- Associated Press - Thursday, June 19, 2014

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. (AP) - Deion Branch has two Super Bowl rings and a Super Bowl MVP trophy that set him apart from many people looking for a new job.

Not when it comes to an NFL broadcasting gig.

There are plenty of ex-players with impressive resumes on the open market.

So, Branch tried to gain an advantage on some of the competition by participating in the NFL’s Broadcast Boot Camp this week.

“I enjoy this,” said Branch, a wide receiver who spent 12 seasons with the Patriots and Seahawks. “This is what I want to do so I’m going to give it my all. I come in here and I sponge because I want to learn everything and take it all in.”

The four-day boot camp held at NFL Films headquarters concluded Thursday. Branch was among 25 current and former players who participated in the annual seminar, now in its eighth season.

More than one-third of the 168 players who’ve attended the boot camp in the first seven years have earned broadcasting jobs as a result of their participation in the program.

Branch already has some experience. He hosted weekly radio shows in New England and Seattle. He’s still learning television.

“I find myself trying to be a little louder now as opposed to the past few years when I was more mellow,” he said. “I’m sitting upright, finding the cameras, doing the subtle things.”

Brady Quinn, a former first-round pick from Notre Dame, seemed like a natural in the studio. Quinn and veteran quarterback Dan Orlovsky debated which division will be the most competitive.

CBS host James Brown surprised both players with questions they didn’t prepare for, but each handled them well.

“One of the toughest parts is trying to fall in line with what they are looking for but also being an individual and trying to separate yourself from everyone else,” Quinn said.

Orlovsky compared broadcasting to playing quarterback.

“You go in with the mind-set that I’ve been playing football for 20 years so I can do it easily, not that it’s belittling the profession, but you just have this expectation of yourself that you know the game so well,” he said. “But then you realize how much work goes into it preparation-wise. It’s a lot like playing quarterback. You have to be a problem-solver more often than not.”

Both Quinn and Orlovsky are well-traveled guys who’ve played for quite a few teams.

Story Continues →