Everyone’s Talking About Deflategate, But Not The Patriots – Boston.com

Posted: Thursday, January 22, 2015
LeGarrette Blount at his locker on ThursdayAP

FOXBOROUGH Anyone who was hoping to get all the answers at Gillette Stadium was quickly reminded of the Patriot Way.

Ignore the noise.

The entire world is talking about the Patriots use of deflated footballs in their AFC Championship rout of the Indianapolis Colts the entire world, that is, except the Patriots.

Bill Belichick’s morning press conference started with a 957-word speech about how he came to know about the allegations and his thoughts on the matter.

After that, every search for clarity and information was met with a handwave by both Belichick and his team in front of a firing squad of national TV reporters most of whom have probably never seen the inside of a locker room, judging by their behavior once they were inside of one.

“I’m not even thinking about anything from the past, I’m thinking about the future,” said defensive end Rob Ninkovich.

“We’re only concerned about the guys in this locker room and winning a football game,” said cornerback Kyle Arrington.

“We’re on to Seattle. That was last week. Nobody in this locker room is dealing with it,” said wide receiver Brandon LaFell.

This is par for the course for even a typical Wednesday at 1 Patriot Place. Why should the Patriots handle it any other way, amid a scandal that’s becoming a national story and just 10 days before the biggest game of their lives?

“We’re not gonna let it be a distraction,” said running back LeGarrette Blount. “We’re going to continue to do what we do to prepare for this game, everything that we need to do to make sure that were ready to play.”

The league is in the middle of an investigation, which should give us some clarity as to what happened. But that’s not good enough in the eyes of many. The world wants answers, and they will get them, but it’s not the Patriots duty to give them.

In fact, the only answers being given were the answers that no one wants to hear players saying that they didn’t notice that the footballs were less than fully inflated.

“I don’t know what the proper inflation feeling is, but it felt like a normal ball,” said Blount.

“I felt no difference, man,” said LaFell. “The ball’s always hard, especially the practice balls. Our practice balls are probably the worst balls ever invented. So it felt pretty good to me.”

That’s one thing we learned for sure on Thursday: the Patriots practice with balls that are far worse than the ones they used in the AFC Championship Game.

But the mention of practice footballs won’t take the attention off of the game footballs, and it won’t quiet critics who are stuck on the Patriots’ skirting of the rules.

Some fans may be feeling sensitive (some would say deflated) by another controversy surrounding their team, but the Patriots have not lost their sense of pride of their sense of humor.

“I’m so strong I could kick a flat ball over a mountain in a blizzard,” said kicker Stephen Gostkowski.

Besides, the Patriots have bigger, more important fish to fry as they prepare to play in their sixth Super Bowl of the Belichick era.

“They can call us whatever they want,” LaFell said. “We’re playing in the Super Bowl, and that’s what we’re focused on.”


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