|Mike Florio on D&C: Not much to latest Deflategate accusation||02.18.15 at 9:12 am ET|
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to discuss the latest Deflategate news. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
An ESPN report Tuesday indicated that Patriots locker room attendant Jim McNally attempted to submit an unapproved kicking ball to an official during the first half of the AFC championship game. It’s not clear what advantage the Patriots would have been trying to gain by this action.
“My first reaction was ESPN’s been grinding away to try to put more meat on the bone, and this is all they have?” Florio said. “It really doesn’t seem like the kind of thing that anyone’s going to stand up and say, ‘Aha! This is the smoking gun that everyone’s been waiting for.’ And we may be waiting for it forever. There may never be one. At some point there’s going to be a report issued by Ted Wells that’s going to have all the facts in there.
“I was not surprised there has been no tangible developments in more than a couple of weeks. But I look at it and I say, yeah, this is completely different than deflating footballs, and … this is the result of an effort by ESPN to find anything they can to report on the topic.”
The Patriots reportedly believe that NFL vice president of game operations Mike Kensil is aggressively pursuing accusations against the Patriots because of his past history as a longtime Jets executive.
“I know the Patriots believe that Kensil has that bias and he’s been looking for something to stick to the Patriots,” Florio said. “It doesn’t speak well of the league office if there are employees who are allowed to act out on these agendas from past team relationships. And Kensil’s dad was at one point the president of the Jets, too. When you work for the league office, you become Switzerland. Otherwise you’re going to have these situations arise and even if Roger Goodell had no involvement in it, this all ends up on his desk and he’s the one who’s going to have to find a way through it.
“And here’s the reality: It very well could be that Kensil was acting out on a vendetta against the Patriots but also tripped over something that the NFL now has to deal with. I just hope that the NFL — as it should have done in the Saints bounty case and as it should do in every future case where there’s an allegation of cheating — broaden the lens and satisfy itself that this in an aberration, that other teams don’t do this, before hammering any one franchise. I think the NFL’s approach is, ‘When we catch somebody we’re going to nail ‘em, no matter how widespread this practice may be.’ ”
|Mike Florio on D&C: ‘Suspensions would be on the table’ for Deflategate||01.28.15 at 10:48 am ET|
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to talk about Deflategate and how it will affect the Patriots this Sunday. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Though Bill Belichick closed the door on the topic after his press conference Saturday afternoon, Deflategate is something that has, for better or worse, captivated a nation. Initially the NFL announced that the investigation would take a few days, but recently the timetable was extended to the coming weeks. According to Florio, this could be because if the league needed to punish someone it doesn’t want to issue any suspensions for the Super Bowl.
“I think they didn’t want to get themselves into a position where they reached conclusions and then have to do something before the Super Bowl,” he said. “If you play this out to its logical conclusion and decide there was deflation, and we’re going to assume that somebody knew about this, then the NFL may have been in a position where they have to suspend Bill Belichick, suspend Tom Brady for the Super Bowl, and I don’t think they wanted to do that. So I guess what I’m saying is suspensions would be on the table depending on what they ultimately find.”
The league has been quiet, Florio said, because “everyone’s goal, from the perspective of 345 Park Avenue, is get through the Super Bowl, get past this and then we’ll worry about it later.”
The most recent development in the scandal is video of a locker room attendant disappearing into the bathroom for 90 seconds with 12 balls belonging to the Colts and 12 belonging to the Patriots. Florio said that despite news of the video only reaching the public this week, it was something the Pats had given over early on.
To some, the 90 seconds might not seem like enough time to deflate 11 footballs, but Florio said a head coach from a different NFL team tested it and said that he was able to deflate 12 balls and still have time to go to the bathroom in that time. Florio himself even did a bit of a test on his radio show last week.
