|Adam Schefter on D&C: Robert Kraft’s words ‘carry a message’ as league office knows he’s ‘not happy’||07.30.15 at 9:05 am ET|
ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter joined Dennis & Callahan Thursday morning to talk about the latest with Tom Brady and what Robert Kraft’s statement meant Wednesday. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
The biggest story from Wednesday was Robert Kraft coming out swinging against the league and Roger Goodell with the way the Deflategate case has been handled. Schefter said it would have been tough for Kraft to take this to court and go against the league, which is likely why back in May he accepted the penalties against the team.
Schefter said Kraft’s message is loud and clear now.
“I think part of the reason he didn’t go to court before and part of the reason why he accepted his punishment was because he had a lack of recourse at that point in time,” Schefter said. “It was not a CBA that protected him. There was not something that said he could take this to court. It’s not what you want to do in any particular case, maybe you succeed, maybe you prevail, maybe you don’t. You bloody your partner. Not worth it to him at that point in time. Not with the relationship that he had there. He fell on his sword there.
“Now, I think his words carry a message. The people in New York know he’s not happy. I think there’s a lot on the line here. Somebody in the end here is going to look very bad. Even if the NFL wins this court case, they still lose because they’ve basically beaten up their favorite son (Tom Brady), their poster child. When the poster child of the sport has just got abused here the last six months. Even if you win in court, what do you win there by doing that to a guy who you’ve alienated from the league for the rest of his life. … Come to the Super Bowl, make an appearance — that’s never happening again.”
Schefter said the whole thing has been botched from the start.
“Here’s the amazing part, this was not some regional game like New England-Jacksonville. This is the AFC championship game where the league has 30 representatives in New England for the game,” he said. “The day before you can call New England and say look, ‘We’ve got complaints about this. We want to let you know that we’re going to be checking and monitoring this. If there’s any funny business, there’s going to be a steep price to pay.’ That didn’t happen. That goes to my initial point. This little brush fire, we allowed this to burn down the whole house.”
“This whole thing that was a little brush fire, has been allowed to turn into an inferno,” he added. “This whole inconsequential situation about air pressure has dominated news headlines for months. It’s staggering to me that his could happen. That people allowed this to happen.”
Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more visit, weei.com/patriots.
|Matthew Slater calls Tom Brady ‘heartbeat’ of Patriots||07.29.15 at 2:02 pm ET|
On Wednesday, the special teams captain made it clear how much he supports the signal-caller he’s known since he was drafted out of UCLA in 2008.
“I think it’s safe to say that Tom is the heartbeat of this team,” Slater said. “He’s been here longer than any player. He set the standard. He’s earned everything he’s accomplished in this league. You respect the way he approaches his craft. With that, you have 89 other guys that try to do the same thing and really try to buy into what we’re doing here. We realize that we have to work hard in order for us to have success. Nobody is going to give us anything. Nobody cares what we did last year. It’s all about taking it year to year and I think Tom is a great example of that.
“All of us in here are part of a family. We come from a family and the guys in this locker room, we feel as those we’re family in there. Good or bad, things happen in life and you stick with your family, no matter what the outcome. I think that’s the way we’re going to approach it.”
Slater also threw his complete support behind the comments from team owner Robert Kraft and appreciated the owner speaking up hours earlier, taking some of the heat off players and coaches.
“Look, Mr. Kraft is the captain of this ship,” Slater said. “He’s the captain of this organization so he speaks for all of us when he speaks. I think he said everything that needed to be said.
“In the meantime, we’re just going to focus on playing football. We’re going to focus on improving ourselves through training camp and take it one day at a time.”
FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price explain why Patriots owner Robert Kraft came out on the offensive Wednesday and hit back at the NFL for upholding Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension. Kraft gave quarterback Tom Brady his “unequivocal” support and apologized to fans for backing down to the NFL in May at the owners meetings in San Francisco.
|Bill Belichick on Tom Brady distraction in camp: ‘We won’t be dealing with that at all’||at 10:53 am ET|
Belichick opened his press conference following Kraft’s statement by saying the Patriots coaching staff is focused on preparing for the season, not Brady’s suspension or a possible showdown in court.
