FOXBORO — Bill Belichick spoke Saturday afternoon for over 23 minutes on the Deflategate situation, maintaining the team didn’t do anything wrong and followed “every rule to the letter” after conducting an internal investigation.

Here is his opening statement of sorts:

“I want to take this opportunity to share this information. I’ve spent a significant amount of time this past week learning what I could learn, more than I could ever imagine to tell you the truth about ladders, air gauges, stitching, pressure, game day ball preparation, rub downs, so forth.

“I’m trying to be as helpful as I can here with everything I have learned. Having coached for 40 years in the National Football League, played for several years, growing up in a football family, being around this game my entire life — it’s clear that I don’t know very much about this areas.

“Over the last few days I have learned a lot more than I ever knew, exceptionally more. I feel like this is important because there have been questions raised and I believe now 100 percent that I have personally, and we as an organization have absolutely followed every rule to the letter. I feel on behalf on everyone in the organization, everyone that is involved in the organization that I needed to say something.”

More to come…

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — The Patriots have shown they can beat some of the top defenses in the league through the air this season, by the way of their seven straight wins from early October to late November.

Seattle’s defense may be their toughest test yet and going up against its Legion of Boom secondary.

“They are good. They fly around, they play hard and we’re going to continue to prepare for them,” wide receiver Danny Amendola said Saturday.

The Seahawks had to earn their way to the Super Bowl as they came from behind to beat the Packers in overtime in the NFC championship game. Seattle didn’t allow a touchdown in the second half — only two field goals — in its 28-22 win.

“They are a good team. They play hard for four quarters and in their case a little longer. It’s going to be a battle for sure,” Amendola said.

Facing their own secondary in Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, Devin McCourty among others in practice should prepare the Patriots receivers for whatever is to come next Sunday when they go up against Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and the rest of the Legion of Boom.

“Absolutely,” he said. “Those guys are some of the best to play that position and they play against us every day.”

Amendola caught 27 passes this season for 200 yards and a touchdown, but has picked up his play in the postseason and become a bigger part in the offense. In the two playoff games he’s caught six passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns, both coming in the divisional round game with the Ravens.

This will be Amendola’s first Super Bowl and he said he is trying to do his best to treat it like any other game.

“It’s a game, we’re going to prepare the same way we prepare for every single game,” he said. “Every game is the biggest game because it’s the game of the week, so this is the game of the week for us.”

Scoring points will be hard to come by against the Seattle defense, which allowed an average of 15.9 points per game, the lowest in the NFL. The magic number for the Patriots is 23, as they are 12-0 this season when scoring 23 or more points.

“You just have to make plays. I feel like our coaches are putting us in a position to be successful and we have to play really well, they are a great defense and we have to be ready,” Amendola said.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — The Patriots held practice inside the Dana Farber Fieldhouse at Gillette Stadium two days before departing for Arizona and Super Bowl XLIX.

FOXBORO — The Patriots held practice inside the Dana Farber Fieldhouse at Gillette Stadium two days before departing for Arizona and Super Bowl XLIX.

All players were present for the session, which was held in sweats and shells.

It’s worth mentioning rookie center Bryan Stork appeared to be moving well and had a brace and sleeve on his injured knee. He was listed as questionable for the game on the injury report, which came out on Friday night. It was the third straight day he practiced.

The team will hold one more practice (Sunday) before departing for Arizona on Monday.

For more Patriots news, check out

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — If the NFL thinks it can ruin the Super Bowl experience for the Patriots and their players over Deflategate, Vince Wilfork has a message for them.

“We can’€™t let anything take our excitement away,” the Patriots captain and 11-year veteran said Friday. “We worked hard to get here and everybody in that locker room is excited to play this game, and we need to be, we should be. You’€™re not going to take that away from us. You can’€™t take our joy away from us.”

Wilfork, with his trademark smile, answered reporters Friday wondering if the ongoing controversy might take away from the anticipation for the Super Bowl. Is Wilfork still excited for football’s most important game?

“Very excited,” said Wilfork, who is about to take the field for his fourth Super Bowl. “This is ‘€“ besides coming to training camp when you’€™re away from football the whole offseason ‘€“ I think this is one of the most exciting times of the year, especially if you have a team that’€™s in it. Our job is to be able to prepare well, and hopefully that’€™s good enough to win this ballgame. Everything we put into it to this point, everything we have, we’€™re going to have to leave on the field, and everything energy-wise we have has got to be geared towards getting that accomplished. That’€™s where I’€™m at right now. Hopefully the team feels the same way. You have a locker room full of guys that are happy and excited, and we should be.”

As for the deflated football controversy, Wilfork insists he’s not giving much time to it, while admitting he is preparing himself for more questions and distractions on the subject in the days leading up to the game.

