Former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner checked in with Middays with MFB from Phoenix to talk about Deflategate and his feelings about the team that knocked off his heavily favored Rams in the Super Bowl in 2002. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Warner said he has not made up his mind about Tom Brady‘s role in Deflategate.

“Of course I want to believe Tom. Tom’s a friend of mine. You have to err on the side of believing the guy,” Warner said. “The problem is not just Tom or coach [Bill] Belichick, is that you just wonder what happened? How does something like that happen? And I think the worst part of the whole thing is just the history they have, and the fact that you know Spygate happened, and so it automatically creates a little bit of doubt in your mind and there probably shouldn’t be. We should give them the benefit of the doubt in every situation. But I think too often because of what happened before, you step back and you go, ‘Well, could it be something else?’ ”

While former Rams running back Marshall Faulk has made it clear he feels cheated by the Patriots, Warner has not come to the same conclusion.

“You fight that urge to go there,” Warner said. “Because I know on that Sunday evening they outplayed us. And so that’s where you want to leave it. It’s the history of the game, it’s the Super Bowl, they beat us. The only thing that I say is because of Spygate it just leaves an inkling of doubt to go: Did it help them? Did that help them at any point in time? Did it help them in that game? And I don’t want to go there, because I’m not a bitter guy and I don’t look at that and say they beat us because of that.

“I just think that whole cloud just leaves a doubt there that I believe is unfair on both sides. It’s unfair for the Patriots if there was no advantage. It’s unfair for the teams that they played against and players they played against if there was some sort of advantage no matter how small. That to me is the only bad part about it, because I don’t want to believe anything influenced anything, that history was dictated by the best players playing the best at the right time.”

Looking at Sunday’s game, Warner said the Patriots will need to stop Seattle’s running game while finding a way to get yards against the league’s scariest defense.

“When you talk about the Patriots, they’re going to come up with a great scheme, because they’re a scheme-oriented defense,” Warner said. “But I think the key is you’ve got to stop Marshawn Lynch. You’ve got to find a way to neutralize him and make the rest of that team beat you.

“On the other side of it, the Patriots offense again is multiple, but the Seattle defense doesn’t do much. You know what they’re going to do, you know where they’re going to be. They’re just really good at what they do. So can you kind of crack that code to be able to attack these guys? Or can you be patient enough, or can you block them long enough to attack them on the second level? That, to me, will be the key. Because you can’t beat this team throwing dink and dunks. They’re going to come up and hit you and they’re going to stop you. They’ll make a play on the deep ball. So you’ve got to find ways to get chunk plays. Not easy, but that’s going to be the key for the Patriots.”

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

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to talk about Deflategate and how it will affect the Patriots this Sunday. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Mike Florio

Mike Florio

Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to talk about Deflategate and how it will affect the Patriots this Sunday. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Though Bill Belichick closed the door on the topic after his press conference Saturday afternoon, Deflategate is something that has, for better or worse, captivated a nation. Initially the NFL announced that the investigation would take a few days, but recently the timetable was extended to the coming weeks. According to Florio, this could be because if the league needed to punish someone it doesn’t want to issue any suspensions for the Super Bowl.

“I think they didn’t want to get themselves into a position where they reached conclusions and then have to do something before the Super Bowl,” he said. “If you play this out to its logical conclusion and decide there was deflation, and we’re going to assume that somebody knew about this, then the NFL may have been in a position where they have to suspend Bill Belichick, suspend Tom Brady for the Super Bowl, and I don’t think they wanted to do that. So I guess what I’m saying is suspensions would be on the table depending on what they ultimately find.”

The league has been quiet, Florio said, because “everyone’s goal, from the perspective of 345 Park Avenue, is get through the Super Bowl, get past this and then we’ll worry about it later.”

The most recent development in the scandal is video of a locker room attendant disappearing into the bathroom for 90 seconds with 12 balls belonging to the Colts and 12 belonging to the Patriots. Florio said that despite news of the video only reaching the public this week, it was something the Pats had given over early on.

To some, the 90 seconds might not seem like enough time to deflate 11 footballs, but Florio said a head coach from a different NFL team tested it and said that he was able to deflate 12 balls and still have time to go to the bathroom in that time. Florio himself even did a bit of a test on his radio show last week.

“I had a football, had a needle, got it up to the microphone yesterday, and I didn’t know what was going to happen,” he said. “It was 13.5, and I popped that thing in for two seconds, and it’s a violent release of air, especially if it’s inflated to 13.5, it does not take long. And if you, you know the ball bag, it’s the bag that you lay on the ground and you zip it and they’re all right there so it’s just needle in, needle in, needle in, needle in, it doesn’t take a lot of time to do. As they call it, take the top off the ball, that’s all it is taking the top off the ball.”

Whether or not the attendant deflated the balls in the bathroom with or without the knowledge of anyone higher up, though it may be true, might not be of concern to the league. Florio noted that Spygate caused Roger Goodell to tell the owners that they “need to reduce the standard of proof in these types of cases,” that they “don’t need to have a smoking gun.” He also added that even if the attendant says he was just relieving himself, the NFL doesn’t have to accept his explanation.

“In the NFL’s perspective, the balls were underinflated,” he said. “The Colts’ weren’t, and we have this gap, this window in the chain of custody where the balls are taken behind closed doors for 90 seconds and the end result is the balls are underinflated, and we don’t care if you deny it. We’re willing to find under the low standard more likely than not, given the outcome, and I know from people I’ve spoken to in the league office, they believe the balls were underinflated and that’s all that matters, and that’s going to be a tough one to overcome regardless of whether or not anyone confesses to putting a needle in the balls and letting air out.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

On whether this creates an ‘us against the world’ mentality for Patriots: “Absolutely, because all week long you say to the players, ‘No one thinks we can win without cheating, no one thinks we deserve to be here, everybody thinks that everything we’ve accomplished is tainted,’ and if you truly can get the players to forget about this and to remove any doubt from their own minds, and I think you can, between what Mr. Kraft said, between what coach Belichick said, I think you can, then it does create a huge advantage. Remember that, was it San Diego Week 2 of 2007, a Sunday night game after Spygate, and they just came out and obliterated the Chargers? I think there’s a chance it happens, now, there’s a big difference between the Chargers in a regular-season game and the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl, this is a good team to come out and try to blow the doors off, but I think we’re going to see a level of aggression in play calling, in the way the players conduct themselves. I think the Patriots are going to try to bring the storm early. Something occurred to me yesterday. The Russell Wilson magical comeback late in the Green Bay game, that’s a Tim Tebow outcome, and the way Belichick deals with Tim Tebow, you get up by 30 points by halftime so he doesn’t have a chance to pull the rabbit out of his hat in the fourth quarter.”

On the Packers providing the Patriots with a blueprint for Sunday: “Look at what the Packers were able to do to them. We always talk about the blueprint, where’s the blueprint? Well the Packers have given the Patriots a blueprint, and I’d say the Patriots are at least as good as the Packers at pretty much every position so you take what the Packers did,and you finish the job. You get fourth-and-goal on the 1, you don’t kick a field goal, you score the touchdown, you go for the jugular, that was what kept the Packers from winning, they were trying not to lose.”

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen

PHOENIX — Now that media day has come and gone, the attention for Super Bowl XLIX has begun to at least start to turn to the actual game on Sunday. The teams will practice for the first time in Arizona on Wednesday following their respective media availabilities in the morning.

After the report emerged that a locker room attendant took the Patriots’ offensive footballs into the bathroom for 90 seconds on his way to the field before Sunday’s AFC championship game, some Pats backers suggested that 1 1/2 minutes was not enough time to deflate a dozen footballs.

NY Daily News 1-28-15After the report emerged that a locker room attendant took the Patriots’ offensive footballs into the bathroom for 90 seconds on his way to the field before Sunday’s AFC championship game, some Pats backers suggested that 1 1/2 minutes was not enough time to deflate a dozen footballs. The New York Daily News says otherwise.

Daily News reporter Gersh Kuntzman decided to run a test to see if he could deflate 12 balls by two PSI within that time frame. According to Kuntzman, it actually took only 40 seconds to remove the air. Adding in time to enter and exit the bathroom and fumble around with the footballs, he still finished in well under 90 seconds.

Kuntzman purchased 12 top-of-the-line balls and inflated them to 13 PSI, meeting the NFL’s requirements. After running a test on one of the balls — sticking in a pin for 2.2 seconds to get it to 11 PSI — he loaded the balls in a bag and stepped into a bathroom. He emerged from the room 77 seconds later with 12 deflated balls — leaving 13 seconds to spare.

Wrote Kuntzman: Bottom line? Clearly, a Patriot assistant who is quite accustomed to handling Tom Brady‘s precious balls could easily have turned the Jan. 18 conference championship game into a joke.

All he needed was 40 seconds, a men’s room stall and deflated ethics.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

Vince Wilfork speaks Tuesday in Phoenix on Super Bowl media day. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)PHOENIX -- Vince Wilfork can still remember the day he broke down and cried like a baby.



MIKE PETRAGLIA

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PHOENIX — Now that media day has come and gone, the attention for Super Bowl XLIX has begun to at least start to turn to the actual game on Sunday. The teams will practice for the first time in Arizona on Wednesday following their respective media availabilities in the morning.

Here is the media schedule for Wednesday:

8:00 MT Bill Belichick press conference
8:15 MT Vince Wilfork press conference
8:30 MT Patriots player availability (Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Darrelle Revis, Chandler Jones, Julian Edelman, Matthew Slater with podiums)
10:15 MT Pete Carroll press conference
10:30 MT Russell Wilson press conference
10:45 MT Seahawks player availability (Doug Baldwin, Kam Chancellor, Jermaine Kearse, Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Max Unger with podiums)

Here are a few of the top stories and audio segments from Tuesday:

Quiet Star: After a season of silence, Patriots LB Jamie Collins talks about his breakout year. By Chris Price
Extra-special: Patriots special teams has excelled under coach Scott O’€™Brien. By Ryan Hannable
The Triumph of Brandon Browner. By Chris Price
Jerod Mayo grills Bill Belichick, steals show at Patriots media day. By Mike Petraglia
Chris Mortensen on MFB saying he has doubts about the Patriots’ stance with Deflategate.
Former Jets coach Mike Westoff joined Dale & Holley to talk about Deflategate.
Mike Florio and Peter King joined Dale & Holley to discuss if the Patriots did anything wrong with Deflategate.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

PHOENIX -- There's nothing better than an athlete who talks it and walks it.



Brandon Browner has sparked the Patriots secondary this season. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)PHOENIX — Brandon Browner is a lot of things: Outspoken. Intense. Tough.