|01.26.15 at 6:00 pm ET|
PHOENIX – Ted Wells, who is leading the NFL’s investigation into Deflategate, issued a statement Monday saying he believes the probe will take “at least several more weeks.”
“We are in the process of conducting a thorough investigation on the issue of the footballs used in the AFC Championship. This work began last week, stretched through the weekend, and is proceeding expeditiously this week notwithstanding the Super Bowl. We are following customary investigative procedures and no one should draw any conclusions about the sequence of interviews or any other steps, all of which are part of the process of doing a thorough and fair investigation. I expect the investigation to take at least several more weeks. In the interim, it would be best if everyone involved or potentially involved in this matter avoids public comment concerning the matter until the investigation is concluded. The results will be shared publicly.”
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|01.26.15 at 4:34 pm ET|
Making his weekly appearance on Dale & Holley, Patriots coach Bill Belichick discussed the Deflategate saga and his desire for his team’s attention to be turned to Super Bowl XLIX against the Seahawks.
For audio of the interview, go to the Audio On Demand page.
When asked about the ball deflation scandal, Belichick responded, ‘I appreciate the question, but I covered it pretty thoroughly [Saturday], and I don’t have anything else to add at this time. My focus is on the Seahawks.’
He did say that the NFL’s presence in the matter has not affected his preparation for the Seahawks.
“It really hasn’t,” he said. “I haven’t been involved with them, so it really hasn’t.”
As for Super Bowl preparations, Belichick said the Patriots have made strides as they ready themselves for the NFC champions.
“We’re about halfway through the process,” Belichick said. “I think to this point, we’ve covered a lot of things. There’s certainly a lot more to do and a lot of work left on the coaching end, on the playing end and just the overall logistics and the whole week. We’ll see how it all comes together. I think we’re in a good place right now, but we’ve got a long way to go.”
Lynch ran for 157 yards in Seattle’s come-from-behind overtime victory over the Packers in the NFC Championship. The Pats are plenty familiar with Lynch, as he spent the first four years of his career in the AFC East as a member of the Buffalo Bills. Belichick agreed that Lynch is one of the harder backs to bring down in the NFL.
|01.26.15 at 4:20 pm ET|
Speaking on his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley Show, Tedy Bruschi offered an impassioned take on both nationwide analysis of Deflategate, and critics of Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the Patriots.
When asked if Bruschi has ever known Belichick or Brady to be cheaters, responded succinctly, saying, “I’ll answer that question. No I don’t. I know I have not. I won’t expound on it but just give you the word ‘no.’”
Here are Bruchi’s other comments:
Regarding some of the criticism coming from his fellow ESPN analysts
“I think it’s a very difficult position for me to be on set with certain people that said certain things that of course I was listening to and I heard. Every man is entitled to their opinion. I disagree with them as strongly as I possibly can because I’ve been in this organization for 13 years. Tom Brady, I know. Bill Belichick, I know. If vouch is the word, vouch is the word I’ll use. I vouch for these guys. I know their character. There isn’t anything more that they can do or they can say in terms of what they know what happened.”
On how Brady, Belichick and the Patriots have been viewed through recent controversy
“What is this year all been about? It’s been about that word transparency. NFL transparency. Ray Rice. Adrian Peterson. Everything. We want to know. We want to know what happened. We want to know the investigation, everything. After this happened there wasn’t one line from Bill or Tom that said, ‘There’s an NFL investigation going on and we have to wait and out of the respect for the investigation we can’t comment.’ That’s an easy out. That’s an easy out they could have used. But they want to be as transparent as they possibly could to say, ‘This is what we know. This is what we’ve done. I’m telling you this did not happen.’ And Bill is out there conducting his own investigation. Lord knows what he did to those balls, rubbing them, having the quarterback do whatever they did to them. They were as transparent as they possibly could be. What more do you want from them?
“There are just certain opinions about the New England Patriots out there because somebody’s team got beat. Marty Hurney, your team got beat. That’s all it us. Move on. But you want to talk about and you want to bring it up because you need some reason why as to why you were beat. But this is the reason why: you were outcoached and you were outplayed.
“I can’t change the way that they think or the way that they feel. SpyGate is over and done with. Bill even addressed it in his press conference on Saturday. I had to do a lot of things individually to protect our signals because I was the signal-caller. We take the bullet for that, so be it. We move on, we paid the price and continue to win games. We thought we put it all to bed by almost going 19-0 but we didn’t do it. So people want answers. That’s just the way it is. I try and stay as level-headed as I possibly can about it. It’s impossible to not get emotional at times. ‘¦ When it comes down to it I just have to be as level-headed as I possibly can about it and feel very confident.
