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Most Cardinals want to see Tom Brady play Week 1, don’t want ‘any excuses’

05.25.16 at 11:41 am ET
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Most Cardinals want Tom Brady to play Week 1. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Most Cardinals want Tom Brady to play Week 1. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Although Larry Fitzgerald may not want to see Tom Brady on the field Week 1, the rest of his teammates and coaches wouldn’t mind facing the quarterback, which means he wouldn’t be serving his four-game suspension for Deflategate.

Fitzgerald’s reasoning is it would make life easier for the Cardinals in getting a win, but for some other players they want to go up against the best.

“I don’t want any excuses,” said offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Harold Goodwin, via AZ Central. “The level we’re at right now as an organization, as a team – because we think we’re one of the best teams in the National Football League – hey, when we’re playing another team we want them to be at full capacity, too.

“Down the road, I don’t want to hear ‘coulda, woulda, shoulda,’ because they’re missing a guy. Obviously, I would like Tom to play.”

Added linebacker Deone Bucannon: “I wouldn’t be a competitor if I said ‘not.’ I’m a competitor and he’s one of the best to ever do it. It would be awesome to play against him. I want them at their best because we’re definitely going to be at our best.”

The Cardinals are coming off a season where they lost in the NFC title game to the Panthers 49-15 and may have something to prove.

“I think everybody on this defense wants to see the best,” safety Tony Jefferson said. “I’ve never gone against Tom Brady before. I’ve played against Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers.”

The game will also feature Cardinals defensive end Chandler Jones facing his former team after being traded during the offseason.

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Former Patriots backup QB Jim Miller recalls what it was like to break in footballs with Tom Brady

05.25.16 at 11:36 am ET
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Jim Miller spent a year in New England backing up Tom Brady. (Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Jim Miller spent a year in New England backing up Tom Brady. (Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Former Patriots backup quarterback Jim Miller spoke with the It Is What It Is podcast this week and recalled how he used to break in game balls with Tom Brady.

Miller, who was on the New England roster in 2004 with Brady, said the process was a simple one: Each team would get two dozen footballs issued to them, and the quarterback would be allowed to break them in as they saw fit. Miller and Brady were of like mind when it came to the preferred state of their footballs.

“At the end of the week, when they would get a little scuffed up, you’d go through and pick out the footballs that you’d like to throw with on Sundays,” he said. “I was like Tom — I’d like mine on the lower level of inflation. To me, it’s just how the ball feels in your hands. It’s the texture of it. You want a certain way.

He added: “We would pick out the footballs. I’d say, ‘Hey Tom, is is a great one. Tell me how it feels.’ He’d say, ‘Yeah, put that one in the pile, Jim.’ That’s what we would do. And then, as the season goes along, some of those footballs get taken out of circulation — let’s say 10 out of those 24 — and you’d break in 10 more than would be introduced into the population. But always, you’d always want them on the lower level of inflation.”

While the rules around pregame treatment of the footballs have since been changed since 2004 — Brady and Peyton Manning pushed through a rule more than a decade ago to make things easier for quarterbacks when it came to picking out game balls — Miller said that for a quarterback, it’s all about comfort and confidence.

“There’s always going to be certain preferences,” said Miller, who was in the league from 1994 until 2005. “[Quarterbacks] want to be confident on game day.”

Miller, who said the league has “botched [Deflategate] from the very beginning,” hopes Brady will be cleared sooner rather than later.

“I hope so,” said Miller, who is currently a co-host of “Movin’ the Chains on Sirius XM. “I don’t think he did anything disingenuous with the footballs. I don’t think it had any bearing on that AFC championship game whatsoever.

“When you’ve got league officials who have been in the league — Walt Anderson, he’s been in the league, he has 19 years of experience. And he’s losing the footballs the day of the game. Not following the proper protocol,” he added. “Then you have the NFL this past year doing their own investigation where they are [looking at] certain games and inspecting the PSI levels of certain footballs and not releasing that information. In terms of the integrity of the game, I just think the NFL really comes out with a little bit of egg on their face because it’s made them look extremely poor.”

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It Is What It Is Podcast: Chris Price talks to former Patriots backup QB Jim Miller about Tom Brady, Deflategate and how New England looks for 2016

05.25.16 at 10:59 am ET
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In the latest It Is What It Is podcast, Chris Price talks with former Patriots backup quarterback Jim Miller about Tom Brady and his mindset as he continues to battle Deflategate. Miller offers up his own thoughts on Brady’s play and what sets him apart from other signal-callers of his generation, and also talks about what it’s like picking out game balls with Brady. Miller also breaks down New England’s offseason to this point on the calendar, and offers his thoughts on which team might be poised to challenge the Patriots in the AFC East.

Atlanta, South Florida, Los Angeles named future Super Bowl sites

05.25.16 at 7:00 am ET
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Following a series of votes at the spring meetings on Tuesday, here are the sites for the next five Super Bowls:

Super Bowl LI (2017): Houston
Super Bowl LII (2018): Minnesota
Super Bowl LIII (2019): Atlanta
Super Bowl LIV (2020): South Florida
Super Bowl LV (2021): Los Angeles

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Roger Goodell: ‘Really not focused’ on Tom Brady petition

05.24.16 at 7:51 pm ET
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Roger Goodell said at the NFL owners meetings Tuesday that he was “really not focused” on Tom Brady’s recent petition for a rehearing regarding his four-game suspension.

Asked about the recent decision of Brady’s legal team to appeal the ban, Goodell said he understood the decision made by the NFLPA, but that’s not where his attention is right now.

“I respect the NFLPA’s ability to appeal if they choose to do that,” Goodell said. “They did. That’s a matter for the lawyers. We’ll see how things progress. But I’m really not focused on that at all.”

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Robert Kraft laments league handling of Deflategate while showing support for QB Tom Brady

05.24.16 at 7:28 pm ET
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Patriots owner Robert Kraft lamented the NFL’s handling of Deflategate on Tuesday, saying the “whole thing has been mishandled” while expressing support for Tom Brady.

“We’ve been behind [Brady]. The whole thing has been mishandled in my opinion,” Kraft told NFL Media’s Judy Battista while at the league meetings. “It’s unfortunate and we hope he prevails.”

On Monday, Brady’s legal team filed for a rehearing of his suspension case against the NFL before the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.

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Larry Fitzgerald ‘wouldn’t shed any tears’ if Tom Brady misses Week 1, but hopes he plays Week 2

05.24.16 at 2:54 pm ET
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Larry FItzgerald wouldn't mind Tom Brady missing Week 1. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Larry FItzgerald wouldn’t mind Tom Brady missing Week 1. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

It will be an exciting season opener in Arizona Sept. 11 with the Patriots taking on the Cardinals, highlighted by Chandler Jones facing his old team.

New England may or may not have quarterback Tom Brady as he could be suspended the first four games because of Deflategate.

Although they are friendly, Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald would prefer Brady misses the game, as that would obviously benefit the home team.

“C’mon man. I think that’s a pretty easy question to answer,” Fitzgerald said Tuesday. “I love Tom. That’s my man but if he doesn’t play I wouldn’t shed any tears. I’d love to see him back the next week though.”

Brady and Fitzgerald both appear on Westwood One with Jim Gray on Monday Night Football’s pregame show.

If Brady is suspended, he would miss games against Arizona, Miami, Houston and Buffalo — the final three being at home.

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