Michael McCann

Michael McCann

Sports Illustrated legal analyst Michael McCann joined Dale & Holley with Thornton on Wednesday to discuss the latest chapter in Deflategate. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

After league commissioner Roger Goodell announced the NFL would not release PSI measurements taken over the course of the season, many have been left searching for answers.

“I would imagine one possible answer is that the results don’t corroborate some of the theories the NFL offered last year about deflated footballs,” McCann said. “There’s also the possibility that the NFL doesn’t want to share information that could be used by Tom Brady, not in the appeal, but if Tom Brady were to pursue a defamation lawsuit against the NFL.”

The possibility of a Brady defamation suit as been thrown around a lot this week after many suspect the NFL is hiding something by not releasing its data. Although it undoubtedly would drag this case out much longer than he would like it, it is certainly an option for Brady.

“The evidence suggests that he has been defamed, in the sense that there have been things said about him that basic tenets of science repudiate,” McCann said. “If you’re him, you could clearly show that you’ve been harmed. His reputation has been harmed, he’s been embarrassed, the rest of the country calls him a cheater. … Do I think he’s going to do it? No. But I would be pretty furious if I were him.”

Next up for Brady is the appeals hearing in March, and many believe he has a serious advantage over the NFL.

“I would say the point spread is pretty considerable. I say that because, a) Judge Berman’s decisions are approved 92 percent of the time,” McCann said. “Secondly, I also don’t see any great flaws in Judge Berman’s decision. It isn’t as if anyone has read his opinion and said, ‘Yeah, that’s where there’s a big opening.’ I think at this point, without knowing who the appellate judges are, I would say it’s a pretty considerable point spread in Brady’s favor.”

In addition to Brady, many feel Robert Kraft should take legal action against the NFL. The Patriots were stripped of two draft picks and fined $1 million for something that has not yet been proven.

“I think realistically, he missed the window, and I don’t think the window was ever open in a way that it would have been a likelihood of winning a lawsuit,” McCann said. “I say that because at the end of the day, when you buy an NFL franchise you agree to a series of documents including the league constitution. That makes it clear that the commissioner has final authority.”

Blog Author: 
Travis Upham

The underdog Broncos take on the Panthers on Sunday in Super Bowl 50. Can Peyton Manning pull off the upset in what might be his final game? Will the Panthers complete one of the most impressive seasons in NFL history? Let us know what you think.

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Tom Brady is on to Super Bowl 51.

Tom Brady is on to Super Bowl 51.

In an 1-on-1 interview with CSNNE’s Tom E. Curran Thursday, Tom Brady Sr. talked about his son’s passion and how motivated he is for next season already, less than two weeks removed from falling in this year’s AFC title game.

“Tommy is a football player,” Brady Sr. said. “This is not a July-January or February endeavor for him. He loves two-a-days that started for him a week ago that will be two-a-days from January 20 to the next February. He has a countdown clock in his gym that is now ticking to next year’s Super Bowl. It’s clicking, yes. And he is still doing his two-a-days.”

Of course Deflategate did come up and Brady Sr. said his son is at peace with what has happened and this whole year has been harder on him as Brady’s dad than maybe it has been on Brady himself.

“He’s at peace. He believes 100 percent that he did nothing wrong,” Brady Sr. said. “That is fine and dandy. He’s at peace. It’s often times harder for parents when your kid is being attacked that you become more defensive. I know that things maybe have happened to me in my life that I felt that I’ve been wronged, but I can let that go, but when somebody in any way hurts your child, you take it way more personally even if you have yourself.

“This is 12 months removed. We’re done. We’re on to Super Bowl 51 right now.”

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Tom Brady will graciously help out Roger Goodell and the league this weekend in San Francisco. (Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)Score one for Tom Brady.

Peyton Manning and Bill Belichick have knocked heads on several occasions. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Peyton Manning and Bill Belichick have knocked heads on several occasions. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — There’s clearly no shortage of former NFL players who can’t stand the Patriots.

Former Colts receiver Brandon Stokley, who played with Peyton Manning on the Colts from 2003-06, couldn’t have been more overjoyed that Manning beat the Patriots to get back to his fourth Super Bowl.

“You can’t imagine. He’s like a brother, so happy for him because I know what he’s put in, not only his whole career but this year. I know what he’s been though,” Stokley told WEEI.com Thursday. “I know how hard he’s worked to have a chance to get back out on the field.

“For me, watching him do it against the Patriots a week and a half ago, it didn’t get better than that.”

Why does it mean so much to see the Patriots go down?

“To beat them to go to the Super Bowl, for me, was like watching him win the Super Bowl because I don’t care for the Patriots because I could hardly never beat them. I still dislike them. It was that rivalry, that type of rivalry where I didn’t like then, I don’t like them now. I’ll never like them. So, to see Peyton beat them to go to the Super Bowl put a big smile on my face. I’ve still got a smile on my face from that game.”

Stokley, who is working for Denver’s Channel 7 covering Manning and the Super Bowl, also insists that the report on NFL.com that Manning has told close friends he’s retire “is crap.”

Like Super Bowl loser Brad Hoover of the 2003 Panthers, Stokley’s emotions and recollections of his four-year rivalry with the Patriots in the mid-2000s are still vivid. The Patriots dominated the early part of it, winning all four games, including twice in the playoffs, from 2003-05. But the Colts won both games in Foxboro in 2005-06 and the memorable AFC championship in Indianapolis in Jan. 2007.

