Seahawks Insider

A few minutes with Alan Branch

Post by Eric Williams on Aug. 8, 2011 at 7:58 pm with 17 Comments »
August 8, 2011 9:16 pm

New kid on the block

New Seattle Seahawk Alan Branch played defensive end for NFC West rival Arizona for four seasons, but now the University of Michigan product will move inside for Seattle, and is tentatively slated to start next to Brandon Mebane at defensive tackle.

“I’m just a little more aggressive, that’s the main thing,” Branch said about his new role. “I’m still kind of reading, but mostly it’s just aggression and getting in the backfield as much as possible in this defense, and that’s the way I kind of like it.”

Although he’s penciled in to play inside, Branch, 26, also will see some time at defensive end, spelling Red Bryant once he’s healthy. But Branch said it doesn’t matter where they put him, he’s just getting after the football.

“I’m really comfortable all over the line,” he said. “If he wants me to play any technique honestly, it doesn’t matter. I’ll be a wide receiver in a three-point stance if he wants.”

12th Man love

Branch said he’s looking forward to escaping the heat of the desert, along with playing regularly with crowd noise behind him at CenturyLink Field

“It’s been pretty good,” Branch said about the transition. “It’s better than 110 degrees outside, I’ll tell you that. So I’m having a good time out here. I’m liking it.

And what was it like as a visitor at CenturyLink Field?

“It’s loud. Super loud – that 12th man is something else,” he said. “All the defenses talk about that like, ‘Man, if we had that at our home stadium how much better our get off would be. So I finally got that on my home side, so we’ll see what’s up with that.”

A full-court press

Branch said he was the focus of a heavy recruiting effort by the Seahawks once the free agency period began. Seattle had him targeted as one of the players at the top of the list they wanted to bring in, choosing not to draft from a deep talent pool at defensive line in this year’s draft, and signing Branch instead.

“They made it easy,” Branch said. “Ever since lockout ended I was feeling like I knew all the coaches already from that first day, because they were in contact with me and making sure I knew they wanted me. So that felt good. … Being a backup on a different team and knowing that another team wants you, that’s a really good feeling to have in your back pocket.”

A 300-pound punt returner

An all-state defensive tackle at Cibola High School in Rio Rancho, N.M., Branch was highly recruited out of high school, playing defensive tackle, offensive tackle and fullback. At 6-foo-6 and 315 pound, Branch actually returned three punts for touchdowns during his high school career.

“I was the only one who could catch the ball, so we just wanted possession there,” he said.

Leave a comment Comments → 17
  1. “Man, if we had that at our home stadium how much better our get off would be.”

    It’s gotta be demoralizing to be a Cardinals player and have limited “noise” when you’re on the field. I’m sure they get over it when they get their paychecks though.

  2. Well we have him listed as a tight end now so maybe we will see him in the endzone :D

    I do believe it should be defensive tackle. But it sure brings some fun thoughts

  3. seatowntp says:

    Wow! PC is certainly shaking things up! FIrst he moves Konz from TE (utility player) to DE and now he is moving AB to TE! What will he think of next? T-Jack to WR or DB?

  4. I hope so!

  5. Dukeshire says:

    Yet another down to earth, genuine dude (seemingly). There are so many guys on this team that are easy to like and come across as sincere that it really makes you pull for them more.

    BobbyK – When I liven in Vegas I went to a couple games in Arizona. Of the crowd that is there, it’s like 50/50, Cards vs visitors. And in some cases, not even that. It has to suck to know that’s your “home field advantage”.

  6. TE? So, like 3rd and goal from the 1 he lines up as a blocking TE?

  7. JustaHawksGirl says:

    I sent a tweet to Eric right after this article was posted…yes apparently our new DT is a tight end all of a sudden…and his name has also been changed to Alan Blanch. Think someone might need to do a bit more proof reading lol

  8. raymaines says:

    BobbyK: You’re so rude. ;~)

  9. One thing I will say for comPete is that they have been building this thing a bit differently than I thought they would.

    I thought that he would go out and get as much talent as possible like he did at USC without regard to character and beat you by having a more talented team.

    However, for the most part, they seem to be getting good guys (to a certain degree) who are also good players (in the case of Rice, a GREAT player). They will take some low risk/high reward chances and that’s perfectly fine (like McCoy in the 6th last year, Portis as an UFA this year, etc.), but they don’t seem willing to pay big bucks to some of these character risks until they prove themselves here.

    Overall, it’s pretty easy to “buy-in” to what they are doing.

  10. Soggybuc says:

    Ok it’s pretty simple Alan. you plant Kolb on his azz twice and I will buy your jersey! Deal?

  11. Konz is getting some positive press from the media, including Danny O’Neil: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/seahawksblog/2015852407_jameson_konz_wh.html

    But I’m really skeptical about a guy who didn’t tear it up at Kent State, yet is somehow supposed to have an impact in the NFL. At least guys like Portis and Baldwin were stars on their teams. Konz was a great athlete who didn’t have much production, either at LB or TE. Remember Matt Jones of the Jags? That’s probably his upside. I could be wrong, but I’m much more optimistic about undrafted guys like Baldwin and Lockette.

  12. I’ve been having a hard time buying that Branch can be a 3-tech DT instead of the 5-tech DE he appears to be. But I’m looking forward to seeing this experiment in action. With the injuries to Cole and Red, Branch should get plenty of preseason snaps for us to watch.

    I was reading notes from various bloggers from our Cardinals games last year, and it was notable how badly Branch beat Sean Locklear on a number of occasions. In the Cardinals 3-4 scheme, Branch didn’t have many opportunities to get into the backfield, but he managed to get into ours. Looks like Carroll and Schneider took notice of that explosiveness and realized Branch’s talents were being wasted in that 3-4 scheme.

    The knock on Branch has always been that he’s not a hard worker and doesn’t stay in top shape. Hopefully those days are behind him, because he could be a great fit in our line at both DT and DE. I’m looking forward to seeing him Thursday.

  13. HawkfaninMT says:

    Antone see Branch and Red on both ends in rushing situations?

    Red-Cole(when healthy)-Mebane-Branch

    Good luck running on that front

  14. Audible says:

    Hopefully this Branch will bear fruit.

  15. Audible says:

    One of my favorite parts of being a football fan is rooting for guys like Konz…the odds are against him, of course, but what a terrific story if Carroll figures out where he belongs and how to use him…

    I really like all of the projects our coaches take on…It’s like Home Makeover: NFL Edition.

  16. Although Branch (or Mebane) isn’t ideally suited for the stereotypical 3-tech, they represent the best option right now (a run stuffer with a strength). There aren’t many 8 sack per year guys that you can go pick-up off the streets or in the draft who will come in their first year and be dominant penetrators. Even though he doesn’t fit the comPete blueprint for 3-tech, I think we’re trying to do the best we can with what was available to us (draft/free agency). I know they’d love to have Suh (who would dominant at any of the four defensive line positions), but you can’t always get what you want to fit perfectly.

    This is me quoting me:

    “I think we’re trying to do the best we can with what was available to us (draft/free agency).”

    Which is why I’m going to stop bashing Jackson for awhile. But if he’s terrible and QB isn’t addressed next year, which it will be, then I’ll be on the wrath.

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