Patriots

Pagano on Deflategate: 'I haven’t given it any thought'

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Pagano on Deflategate: 'I haven’t given it any thought'

INDIANAPOLIS - I think we can safely say that Colts coach Chuck Pagano and Patriots coach Bill Belichick won’t be breaking bread any time soon. Not just because Belichick apparently hasn’t been to the grocery store for two years. There is anger emanating from Foxborough and Patriot Place about the Colts' role in Deflategate.

While Indianapolis general manager Ryan Grigson has admitted that he helped get the ball rolling, Pagano has never attempted to mend a broken relationship with Belichick. This afternoon I asked Pagano if he had called Belichick.

“No,” he said with a straight face before deadpanning, “I don’t have his number.” 

Pagano did his best to make sure that past didn’t interfere with the present, and insisted that he hasn’t given a single, solitary thought to Brady and the beating the quarterback’s reputation took from Deflategate. His focus remains on this week only.

“I really haven’t given it any thought to be honest with you for the past eight months,” he said. “Our focus has been on this football team getting ready for our season, the offseason program, training camp, preseason and now we’re into Week 6. It’s preparation for today, preparation for the upcoming game, period.”

He better up that preparation because his team has been smoked the last 4 times they’ve played the Pats. Hard not to remember losses of 45-7, 42-20, 43-22 and 59-24. Or the fact that as a head coach or coordinator, Pagano has been part of just 1 win over a Belichick team in 12 tries. 

When you mix that into the cauldron with the Colts being complicit to some degree in what happened to Brady over the course of the offseason, even Pagano has to know that despite public assurances that this is just another game, there are members of the Pats who privately have expressed a desire to lay a whuppin’ on Indy. Or does he?

“I don’t know who you’re talking about,” he said with a straight face. “I haven’t heard that stuff. If you could give me some names of guys that have said that (EDITOR'S NOTE: No coach, I can’t. That’s why I said privately because they asked their names to be kept out of it), then we could have a discussion about it. We’re preparing for a football game just like they are. It’s going to be a great challenge, a great football team coming in here.” 

So nothing more to this game, Chucky boy?

“It’s Week 6 of the National Football League.”

I’m not buying what he’s selling, and he knows the Pats aren’t either.

Chris Long doesn't put stock in Brady-Belichick drama. "It took everything to beat them."

Chris Long doesn't put stock in Brady-Belichick drama. "It took everything to beat them."

In an interview with The Big Lead, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long spoke on the drama surrounding Tom Brady and Bill Belichick

It's safe to say he doesn't put much stock into it

I just think any NFL team, any NFL locker room under a lot of stress over a year period, there are going to be storylines people can choose to kind of blow out of proportion or not pay attention to. I think everyone’s going to pay attention to sometimes really small issues. Whatever people are alluding to going on up there hasn’t affected their play, it hasn’t affected their bottom line. It hasn’t affected how they executed on Sundays. 

Long played with the Patriots during the 2016 season and won Super Bowl 51 with them before signing a two-year contract with the Eagles. The Eagles then went on to beat New England in Super Bowl 52. If anyone outside of the Patriots' locker room has an idea of the culture inside the past two years, Long has to be one of them. 

It took everything for us to beat them. It took a heroic performance by Nick Foles and we had to play our best game. So while everybody likes to always point to the Patriots as being under duress or there’s some drama in the locker room, there’s drama in every locker room that you could blow out of proportion. They’re just on top and those stories sell because they’ve been so great.

ESPN's Seth Wickersham released a story detailing some of the issues that arose in New England over the past few years in January, and with Brady missing almost all of the Patriots' voluntary workouts last month, some have started to wonder whether this is the end for one of both of Brady-Belichick. 

While their hasn't been much public acknowledgement from either side about the drama, but Long certainly doesn't see much substance to the noise. 

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Tony Romo's Super Bowl prediction draws response from Tom Brady

Tony Romo's Super Bowl prediction draws response from Tom Brady

Tony Romo's Super Bowl prediction of the Jacksonville Jaguars taking over the AFC title from the Patriots and facing the Green Bay Packers in Atlanta in SB53 drew a response from Tom Brady on Instagram.

The NFL's official Instagram account posted a photo of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Jags cornerback Jalen Ramsey with the prediction of Romo, the former Dallas Cowboys QB now the analyst on CBS' No. 1 NFL broadcast team. Here's a screenshot, complete with Brady's comment:

Appearing on the NFL Network earlier this week, Romo said rumors of a rift between Brady and coach Bill Belichick are overblown. “I think they probably squabble just like any married couple for 20 years, and then they also love each other.

“I just think when you work together for 15 to 20 years, whatever it is, I think that whenever you have the success that they have, people have to come up with stuff,” Romo said. “I also think that I’ve been upset with my coaches before, and then you come back and you’re fine. And then you get upset with them, and you come back and you’re fine. It’s a part of sports.”

Brady and the Patriots report to camp on July 26.

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