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Dean Blandino admits footballs are not logged: ‘Certainly something that could be a thought’ 01.29.15 at 6:15 pm ET
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PHOENIX — Following a 20-minute press conference inside the Phoenix Convention Center Thursday, the NFL’s director of officiating acknowledged that likely changes are coming in the way NFL officials check in game balls before every contest.

At the heart of the Deflategate controversy is how the Patriots game balls were handled prior to the AFC championship game against the Colts by referee Walt Anderson. Questions have arisen as to whether every ball was checked to be between the required 12.5 and 13.5 PSI before being approved for use in the game. Dean Blandino attempted to clarify the rules and clear his officials of any wrongdoing.

“Walt did it himself. Walt gauged the footballs himself,” Blandino said. “That’s something that he’s done throughout his career.”

Did Blandino and the league simply take ref at his word? “Yes,” Blandino said. “There were balls from both teams that were tested but with the investigation going on, I can’t get into specifics.

“They’re not logged and that’s certainly something that could be a thought. They’re tested, they make sure that they’re in that acceptable range and then they basically mark the football to say this is an acceptable football in that proper specification.

“Whatever it is, if it’s in that acceptable range, we leave it where it is. It’s only when it’s either above or below that we have to get it in that acceptable range. We’re confident proper protocols were followed.”

In other words, there’s no specific PSI record of each individual ball.

Who does the measuring?

“It’s either the referee or someone he delegates that job to,” Blandino said. “They’re responsible for gauging all the footballs but the referee himself will inspect every football and then put his mark on the football.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Dean Blandino, Deflategate, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots
Report: Tom Brady tells teammates behind closed doors he prefers footballs ‘a certain way’ 01.22.15 at 2:19 pm ET
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Tom Brady took a season low seconds from snap-to-throw last Sunday. (Getty Images)

Tom Brady reportedly told the Patriots he likes the football “a certain way.” (Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Tom Brady is apparently accepting responsibility for Deflategate with his teammates.

According to a report from NBC News, the quarterback addressed his teammates behind closed doors Thursday, telling his team that he prefers the football “a certain way.” The report also indicates Brady told everyone to stay focused on the Super Bowl.

The Patriots quarterback told WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan Monday that talk of the team purposely deflating footballs is “ridiculous.” Apparently the whirlwind of national media focus on the story has changed his mind enough to address it in a team meeting.

Bill Belichick acknowledged Thursday morning that the team would be more diligent in the future to ensure that the footballs they hand the officials are inflated beyond the minimum 12.5 pounds per square inch.

If Brady or someone else had the balls deflated below 12.5 psi intentionally, he and the Patriots were breaking NFL rules.

Read More: Deflategate, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, Super Bowl XLIX
Andrew Luck: Deflategate controversy ‘blown out of proportion’ at 12:55 am ET
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Andrew Luck said the Deflategate controversy had been "blown out of proportion." (Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Andrew Luck said the Deflategate controversy has been “blown out of proportion.” (Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, Andrew Luck shrugged off the Deflategate controversy, saying that “€œthings in the media tend to be blown out of proportion.”

Speaking at the Pro Bowl draft, the Colts quarterback appeared to dismiss the uproar of underinflated footballs that were reportedly used by the Patriots in the AFC title game last Sunday in Foxboro.

“Everybody has a preference and our equipment managers sort of handle our footballs in a sense,” Luck told reporters. “I get them as they are, I guess.”

When it came to how he felt about preparing for the Pro Bowl instead of the Super Bowl, Luck appeared to fire off a good Deflategate one-liner, even if it reporters who were present believed it might have been inadvertent.

“The energy is sucked out of you. You feel deflated,”€ he said before perhaps realizing his gaffe, smiling, and adding, “Aww, shoot”€ with a sheepish laugh.

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Read More: 2015 NFL playoffs, Andrew Luck, Deflategate, Indianapolis Colts
John Harbaugh: No issues with footballs in divisional game against Patriots 01.21.15 at 3:38 pm ET
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Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday that he didn’€™t notice anything odd about the state of the footballs in their divisional playoff loss to the Patriots at Gillette Stadium earlier this month.

“We did not notice anything,” Harbaugh told reporters. “We never had a ball that they used or anything like that on offense, so we don’€™t know anything about that in our game. We didn’€™t have a chance to handle any of their offensive footballs.”

