Q: Any thoughts on the prospect of bringing back Charles Woodson?
Branch: I knew that was going to be the first question. He's one of those guys, he's a great player, great competitor. But I'm sure Reggie [McKenzie] and DA [Dennis Allen] have something brewed up. I don't know what they've got brewed up. I'm focused on the guys we have now.
Q: Do you know everybody's names? Branch:I won't lie to you all and say I do…it's a learning process. We're building right now. I know all the defense, but offensive guys, I really don't know yet.
Q: How tough is it, for the second straight year, having to get used to new faces for you?
Branch: It's just part of the curve. You got to take the punches and roll with them. It's just part of the learning curve.
Q: But as a safety, you learn to play off your corners and things like that. How important is it to get that continuity and get the same group of people in here from year-to-year?
Branch: That's the importance of these OTAs. We take this time right here to start building up that chemistry.
Q: Some of these new guys that have come in, have you had a chance to work with them much in the off-season?
Branch: No not really. The rookies just got here and the new guys, we're starting to build right now. We just got on the field for the first time as a defense, so we're starting to build today.
Q: What do you think of DJ Hayden?
Branch: DJ Hayden? From what I've seen on film, he's a pretty good ball player. I'm excited to work with him and he has all the attributes to be a good corner, and I'm excited.
Q: You must know some about Sio Moore?
Branch: Oh yeah, Sio. That's my dog. His film speaks for itself; he's a baller.
Q: He said you were his host when he visited?
Branch: Yeah, I was his 'unofficial' host though. I was everybody's 'unofficial' host at UConn.
Q: How odd is it to walk out here for the first time as an NFL guy and not see Huffy [Michael Huff] around?
Branch: That's my best friend. We've had a lot of years together. we both have a great relationship and I'm going to miss him. But this is football, you got to go out with the guys you've got.
Q: You and McFadden, Allen cited a few, and Lamarr, a handful of guys who are back. Do you take it upon yourself to lead or you just always been a leader by the way that you play and conduct yourself?
Branch: I've always seen myself as a leader, but now it's more prominent. I'm one of the older guys now. So that's why I'm growing my beard out and I'm excited for the challenge. I think I fit the role well.
Q: What would [Charles] Woodson mean to this team? What do you think he'd bring to the table?
Branch: He's a great ballplayer, like I said, but right now we've got to focus on the guys we've got.
Q: Today was the official day or first time both having rookies and veterans on the field. What were your first impressions of everything?
Branch: It's the first day, guys are a little rusty but we made the quarterbacks throw a lot of checkdowns and that's always a good sign for the first day.
Q: Did it feel a little more, perhaps in years past, like the first day of school because you are really trying to learn names today, not just what everyone can do and their skill set?
Branch: It's crazy. When we ran into the huddle, and we huddled up for the first time and I'm looking around like, 'Man, that's a lot of new faces in here.' So, it was definitely different but I'm excited though. We've got a good group of guys here, everybody is here to work. This is the best attendance that I've had since I've been here, as far as people showing up for OTAs, and I'm excited.
Q: With the fact that it's a full house and everybody's here, is there like a feeling of a probable excitement to what's ahead, the unknown?
Branch: Every year is the unknown. I don't care if you're coming back with 22 returning starters, you never know what the next team is doing. Every year is unknown, every season is a new season, and this season just presents new challenges and we're excited for them.