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Mike Florio on D&C: Judge Berman might consider 2-game suspension for Tom Brady as compromise 09.02.15 at 12:08 pm ET
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Mike Florio

Mike Florio

ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to discuss possible outcomes in the Deflategate appeal hearing. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Florio noted that as a federal judge, Berman has his job for life, and he likely isn’t worried about how his decision will be received. However, he undoubtedly wants to avoid having his ruling revoked upon appeal. That might lead him to find a middle ground that both sides would be willing to accept.

“He can do whatever he wants as long as he’s not concerned about being potentially reversed on appeal,” Florio said. “And my point is this: Apart from what the law would allow — and I think he would be reversed on appeal if he would try to find a way to cut this in half by surmising that two of the games of the suspension were for general awareness or whatever of the alleged deflation scheme, and the other two games were for failure to cooperate with the NFL’s investigation. If he would try to do that, but no one would appeal it, it doesn’t matter if it’s something that he’s not — air quotes — allowed to do within the confines of the law.”

Added Florio: “I was on radio yesterday … talking about what I see as the four options, and that’s one of the theoretical options. And as I was talking more about it, it hit me: Now, wait a minute. If no one appeals, it doesn’t matter. He can do whatever he wants if no one appeals. So it stops being a legal issue and it becomes a potential PR issue. If Tom Brady is willing to accept two games for failure to cooperate, exoneration of anything related to the alleged deflation scheme and his knowledge, involvement, whatever, if he just says, ‘€˜I want this to be done, I’ll take the two games, I’m not going to appeal,’ it puts the NFL in a tough, tough spot.”

How do you think Judge Berman will rule in the Deflategate case?

  • Elminate the suspension because of the unfairness of the NFL's handling of the case (79%, 2,404 Votes)
  • Find a middle ground in an attempt to appease both sides (14%, 421 Votes)
  • Leave the suspension as is, because of Article 46 giving Roger Goodell power to rule (8%, 233 Votes)

Total Voters: 3,058

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Florio said Berman might feel comfortable based on his discussions with the two sides that this is something that would best satisfy everyone.

“We don’t know much about what’s been said behind closed doors,” Florio said. “But this judge has been on the bench for 17, 18 years, practiced law for decades before that. Through the hours of meeting with these folks, my guess is he would have been able to glean some sense of how strident, of how determined — and the NFL is very determined on this. But the NFL would be in a very tough spot if Tom Brady doesn’t appeal. I mean, everybody wants this to be over. The fans want this to be over.

“This ruling, in theory, comes out less than a week, or roughly a week before the first game of the regular season. Everybody wants to clear the decks of the Deflategate stuff. Here’s a ruling from the judge splitting the baby in half, two-game suspension. Tom Brady says, ‘I’m fine with it if the NFL is fine with it.’ And what’s the NFL do with that? The NFL’s backed into a corner at that point. From a PR standpoint, how does the NFL say, ‘No, we choose to prolong this even more. We don’t think two games is enough. We want four games, and dammit, we’re going to keep pushing for more.’ ”

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Read More: Deflategate, Mike Florio, Tom Brady,
Tom Brady jokes, ‘Such an enjoyable offseason’ 09.02.15 at 8:58 am ET
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Tom Brady might be nervous while he awaits a ruling from Judge Richard Berman on his Deflategate suspension appeal, but he isn’t showing it.

At the team’s annual charity event Tuesday night at Gillette Stadium, Brady took part in a brief panel discussion with some teammates, and he wasn’t hesitant to poke fun at his situation. When asked if he did anything this offseason to celebrate the team’s Super Bowl title, Brady drew laughs when he cracked, “Yeah, it’s been such an enjoyable offseason.”

Brady went on to say his favorite offseason activity was following Julian Edelman on Instagram.

“When he rubbed the mud all over his body, that’s probably the one I enjoyed most,” he said (via the Boston Herald).

Brady also commented on his dedication to healthy eating and how he tries to pass it along to his younger teammates.

“All of us athletes work pretty hard to stay in shape, and to be really disciplined with what you do,” Brady said. “It takes a lot to come out here and to perform at a high level every single day with the pressure and expectations of trying to accomplish what we try to accomplish every single year. The commitment the players make, and the commitment the coaches make to try to establish such a high level of play year in and year out, is something I learned from being here. I try to pass those things on to the next generation of great Patriots players.”

Added Brady with a laugh: “Sometimes they don’t listen very well, but you just keep saying it. Just like I tell my kids. Then you have to repeat it over and over again, and ultimately, maybe it sinks in.”

