FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Together again, Deion Branch and Tom Brady walked side-by-side to the sunny practice field.

Branch, the New England Patriots’ new wide receiver, was getting a crash course on plays installed since he left in 2006 after being part of two NFL championships.

“I still remember some plays,” Branch said Tuesday. “They didn’t call those plays today.”

The Patriots reacquired Branch, whom they drafted in the second round in 2002 – and was the MVP of the 2005 Super Bowl – from the Seattle Seahawks on Monday for a fourth-round draft pick next year.

Some things are the same since New England dealt him to Seattle. Brady, center Dan Koppen, tackle Matt Light, guard Stephen Neal and running back Kevin Faulk are still around from the offense.

And much is different. The Pats haven’t won the Super Bowl since he left. Randy Moss has come and gone. And Branch has No. 84 because his old 83 belongs to Wes Welker.

“Wes came in, did a great job,” Branch said. “I’m just going to get one (number) higher than his because I’m taller than him.”

At 5-foot-9, Branch doesn’t exactly tower over Welker. And with Julian Edelman, listed at 5-10, three of the team’s top four receivers are small.

Size isn’t the only difference between Branch and the 6-4 Moss, whose trade to Minnesota created the need for an experienced receiver. Branch hopes to play Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.

“That’s the first thing I want to let you all know,” Branch said. “I’m not here to replace Randy. 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 and do what the offense asks me to do.”

Moss was a deep threat who drew double teams. Branch is a possession receiver. But both left the Pats after contract concerns and said they felt they were home after being dealt to their first teams.

Moss said several times this year he didn’t think the Patriots would re-sign him before his contract expired after this season. Branch, who led the Pats with 78 catches in 2005, was dealt the day after the 2006 opener following a 45-day holdout in hopes of improving on the $1.045 million he was to receive that year, the last of his original contract.

“I wish it never happened, but no regrets,” he said. “When I left here there weren’t any issues between me and Coach (Bill) Belichick, none at all. We talked during the course of the year. We didn’t leave on a bad note and I think that’s why it was so easy to return.”


OFFENSIVE LINEMAN Nick Kaczur is on injured reserve with a back problem.

Kaczur was hurt on the second day of training camp. He underwent back surgery in August and hasn’t played.