Share this article

print logo

Alan Branch: From hot Bills mess to world champion in six months

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Alan Branch's last act for the Buffalo Bills was vomiting out of his car door while drunk and behind the wheel in Cheektowaga.

Branch already had been considered a waste. He skipped voluntary offseason workouts, arrived to training camp grossly out of shape and got buried on the depth chart.

The Bills had signed him in December 2013 to a three-year contract extension and paid him a $3.1 million signing bonus. But they had to cut Branch.

Six months later, Branch is a world champion with the New England Patriots.

Branch was on the field when the Seattle Seahawks, on the nearest verge of winning Super Bowl 49 in the final seconds, puked all over themselves.

New England signed Branch to a one-year contract in late October, two months after his DUI arrest.

"The way the year started out for me, it was definitely rough at first," Branch said while holding 7-year-old daughter Amira on his lap in the Super Bowls' postgame interview room. "I was on the couch for seven weeks, and I never experienced that as an NFL player. I was down on myself for a little bit.

"I thank God I have the support of my family and my wife. They do a great job of having my back and making sure I keep my focus forward and keeping me working out and not being down.

"It's just crazy. It's a blessing. It's definitely a blessing to get to the point where I am at right now from where I started out."

Branch is a run-stuffing defensive lineman who was on the field to tackle Marshawn Lynch, one of the NFL's baddest running backs.

But the Seahawks asked Russell Wilson to throw. Undrafted rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler jumped Ricardo Lockette's slant route and intercepted the pass.

"I definitely wasn't expecting it," Branch said of Seattle's play call.

Branch, who made three tackles in Sunday, gave the Bills a shoutout after the game.

"Everything got me to this moment," Branch said, "from Pop Warner all the way to Michigan, from the Cardinals to the Seahawks to the Bills to here. All of this has built up to this moment for me."

Story topics: / / / /

There are no comments - be the first to comment