“Here we are with the biggest game of our career, and that’€™s what it’€™s about,” Wilfork said. “It’€™s about going out and being able to play a game you work so hard for and be in the Super Bowl. That’€™s what it’€™s about. [We’€™ve] got to be able to eliminate all distractions right now, and I’€™m pretty sure we’€™ll have more distractions, but at the same time, I think we’€™ve done a great job around here all year of just being so focused on our opponents and what we have to do to win a ballgame. That’€™s where I’€™m at right now, so nothing different for me. [We’€™re] facing a good football team so we have to do everything we can to be able to play well against them this game.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia
We get the national perspective on Deflategate and the Patriots-Seahawks Super Bowl with the playmaker, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.

[0:15:10] ... As we prepare. For the Seattle field. Okay did this just into Mark Brunell has said that he feels that mr. Kraft is lying and that's Andyaat. And Troy Aikman is called from. To relinquish the ...
[0:19:29] ... quarterback in the NFL and we used to talk about you know Steve McNair had small hands so he would have trouble playing in. Wet ball games or snow right games there's a competitive advantage if your economic growth well yeah pressure effect that network Hasselbeck today on the station said. It never met it has no bearing I know I don't know I think. Matt Hasselbeck said no and they tend to its. Was on the line we've got the sound from it and now we're up against it will will play that sound for you coming up what Tim Hasselbeck he was getting into with the morning guys. I just think. This is you can't allow the leap to go to this ...

Vince Wilfork was given a 15-yard penalty for a late hit on Andrew Luck in the second quarter of Sunday’ AFC championship game, but that wasn’t the only slap on the wrist.

According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the defensive tackle was fined $8,268 for the play. It was on a drive that led to the only touchdown of the game.

Fine aside, Wilfork is looking forward to next weekend’s Super Bowl — his fourth as a member of the Patriots.

“Everything you dreamed, it’€™s about to come true,” Wilfork said Friday. “Enjoy this feeling, enjoy this time, [and] feel proud of yourself because we’€™ve battled a lot, we’€™ve played a lot of football, we’€™ve been grinding for a long, long time, and for it to be here is a special moment for us, so we should all cherish that.”

For more Patriots news, visit

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Dan Klecko. (Getty Images)

Dan Klecko. (Getty Images)

Dan Klecko was a member of the Patriots from 2003-05 before playing for the Colts, Eagles and Falcons the rest of his career. Being around Bill Belichick and Tom Brady for three seasons and winning back-to-back Super Bowls with the team, he can offer a sense of what is going on behind closed doors leading up to the Super Bowl.

Klecko feels the team and Belichick will use this as an “us against the world” motivation mentality.

“[This is] going to make them hyper focused for the game,” Klecko said via phone on Friday. “It’s really going to lock them in on the us against the world mentality, and we all know what happened the last time something like this — got accused, or found — that was Spygate and they almost went undefeated and being the greatest team of all-time. It’s fun to watch on the outside because I know what is going on in that room.”

“You’ve seen it — ‘We’re onto Cincinnati.’ That’s the joke, but that is the truth,” he added. “This is Tom’s whatever year in the league, he can put this stuff out of his mind. I am sure they are thinking right now, the way we rectify this is — first of all we make the balls are what they want and we go out and smoke Seattle and then hand the balls to everyone and go, ‘There’s your answer.’ I think that’s how they rectify this.”

Klecko said he’s upset at all the criticism directed at Brady because a couple PSI really is not a huge advantage in the grand scheme of things, especially with other players in the league such as Aaron Rodgers saying he likes his balls on the heavier side.

“The biggest thing I keep coming back to that I am most pissed about is Tom. This is ridiculous,” said Klecko. “People really aren’t taking a step back and looking at this situation like it’s some big advantage in the game. The guys from ESPN are bashing Tom. The guys that lost to him. The guys that have agendas on TV. Every other quarterback you’re hearing, even active ones playing in the league, why is there no out cry? They know it’s not a big deal. [Colts tight end] Dwayne Allen came out and said they could have came out with soap bars and beat us. What’s the big deal here? I don’t think people are really taking a step back and looking.”

Playing in the league for nine seasons, Klecko knows how many different quarterbacks like their balls and what the guys do to get them ready for play. At the end of the day he doesn’t fully understand why this whole situation has come about because of PSI.

“I think it’s very important,” Klecko said of quarterbacks and the condition of the footballs. “They like it their own way. ‘€¦ Let them play with it, who cares. What these guys to the game balls, the scuff them up, they put them in the sauna, the scuff them down with steel wool. They beat the hell out of these things. Then all of a sudden this one has a little less pressure it it, now all of a sudden, ‘Oh my god, can you believe this?’

“If Aaron Rodgers does like more air in his — a rule is a rule, that’s what everybody’s line this week is — why isn’t every body on him? I don’t really care. I don’t think anybody should be going after him. The fact that it’s the Patriots it sure feels like a witch hunt right now.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — There were no changes to the injury report Friday in the second of four Foxboro practices before the team leaves for Glendale on Monday.

The second practice of the week Friday was only a walkthrough inside Dana-Farber Fieldhouse, with the team reporting perfect attendance.