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

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Read More: Deflategate, Tom Brady,
Giants owner John Mara in court for Deflategate hearing at request of judge 08.31.15 at 10:29 am ET
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Giants owner John Mara was among those in the courtroom for Monday morning’s Deflategate hearing, after Judge Richard Berman expressed an interest in getting the chairman of the NFL’s chief executive committee involved in settlement talks.

NFL attorneys initially rejected the idea of having Mara involved, as they want to keep the hearing’s focus on whether commissioner Roger Goodell has the authority to rule on Tom Brady‘s discipline, and not whether the discipline was fair or not.

It also was suggested that there could be a conflict of interest, as the Patriots’ fourth game is against one of the Giants‘ key rivals, the Cowboys, and that game would be part of Brady’s suspension as it currently stands.

In an interview with New York radio station WFAN earlier this month, Mara rejected the idea that owners put pressure on Goodell to be harsh with Brady’s punishment.

“I don’t think that’s accurate,” Mara said (via nj.com). “I don’t think any of us [owners] have put any pressure on him. I think he’s trying to do what’s right here. He has a tough job to do here. It’s arguably the highest-profile player in the league on a Super Bowl championship team and nobody wants to see this happen. But his job is to enforce the rules the same way and consistently with all players. And that’s what he’s trying to do.”

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Read More: Deflategate, John Mara, roger goodell, Tom Brady
Nick Caserio on D&C: ‘Nobody works harder than [Bill] Belichick’ 08.31.15 at 8:52 am ET
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Nick Caserio

Nick Caserio

Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Monday as the team heads into the final week of the preseason. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Patriots need to part ways with nine players to get to their roster to the league-mandated 75 by Tuesday afternoon. Then they have to be at 53 at the end of the week, after the final preseason game.

Caserio said the team still is determining which players are most worth keeping.

“We’re getting closer. Probably a better idea today or tomorrow,” he said. “There’s a lot of factors that go into it just in terms of overall player ability, and there’s some other factors that go into it.”

Added Caserio: “We spend a lot of time as a staff, really on a daily basis. You go through, you watch every play at practice, you go through every game. And ultimately you’re trying to, when you get down to 53 you just identify the right 53 players. … It’s an ongoing discussion. It’s not something where ultimately we just roll out of bed and wake up and say, ‘It’s time to move on from this player.’ Every player is different.

“Really, you look at everything — their progress on the field, how they perform off the field, their strength and conditioning. Everything that you can imagine as it relates to being a good football player or different aspects of our program. Those are the things that you try to sort through. And really you just try to make the decisions that we feel are best for the team moving forward.”

Caserio has been with the Patriots since 2001, serving as a personnel executive, a scout and an assistant coach at various points during his tenure in New England. He said what he’s learned from Bill Belichick has been invaluable.

“Nobody works harder than Coach Belichick,” said Caserio, whose voice sounds similar to Belichick’s. “I’ve been fortunate to be in this organization, this will be my 15th season. Everything that I’ve learned in football I’ve learned from him and watched him. He works so hard. He has really a grasp of every aspect of the football operation, whether that’s college scouting, game-planning, contracts, you name it, he’s at the pulp of it. Really, it’s a blend of sort of short-term focus, like, ‘These are the thing we need to do today in order to improve as a football team,’ and then as an extension, once we start preparing for the opponent and for the regular season, ‘All right, these are the things that are most important and most critical for us to win.’

“And he really tries to boil it down to the simplest — I mean, look, there’s a lot that goes into it, ‘Do this, do that,’ but ultimately he tries to pinpoint, ‘All right, here are the things that we need to do on a daily basis and a weekly basis in order to be successful as a team. We go back at the end of the game and figure out, ‘OK, well, we didn’t do this well, we didn’t do this well.’ But he spends so much time and he’s so ultra-focused on ultimately trying to put the best team together, try to put the team in the best position possible on a daily basis in order to be effective and successful. And it’s fun to see that. It’s fun to be around it. And like I’ said, I’ve learned an immense amount of football in the time that I’ve been here, and I’m just honored and privileged to be able to work with him and for him.”

Caserio said he sees no signs that Belichick is ready to hang up his coach’s whistle in the near future.