“I had a football, had a needle, got it up to the microphone yesterday, and I didn’t know what was going to happen,” he said. “It was 13.5, and I popped that thing in for two seconds, and it’s a violent release of air, especially if it’s inflated to 13.5, it does not take long. And if you, you know the ball bag, it’s the bag that you lay on the ground and you zip it and they’re all right there so it’s just needle in, needle in, needle in, needle in, it doesn’t take a lot of time to do. As they call it, take the top off the ball, that’s all it is taking the top off the ball.”
|Mike Florio on M&M: Patriots might be better off passing on Aqib Talib and making a run at Darrelle Revis||03.04.14 at 12:05 pm ET|
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com checked in with Mut & Merloni on Tuesday to discuss news from around the NFL, including speculation that the Patriots might be interested in acquiring Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
Florio suggested that Revis could be on the move prior to March 13, when he’s due to receive a $1.5 million check, and a 2014 fourth-round draft pick the Buccaneers sent to the Jets in last year’s trade would become a third-rounder.
“Those two things combined suggest that if there is going to be a move, it’s going to happen by next Thursday or it’s not going to happen at all,” Florio said. “That’s what it comes down to — it’s not going to happen if it doesn’t happen by the 13th. And the question becomes, can some other team persuade the Buccaneers to make the move. Last year it was the Jets wanting to move Revis. This year the thinking in league circles is that there are other teams that would like to shake Revis away from Tampa.”
Two teams Florio mentioned as potential landing spots are the Patriots and Broncos.
“I’ve heard from someone I trust very much the speculation that it is the Broncos and the Patriots who are trying to stir this ‘Revis can be/Revis will be/Revis could be,/Revis should be traded’ idea, to put the idea in the Buccaneers‘ heads to move on from Darrelle Revis. Would the Broncos or the Patriots like to have a shot at him? I believe they would. Does that mean the Buccaneers are ready to trade him? No. ‘¦ The question is convincing the Glazers [who own the team] to do it. But they’re going to save $16 million in cash if they do it.”
Meanwhile, the Patriots passed on franchising Aqib Talib as they try to determine if it’s worth spending big money to keep the free agent cornerback in New England.
“I think Talib at least is going to get an $8 million-a-year offer, if that’s what [Brent] Grimes is getting from the Miami Dolphins,” Florio said. “And the problem for the Patriots — and this is an Aaron Hernandez offshoot — you can’t give a big chunk of money to a guy with a history of off-field issues less than a year after Aaron Hernandez blew up in your face. You just can’t do it.”
Florio doubted that Talib would take a hometown discount to return to Foxboro.
“Are the days still around where somebody would take less to stay with the Patriots? I don’t know that that vibe exists anywhere except maybe in Seattle. And it would be more somebody taking less to join the Seahawks than someone taking less to stay with the Seahawks,” he said. “So, I think they’re going to have to compete with the highest bidder. And if the Patriots don’t compete with the highest bidder, then he could very well be going elsewhere.
“And when you’re in a position where from a PR standpoint it’s very difficult to give a guy a bunch of guaranteed money on the hope that he doesn’t revert to the things he was doing in Tampa, allegedly or actually. That’s a big risk to take. And other teams don’t have that same PR risk.”
Added Florio: “That’s where this whole Revis thing comes from. When you think about what it’s going to cost to keep Talib on a long-term deal, what the costs are from an off-field risk standpoint, it’s very easy to get yourself to the point where you can justify making a run at Revis. And you throw in the icing on the cake of sticking it to the Jets. Because one of the reasons the Jets traded Revis last year was to get him out of situation where he could walk out the door and sign with the Patriots as a free agent this year. For him to end up with the Patriots would be the ultimate kick in the pants to the New York Jets. And I’m sure that the Patriots would like to be able to pull that off. If they think it’s a good football move, you throw on top of that tweaking the Jets, and they’re not going to feel bad about doing that.”
|Mike Florio on D&C: ‘Virtually impossible’ for Patriots to live up to dynasty expectations||01.22.13 at 12:25 pm ET|
Mike Florio of profootballtalk.com checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday to discuss the Patriots in the wake of their loss to the Ravens in Sunday’s AFC championship game.
