Add Jim Irsay to the list of owners who have roundly rejected the idea they are in the ear of commissioner Roger Goodell regarding Deflategate.

Colts owner Jim Irsay said he hasn't pressured Roger Goodell to hold firm on Tom Brady's suspension. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Colts owner Jim Irsay said he hasn’t pressured Roger Goodell to hold firm on Tom Brady‘s suspension. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Add Jim Irsay to the list of owners who have roundly rejected the idea they are in the ear of commissioner Roger Goodell regarding Deflategate.

The Colts owner, who had reportedly been pressing Goodell to maintain Tom Brady‘€™s four-game suspension, told the Indianapolis Star on Monday that wasn’€™t the case.

“That’s not true at all,” Irsay said Monday. “I haven’t talked to Roger Goodell about Deflategate since late January. Not true. That’s not the way things work involving someone else’s business and someone else’s team.

“It’s not something I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been around ownership (in the NFL) for half a century.”

Irsay and Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti were identified by ESPN NFL reporter Sal Paolantonio as two rival owners who have pushing Goodell to keep Brady’€™s ban at four games. On Sunday, Bisciotti also denied the report.

“I have not and will not put any pressure on commissioner or anyone representing NFL office to take action in Deflategate,”€ Bisciotti told reporters. “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.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

The Patriots made a series of personnel moves on Monday afternoon prior to the start of training camp.

Dominique Easley

Dominique Easley

The Patriots made a series of personnel moves on Monday afternoon prior to the start of training camp.

According to the official NFL transaction wire, veteran quarterback Matt Flynn was placed on the Non-Football Injury list. In addition, the team placed eight players on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list: Dominique Easley, Dane Fletcher, Chris Jones, Brandon LaFell, Matthew Slater, Vince Taylor, Ryan Wendell and Chris White.

The PUP list allows players who are unable to start training camp the ability to sit out until the medical staff provides clearance. Once they are medically cleared, they’re allowed to practice immediately. For the players who start training camp on the list, they will be eligible for the Reserve PUP list at the start of the regular season — as long as they have never been removed from the Active PUP list during training camp.

The non-football injury list is the fundamental equivalent to PUP — however, these players are classified as being unable to practice as a result of conditions unrelated to football.

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

After last week it was reported the NFLPA’s settlement proposal for Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension appeal was shutdown, it appears the N

After last week it was reported the NFLPA’s settlement proposal for Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension appeal was shutdown, it appears the NFL is now willing to negotiate.

According to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports, the NFLPA and the NFL have had “an open line of communication in recent days” regarding a potential settlement of Brady’s four-game suspension for his role in Deflategate.

The report says Brady has become “frustrated” with the lack of a decision from commissioner Roger Goodell, as it has now been almost five weeks since he heard Brady’s appeal. The report goes on to say the quarterback has “maintained his innocence privately,” so it would appear unlikely he would be willing to take any settlement that has him missing any games.

The Patriots open training camp this Thursday.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

The NFL has finally decided something as a result of Deflategate. No, it’s not the decision on Tom Brady‘s appeal of his four-game suspension.

Tom Brady makes a throw during the AFC championship against the Colts. (Getty Images)

Tom Brady makes a throw during the AFC championship against the Colts. (Getty Images)

The NFL has finally decided something as a result of Deflategate. No, it’s not the decision on Tom Brady‘s appeal of his four-game suspension.

According to former NFL official Mike Pereira and current FOX Sports NFL contributor, the NFL told its officials this weekend that there will be new procedures for the 2015 season regarding how footballs will be prepared and monitored.

The league will now regulate the number of footballs prepared, random testing and changes in the oversight of the footballs once they’ve been checked by officials. According to Pereira, there’s no change in the game-ready properties of the football, meaning they will still be legal in a range from 12.5 to 13.5 pounds per square inch (PSI).

All game ball information will be included in the referee’s report to the league office.

According to Pereira, here are some of the significant changes for the 2015 NFL season:

  • Any game ball within the allowable range of 12.5 to 13.5 PSI will be approved and the PSI level will not be altered. Any game ball determined to be over 13.5 PSI or under 12.5 PSI will either be deflated or inflated to 13.0 PSI. Last year, there was no specific measurement of 13.0 required if an adjustment had to be made.
  • Each team will be required to supply 24 footballs to the officials locker room –€“ 12 primary and 12 backup — 2 hours and 15 minutes prior to the game. Last season, the home team had to submit 24 footballs prior to the game, but the visitors only had to submit 12 footballs with an option to supply an additional 12 for use in outdoor stadiums.
  • The referee will designate two members of his crew to conduct a pregame inspection to make sure all footballs meet the required specifications. Last season, the referee was the sole judge.
  • The officials will number the balls 1-12. Last season, the balls were not numbered.
  • The officials will measure the PSI and record that measurement corresponding to the numbered ball. Last season, no such record was kept.

    Pereira reports the same procedure will be followed with respect to the backup set of game balls for each team. Each NFL game last season had a kicking ball coordinator, hired by the league, who has been primarily responsible for the six kicking balls. They will now take custody of all the balls once they’ve been approved until 10 minutes prior to kickoff.

    At that point, the kicking ball coordinator, along with a member of the officiating crew and a security representative, will bring the footballs to the on-field replay station. Upon arrival, the game balls will be distributed to each team’s ball crew in the presence of the league security representative. The backup balls will remain secured in the officials’ locker room until needed.