The Patriots are reportedly under investigation for under inflating footballs in last Sunday’€™s AFC title game against the Colts.

Earlier in the week, CBS Sports reported some Ravens were questioning the kicking balls used in the game after Baltimore’s€™ kicks and punts did not travel as far as usual. Harbaugh said there was an explanation for it.

“As far as the kicking balls, it was 20 degrees out, so the balls were softer,” Harbaugh said. “Our guys told us during the game, and I just chalked that up to the fact that it was cold and that both teams were kicking the same kicking balls, so I didn’€™t think really anything of it during the game. Other than that, it’€™s not something we’€™ve really given any thought to at all.”

Read More: 2015 NFL playoffs, Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts, John Harbaugh
Bill Belichick continues to deflect on deflation, focused only on Super Bowl game plan 01.20.15 at 2:13 pm ET
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Bill Belichick is focused only on getting ready for the Super Bowl against Seattle. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Bill Belichick is focused only on getting ready for the Super Bowl against Seattle. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Bill Belichick has no time for any “Deflategate” questions, nor does it appear he will in the next two weeks.

Asked Tuesday during a conference call if the NFL has contacted him about the ongoing issue surrounding deflating footballs, Belichick deflected to the league office on Park Avenue in New York.

“Any questions on that you should talk to them about,” Belichick said.

Belichick and his coaching staff are busy right now putting together a game plan for Seattle to give to the players when they return from their two-day break on Thursday.

Belichick was asked how the team is going to handle this week in terms of how much of the game plan will be in place prior to leaving for the Super Bowl, likely on Sunday.

“We’€™ll work through that the next couple days and be ready for the players when they come back on Thursday. We’€™ll have it figured out by then,” Belichick said.

Naturally, “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.
Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2015 playoffs, AFC Championship, Bill Belichick, Deflategate
Bill Belichick insists Patriots will ‘cooperate fully with whatever the league wants [to know]’ about game balls 01.19.15 at 3:38 pm ET
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Bill Belichick said the Patriots will cooperate fully with the NFL during a conference call Monday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Bill Belichick said the Patriots will cooperate fully with the NFL during a conference call Monday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — The Patriots will cooperate with the NFL investigation to the use of game footballs used in the AFC championship game Sunday night.

Bill Belichick said during a conference call Monday that he wasn’t aware of the investigation by the league until Monday morning.

“We would cooperate fully with whatever the league asks us, wants us to do.” Belichick “I didn’t know anything about it till this morning.”

Asked specifically if he were aware the Patriots were using intentionally deflated balls, Belichick responded with:

“The first I heard about it was this morning. Whatever we need to do to cooperate we’ll do,” said Belichick, who did not indicate whether he had been formally contacted by the league on the matter.

Patriots players were more dismissive of “Deflate-Gate” Monday afternoon when speaking with reporters at Gillette Stadium.

Multiple reports now indicate the NFL is looking into the report of deflated footballs being used in Sunday’s AFC title game.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2015 playoffs, Bill Belichick, Deflated balls, Indianapolis Colts
Reports: League looking into report of deflated footballs in AFC title game at 10:09 am ET
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Multiple reports now indicate the NFL is looking into the report of deflated footballs being used in Sunday’s AFC title game.

The initial report was first made late Sunday evening by Bob Kravitz of WTHR-TV in Indianapolis.

“I was told by an NFL source that the league was looking into — or going to look into — the possibility that the Patriots deflated the footballs,” Kravitz told WEEI on Monday morning. “I thought it was outlandish, but this particular source has never steered me wrong before.”

Added Kravitz: “When I heard it, I thought, man, that’s outlandish, do I really want to go with this? And then I thought, well, everybody thought the idea of them taping practice was outlandish. So, at the end, it’s a source that I trust implicitly, and I’ve never been steered wrong before.”

According to NFL rules, officials test game footballs two hours prior to kickoff, and they can measure the pressure during the game. As a result, it’s not clear how a team could deflate footballs surreptitiously during a contest.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady laughed off the talk on WEEI on Monday morning, saying he had “no idea” what the controversy was all about.

“I think I’ve heard it all at this point,” he said.

Added Brady: “That’s the last of my worries. I don’t even respond to stuff like this.”

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Read More: 2015 playoffs, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots,
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