The Patriots continue to be successful in the regular season, but they have not won a Super Bowl since 2005.
“Every NFL team is a challenge. There’s so much parity now that the gap between the best team and the worst team is narrower than ever before,” Florio said. “It’s just the reality that when you get to the postseason, it’s so intense and everybody is reaching for that brass ring. To be in the conversation every year — you think back over the last decade, there’s only one year where the Patriots haven’t qualified for the postseason, and they were 11-5 without Tom Brady that year.
“This is a team that is consistently knocking on the door, and you get spoiled by that run of success early on. Those three Super Bowls in four years set a standard for the franchise, a standard for Bill Belichick, a standard for Tom Brady that it’s just virtually impossible to continue that. Every other ‘dynasty’ we’ve seen fades at some point not long after winning their last Super Bowl. These guys haven’t faded. They continue to hang around. They continue to get to the final four. They continue to get to the Super Bowl. The only problem is they haven’t won one in eight years and counting.”
Wes Welker, who had eight receptions for 117 yards and the lone Patriots touchdown on Sunday, again enters the offseason with uncertainty, as his contract is up.
“He falls into the category of a veteran player who’s going to have to see what else is out there before he realizes whether or not he’ll take what the Patriots are offering,” Florio said. “The risk that you take as the Patriots is that there’ll be some team that has an owner who decides to make what could be a bad football decision but what definitely is a good business decision and jump on Wes Welker for the name recognition, to have the press conference in March where you hold up the new jersey and you get people excited and you get them to buy tickets, and maybe you can also hurt a division rival if you’re the Bills, the Jets or the Dolphins — not that any of those three teams are going to go after him. But that would be the kind of formula — a team willing to spend more than the Patriots will spend and a team willing to maybe make what would be a bad decision because maybe Welker isn’t the same guy in any other offense.”
Added Florio: “Those teams that would make good football sense also have good business sense. They’re not going to go out and overpay Wes Welker. Now, the question is, would he take less money to go somewhere else? If he got to the point where he doesn’t want to play for the Patriots — I haven’t sensed that. He got paid a heck of a lot of money in 2012. He still had a good season. He’s still got some gas in the tank, but does he want to stay with the Patriots, with Tom Brady, with Bill Belichick? Nationally, people just assume that everybody in that locker room has a Super Bowl ring. Wes Welker doesn’t have one. The vast majority of those guys don’t have one, they’re still pushing for their first one, so there’s still a sense of unfinished business I would assume that Wes Welker has after completing his six seasons with the Patriots.”
|Mike Florio on D&C: Bills’ Mario Williams signing comparable to Packers with Reggie White||03.16.12 at 8:14 am ET|
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com checked in with Dennis & Callahan guest hosts Dale Arnold and Chris Mannix Friday morning to discuss the flurry of NFL free agent moves this week. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
“From the standpoint of getting a team that has been overlooked and disregarded for much of the last decade some legitimacy, I think it was [a good move],” Florio said. “They went out and overpaid for a guy that isn’t Reggie White but they treated him like Reggie White. Maybe he’ll have the same impact on the franchise that White did in Green Bay. At the time the Packers got White back in ’93, they weren’t regarded as a very good team. They’d just been kind of dog-paddling for 20 years or more. He turned that franchise around from a perception standpoint.
“And I think that’s what the Bills want. They want players to want to come and live in western New York. And convincing Mario Williams to do it could be the first step toward getting other players there, improving the team, becoming competitive. It’s not going to be easy, given the division they’re in. But this is a step in the right direction, and it gives the fan base something that every fan base craves this time of year, and that’s genuine hope.”
Peyton Manning continues to visit with teams that are looking to do whatever they can to land the Hall of Fame-bound quarterback.
