Brian Branch, Better than I realized!

My comp for Branch going into the season was Bennie Blades, after watching Baldy’s film, I did not ever think he’d surpass him in his rookie year. He did! we have a future All Pro in our secondary.

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He’s a stud. I don’t even think he was healthy for several games. Was limping a bunch, went to the locker room in a few games. Could be even better in year 2 with more experience and hopefully no ankle issues

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His playing speed is way better than his timed speed, part of the reason he fell was the latter. Dude is a football player and great kid.

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Can’t wait to have Arnold & CD3 outside with Branch inside this year.

  • Amik
  • Ennis the menace
  • Moseley

Insane turn around

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love Branch.

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Lamp Reaction GIF

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love Branch.
[/quote] :innocent:

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Branch at safety, from today’s free press.

Safety spotlight

While the Lions excused veterans from the final week of organized team activities, safety Kerby Joseph stayed in town for Tuesday’s practice.

Joseph, who declined an interview request coming off the field, took part in some individual drills and the pre-practice installation period, his most extensive work of the spring after undergoing offseason hip surgery.

Detroit Lions safety Brian Branch (32) talks to Director of Sports Performance Mike Clark after practice during OTAs at Detroit Lions headquarters and training facility in Allen Park on Thursday, May 30, 2024.

Joseph led the Lions with four interceptions each of the past two seasons, though he’ll compete for a starting job this fall with Ifeatu Melifonwu and Brian Branch. Branch, who sat out spring workouts following his own offseason surgery, played primarily as a slot cornerback last season but the Lions envision him playing more safety in 2024.

“I think last year they were a little more hesitant with BB to just kind of fix him at one spot, whereas now that he’s going into Year 2, I think we’ll be more aggressive with him," safeties coach Jim O’Neil said. “He’s the type of player you want to see out there on all three downs, so we’re going to push him to that but at the end of the day he’s still got to come out in training camp and he’s got to take that job.”

If Branch wins a safety job, that would allow Amik Robertson and rookie second-round pick Ennis Rakestraw Jr. to play slot cornerback.

O’Neil said Branch has the potential to be a “really good” safety.

“I think he can be one of the better ones in the league,” O’Neil said. “Coming off the rookie campaign that he just had, some of the things he did coverage-wise, some of the things he did run fit-wise, blitz-wise, I’m excited about him. I’m really excited about him.”

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Amik or Iffy would be DB5

I like keeping Ennis as CD3 backup so he can take over next year.

I see iffy being the nickel, when he comes in Branch slides to slot

Amik as Dime , ST and backup NB & CB

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Amazing how many teams passed on him including the lions a few times

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What spoke to me the most was that Brian BEAT OUT CJGJ for the nickle spot. That was a surprise for me and I LOVE Branch. That pushed Ceedy to a strong safety role that didn’t suit him as much. Oh well…CJGJ was straight out by a rookie. Credit to Dan Campbell for having real competition for playing time.

I didn’t think any rookies would start in 2023. Gibbs would play behind Monty, Jack Campbell would be in a depth role as a rookie, LaPorta would get looks in passing situations and Branch would sit behind Joseph, Walker and CJGJ. Damn was that a great draft class!

Branch needs to be a fill-time player for us. Period. Maybe move him around? But get him in the field. This kid is a straight baller.

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Exactly. I see Branch playing the slot/nickle back whenever that position is on the field. Then when the team goes back to a 4-3 (probably a lot of 5-2 with SOLB on the line), then he moves to safety to keep him on the field. The slot is a harder position and i want BB there always. But also keep him on the field with his versatility because he is better in coverage than Iffy.

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You are correct.
The Lion coaching staff realizes that going forward Branch will be the best defensive player on the team (respect to Hutch). He has to be on the field at all times and there are some personnel groups that don’t have a nickel.
In those short yardage run situations Kerby is likely the safety that comes out. Iffy is a bigger, more physical run defender and tackler.
AG and Townsend have all kinds of options and flexibility in the secondary.

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humm ya wouldda got me with that little Branch joke the THREAD title literally says BRIAN Branch…lol .

Bingo! I hated seeing us give up 1st downs with Branch on the sidelines cheering. That happened a fair bit. I think he was only playing about 60 percent of the snaps last year. I want him out there as much as possible. He’s too good to be watching.

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When he was healthy early last year, I felt he was the best player on the defense.

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And him being banged up could be a major reason he played less. So that makes sense too. He plays very physical for a small guy… hope he can be durable enough.

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