“Didn’t win a lot. That’s the biggest thing. They always seemed to have our number,” Stokley said. “I know we won one regular season game there and ’06, the AFC championship game. But they were always battles. It really was. You knew that when you played a team like that, you couldn’t make a lot of mistakes.

“[They are] so well coached and they just did most of the things the right way. And we seemed to always play in Foxboro, and that seemed to be the biggest difference between winning and losing for us.”

Did Peyton have a message before those games?

“There wasn’t a whole lot of discussion about what we had to do,” Stokley said. “I think we approached it like any other game and we prepared the same way like any other game. I can’t speak for Peyton, how he prepares for a game on his own and what he does and watches but as far as our team goes, we took the same approach as we always did and tried to prepare as hard as we could. It’s just that most of those games we were out-executed, out-played.

“You knew you were always in for a battle and knew you were going to have to play really good football. But other than that, we always felt like we could play with them. Just most of the time they beat us. We won a few of them, I guess. They won their fair share, more than we won. But it was always fun. It was always competitive. Most of those darn games, even in the regular season, were in Foxboro. So we could never get that home field in the playoffs. And when we finally did, we beat them in ’06.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Another day, another accusation from a Super Bowl loser.

Brad Hoover is looking for ecxcuses as to why his 2003 Carolina team lost to the Patriots. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Brad Hoover is looking for excuses as to why his 2003 Carolina team lost to the Patriots. (Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Another day, another accusation from a Super Bowl loser.

Former Panthers fullback Brad Hoover, who was part of the Carolina team that lost to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVIII by a 32-29 score, told 610 WFNZ on Thursday that believes something was fishy regarding New England winning that game.

“Can I prove they cheated? No,” Hoover said of the Patriots. “But deep down in my heart, I think they did.”

Hoover pointed to the halftime changes the Panthers were able to make that allowed them to score as many points as they did in the second half.

“At halftime, we changed our whole offensive game plan, and that’s one of the advantages of having that long intermission,” Hoover said. “How did they know what we were doing? The play in the second half was a lot different. We were able to put a lot more points on the board, and I think that’s a part of it.”

Hoover is just the latest member of that team to accuse that New England team of cheating, a group that includes former Carolina GM Marty Hurney.

Of course, Hoover didn’t mention the fact that Carolina kicker John Kasay kicked the ball out of bounds late in the fourth quarter that allowed the Patriots to gain terrific field position at the start of what would turn out to be the game-winning drive. Or the fact that several reports point to the fact that “several” members of that Panthers team used steroids that season, and that their drug use was apparently so rampant it alarmed Congress.

But that’s not important.

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

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price
Aqib Talib has been enjoying everything about Super Bowl week in Santa Clara. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Aqib Talib has been enjoying everything about Super Bowl week in Santa Clara. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — This has been a week for Aqib Talib to soak it all in.

The veteran corner, who turns 30 on Feb. 13, is taking in all the vibes from his first Super Bowl experience.

“It’€™s a lot of fun,” Talib said. “You have to have the fun, lock in and work and then you have fun, lock in and work. You just have to balance it. We’€™re all enjoying it.”

He’s been enjoying himself on and off the field, as his three interceptions in practice on Wednesday would suggest.

“They have cameras at practice? [laughter],” Talib said with a big grin. “I did. I was able to make some plays on the ball. We had a good look from our offense from our scout team offense. I was able to make some plays on the ball.”

Earlier in the week, Talib gave props to Bill Belichick in New England for helping him understand and appreciate the professional approach of a winner in the NFL. But, on Thursday, the final day of player availability before the Super Bowl, he made it clear Belichick let his team have its share of fun on the field.

“It’€™s a lot similar,” Talib said comparing Belichick to Broncos coach Gary Kubiak. “It’€™s a lot similar, you’€™d be surprised. People think New England is like a military school and boy school and don’€™t talk. It’€™s not like that ‘€“ they have fun over there as well, it’€™s just a tight knit group. Bill just doesn’€™t mess with you all. He just doesn’€™t mess with the media.”

Talib let everyone in on another secret on Thursday. Belichick nearly gave him a chance to help Tom Brady.

“Actually, when I first got to New England, I think my first practice maybe, Bill kept me after practice for like 20 minutes and Tom threw me like ten routes: stop routes, fades, a couple slants the first day I got there. I guess I didn’€™t look good enough because he never did it again,” Talib laughed. “I feel like I caught all of my passes though. I was working hard out there but I still want to know what happened with that, Bill. He definitely kept me after practice though and Tom threw me about a good 10 routes.”

The Patriots weren’t the first team to try Talib out on offense.

“In Tampa, I was this close, I was young too. I was young and flying around. I was this close to getting an offensive package. I came to work late on a Monday. Raheem Morris called me up to his office and said, ‘€˜I had a 15-play script for you on offense,’€™ and ripped it up (laughter). That’€™s Raheem Morris, he’€™s my dog. He was going to give me an opportunity.”

Why all the attention to offense for a guy that’s made his name as one of the best corners in the game?

“Because I used to play offense. I used to love playing offense,” Talib said. “I played offense in high school, in college, and I don’€™t get to play it in the league. So when I get the ball I have to score my touchdowns like I’€™m on offense. I just like offensive guys, they don’€™t practice tackling like that. It would be wrong to let those guys tackle me when I get the ball. That’€™s kind of how I go about it.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

SAN JOSE, Calif. — As he was concluding his interviews with the Carolina Panthers, rap legend Snoop Dogg video bombed Mike Petraglia as he headed out the door of the San Jose Convention Center.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia