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Report: Deflategate originated with D’Qwell Jackson interception, Colts notifying NFL

01.19.15 at 11:51 pm ET
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Deflategate has dominated the conversation following the Patriots’ 45-7 win in the AFC championship against the Colts. It was learned earlier on Monday the NFL was looking into the matter, and now we reportedly know where it all originated.

According to Newsday, it all started following Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson’s interception of Tom Brady in the second quarter. Jackson gave the ball to a member of the Colts’ equipment staff who thought the ball was under-inflated. The staff member then told coach Chuck Pagano.

Colts general manager Ryan Grigson, who was sitting in the press box at Gillette Stadium, was then notified and he contacted NFL director of football operations Mike Kensil. Kensil then notified the officials on the field at halftime. The Patriots went onto score 21 third quarter points on their way to their 38-point romp.

It’s worth noting each team uses their own balls, so the Patriots have their own and the Colts have their own, rotating them when each offense is on the field.

Tom Brady laughed the accusation off on Dennis & Callahan Monday morning, and Bill Belichick didn’t have much comment on a conference call later in the day.

“We would cooperate fully with whatever the league asks us, wants us to do.” Belichick said. “€œI didn’€™t know anything about it [until] this morning.”

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Read More: 2015 playoffs, Bill Belichick, Chuck Pagano, Tom Brady

Rob Gronkowski takes to Twitter to weigh in on Deflategate

01.19.15 at 11:50 pm ET
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Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski didn’t get a chance to speak with the media on Monday, but the Patriots tight end took to Twitter Monday night to offer a tongue-in-cheek opinion on what happened to the footballs in Sunday’s AFC title game.

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Bill Belichick on D&H: Halftime of Kansas City blowout loss was turning point of season

01.19.15 at 9:20 pm ET
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Patriots coach Bill Belichick joined Dale & Holley on Monday for his weekly appearance to look back on the season, and ahead to the Super Bowl against the Seahawks in two weeks. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

The Patriots started the season 2-2, and suffered one of the worst losses in the Tom Brady-Belichick era, 41-14 in Week 4 in Kansas City on Monday Night Football. Even though the team still got blown out, Belichick viewed the game as a turning point as they still competed hard in the second half, despite coming out of the locker room down 17-0.

The team rallied for seven straight wins after the loss, including a 43-17 win at home against the Bengals just six days later.

“I would mainly say we needed to play better and coach better, everybody needed to do a better job,” Belichick said of starting 2-2. “I thought that the halftime of the Kansas City game was a little bit of a turning point for us in the season. In that we were behind, and we certainly didn’t come back to make a game of it, but I thought that we really competed hard and I thought that was a good sign. We went down there and had a lot of good expectations and it was a Monday night game — everybody was ready to go out there and play well against a really good team. We didn’t, we were down at the half. We were on the road, the place was rocking. I thought that we really tried to compete and play hard for all 60 minutes, even at the end when we had no chance to win. I thought that was a good sign from our team that we did that — not that we played well, but we played hard.

“I think at that point we all realized that if we play well and combine that with our physical and mental toughness we could be OK and we certainly saw a good example of that the following game against Cincinnati. It was a short week, we didn’t have time to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves. We were onto Cincinnati in a hurry and had a lot of ground to make up. They were 3-0 coming in here and the guys really responded. They played a good football game. I’d say that’s pretty much what happened.”

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Read More: 2015 playoffs, Bill Belichick,

How Brandon Browner, Alan Branch might help in designing game plan for Seahawks

01.19.15 at 8:38 pm ET
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Brandon Browner (39) and the Patriots defense has a big challenge in the Super Bowl against Seattle. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images).

Brandon Browner (39) and the Patriots defense has a big challenge in the Super Bowl against Seattle. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images).

FOXBORO — With an extra week to prepare for the biggest game on the planet, the Patriots coaching staff won’t leave any stone unturned when it comes to game planning for the Seattle Seahawks.