“I think Robert took care of the other situation. Tom had a statement so there’s nothing to really talk about there,” Belichick said. “Won’t be dealing with that at all. Just get the team ready and prepare for the regular season as we always do and as we did all spring. So, there’s no change for us on the football team.”
Belichick began his press conference by stressing his traditional approach to training camp.
“It’s good to see everyone back here. We got all the players back today for the start of training camp,” he said. “Right now, we’re in a long, step-by-step process as we head into the beginning of the 2015 season. So, we’re just going to take it one-day-at-a-time. I’d say we’ve got some preparation work to do, in terms of conditioning and going through some policies and things like that, trying to get everyone on the same page like we normally do. We’ll try to have a good day today and try to have another one tomorrow and just string them along day-by-day so that’s really where we’re at.”
Naturally, some of the over 50 reporters on hand did make several attempts to pry some type of response, with little to no success.
“We’re going to take it day-to-day, just like we always do,” Belichick said of the impact of the story. “We start training camp today. We’ll get ready for the 2015 season starting today.”
Anything to add?
“No. It’s already been addressed,” he said.
Another attempt to elicit some type of response was met with some wry humor.
“You heard what Robert just said. It’s already been addressed. Maybe you ought to go back and look at your notes. It’s already been addressed,” he said. “We’re going to continue to get the team ready for the 2015 season. That’s what we’re going to do.”
FOXBORO — Prior to Bill Belichick‘s regularly scheduled press conference to open the start of training camp, Robert Kraft took to the podium and addressed the appeal of Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension being upheld.
He came out swinging against the league the way the whole matter has been handled.
“The league’s handling of this entire process has been extremely frustrating and disconcerting,” Kraft said. “I will never understand why an initial erroneous report regarding the psi level of footballs was leaked by a source from the NFL a few days after the AFC championship game was never corrected by those who had the correct information. For four months, that report cast dispersions and shaped public opinion.
“Yesterday’s decision by commissioner [Roger] Goodell was released in a similar matter under an erroneous headline which read, ‘Tom Brady destroyed his cellphone.’ This headline was designed to capture headlines across the country and obscure evidence regarding the tampering of air pressure in footballs. It intentionally implied [unfair] behavior and minimized the acknowledged that Tom provided the history of every number he texted during that relevant time frame. We had already provided the league with every cellphone of every non NFLPA employee that they requested, including head coach Bill Belichick.”
Kraft said the league’s ruling Tuesday was “unfathomable.”
He went onto say he regretted what he said in May at the NFL owners’ meetings accepting the league’s penalties against the organization and apologized to Brady and Patriots fans.
“I first and foremost need to apologize to our fans because I truly believe what I did in May given the actual evidence of this situation and the league’s history on discipline matters would make it much easier for the league to exonerate Tom Brady,” he said. “Unfortunately I was wrong.”
“I was wrong to put my faith in the league,” he added.
Kraft said it was the NFL who has forced this case to go to court, despite Brady, the NFLPA and Kraft himself trying to settle it without it needing to go to federal court.
|Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti: I’m not putting pressure on Roger Goodell regarding Brady Deflategate ban||07.26.15 at 12:37 pm ET|
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, who was reportedly identified as one of a handful owners putting pressure on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to make sure Tom Brady’s four-game suspension isn’t shortened, issued a statement to the contrary Sunday.
Via Jamison Hensley of ESPN, Bisciotti made it clear in no uncertain terms that he is not putting pressure on anyone when it comes to Deflategate.
“I have not and will not put any pressure on commissioner or anyone representing NFL office to take action in Deflategate,” said Bisciotti. “The story circulating that I’ve put pressure on Roger [Goodell] is 100 percent wrong. The reports are unfair to Robert Kraft, who is honorable person and to his franchise. Let’s talk about football and the start of training camp. Fans and people like me want the issue resolved now.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.