FOXBORO — To Matthew Slater, blood runs thicker than water, and in the case of Deflategate and Tom Brady, the Patriots quarterback is family.

Matthew Slater speaks to reports Wednesday at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Matthew Slater speaks to reports Wednesday at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — To Matthew Slater, blood runs thicker than water, and in the case of Deflategate and Tom Brady, the Patriots quarterback is family.

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.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia
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.
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Blog Author: 
WEEI

With commissioner Roger Goodell upholding Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension on Tuesday, he isn’t exactly a fan-favorite among Patriots fans throughout New England.

According to the Portland Press Herald, Scarborough, Maine police are keeping an eye on the Prout’€™s Neck property of Goodell’s. He’s believed to own a $6.5 million house on Bohemia Way.

“[The NFL] did reach out and let us know about the decision and that it might not be popular,’€ Scarborough Police Chief Robbie Moulton told the paper.

“We’€™re aware of the situation and will be patrolling the area certainly,” he added.

The police chief said there haven’t been any problems or threats since the ruling came down and were not planning anything in terms of protection. The report did not say whether or not Goodell was on the property.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Former Patriots offensive lineman Matt Light made a living protecting Tom Brady from taking hits for years.

Former Patriots offensive lineman Matt Light made a living protecting Tom Brady from taking hits for years. He’s still defending his old teammate, but now he’s the one doling out the shots, not receiving them.

Light called in to Middays with MFB on Wednesday to talk about the latest twists of the Deflategate story, still firmly entrenched in the pro-Patriots camp. To listen to the interview, go the the MFB audio on demand page.

Much of Light’s criticism of the ruling was rooted in dissatisfaction with commissioner Roger Goodell’s abilities to lead the NFL.

“He’s like a 2-year-old,” Light said. “He can’t admit any wrong. He can’t make something right by admitting that he’s done something, and unfortunately we’re talking about this again and again because of poor leadership.”

Ultimately, Light views the entire Deflategate ordeal as an unjust inquiry and investigation, bent on reaching a certain verdict rather than finding truth. Consequently, Light thinks there should be another person at the helm of the country’s most powerful sports league.

“Are the NFL’s intentions really to get to the bottom of this and make this a fair trial, so to speak? No. I think we’re way past that,” Light said. “There’s no trust between the NFL and the Patriots, the NFL and Tom Brady. I think that really, at the end of the day, we need to be talking about getting somebody in that can uphold the integrity of the NFL a lot better than Roger Goodell.”

Light was adamant that the four-game suspension imposed on Brady is excessive and without prior precedent.

“I think this case is pretty simple. When you look at from the NFLPA’s standpoint, there’s no precedent for anything that’s been done before,” Light said. “Why now? And especially, why this guy? We’re not talking about a guy that’s been arrested and he’s made some terrible decisions off the field and on the field he’s been a bad example. We’re talking the poster child. We’re talking about the guy that affords a guy like Roger Goodell to make $44 million a year.”

According to Light, Brady maintains the support of most players league-wide.

“The overwhelming number of guys in the National Football League, past and present, support a guy like Tom,” he said.

With the announcement of the suspension being upheld came the revelation that Brady, the NFL claims, destroyed his cellphone. Brady’s response on Facebook said that his phone broke and he acquired a new one. Light said that using Brady’s cellphone as a cornerstone of the discipline is “absurd.”

“If the cellphone was such an integral part of this, if the cellphone is what he’s literally basing all of his discipline on, which is really what he’s done, then why haven’t we brought up a cellphone in any other case?” Light said. “What he’s doing is saying, ‘We think maybe there’s some text messages that could prove what we think happened.’ Well, wouldn’t that be the case on anything that’s ever been done?”

Blog Author: 
Josh Slavin

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 his quarterback Tom Brady his “unequivocal” support and apologized to fans for backing down to the NFL in May at the owner’s meetings in San Francisco.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia
Jimmy Garoppolo learned a lot from Tom Brady last season.  (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Jimmy Garoppolo learned a lot from Tom Brady last season. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

With Tom Brady’s four-game suspension being upheld and the case now reportedly going to court, there is a chance Brady does not play in at least a few games this season.

If that were to happen, second-year quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo would take the reins and lead the team.

Safety Devin McCourty said Wednesday if that were to happen, he believes Garoppolo is ready as he spent his rookie season learning everything and anything from Brady.

“I don’t know what to anticipate from him, but I can just tell you that he’s a young guy who has come in and as a rookie quarterback continued to get better. I think last year we faced him every day on the scout team then and this offseason — OTAs and minicamp — he’s a hungry guy,” McCourty said. “You can tell he sits and hangs on every word and everything that Tom kind of does. You see him trying to emulate that and try and do it. I think all of our guys here, they are hard workers and the greatest thing about football and a team sport and competitive sport as it is is everyone is looking for an opportunity to play. If you’re a backup you don’t want to be a backup your whole career.

“Everyone wants to play, so him just like every other guy I think is anxious and ready to go. That’s the good thing about training camp. Everyone starts at the same level and is a bunch of competitive guys trying to earn spots on the roster, starting spots.”

Asked if he had confidence in Garoppolo, McCourty kept it in generalities.

“I think we have full confidence of everyone on this team,” he said.

Garopollo appeared in six games as a rookie and went 19-for-27 passing with 182 yards and one touchdown and no interceptions.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — Robert Kraft came to the defense of his star quarterback Tom Brady on Wednesday and so did his teammate