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Roger Goodell: ‘We have made no judgments’ on Deflategate

01.30.15 at 2:16 pm ET
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Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed Deflategate during his state of the league address Friday. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed Deflategate during his state of the league address Friday. (Elsa/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — As a part of his state of the league address on Friday, commissioner Roger Goodell addressed Deflategate and the ongoing investigation by Ted Wells.

Goodell said the investigation is centered around underinflated footballs used in the AFC championship game and if it was done deliberately. He said Wells and his team are hard at work on investigating the matter and release the findings when it is complete. He said they will do it “thorough” and “fair.”

“We take seriously anything that impacts the integrity of the game,” Goodell said.

“We have made no judgments on these points and will not compromise the investigation by engaging in speculation,” he added.

He added later in the press conference: “We don’t know enough in this investigation to know who is responsible, or even if there is an infraction”

Goodell said it didn’t matter how much of an advantage was gained by the possible use of underinflated footballs. He said rules are rules, also mentioning penalties, fines, suspensions and draft picks as possible measures of discipline.

The commissioner was asked if footballs have ever been tested in the middle of a game before for PSI, like they were at halftime of the AFC title game. He said he didn’t know the answer to that question.

Goodell was also asked about the comments made by Patriots owner Robert Kraft of he and the league owing him an apology if the investigation finds the Patriots did no wrong.

Goodell didn’t directly address the comments, but said the league needed to address the matter.

“This is my job, this is the job of the league,” said Goodell.

He was later asked about him being in a photo with Kraft the night before the AFC championship game and said he was there with sponsors, saying it was not unusual to do such a thing.

He added: “Professionally I have a relationship with [Kraft], and I also admire, respect and think very highly of him.”

Read More: roger goodell, Super Bowl XLIX,

Predictions, poll: Who wins Super Bowl?

01.30.15 at 2:04 pm ET
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With Tom Brady and the high-powered Patriots offense facing off against Richard Sherman and the Seahawks‘ Legion of Boom defense in just two days, NFL insiders and analysts across the nation are offering their predictions. And to no surprise, they’re almost split on their opinions.

At ESPN, the Pats are a heavy favorite, with nine of 13 experts choosing New England. Merril Hoge, Ron Jawowrski, KC Joyner, Chris Mortensen, Adam Schefter, Mark Schlereth, Seth Wickersham, Keyshawn Johnson, and Mike Ditka are all leaning toward a Patriots victory. Meanwhile, Eric Allen, Mike Golic, Tom Jackson, and Cris Carter are predicting a Seattle win.

Who will win Super Bowl XLIX?

  • Patriots in a close game (48%, 961 Votes)
  • Patriots in a rout (29%, 570 Votes)
  • Seahawks in a close game (15%, 294 Votes)
  • Seahawks in a rout (6%, 118 Votes)
  • Patriots in overtime (2%, 37 Votes)
  • Seahawks in overtime (1%, 18 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,998

Loading ... Loading ...

At CBS, the Pats are also favored, but only by a 5-3 majority. Pete Prisco, Jason La Canfora, Will Brinson, Ryan Wilson, and Jamey Eisenberg are predicting the trophy will return to New England, while. Jared Dublin, John Breech and Dave Richard are looking for a repeat victory by Seattle.

SB Nation‘s experts, meanwhile, are leaning toward the Seahawks. Joel Thorman and Matt Ufford are the only two analysts picking the Pats. Ryan Van Bibber, Stephen White, David Fucillo, and Danny Kelly are predicting a Seattle win.

NFL.com‘s experts are also giving an edge to Seattle at an 8-6 margin. Adam Schein, Marc Sessler, Chris Weaseling, Dave Dameshek, Gregg Rosenthal, and Elliot Harrison are predicting a Patriots victory. Meanwhile, Bucky Brooks, Aditi Kinkhabwala, Charley Casserly, Gil Brandt, Kevin Patra, Charles Davis, Brian Billick, and Conor Orr are looking for another Seattle win.

Following are more Super Bowl XLIX predictions from around the country:

Adam Schein, NFL.com: Patriots 31, Seahawks 27. “New England is angry, talented and motivated to change the conversation. You never go against Bill Belichick in a big spot.”

Neil Greenberg, Washington Post: Patriots 23, Seahawks 20. “The key for New England will be to keep the pressure off Brady and for him to complete the short passes while getting the ball to their best playmaker, tight end Rob Gronkowski.”

Sean O’Donnell, Bleacher Report: Seahawks 27, Patriots 24. “Both of these teams are extremely well put together, and we should expect a highly intense game that will most likely be decided in the final minute. The nod here goes to the squad that is more likely to force its opponent to play into its strengths, and that team is Seattle.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Patriots, Seahawks, Super Bowl XLIX,

Adam Schefter on MFB: Deflategate leaves NFL in ‘no-win situation’

01.30.15 at 1:12 pm ET
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Adam Schefter

Adam Schefter

ESPN’s Adam Schefter joined Middays with MFB to discuss Deflategate and preview the Super Bowl. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

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.”

With Deflategate still dominating the national media, Schefter discussed how the Pats should approach the Super Bowl in the midst of the controversy.

“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.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Deflategate, Patriots, Super Bowl

Willie McGinest on MFB: ‘The two right teams’ are in Super Bowl

01.30.15 at 12:35 pm ET
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NFL Network analyst and former Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest checked in with Middays with MFB on Friday to preview the Super Bowl. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

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.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Deflategateichick, Patriots, Willie McGinest

Report: LeGarrette Blount’s marijuana charge dropped after completing 50 hours of community service

01.30.15 at 11:54 am ET
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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.

Read More: 2015 NFL playoffs, LeGarrette Blount, Super Bowl XLIX,

Pete Carroll ‘will support’ any decision of expectant father Richard Sherman

01.30.15 at 11:42 am ET
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Richard Sherman is ready to take on Tom Brady again in the Super Bowl. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Richard Sherman is ready to take on Tom Brady again in the Super Bowl. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Earlier in the week, Vince Wilfork said he would always choose family and faith over football.

Turns out, Richard Sherman might have exactly that decision to make hours before Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday.

The Seahawks star cornerback is set to become a father any day now and there’€™s a possibility that the baby could come before the end of the Super Bowl on Sunday.

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.

During Friday’s joint news conference with Patriots coach Bill Belichick, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said the team is behind Sherman, no matter the decision he makes.

‘€œWell 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.”

Read More: New England Patriots, nfl, Pete Carroll, Richard Sherman

Video: ‘4th & Goal’ breaks down Super Bowl XLIX between Patriots, Seahawks

01.30.15 at 11:42 am ET
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WEEI.com Patriots writer Chris Price previews Super Bowl XLIX between the Patriots and Seahawks. Find out the keys to the game as well as Chris’ prediction.

Read More: New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Super Bowl XLIX,

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