The Patriots have two players who might be able to help directly in that process. Brandon Browner and Alan Branch both played for Pete Carroll‘s Seahawks within the last several years. Branch, the beefy nose tackle, played in 31 of 32 games in 2011 and 2012, registering 37 tackles and four sacks.

Browner played for Carroll from 2011-13 and became an impact player in Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” secondary. Both had the chance to watch, up close and in person, Seattle’s read-option offense run through Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch.

How might Browner’€™s experience in the Seattle defense help the Patriots prepare? Will the coaches spend time talking to him asking about his experience in the Seattle secondary?

“I think whenever you go into a game and whatever opponent that you have to play you’€™re going to try to obviously exhaust all of your resources to put yourself in the best situation to play that opponent,” Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia said Monday in a conference call. “Certainly Brandon has some familiarity with them; Alan Branch has some familiarly with them, too.

“It’€™ll help but Seattle is going to do a great job of getting ready for the game and working hard. They’€™ve got a lot of players over there and it’€™s a different team than what those guys have been on in previous years so we’€™re going to have to try to get ready to defend the team that we’€™re playing this year and hopefully we can go out and execute at a high level.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Alan Branch, Brandon Browner, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks

Pete Carroll on Patriots’ trick plays: ‘It’s within rules, it’s great ball, they are figuring out a way to get an advantage’

01.19.15 at 7:43 pm ET
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Pete Carroll will be coaching against his former team in the Super Bowl. (Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images)

Pete Carroll will be coaching against his former team in the Super Bowl. (Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images)

Although much of Pete Carroll‘s press conference with the Seattle media on Monday centered around their wild come-from-behind, overtime win over the Packers on Sunday to win the NFC title, Carroll did field some questions on the Patriots and the upcoming big game.

The Patriots have called some unconventional plays in their two postseason wins — the double-pass touchdown and a running back being ineligible against the Ravens, and then on Sunday a tackle eligible touchdown pass in the AFC championship against the Colts.

While Ravens coach John Harbaugh took exception to the plays, Carroll seems like he would have no issue.

“I think it’€™s great ball,” Carroll told reporters in Seattle. “It’€™s within rules — it’€™s great ball, they are figuring out a way to get an advantage. The thing they did last week with getting an extra eligible in the game and all that, it’€™s a good tactic. It’€™s happened in college a little more, so they must have picked up something that’€™s coming into the college game. It makes you stay on your toes — I think that is really good coaching.”

One of the many storylines in the game will be Carroll coaching against the man who took over for him in New England 15 years ago in Bill Belichick. Carroll had positive things to say about his time with the Patriots and even noted after his response he was starting to talk like Belichick.

“It was a real challenge. It’€™s a great place to be in sports — a great town, a great following, much like it is here,” Carroll said. “Just tremendous support and all, really heartfelt, that was the old days and all of the old facilities; it wasn’€™t quite as nice as it now I am sure, still the whole setup was really exciting to be around they had such history. It didn’€™t work out — we did some good stuff while we were there, but it didn’€™t work out and time to move on. All of a sudden I sound like Bill.”

The two coaches have faced off before, Oct. 14, 2012, in Seattle — a game where the Seahawks beat the Patriots 24-23. There was an incident in the game that Carroll, along with many others still remember.

“It was raining really hard, it was raining really hard,” Carroll recalled. “Tom Brady and somebody were yelling back and forth a little bit, those guys were having some fun. Everybody was into it. It was a huge game, it felt like a championship game against a great team.”

Of course the “somebody” Carroll was referring to was cornerback Richard Sherman, which is another storyline to watch over the course of the next two weeks — Brady vs. Sherman.

