By Kirk Lang: Former NFL quarterback Jeff Blake says it’s a common practice for football teams to deflate footballs in order to get an edge and isn’t bothered by the Deflategate scandal. Blake doesn’t see it as a big deal about the deflated footballs that were found on the New England Patriots sidelines after their win over Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship game.
Blake played with a huge number of NFL teams during his career with him playing for 7 teams in all. Blake said he had air taken out of his footballs that he was going to use during his career in order to decrease the hardness of the football. He’d have ball boys deflate them.
“I’m just going to let the cat of the bag, every team does it, every game, it has been since I played,” Blake said via NJ.com. “Cause when you take the balls out of the bag, they are rock hard. And you can’t feel the ball as well. It’s too hard. Everybody puts the pin in and takes just enough air out of the ball that you can feel it a little better. But it’s not the point to where it’s flat. So I don’t know what the big deal is. It’s not something that’s not been done for 20 years.”
The air would be taken out so that Blake could get a better grip on the football in order to throw it. Normally when the football is inflated to the full 12 pounds of air pressure, it’s too hard to grip properly. That’s why they would take air out so that he could throw it better.
“Well, I would say [to a ball boy], ‘Take a little bit of air out of it. It’s a little bit hard,’” Blake said. “And then he’d take a little bit out and I’d squeeze it and I’d be like, ‘OK, it’s perfect.’ That’s it.”
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is suspected to have had the footballs deflated for the Patriots during the AFC Championship game. 11 of the 12 footballs the Patriots used were low in pressure.
“I guess it wasn’t a big deal back then, but it is now,” he said.
The Patriots will have to work with the full pressure in the footballs during their Super Bowl game on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. However, the Seahawks will have to play under the same circumstances, and it’s unclear whether their footballs have been getting deflated.