Bill Belichick once again is the target of Patriots haters for allegedly crossing the line in an attempt to gain an advantage.</p>
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CHRIS VILLANI

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Pro Football Talk Former Buccaneers quarterback

Indianapolis Star columnist Gregg Doyel checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to talk about the latest Deflategate news and call for harsh punishment for Bill Belichick and the Patriots.

Gregg Doyel

Gregg Doyel

Indianapolis Star columnist Gregg Doyel checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to talk about the latest Deflategate news and call for harsh punishment for Bill Belichick and the Patriots. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Following an ESPN report that 11 of the 12 footballs used by the Patriots in Sunday’s AFC championship game were underinflated, Doyel said the Patriots should not represent their conference in the Super Bowl.

“I’m not sure how, in a fair world … a team plays, there’s four teams left, one of those four teams tries to rig the game — they’re rigging the game — and got caught,” Doyel said. “Yes, it’s a blowout. Yes, the Patriots are a lot better than the Colts. No, the footballs weren’t going to decide it. I think we call can think that — we don’t know that — we can all think that, and I do think that.

“But if you get caught rigging the game, during the game, and you get caught literally that day rigging the game, and you’ve got two weeks before the next one, I don’t know how with a straight face [Roger] Goodell says, ‘Yeah, we caught you rigging the game, but that’s OK, go ahead, guys, and play a Super Bowl.’ I’m not sure what world that makes any sense to me.”

Added Doyel: “I’m sure I’m in the minority saying you can’t send this team to the Super Bowl. But I really believe that. You can’t do it. They got caught rigging the game. You can’t send them.”

Doyel predicted that Belichick would get suspended for some games next season, but he said he’d like see the coach banned from the game for good.

“[Goodell] might suspend Bill Belichick for the rest of his life,” Doyel said. “You know what, I hope he does. I hope he suspends him for the rest of his life starting tomorrow.”

Asked who should take the Patriots’ place in Arizona, Doyel suggest the Colts or the Packers.

“If I’m Roger Goodell, the Colts are on a plane going to Glendale,” Doyel said. “Not because the Colts deserve it. They don’t. They don’t. It’s not about the Colts at all. It’s because the Patriots don’t deserve it. They don’t deserve it. But there has to be a Super Bowl. The Seahawks, the world, the NFL fans, we all deserve a Super Bowl We need a Super Bowl. We get one.

“The team that tried to rig the AFC title game and got caught doing it can’t be in that Super Bowl. Now, you need two teams to be in that Super Bowl. Pick one. OK, not the Colts, fine. Pick the last team to beat the Patriots — the Packers, as a matter of fact. The other teams in the NFC, pick them. But, do not send the team that rigged the AFC title game. Do not pat them on the head and say, ‘No harm, no foul, guys. We’re going to dock you some money and a draft pick, but you go try to win that Super Bowl.’ Don’t do that.”

Doyel said Belichick very well may have cost himself a spot in Canton with his latest transgression.

“I think a lot of us, me included, time passes and you forget stuff and you forget how angry you were,” Doyel said. “There’s a reason why we call these things hot takes. Time passes and they cool down. They do. I’ve written and said a lot of things that I’ve cooled down on over the years. Your emotions go high. Spygate, emotions were high, ‘He’ll never get in the Hall of Fame after this.’ Well, seven, eight, 10, whatever it is, seven years later, he’s going to the Hall of Fame clearly. Until today. Until today.

“I don’t know how, if you’re a Hall of Fame voter, you look at this guy who’s now been caught twice, I mean, rigging games. This is a bad one. This is bad. I don’t see how he goes to the Hall of Fame.”

As for the argument that other teams have made adjustments to footballs and it’s not that big a deal, Doyel said: “That’s what 7-year-olds say when they get caught with their hand in the cookie jar: Everybody takes cookies. Everybody takes steroids. Everybody speeds down the highway. It’s true, everybody does do something like that. But when you get caught, you pay the price. Period. Simple as that. That’s a childish argument that I wouldn’t want to hear from Belichick or anybody else.”

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

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
Tom Brady fires a pass Sunday against the Colts in the AFC championship. (Getty Images)

Tom Brady fires a pass Sunday against the Colts in the AFC championship. (Getty Images)

The landscape around what some are calling “Deflategate” changed late Tuesday night, as a report from ESPN indicated that 11 of the Patriots’ 12 footballs that were weighed by officials before Sunday’s AFC title game came in under-inflated by two pounds of air (PSI) when they were weighed after the game.

The idea of deflated footballs having an impact in Sunday;’s game is laughable on the surface — what would that do to one of the most lopsided conference championship games in recent memory? But now, if the officials were found to have gone through the proper procedures when it came to weighing the footballs and weather was not found to be an issue, the story now seems to be a far more serious matter, one that could result in fines or even the loss of a draft pick if the Patriots are found guilty of tampering or altering the football.

