|01.30.15 at 1:12 pm ET|
Schefter discussed how the close relationship between Patriots owner Robert Kraft and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will be affected by the Deflategate controversy.
“The majority of fans outside of the New England area, they don’t like the Patriots, they don’t want to believe the Patriots, and they think the Patriots did wrong,” Schefter said. “And you have this public at large that wants to see New England hung for this. And then you’ve got Roger Goodell’s biggest supporter owning that football team. So it leaves Roger Goodell and the NFL in a real no-win situation. … The challenge here may be if there is any evidence to make sure that all sides are satisfied with the outcome of this particular case.”
Last Saturday, coach Bill Belichick held a press conference addressing the controversy and passionately defending his team and organization.
“No. 1, Bill Belichick truly believes that his team did no wrong,” Schefter said. “There may have been something that went on, but I don’t believe that he had any idea that anything happened. I really believe that.”
Added Schefter: “I think [Belichick] wanted to make it very clear that he didn’t know about it and I think No. 2, he wanted to put everything that he had out there defending his team in the strongest manner possible so that they could go to Scottsdale and then say, look, I did two press conferences last week, I answered all these questions, and before the week kicks into high gear, he’s got it out of the way.”
“You can’t go into a game thinking of the enormity of it,” Schefter said. “You can’t think that this game has more significance on our legacy and this season than anything else. … It has a ginormous feel. It feels different, but you can’t approach it that way, you just have approach it like it’s Week 1 or Week 8 or Week 12 or whatever it may be.”
For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.
|01.30.15 at 12:35 pm ET|
Putting the controversy aside and looking forward to Sunday’s game, McGinest was not willing to predict a Super Bowl winner.
“Anything could happen, I mean, it’s tough to try to predict,” McGinest said. “Look at all the games that nobody could get right this year. What I’m saying is, this is a heavyweight matchup. I love the way these two teams match up. The two right teams are here.”
Added McGinest: “There’s no excuses [for the Patriots]. The No. 1 thing going into this year from last year is health. They’ve got a lot of guys healthy outside of Jerod Mayo. Pretty much the defense is together and they’re ready to play. Offensively, all hands on deck. When you look at the mentality and the way they’re playing right now, beating teams in a lot of different ways. Whether it’s the ground game against Indianapolis, whether it’s the pass attack, spread offense vs. Baltimore, the defense playing a lot of man — Browner, Revis — they’re taking guys away. … It’s exciting.”
When asked for his response to Deflategate and the Patriots legacy, the three-time Super Bowl champion said that nothing should take away from what the team has accomplished.
“You talk about Deflategate, you break all those scenarios down,” McGinest said. “OK, they took the footballs at halftime, they went on a 28-0 run after that. I mean, I understand that this team knows the rules probably better than any organization in the league, and do they use it to their benefit? Yeah. Do they certain things that are cutting edge or pushing the line? Maybe. But is that the reason for all the Patriots’ success as far as the players, what they put into it and coach Belichick’s success? No, it’s not.”
For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.
|01.30.15 at 11:54 am ET|
PHOENIX — Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount can now fully concentrate on the Sunday’s Super Bowl.
According to the Associated Press, the marijuana charge against Blount that stemmed from an August arrest with former Pittsburgh Steelers teammate Le’Veon Bell has been dropped after the Patriots running back completed 50 hours of community service.
The report says he completed those hours with Urban Achievers in Boston. The group’s website says it works to improve “the academic and social outcomes of children living in under-served and under-resourced communities.”
If he didn’t complete the 50 hours, he would have had to appear in court just outside Pittsburgh next week. Blount did have to miss a day of practice earlier in the year because of the case.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|01.30.15 at 11:42 am ET|
PHOENIX — Earlier in the week, Vince Wilfork said he would always choose family and faith over football.
Sherman has been asked this week what he would do if his son arrived in the hours before or during the Super Bowl.
Sherman thinks his boy will be a “disciplined young man,” waiting until after Sunday’s game. Sherman still would not commit on whether he’d miss the game.
‘Well that’s up to Richard,” Carroll said. “He knows that he has an opportunity to face a great decision. Whenever our players have a personal family issue that comes up, it’s always about the family first and they have to decide what’s best for them, and I support that. However he goes with that- if he’s faced with that decision- we’ll support that. We’ll see how that goes. Wish him luck.”