“Some rumors and scuttlebutt have been trickling out that Peyton is trying to leverage his current situation — where there are teams falling all over themselves to try to sign him — into a post-playing career job like John Elway has in Denver,” Florio said. “And I look at that and I say, well, you start diluting your priorities in the present if you’re worrying too much about the future. Go find the best place for you to play football. And if it’s Denver, it’s Denver, even though John Elway is not going to give you his job when you’re done playing.
“So, that’s a strange complication to all of this. And when you have the owner of the [Titans], Bud Adams, saying that they want to give Peyton Manning a contract for life, on the surface it looks ridiculous. It looks like something the NFL would never approve because of the salary cap. But we had an item yesterday that they can do that. They can hire him now and later at the same time. There would have to be two contracts, it would have to be a real job, it would have to be fair market value for whatever it is that he’s doing after he retires, and he’d have to actually do it. And if there’d be any shenanigans on the back end, the NFL would swoop in and impose all sorts of penalties. But it can be done.”
Said Florio: “One of the big reasons that the Broncos are in this is because John Elway believes getting Peyton Manning is the only way to get rid of Tim Tebow, that any other quarterback — Matt Flynn, any of the free agents, trade for somebody — no. Peyton Manning is the only guy that they can bring that allows them to then move Tim Tebow.”
|Mike Florio on D&C: ‘I think the owners thought they would do better’||07.15.11 at 9:02 am ET|
ProFootballTalk.com editor Mike Florio checked in with the Dennis & Callahan show with guest hosts Steve Buckley and Bob Halloran Friday morning to discuss the NFL labor negotiations. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
There have been widespread reports that the owners and players are closing in on a deal that will end the lockout in the coming days.
Said Florio: “I think it’s time to really just sit back and wait for that puff of white smoke to come out of that chimney, and it’s going to either today, tomorrow, Sunday, Monday ‘ some point before they go meet with Judge [Arthur] Boylan, the mediator, who was instrumental in getting this thing done.”
However, Florio cautioned that the owners might make one more push to get some additional concessions from the players before signing off on a deal.
“What happens is, once there’s a sense that it’s inevitable a deal’s going to get done, that’s when the owners start being a little more hard-headed, because they think the players are going to agree to anything,” he said. “So, we could see another bump today, where the owners decide [to be tough on] all the remaining stuff. And there still are some issues left ‘ not major issues, not issues as challenging as the ones they’ve already worked out ‘ but there’s still issues.
“So, maybe the owners decide to take a harder line and capture the reality that the players are ready to get this thing completely done. And the players may have to put their backs up a little bit and get the owners to stand down. So, that could still happen. I think that happened with the rookie wage scale. I think it was happening a couple of weeks ago when things almost fell apart on June 30 and then finally got back on track.
“I think the owners have a habit, when there’s a sense it’s going to get done, of drawing a line in the sand and hoping that the players blink. I think that could still happen on these remaining issues.”
|Devin McCourty talks about rookie life, playing against Randy Moss and motivation||05.19.11 at 4:35 pm ET|
Do you hope they’ll be a day where you and your brother play on the same team at the NFL level?
‘Yeah, I think that’d be pretty cool. Coming through Pop Warner and high school, and being fortunate enough to play together in college, I think it would be excellent for my Mom to come to one game and watch her two sons play together in the NFL. Hopefully, some day we can pull that off.’
On being successful as a rookie ‘ what do you attribute that to? How did that happen?
‘Really, the coaches and my teammates. I was able to stay after it a little with my corners coach, Josh Boyer. He helped me out a lot, watching extra film. And then, the older guys in the secondary ‘ James Sanders, Brandon Meriweather, Leigh Bodden and Jarrad Page ‘ a lot of those guys would just tell me little things like how to keep my body right during the season, watching film with them, they could tell me little things that they see that I couldn’t see yet. Just being able to learn from those guys and me putting in extra work myself, I think that was a big part of why I had success this year as a rookie.’
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