In the NFL rulebook, there is very specific wording that prohibits changing the game balls in any way after the officials have checked them two hours and 15 minutes before game time. According to the NFL game operations manual, “If any individual alters the footballs, or if a non-approved ball is used in the game, the person responsible and, if appropriate, the head coach or other club personnel will be subject to discipline, including but not limited to, a fine of $25,000.”

While it’s debatable just how much of an impact it ended up having — New England won, 45-7 — the idea that someone had access to the footballs and could tamper with them between the officials’ check and the game is troubling. According to a report from the Boston Globe, game officials discovered at halftime that game balls were under-inflated after testing each ball twice with different gauges.

In terms of a potential punishment, there doesn’t appear to be much precedent, at least on an NFL level. In a November 30 game this season between the Vikings and Panthers in freezing Minnesota, cameras caught sideline attendants using heaters to warm up footballs, which is against league rules. NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino told the NFL Network the next day that officials warned both the teams not to heat up footballs during the game, and added that a similar reminder would be sent out across the league that week not to warm footballs during the game.

“You can’t do anything with the footballs in terms of any artificial, whether you’re heating them up, whether it’s a regular game ball or kicking ball. You can’t do anything to the football,” Blandino said at the time. “So that was noticed during the game, both teams were made aware of it during the game, and we will certainly remind the clubs as we get into more cold weather games that you can’t do anything with the football in terms of heating them up with those sideline heaters.”

At the college level, there was a 2012 incident involving Lane Kiffin and USC — they were fined and reprimanded by the Pac-12 after officials discovered that a student manager had deflated game balls for a contest against Oregon. (Kiffin insisted that the student manager acted alone and that Kiffin knew nothing about it.)

Bill Belichick has been asked about the report three times this week — twice in conference calls with the media and once during his weekly appearance on WEEI — and on each occasion, he has deferred on all three occasions. On Monday, he said he had not heard anything about it until that morning.

“We’ll cooperate fully with whatever the league wants us to; whatever questions they have for us, whatever they want us to do,” said Belichick, who is scheduled to meet with the media on Thursday morning in Foxboro.

Appearing on NBC Sports Radio Tuesday, NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent seemed to indicate that the league was interested in wrapping up its probe in a few days.

“We’re hoping to wrap that up in the next two or three days,” Vincent said. “The team is in place in New England now interviewing staff members.”

The last word from the league came from NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy on Monday, who told the Associated Press: “We are looking into it. We do not have anything further to add at this point.”

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Chris Mortensen, ESPN, reports on Twitter that the "NFL has found that 11 of the Patriots footballs used in Sunday’s AFC title game were under-inflated by 2 lbs each, per league sources." He went on SportsCenter to talk about his report. Mut and his callers reacted to the breaking news

[0:01:28] ... do so in the meantime. We'll await the no it away with Troy Vincent who's the senior executive vice president of football operations said the investigation should be up in about two or three days. But ...
[0:02:13] ... but some. They knew we were we've heard talk this guy like Aaron Rodgers like two goals as you all over inflated. So you hear talk about this but they'll buy league regulations. That each team ...
[0:08:08] ... hall eat played are you or. Or you know them discussing our Aaron Rodgers told them that you like to balls or burned sweetie yup. So back off thinking. You've heard these inspections are bogus before. ...
[0:14:37] ... target I'm sure it is. Bella checks should be suspended from the Super Bowl my opinion. Get ready folks. He thought was bell will bond said take the pats out of the Super Bowl. You thought it was Allan Gregg oil that it. Get ready. This story is not going anywhere this is the continuation of ...






Deflategate continues.

Deflategate continues.

According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, the NFL found 11 of the Patriots footballs used in Sunday’€™s AFC title game were underinflated by two pounds each. He added the NFL didn’t have any comment.

The Patriots have said they will cooperate with the NFL and their investigation.

Bill Belichick was asked again on Tuesday of the allegations, and he said to defer all questions on that matter to the league.

There is no word on if, or what type of penalty the Patriots would be facing if true.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

In a bit of a change from years past, the Patriots announced Tuesday evening that they will be leaving for Arizona and Super Bowl XLIX on Monday, Jan. 26. The Patriots will play Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, Feb. 1.

Tom Brady is heading to the Super Bowl for an NFL record sixth time. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Tom Brady is heading to the Super Bowl for an NFL record sixth time. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

In a bit of a change from years past, the Patriots announced Tuesday evening that they will be leaving for Arizona and Super Bowl XLIX on Monday, Jan. 26. The Patriots will play Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, Feb. 1.

The Patriots also revealed they will practice Thursday through Sunday before flying west on Monday, just a day before the annual Media Day at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

Seven years ago, the last time the Super Bowl was in Glendale, the Patriots left on Sunday, with a rally beforehand at Gillette Stadium. The team announced Tuesday evening that details of a send-off rally are still to be determined.

In years past, teams have traditionally arrived at the Super Bowl location on the Sunday before. However, there have been cases in the last several years of teams arriving the Monday before and the Patriots are making that adjustment this year.

Three years ago, the Patriots arrived in Indianapolis on Sunday, with a rally beforehand at Gillette Stadium.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia