Brady scandal and the AFC East


Content available exclusively for subscribers

Please subscribe now to unlock this article!

So what is the view of the Tom Brady scandal vis-à-vis the Jets, and the potential impact on the AFC East?

Honestly, I don’t think it’s going to have a huge impact.

For any of us who has been in a cave the last couple of days, Brady was suspended for four games over Deflate-gate.

But honestly, the Patriots’ schedule over the first month, isn’t a bear, once they get past the opener against Pittsburgh, they face Buffalo and Jacksonville, two teams with bad quarterback situations, so New England might be able to win those games without Brady.

They then face Dallas in their fourth game, but it’s highly unlikely the suspension will remain four games after the appeal’s process.

The NFL clearly went overboard with the penalty knowing that it was going to be cut down with an appeal.

Also remember, the Patriots got off to a slow start last season, and ended up going to win the Super Bowl.

Bill Belichick teams historically play their best football in December. They get better as the season progresses.

So no, I don’t think this Brady suspension is going to have much of an impact on the AFC East at all.

And honestly, I’m not even sure he should be suspended.

I don’t think you can suspend a guy on “more probable than not.” That’s the verbiage that the NFL essentially established. But that’s weak.

It’s possible that they did it. It’s definite that Brady was preoccupied enough with ball pressure to give the equipment guys a hard time. I don’t think that amounts to proof that he pressured them to break the rules. Wells didn’t prove his case.

Ultimately, nobody ever made an issue about inflation–even when Aaron Rodgers admitted to over-inflating balls–regarding regular game balls. Of course, I’ve heard of kickers trying to over-inflate K-balls. But the game ball thing, even when the Vikings and Panthers were caught heating balls this season, never rose to a controversy worth issuing a punishment over.

This whole thing has been handled so poorly, and could have been avoided.

Quarterbacks and kickers have been tweaking balls for as long as I can remember.

Fred Dryer said this week that kicker Tom Dempsey, who once kicked a 63-yard field goal, used to want the balls overinflated so they could travel further. That certainly helped him on that record field goal.

And the pressure in a football can’t help a quarterback with reading defenses, progressive scans, pre-snap reads, manipulating safeties with their eyes and so forth.

You could let half the quarterbacks in the league pick the PSI they wanted, and it would make very little difference in the results, because they can’t read defenses very well.

I think Brady ends up with a one or two game suspension when this is all said and done. He hired a lawyer today, Jeff Kessler, who has been driving the NFL nuts in court for years. The league office isn’t enamored of Kessler. He’s been a thorn in their side for quite some time.

May 12, 2015

Premium will return by 9:30 pm on Wednesday.