Of course, Carroll couldn’t help adding a little humor. “Can’t wait to see little Petey.”
|01.30.15 at 11:42 am ET|
|01.30.15 at 10:41 am ET|
Indianapolis-based columnist and breaker of the Deflategate story Bob Kravitz stopped by the Dennis & Callahan show on Friday to talk about the scandal and the Super Bowl. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
From what information he’s seen recently regarding Deflategate, Kravitz said it looks as if the Patriots might get out of this situation relatively unscathed, but he isn’t sure if it’s a result of their innocence or the league’s incompetence.
“I don’t know if that’s going to be the result of them either being completely exonerated and clean in this, which is a possibility, or if that’s the result of the NFL being completely incompetent, and the reason I say that is the Ray Rice fiasco. They showed during the Ray Rice fiasco that they can screw up a one-car funeral procession, you know what I mean?” he said.
“So it’s one of those two things but it’s going to be, and I said this from the beginning, it’s going to be tough to find that smoking gun,” Kravitz added. “I have a feeling that nothing is going to come of this, but I could be wrong. The burden of proof for the National Football League is quite a bit lower than it is, say, in a court of law.”
Kravitz said that Deflategate shouldn’t loom over the Patriots as a form of their legacy being compromised in the same way Spygate affected perceptions of the team.
“I don’t think this messes up their legacy,” he said. “I think Spygate is always going to be there and the fact that — and I don’t believe that there’s causation here — but the fact that they haven’t won a Super Bowl since Spygate hangs over them just a little bit, at least in the view of people outside of New England. I think if this ends up being nothing, I think it gets recalled in a “30-for-30″ 10, 20 years from now as a lot of hot air.”
In terms of the game itself, Kravitz told D&C that in his experience, “When you have a dominant defense vs. a very good to dominant offense, the dominant defense wins.” Kravitz mentioned that the Seahawks defense has been very strong as of late and, because of that, he said Seattle is going to win what will be a very close and “strangely low-scoring game.”
|01.30.15 at 10:17 am ET|
CBS Sports NFL analyst Boomer Esiason joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning to talk briefly about footballs, the Super Bowl and what Sunday will bring. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
As a former NFL quarterback, Esiason weighed in on Deflategate, noting that people have been “manipulating the ball for as long as I can remember.”
“It goes all the way back to when I was playing,” he said. “They started playing with brand new balls out of the box, we were all angry about that. Then it was that the home team had to furnish the footballs, we were angry about that. Then it was Tom [Brady] and Peyton [Manning] who went to Roger Goodell back in 2006 and said, ‘Hey, we want to bring our own footballs.’ And I’ve been saying over the last five or six years, I don’t care if they’re underinflated, overinflated, the fact is when you look at those footballs, they all look like they’re 100 years old. They don’t look anything like the balls that we played with. So I think everybody has gained an advantage at the quarterback position.”
Esiason then mentioned that it sounded to him like “the officials didn’t really do their due diligence” in terms of checking the balls carefully.
Aside from the unrelenting talk of deflated footballs, the story this game is that both the Patriots and the Seahawks match up to an astonishing degree. For Esiason, it’s the strength of both secondaries that interests him most.
“I can’t remember the last time both defenses, in terms of the secondaries, had a decided advantage against the wide receivers,” he said, adding: “I think this is going to be a struggle for both of these offenses, and even Tom Brady said it last week, with Seattle, nothing’s easy, and the same thing can be said for the New England Patriots.
“The interesting thing here for me is whether or not Seattle can generate any sort of big play in their passing game. They were able to do that towards the end of the game against Green Bay and certainly did it in overtime. They did it against Carolina, but those secondaries aren’t nearly as good as the New England secondary.”
Esiason, who predicts a 23-20 Patriots victory, stressed that these are “the two best rosters in football” and that the game most likely will be down to the wire.
“This is why you went out and got Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis,” he said. “This is when you take a look at what Russell Wilson has been able to do in his young career. I believe this is going to be a great game. I think it’s going to go all the way down to the fourth quarter. I think it’s a field goal game, and I think the quarterback who has the ball last is going to have a chance to win the football game.”
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