MOBILE—Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, in Mobile for the Senior Bowl, looks to show scouts, in practices during the week and in the game on Saturday, that he has the goods to play in the NFL.
Little did he know, the media attending the event, would be asking him more about “Deflate-Gate” than his career at Baylor. But that was the case during his media session with reporters.
“Obviously you want to get an edge on anything you can,” said Petty, a native of Midlothian, Texas. “I’m not condoning going against what is legal. That would be frowned upon. It’s one of those things where if everyone has to do it, you have to go along with it. You can’t take the short road.”
In college football, teams pick the footballs their offense uses on game day.
“There are 10-12 footballs you like,” Petty said. “Most of the time it’s the ones you throw in practice.”
But even though you pick the footballs, they have to be inflated to a certain level. In November of 2012, USC was fined by the NCAA for intentionally deflating balls during the first half of a loss to Oregon.
“Game officials discovered and re-inflated three of the balls before the game and two others at halftime. All balls were regulation in the second half,” read a statement from USC after the game. “”When informed of this allegation by the Pac-12, USC investigated it immediately. The student manager confirmed that he had, without the knowledge of, or instruction from, any USC student-athlete, coach, staff member or administrator, deflated those game balls after they had been tested and approved by officials prior to the game.”
On the Wednesday following the game, USC fired the student manager.
Perhaps because Petty played most of his games in the South, ball pressure has never been a big deal to him.
“It’s all about the feel of the laces and ball more than the pressure, to me anyway,” Petty said.
But he understands that in cold weather, the football can be a lot more difficult to deal with. He added, “I know when it gets cold, it gets hard to catch and harder to throw.”
As a mid-round draft prospect looking to prove he’s not a by-product of Baylor’s funky offensive system, Petty would love the chance to throw any ball on the NFL level—no matter how inflated.