“I think Bill enjoys every aspect of the football process, the football operation, and he invests a lot of time, and he genuinely is fully invested,” Caserio said. “Whenever that point in time comes when he doesn’t have that feeling, then ultimately he’ll make that decision to move on. But this isn’t a guy that comes in and he’s trying to just dip his toe in the water. He’s fully invested, he jumps right in. And until that dissipates, then I don’t see him walking away anytime soon. … To be around him on a daily basis, to see the amount of energy and focus that he has into football and to this team, it doesn’t appear to be somebody that just says, ‘I’m ready to walk away.’ ”

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Nick Caserio,
Report: Packers consider Reggie Wayne after Jordy Nelson injury 08.24.15 at 12:18 pm ET
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If the Patriots are serious about wide receiver Reggie Wayne, they might have to move quickly.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Wayne visited the Patriots and took a physical Sunday. Now he is said to be under consideration in Green Bay as well, after Packers receiver Jordy Nelson suffered a knee injury during Sunday’s preseason game. Nelson was to undergo an MRI on Monday to see if he tore his ACL, as has been feared.

The Patriots also have injury concerns at the position. Julian Edelman has been out since Aug. 2, Brandon LaFell is on the physically unable to perform list, Brian Tyms is dealing with a foot injury suffered last Wednesday, and Brandon Gibson injured his knee in Saturday night’s game against the Saints.

Wayne, a six-time Pro Bowler, is a free agent after playing 14 seasons with the Colts. The 36-year-old said last month that he would like to play one more season.

Slowed by an elbow injury and torn triceps, Wayne finished 2014 with just 64 receptions for 779 yards and two touchdowns, his least productive season since 2002.

Read More: Reggie Wayne,
Rob Gronkowski on D&C: ‘I’m ready to play when my number’s called’ 08.24.15 at 9:55 am ET
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Tight end Rob Gronkowski joined the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to discuss the Patriots’ preparations for the season and the team’s decision to have him stay on the sideline during preseason games. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The oft-injured Gronkowski did not play in Saturday’s victory over the Saints in New Orleans, extending his streak of preseason DNPs to 11.

“It’s always up to the coach’s decision,” he said. “I’m ready to play when my number’s called, whenever they want me to go in. I mean, it is preseason, we’ve been practicing hard, we’ve been going vs. each other, we had great practices with the Saints, it’s been going well.”

Added Gronkowski on not playing in the preseason: “It is what it is. I don’t really mind that. … It’s always nice to get one [game in], but also practice is good, too. If you’re going full speed and you’re competing hard in practice, that can get you super ready, too, for Week 1.”

When he does get on the field, Gronkowski acknowledged that even though “I like the hitting, I like the smashing,” there are occasions when it’s wiser for him to avoid taking another blow to his body.

“I’m never trying to shy away from contact, but there’s definitely times where maybe you want to step out of bounds where it’s just something where you just know you’re going to get hit by three guys or you can just make a little step out of bounds and save your body from that hit,” he said, adding: “Every once in a while you can definitely step out of the way just to save a hit or two on you.”

Off the field, Gronkowski is known for his partying ways. However, when asked about his sex life, he joked that he’s got something in common with Tim Tebow. Said Gronkowski: “I’m a virgin.”

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Read More: Deflategate, Jimmy Garoppolo, Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady
Julian Edelman on D&C: Patriots players ‘don’t really talk about’ Deflategate at all 08.17.15 at 7:38 am ET
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Wide receiver Julian Edelman checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Monday morning as part of this season’s first edition of WEEI’s Patriots Monday and said the team is not allowing Tom Brady‘s Deflategate suspension/appeal to be a distraction this preseason. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

“We don’t even do anything to talk about it,” Edelman said of the controversy involving his quarterback. “Everyone’s worried about what they have to do for training camp and what everyone’s situation is. A guy trying to make the team, a guy trying to earn a role, a guy trying to get back on the field — all those types of things are going through the mind during training camp. It’s tough to think about other things. We don’t really talk about it at all, we’re just focused on trying to get better and take advantage of this training camp to to make our unit a cohesive unit.”

Bill Belichick is famous for his ability to focus his team on the task at hand, and Edelman said the coach’s message continues to get through.

“There’s something that coach always says: ‘€˜Who cares about what’s going on outside of the building that we’re in. Let’s just worry about what we have to do.’ That’s something we take pride in,” Edelman said. “All those things where you have all these distractions, this, that, everyone’s trying to make a story — we’re just trying to worry about … getting in the right formation and being able to execute under high-pressure situations. It’s one of those things.”

Added Edelman: “I don’t even think about it. I have my own thing on my own plate. You guys are going to keep on asking questions about it, but there’s nothing to ask about. It’s out of my control. There’s only one thing I can control, and that’s just trying to get better every day on the football field, trying to get on the football field.”

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Read More: Deflategate, Julian Edelman,
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