Hayward is unlikely to return this season

Agent says Gordon Hayward is unlikely to return this season

Hopes that the Celtics would have Gordon Hayward back in the lineup later this year were dashed last night by Hayward's agent, Mark Bartelstein.

Hayward underwent surgery Wednesday night for a fractured and dislocated left tibia, and Celtics coach Brad Stevens had said earlier in the day that Hayward's prognosis would be better known after doctors saw the extent of the damage. When the operation was over, Bartelstein told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski not to expect Hayward to play again this season.

But there is good news:

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“We’re expecting this to be a full recovery,” Stevens had said earlier. “No timeline on it, but a full recovery.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics drop back-to-back games

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics drop back-to-back games

0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their thoughts on Kyrie Irving’s struggles, not having Gordon Hayward, and the Celtics losing for the 2nd time in as many nights.

6:31 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins BST to discuss the message delivered by Hayward to the fans before the game, what was going on with Kyrie’s shot, and why they failed in stopping The Greek Freak.

10:33 - Albert Breer joins BST to preview the Falcons/Patriots Sunday night game and if Atlanta is in the middle of a Super Bowl hangover.

15:40 - In a new game called On The Clock, each person gets 40 seconds to rant on their selected subject including if Red Sox fans can root for the Yankees if the playoffs and how painful the Bruins season will be. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE