A retired NFL quarterback tells Breitbart Sports on the condition of anonymity that signal callers in the league regularly manipulate footballs the way the Wells Report alleges that Tom Brady did.
He says that neither the referees nor the NFL has cared about the custom until now.
On May 10, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was suspended for the first four games of the 2015 NFL regular season over “Deflategate.”
The NFL said the discipline involved “the use of under-inflated footballs,” and called the conduct “detrimental to the integrity of the NFL.”
But one long-time quarterback thinks “Deflategate” blew up the controversy well beyond proportions.
The former QB, who played in the NFL for more than a decade, tells Breitbart Sports that what Brady allegedly did occurs regularly, and the three-time Super Bowl MVP should not be suspended for it.
“Every QB wants the footballs exactly how they want them,” said the signal-caller, who requested anonymity. “That is why the league gives latitude for QBs to prepare footballs the way they do. Your team plays with your footballs and opponents team plays with their footballs. This whole thing was avoidable and is absolutely ridiculous! It’s the NFL’s fault because they had information to stop it.”
And the former QB doesn’t think a slight altering of air pressure, or, as it’s known, PSI, is that big of a deal.
He claims that “1 or 2 PSI in a football does not make a [big] difference. If anything, an under-inflated football is harder to play, like in the AFC Championship game in hurricane conditions. Saturation of an under-inflated football makes the ball become like a weight. Now add in the cold, then ball becomes even heavier. When a football is inflated more, it carries better. It actually would have been more beneficial for Tom to inflate the balls more that day. Luckily for him, the officials did it for him at halftime. UMMMMM….He tore it up the 2nd half.”
The Patriots defeated the Colts 45-7 in the AFC Championship Game. The Patriots, hurt by a Tom Brady interception that ultimately led to a Colts offensive touchdown and to worse postgame repercussions, led 17-7 after the first half. They shut out the Colts 28-0 in the second half using balls re-inflated at halftime by the referees.
Apathy from game officials led to this whole mess, according to the former quarterback.
“Problem is, officials don’t care. Why do you think Tom Brady was so pissed off in the Wells Report after a Jets game? A football was like 16 PSI. How does a football get to 16 PSI? I’ll explain why because NFL officials working the game did that. Why? It means that prior to the game, officials checked the footballs and with no regard or care in the world at all just inflated a football nonchalantly and [an official] most likely said to himself. ‘Should be good now, feels a lot harder.’ Why would they care? They don’t have to throw or play with the thing.
“I know personally because I’ve had it happen to me,” he continued. “I would tell my ball boy, who I paid $200 a week, to scrub the footballs and prepare them to present to NFL officials at 12.5 PSI. Then all of a sudden during the game when one of my footballs was introduced into [the] game by officials, and it did not feel right, I’d tell [the] official to ‘get rid of that ball.’ I would explain to [the] official, ‘What the hell did you do to that ball? It’s not what I introduced to you guys, you over inflated it.'”
The quarterback feels that the NFL could have avoided this with more stringent rules, the kind that will go into effect this upcoming season.
“Egg is on the NFL’s face!” the retired 12-year vet maintains. “Because there is no protocol or standard. I wanted my footballs like Tom. Legal, but on the low end. Right at 12.5 PSI. I knew on a hot day to tell [the] ball boy introduce them to officials at 12 psi knowing they would expand by time 4:30 ET game would start, they would be right as rain when officials tested them. But officials would always screw them up inflating them to ridiculous levels or leaving [the] opponents’ ball in play despite our offense being on field at a change of possession. You just knew as a QB to stay on their ass during the game and manage it.”
Tom Brady currently mounts an appeal to the four-game suspension. Roger Goodell, despite pleas from the NFL Players Association, hears Brady’s case. Brady’s legal team objects to the NFL commissioner farming out the initial judgment to NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent and to Goodell serving as judge over a case in which they plan to call him as a witness.
The former quarterback puts the blame on the NFL rather than Brady for the fiasco.
“Once prepared football’s are turned over to officials prior to any game, the NFL assumes ownership and responsibility to secure and inspect,” the retired veteran holds. “The NFL did not do that this in AFC Championship Game, despite prior knowledge of a problem.”