    It was during the pre-game period of the AFC championship on Jan. 18 at Gillette Stadium that the NFL, via the Wells Report, believes the balls were altered. Last season, the league’s security representative was not a part of the total process and the kicking ball coordinator was not specifically assigned to be with the footballs the entire time.

    During halftime, the balls from both teams will be inspected and the PSI results will be measured and recorded by the two designated members of the crew who inspected them during the pregame. Once measured, those game balls will then be secured by the security representative and removed from play. The backup balls will then be used for the second half.

    At designated games, selected at random, the game balls used in the first half, will be collected by the kicking ball coordinator (KBC) at halftime and the league’s security representative will escort the KBC to the locker room. Also, at the end of any randomly selected game, the KBC will return the footballs to the officials’ locker room, where all game balls from each team will be inspected and the results will be recorded.

  • Blog Author: 
    Mike Petraglia

    We may be late to this, but via Only In Boston, it appears that Patriots coach Bill Belichick changed the name of his boat from “V Rings” to “VI Rings” earlier this month.

    Blog Author: 
    Christopher Price
    Bradley Fletcher (24) will have his chance to prove he belongs in New England's secondary. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

    Bradley Fletcher (24) will have his chance to prove he belongs in New England’s secondary. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

    As training camp approaches, we’ll offer a position-by-position breakdown of the 2015 Patriots. We started with the wide receivers and moved on to the tight ends, offensive line and quarterback. Now, we begin our look at the defense with the cornerbacks.

    Depth chart: Tarell Brown, Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan, Robert McClain, Bradley Fletcher, Darryl Roberts, Derek Cox, Justin Green

    THREE THINGS WE KNOW

    1. From veterans Brown, McClain and Fletcher to Butler, Ryan and even rookie Darryl Roberts, this figures to be the most competitive battle in some time in the secondary. Everyone knows the secondary won’t be the same without Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner back there. But let’s not forget the impact and stability slot corner Kyle Arrington provided. He was not someone you would put on an island but he also did a fine job within the system of playing to leverage and being sure that his guy on the inside routes were covered. As for Revis, the Patriots realize they’re losing one of the best ever to play the position but Bill Belichick has accounted for that in the past.

    2. Malcolm Butler will have a chance to step up. Ever since Revis said goodbye to New England and returned to the Jets, everyone has wondered if the cornerback who saved Super Bowl XLIX was ready to step onto the scene and become a starting cornerback. There was the silly melodrama of OTAs when Butler missed his flight back to Boston the night before OTAs in March and was deemed “not ready” to participate in practice. He was with the team at film sessions This move by the team was a message (within their rights) to Butler that come regular season, make sure you’re where you need to be the night before.

    3. The corners will have plenty of help. One thing is for sure with the Patriots secondary: Devin McCourty is the quarterback. He will call out all coverages and direct players to their proper spots. This is why the Patriots committed $47.5 million ($28.5 million guaranteed) over the next five seasons. The new faces in the secondary would be wise to listen to McCourty, tap his understanding of the Patriots defensive schemes and keep asking questions. Revis said this was one of the things that provided a great deal of comfort early on in his time with the Patriots.

    THREE QUESTIONS

    1. Will Tarell Brown, Bradley Fletcher and Robert McClain be enough? All three defensive backs come to New England with starting experience in the NFL. But all three are are a crossroads in their respective careers. All three signed one-year deals in New England, with a chance to prove they deserve more. Traditionally, Belichick loves this kind of motivation. He even did it with one of the best in the game, Darrelle Revis, last season before letting him go after the Super Bowl. Brown is 30, Fletcher is 29 and McClain is 27. All three have the chance to work for that next (and maybe last) big NFL contract.

    2. Who is the No. 1 corner? This is only important in so far as Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia had the luxury last year, with Revis, to play their defense to one side or the other. They could give Brandon Browner help if they felt he needed it. Will they have that ability this year?

    3. How will Belichick and Patricia scheme the defense? There are many ways the Patriots could go here. If a No. 1 corner doesn’t emerge, could the Patriots go more with a nickel package as their base? Could they show some variation of the “Tampa 2″ by dropping a linebacker like Jamie Collins into coverage?

    By the numbers: 2 — Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan are the only two returning defensive backs from the 2014 team. Will the turnover in the secondary be that big of a deal?

    Key new player: Robert McClain. This is a player that is made for Belichick. He’s played inside and outside and has done so for a number of years. Belichick said this about McClain during minicamp: “We’€™ve used him at a lot of different spots,€“ inside, outside, the nickel spot, special teams. He’€™s a smart kid, works really hard. He’s one of our hardest workers. He needs to be versatile and he is.” That should tell you all you need to know about how much the Patriots plan to use the 27-year-old defensive back they signed to a one-year deal after playing his last three seasons with the Falcons.

    The skinny: Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner and Kyle Arrington are gone, replaced by Tarell Brown, Robert McClain and Bradley Fletcher. It’s anyone’s guess how that will turn out for the Patriots. Before the arrival of Aqib Talib in 2012, the Patriots didn’t have a lot of success stopping the long ball over the top. Now, without a true No. 1 corner coming into camp, the critics think the Patriots are back where they started in 2011. But let’s remember the 2011 team came within a miraculous grab by Mario Manningham on a fourth quarter drive of winning Super Bowl XLVI with Devin McCourty and Arrington as their starting corners. Sterling Moore, Antwaun Molden and Malcolm Williams came off the bench. Julian Edelman even played defensive back midway through that season and in the AFC championship. The point is, Belichick has made do without superstar corners before and gotten to the big game. He’s willing to see if he can do it again.

    Blog Author: 
    Mike Petraglia