“We won, that’s the bottom line. And that team is still continuing to win and people want their own justification as to why. Why? You were outcoached, you were outplayed. End of story.”
|01.26.15 at 3:44 pm ET|
The NFL’s investigation into deflated footballs in the AFC championship is focusing on a Patriots locker room attendant, according to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports.
Glazer reports that the attendant allegedly took the balls from the officials’ locker room to “another area” on the way to the field. Sources told Glazer that the league has interviewed the attendant and that they also have video of him, but that they are still trying to determine if he did anything wrong.
‘ Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) January 26, 2015
|01.26.15 at 3:33 pm ET|
PHOENIX — Just because Brandon Browner used to be teammates with Richard Sherman, doesn’t mean the current Patriots cornerback is urging his teammates to take it easy on Sherman.
Sherman injured his elbow in the NFC championship game, but practiced in full all last week as was listed as probable on the injury report released last Friday. In an interview with ESPN’s Josina Anderson, Browner said he’s telling his teammates to go after Sherman’s injured elbow and shoulder.
“At the end of the day, this is about the Super Bowl. I’m gonna tell my teammates ‘go hit that elbow, go hit that shoulder,” Browner said. “Hit it, yeah. Try to break it if you can. You can be my best friend after the game but, at the end of the day, I know you want the Super Bowl just as bad as I do.”
Browner wasn’t able to play in last year’s Super Bowl game as a member of the Seahawks, as he was suspended for violating the NFL’s performance enhancing drugs.
“That is probably one of the toughest things I have ever had to deal with,” Browner said. “I had family over, we watched the game, celebrated the game and what not. I actually watched the game upstairs by myself.”
“It sucked. It was the worst feeling ever,” he added. “Watching those guys, and I could hear my family cheering for my teammates — that was tough for me because I wanted to be the one they were cheering for and give them something special. Cousins, my mom, son, people who have a relative playing in the Super Bowl.”
The Patriots cornerback got even more motivation to make it back to the big game after President Obama left him out of the Legion of Boom when the team visited the White House.
“That was tough for me,” Browner said. “[Seahawks head coach] Pete Carroll is such a great guy, and once he had seen that he looked back at me. We have a photo. As soon as [Obama] said that, we made eye contact and that was pretty much what I needed to settle me, to be like ‘as long as my coach understands how much those guys meant to me then I’m good.'”
“The promise I made to myself was to get back here to shake the president’s hand,” Browner added. “And let him know who I am a little bit.”
Browner was suspended for the first four games of this season, and then didn’t play the next two, but in his nine games in the regular season he recorded 20 tackles and an interception, while playing a major role in the New England secondary.
|01.26.15 at 2:37 pm ET|
PHOENIX — Prior to the Patriots departing for Arizona on Monday, the team held a rally in City Hall Plaza in front of hundreds of fans.
Owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and several players addressed the crowd starting with Kraft.
“It’s now my pleasure to introduce the coach, who does his job better than anyone, the best coach in the NFL, Bill Belichick,” Kraft said before Belichick took the microphone.
The players who took the microphone offered words of encouragement for the fans, who have supported the team all year long.
“We have the greatest fans of all of football,” said Vince Wilfork. “That is one of the reasons why we play for our city and our organization. We love every bit of it, hopefully we have one more in the tank to finish it off the right way.”
“I couldn’t be more excited,” Brady said. “It’s an unbelievable accomplishment for our team. It’s been a long ride. It started about nine months ago down in Foxboro and the win last weekend was awfully sweet. To do it in front of our crowd and the best fans in America, we’re going to represent you guys in Arizona as best we possibly can all season. Thank you guys for all your support. We’ll be needing you next Sunday night.”
|01.26.15 at 2:33 pm ET|
Jones discussed preparing for the Super Bowl with the Deflategate controversy dominating the media.
“During a week like this I try to just avoid it all,” Jones said. “I really, honestly, I really don’t care, I just want to play. I’m really focused on Seattle, I’m focused on my matchups, who I’m going against.”
Added Jones: “That just goes back to ignoring the noise. … At the end of the day, we all have a job and we have to do it.”
“Marshawn Lynch is a guy that, I mean, if you let him he can run over your whole defense,” Jones said. “And then you have a guy like Russell Wilson and if you let him, he can juke out your whole defense and make big plays. So it’s our job as a defense to hopefully contain those guys.”
Jones added: “This is a quarterback-driven team, this is a quarterback-driven league, obviously. If you can contain the quarterback you can hopefully contain the scoreboard.”
“I had a little success against him my rookie year and hopefully I can again on Sunday,” Jones said, adding “He’s a guy that’s very strong. He’s very strong on the running game. He has very strong hands, and he’s also a guy that’s long. When you have a guy that’s kind of a long and athletic body type, it’s kind of harder to get around.”
Added Jones: “For this week, we’re just kind of working hard and trying to polish up things so hopefully we can be successful on Sunday.”
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