|Kurt Warner on MFB: ‘We should give [Patriots] the benefit of the doubt’||01.28.15 at 12:34 pm ET|
Former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner checked in with Middays with MFB from Phoenix to talk about Deflategate and his feelings about the team that knocked off his heavily favored Rams in the Super Bowl in 2002. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
Warner said he has not made up his mind about Tom Brady‘s role in Deflategate.
“Of course I want to believe Tom. Tom’s a friend of mine. You have to err on the side of believing the guy,” Warner said. “The problem is not just Tom or coach [Bill] Belichick, is that you just wonder what happened? How does something like that happen? And I think the worst part of the whole thing is just the history they have, and the fact that you know Spygate happened, and so it automatically creates a little bit of doubt in your mind and there probably shouldn’t be. We should give them the benefit of the doubt in every situation. But I think too often because of what happened before, you step back and you go, ‘Well, could it be something else?’ ”
While former Rams running back Marshall Faulk has made it clear he feels cheated by the Patriots, Warner has not come to the same conclusion.
“You fight that urge to go there,” Warner said. “Because I know on that Sunday evening they outplayed us. And so that’s where you want to leave it. It’s the history of the game, it’s the Super Bowl, they beat us. The only thing that I say is because of Spygate it just leaves an inkling of doubt to go: Did it help them? Did that help them at any point in time? Did it help them in that game? And I don’t want to go there, because I’m not a bitter guy and I don’t look at that and say they beat us because of that.
“I just think that whole cloud just leaves a doubt there that I believe is unfair on both sides. It’s unfair for the Patriots if there was no advantage. It’s unfair for the teams that they played against and players they played against if there was some sort of advantage no matter how small. That to me is the only bad part about it, because I don’t want to believe anything influenced anything, that history was dictated by the best players playing the best at the right time.”
Looking at Sunday’s game, Warner said the Patriots will need to stop Seattle’s running game while finding a way to get yards against the league’s scariest defense.
“When you talk about the Patriots, they’re going to come up with a great scheme, because they’re a scheme-oriented defense,” Warner said. “But I think the key is you’ve got to stop Marshawn Lynch. You’ve got to find a way to neutralize him and make the rest of that team beat you.
“On the other side of it, the Patriots offense again is multiple, but the Seattle defense doesn’t do much. You know what they’re going to do, you know where they’re going to be. They’re just really good at what they do. So can you kind of crack that code to be able to attack these guys? Or can you be patient enough, or can you block them long enough to attack them on the second level? That, to me, will be the key. Because you can’t beat this team throwing dink and dunks. They’re going to come up and hit you and they’re going to stop you. They’ll make a play on the deep ball. So you’ve got to find ways to get chunk plays. Not easy, but that’s going to be the key for the Patriots.”
For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.
|NY Daily News: 12 footballs can be deflated in 40 seconds||01.28.15 at 8:49 am ET|
After the report emerged that a locker room attendant took the Patriots’ offensive footballs into the bathroom for 90 seconds on his way to the field before Sunday’s AFC championship game, some Pats backers suggested that 1 1/2 minutes was not enough time to deflate a dozen footballs. The New York Daily News says otherwise.
Daily News reporter Gersh Kuntzman decided to run a test to see if he could deflate 12 balls by two PSI within that time frame. According to Kuntzman, it actually took only 40 seconds to remove the air. Adding in time to enter and exit the bathroom and fumble around with the footballs, he still finished in well under 90 seconds.
Kuntzman purchased 12 top-of-the-line balls and inflated them to 13 PSI, meeting the NFL’s requirements. After running a test on one of the balls — sticking in a pin for 2.2 seconds to get it to 11 PSI — he loaded the balls in a bag and stepped into a bathroom. He emerged from the room 77 seconds later with 12 deflated balls — leaving 13 seconds to spare.
Wrote Kuntzman: Bottom line? Clearly, a Patriot assistant who is quite accustomed to handling Tom Brady‘s precious balls could easily have turned the Jan. 18 conference championship game into a joke.
All he needed was 40 seconds, a men’s room stall and deflated ethics.
|Tom Brady on D&C regarding Deflategate: ‘My feelings got hurt. Then I moved past it, because it’s not serving me’||01.26.15 at 8:00 am ET|
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, making his weekly appearance on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan show, acknowledged that his “feelings got hurt” during last week’s attacks on his integrity and again issued a staunch denial of any role in Deflategate. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Brady insisted he has never told an equipment manager or ball boy to deflate a football after it was inspected by a game official, and that includes last Sunday’s AFC championship game against the Colts, when the Patriots’ offensive footballs were found to have been deflated more than the league rules allow.
“Absolutely not,” he said. “Look, I don’t want to keep getting into this. No, I didn’t and I haven’t and I never will. That’s obviously how I feel and the kind of person that I am.
