|01.23.15 at 12:11 pm ET|
Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty joined Middays with MFB on Friday as the Patriots try to put Deflategate behind them and focus on preparing for the Super Bowl. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
McCourty said the controversy over the underinflated footballs might be big news for the rest of the nation, but it has not been a major issue in the locker room.
“I’ve been focused on winning,” McCourty said. “To go last time and to lose, the only thing this year, being back in the Super Bowl, that I’ve thought about is winning the game. I think us as a team, putting that as our focus allows to ignore everything else going on. Because the rest of that is out of our control. The only thing we can control is being prepared and trying to win on Sunday.”
Added McCourty: “This team has done a lot of hard work, we’ve earned the right to go to the Super Bowl, winning the AFC. I wish the focus was on that, but it’s not. I can’t control that. But that’s where my focus is. Even today, doing all the media, I told them that’s what I want to talk about, this opportunity playing against the Seahawks, a great team. But we have to put a lot of work in for us. As a team, that’s where our focus is. That’s where it needs to be if we don’t want to go out there and get embarrassed in Arizona.”
Brady addressed his teammates before speaking to the media about the issue Thursday, but McCourty said stays between the QB and the team.
“I don’t think there’s a reason to really discuss that anymore,” McCourty said. “We’re kind of past that as a team.”
For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.
|01.23.15 at 11:11 am ET|
Hasselbeck said Tom Brady‘s denial of involvement Thursday doesn’t pass the smell test.
“There is not a single guy that works in an equipment room on any of the 32 NFL teams that would take pressure out of a football on their own accord. Not one,” Hasselbeck said. “They would only do it because it was what the quarterback wanted them to do.”
The former BC and NFL quarterback said the issue really isn’t as complicated as it’s been made out to be, with the implication that the Patriots clearly compromised the rules.
Said Hasselbeck: “Here’s how the process works, guys: The starting quarterback chooses the football with a member of the equipment staff. This is what happens, the two guys that are involved. Those balls are submitted to the officials before the game. The officials have said that the balls were all within regulation when they tested them 2 1/2 hours before the game. Those balls then get put back into the possession of the equipment staff. When the balls are tested are halftime, 11 of the 12 footballs are a full two PSI below the minimum threshold. OK? That’s what’s happened.
“And then you take it further back, the NFL was alerted that this may be an issue prior to the game based on past experiences with this football team. So, it’s really not that hard. If you pay attention to the facts, it’s really not difficult.
Asked if he felt the controversy was being overblown, Hasselbeck was ambivalent.
“While it probably doesn’t, in my opinion, impact outcomes of football games, there are other people that probably feel differently about that,” Hasselbeck said. “I think ultimately the determination that something is right or wrong is not based on the net result or net effect. … If there’s a wide receiver that gets interfered with but catches the football, you still throw a pass interference flag.
“So whether it’s right or it’s wrong it has nothing to do with winning or losing games. Whether it’s right or it’s wrong depends on whether you broke the rule or you didn’t. It’s that simple.”
For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.
|01.23.15 at 1:55 am ET|
Join Chris Price of WEEI.com to break down all things Patriots and the NFL on Friday at noon. Price will help you get ready for Super Bowl week, while looking at the landscape of the league.
|01.22.15 at 9:59 pm ET|
The Patriots are a difficult team to prepare for as a defense — you don’t know if they will rely on their run, or rely on their pass.
In New England’s divisional round game against the Ravens, the Patriots passed the ball 51 times, compared to only 13 runs. In the AFC championship against the Colts, the team ran the ball 40 times and threw it 35 times. This keeps the opposing defense on their heels.
“I think we approach the game the same as we approach every game,” Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner said. “We don’t personally care what you’re going to try to do. Once we figure out what you’re trying to do ‘ we’re going to adjust to it. If they want to run the ball out — we will be ready. If they want to pass the ball out — we will be ready. If they want to run screens and stuff like that — we are going to be ready. I don’t really care what they want to do.”
The Patriots have added some new formations in their two playoff wins. Against the Ravens they had an eligible receiver line up as ineligible on a few plays, and then against the Colts they had tackle eligible Nate Solder catch a touchdown pass.
Wagner says they will be prepared for it when asked if they spent any extra time on the Patriots’ “weird” formations.
“Yeah, we will be prepared for it,” said Wagner. “It’s something sneaky that they try to do. They will mix it in a point in the game where maybe the other teams are tired but we don’t get tired.”
“I mean he’s a very good receiver but when he’s on the field with us, I don’t know if he’s going to be that open,” said Wagner.
On Wednesday, Richard Sherman claimed Tom Brady was actually the one who started the trash talking during their last meeting in 2012, a 24-23 Seahawks win. Wagner was a rookie in the game and he said Brady was doing some talking.
“He was talking some trash but I mean everybody talks trash,” Wagner said. “It’s a fun game. It’s all within the lines. Everybody is always talking a little smack — it’s part of the game.”
|01.22.15 at 8:46 pm ET|
Rookie center Bryan Stork (knee) practiced for the first time since suffering the injury in the divisional round against the Ravens. He didn’t practice all last week prior to the AFC championship.
Other than Stork practicing, the report was the same as it was on Wednesday’s projection, as they had five other players limited and Tom Brady (ankle) a full participant.
For the Seahawks, Marshawn Lynch (not injury related), JR Sweezy (ankle) and Earl Thomas (shoulder) didn’t practice for a second straight day, while Michael Bennett (not injury related) and Clint Gresham (neck) practiced in full after missing Wednesday’s session. Justin Britt (knee) and Richard Sherman (elbow) were once again full participants.
Here’s the complete Patriots practice report:
CB Brandon Browner (knee)
LB Dont’a Hightower (shoulder)
DT Chris Jones (elbow)
WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder/toe)
DT Sealver Siliga (foot)
C Bryan Stork (knee)
QB Tom Brady (ankle)
|01.22.15 at 8:15 pm ET|
Indy’s D’Qwell Jackson said Thursday he didn’t notice a difference in the air pressure of the football he intercepted in last week’s AFC title game between the Colts and Patriots.
It was believed the discovery of the Colts linebacker kickstarted the Deflategate investigation — reports initially indicated that he was the one who noticed the change in the air pressure of the footballs following a second-quarter interception of New England’s Tom Brady. That led to an ESPN report that 11 of the Patriots footballs from that game were under-inflated.
However, Jackson said Thursday that simply wasn’t the case, telling NFL Media it wasn’t his claim that prompted the investigation.
“I wouldn’t know how that could even be an advantage or a disadvantage,” Jackson said. “I definitely wouldn’t be able to tell if one ball had less pressure than another.”
Jackson added that he doesn’t feel bitter toward the Patriots, who won the game 45-7.
“It wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the game,” Jackson said. “They outplayed us. We didn’t match their intensity. I don’t feel slighted at all personally. They created turnovers, they ran the ball on us. They won that game because of their intensity — not the pressure of a football.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|01.22.15 at 6:46 pm ET|
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