Patriots

Patriots

No asterisk needed, according to Dan Marino.

The Hall of Fame quarterback joined WEEI on Tuesday and answered questions about "Deflategate." During the interview he said that Tom Brady's legacy should stay intact.

“I’m a big fan of Tom Brady, always have been,” Marino told WEEI. “I’ve known him for a lot of years. My perception of him is he’s one of the greatest players at that position to ever play. That is not going to change.”

Marino explained his in-game thought process about footballs.

“When the game started I usually, whatever the ball was, [I threw it],” Marino said. “I didn’t even think about it. You have so many other things to think about. The last thing would be whether the football has the proper air. I used to pick them during the week just like any other quarterback. It’s always been that way.”

It echoes Brady's comments in January about playing with under-inflated footballs.

"I don't put any thought into the footballs after I choose them," Brady said told CSNNE. "When you're out there playing in front of 70,000 people like a home crowd, you don't think about it. You're just reacting to the game. I don't certainly think about the football. I just think it's the same one that I approved pregame."

Brady would break his balls in and select the balls he liked -- not unlike Marino. Still, the retired quarterback acknowledged that football has changed since he retired in 1999, and so has the treatment of game-day footballs.

 

“On Friday’s you go through the week, you practice, you pick out what you like,” Marino told WEEI. “For me, I never even thought about that they actually checked the footballs before games, but you put them in the bag and you send them to the stadium. That’s how I always dealt with it. The other thing that is different now than it was when I was playing was if you [went] on the road you actually had to rely on the other quarterback to not fix the balls the way he does and kind of trust that you have to throw the balls on the road that quarterback and that home team likes. It’s a situation that I think I didn’t even realize they were checking balls before games.”

In today's NFL, the rules allow both quarterbacks to have their own footballs, hence the discrepancy between the Colts' balls and the Patriots' balls that birthed this scandal.