Read More: 2015 playoffs, Pete Carroll, Richard Sherman, Tom Brady

Vince Wilfork on D&H: ‘My job was to get that woman to safety; I was lucky to do that’

01.19.15 at 5:26 pm ET
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Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork joined Dale & Holley on Monday to discuss his actions following the game on Sunday when he pulled a woman from a flipped over car, and to look ahead to the Super Bowl against the Seahawks. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

On his way home from the game late Sunday night, Wilfork and his family passed a flipped over car on Route 1 in Foxboro. Wilfork’s wife Bianca, spotted the car, Vince went to help the driver, and his son called 911. Wilfork said he was acting like any other person would have in that situation.

“It gives you a second to actually think about the purpose in life,” Wilfork said. “Here we are winning the AFC championship, we’re all riding high and we had the idea of going to the Super Bowl and you run into a car that is turned over. There’s two different types of things going on in your mind at that time, but luckily I was [fortunate] to just go out and do a job. That is how I looked at it, my job was to get that woman to safety. I was lucky to do that.”

“I was just an ordinary person trying to help out another person,” he added. “I think in society a lot of people, we should just be thankful for having an opportunity to help people when you can. That was one of the things that I have shown where I came from a background where my parents told me the right way to do things and the wrong way to do things and how to help your neighbor in need and stuff like that. At that point I knew that she needed to get to safety and my job was to get her to safety. That is exactly what I tried to do.”

With the win over the Colts, the Patriots have advanced to the Super Bowl — Tom Brady‘s sixth and Wilfork’s fourth. The two are the longest tenured members of the team and were seen talking on the sideline late in Sunday’s 45-7 win. The two can appreciate what the team accomplished to reach their goal of playing in the Super Bowl.

“It was a great feeling to see we finally put a game together for four quarters. [Tom Brady and I] were happy with the way the team performed,” Wilfork said. “We were happy with everything surrounding the game, from the coaching, from the game plan, from the way guys approached this week, just the importance for us of what it meant to come to work this week and get a result the way we did in the AFC championship. That should give us a lot of confidence in this next game saying, ‘When we do it right, and we have the confidence in what we’re doing, we can be a dangerous football team.’ We were just reflecting over the course of the year and what we’ve done and let each other know we have one more game we need to prepare well for and it is going to be a tough game.”

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Read More: 2015 playoffs, Vince Wilfork,

Pete Carroll: ‘It’s a little bit personal’ to face Patriots

01.19.15 at 4:07 pm ET
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There are many storylines surrounding the Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl — one of them being Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick coaching against one another, 15 years after Belichick took over for Carroll in New England.

“€œIt’€™s really fun. Who cares? But it’€™s really fun,” Carroll said on 710 ESPN in Seattle Monday. “It’€™s a little bit personal because we were there and it’€™s a great place and I have great respect for what they have done, the family, what they have pulled off over the years. The Kraft family, they’€™ve done amazing things, historic things in the league and in the last 15 years or however long it’€™s been … They’€™ve been the best of the best and they’€™ve proven it. So we’€™re fortunate to get a chance to get to play a team like this and a club like this.”

Belichick was asked about coaching against Carroll on his conference call Monday, and he had nothing but positive things to say about the man he took over for back in 2000. Carroll’s Seahawks beat Belichick and the Patriots 24-23 in Seattle during the 2012 season.

“I think Pete is a great football coach,” Belichick said. “His record speaks for itself. I have a lot of respect for Pete. Pete believes what he believes in. I think that they kind of have their way of doing things, but it works very well. Pete is consistent, he has a consistent message. I think he’s coached pretty much the same type of — same kind of style, similar type of coaching personality and scheme and just the whole thing for many years now. It’s well over 20 years. I’ve coached against him. I’ve known him through competition in the National Football League. In college, when he was at USC you saw more of that and he had tremendous success there.

“Pete is a good friend. I’ve talked with him. I’ve talked with him on many different occasions. I really respect what he does, how he does it. His players play hard, they play well. He has a very resilient team with a lot of energy. I think he has done a tremendous job in Seattle, as he did at [USC]. He’s a really good football coach and they have a really good team. I like Pete, I like him a lot.”

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Read More: 2015 playoffs, Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll,
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