“No one knows the facts. I picked 24 balls, that’s what I picked. Whatever happened after I did it and whatever the situation was where they measured them, I have no idea [about] any of those facts. I try to stay really humble and deal with the facts that I know. When you don’t know something, all I can say is I don’t know. I know that’s not always the answer that people want to hear, but that’s the reality.”
Asked if he had any idea why the balls were at the improper PSI, Brady offered no explanation.
“It’s all speculation,” Brady said. “I’ve tried to wrap my head around it, too. I’ve done that and I’m trying to move past that, because I continue to try to rehash things. I personalized a lot of things and thought this was all about me, and my feelings got hurt. Then I moved past it, because it’s not serving me. What’s serving me is try to prepare for the game ahead. I’ll deal with whatever happens later. I’ll have my opportunity to try to figure out what happened and figure out a theory like everyone else is trying to do. But this isn’t the time for that. Honestly, I’m not interested in trying to find out right now, because we have the biggest game of our season ahead.”
Brady said he’s turned a negative situation into a positive one by ignoring the critics and focusing on those who support him.
“Everybody’s entitled to their opinion,” he said. “Everyone will say, ‘God, it’s been a tough week for you.’ It’s been a great week for me. It’s been a great week for me to really be able to recalibrate the things that are important in my life and understand the people that support me and love me and care about me. That’s been the best thing to come out about this week.
“Like I said, it’s all part of the business. You deal with ups and downs, the good and the bad. I’m excited to play in the Super Bowl for the sixth time. It’s a pretty amazing accomplishment for our team based on where we started. That’s where I’m at. I’m at a great place. We’ve had a great week of practice. We’re going to go down and try to finish strong.”
|Mark Brunell on MFB: ‘I don’t believe Tom Brady was telling the truth’||01.23.15 at 1:45 pm ET|
ESPN’s Mark Brunell joined Middays with MFB on Friday to discuss Deflategate and Tom Brady‘s role in it, a day after he indicated that he did not believe Brady’s assertion that he was not involved. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
“My opinion is I don’t believe Tom Brady was telling the truth,” Brunell said. “But I will say, I thought Bill Belichick, he came across as sincere. In my experiences with six different head coaches, never one time has the subject of the condition of the footballs on game day come up. Those guys have other things to do, much like coach Belichick. I don’t think he had any knowledge of it based on my history.
“But I do know the equipment guys, their No. 1 job on game day is to take care of the players, meet the needs of the players. … And at the top of that list is making sure those footballs are exactly how the starting quarterback wants them. That’s what I do know.”
Brunell became emotional on ESPN Thursday while discussing the press conference in which Brady denied any involvement in Deflategate.
“I was disappointed. I was surprised by what Tom had to say,” Brunell said. “Based on my experience as a quarterback and understanding the process of getting the ball prepared and getting it in the right condition and getting it onto the field during game day, I expected something totally different from Tom. I just didn’t believe that he had nothing to do with it.
“The NFL’s investigation made it very clear that those balls were deflated by two PSI. Somebody had to do it. And I just don’t think there’s an equipment guy in the NFL or anywhere, like I said, that would take it on himself to deflate the balls … That just doesn’t happen.”
Brunell said he did not expect Brady to take the approach he did.
“I don’t believe it was true,” Brunell said. “This is what I expected from Tom, honestly: I just thought he’d say, ‘Listen, I’ve gone on record as saying that I prefer the balls deflated.’ And whenever that was at some point in the past, months, maybe years ago, he says he’s communicated to an equipment guy, ‘If it’s OK, take some of the pressure out, that’s how I prefer it.’ I thought he’d come on and admit that. I thought he would say, ‘I made a mistake, it’s my responsibility, it will never happen again, I wanted a little air out of the balls but I didn’t realize it would be that much.’
“If that happens — because you could very easily see him saying that, or believe that was the case — if that happens, I think this story goes away real quick. Just taking some of the blame, admitting to a mistake and hopefully moving on. That’s what I thought I would hear from Tom Brady.”
|Devin McCourty on MFB: Deflategate ‘out of our control’||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.
|Tim Hasselbeck on D&C: Equipment guys would not alter footballs unless ‘it was what the quarterback wanted them to do’||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.
|Ravens reportedly believe kicking balls were deflated in playoff loss to Patriots||01.21.15 at 1:45 pm ET|
On the heels of the Deflategate controversy comes a report from Fox Sports’ Jason La Canfora that some members of the Ravens felt that the footballs they used to kick and punt were not properly inflated during their playoff loss to the Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 10.
The report credits league sources as questioning the balls after the Ravens’ kicks and punts were not traveling as far as usual.
The balls used for the teams’ offenses are treated differently than the ones used for the kicking game.
An NFL spokesman told Fox that he had no knowledge of the Ravens filing a complaint.