In the Bill Belichick-era, the Patriots have gained a reputation for taking the smallest slight and turning it into motivation. With the amount of Pats-related vitriol spewed across national airwaves this past week, and in January when the Deflategate scandal began, it’s quite the understatement to say that they’ll be good for awhile in the motivation department.
The NFL’s quarterback club has been mostly mum about Tom Brady’s current situation, though Eli Manning’s words from earlier in the week raised a few eyebrows. Manning said this week that Brady was a friend and he didn’t like to “see anyone get suspended,” but he also added, “I think it is about integrity and you have to follow the rules. So if someone’s breaking rules I understand they’re going to get punished.”
This week, former NFL quarterback A.J. Feeley accused Brady of more probably than not breaking the rules as far back as 2004.
“Prior to Tommy and Peyton Manning going to the league and saying, ‘Let us doctor our balls’ we used to play with the same balls,” Feeley told 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia. “Somehow this beat-up ball from the ball boy was getting thrown in on offense for New England [in a 2004 games against Miami], yet when we were on offense this orange brand new ball was getting thrown in … He’s getting his own balls thrown in on offense. That was an issue to me at the time.”
Current Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson has gone hard after Brady this past week, saying that the Pats’ QB “disrespected the game.” He always tweeted out, “Well done @NFL …. #Deflategate” when the ruling on Brady and the Patriots was announced.
Even the White House has bagged on Brady. It has been rumored that Brady took great offense to White House press secretary Josh Earnest’s quote after his January press conference in which he addressed Deflategate for the first time.
“For years it’s been clear that there is no risk that I was going to take Tom Brady’s job as quarterback of the New England Patriots,” Earnest said. “But I can tell you, as of today, it’s pretty clear that there’s no risk of him taking my job either.”
It has been rumored that this is why Brady refused to go to the White House for a championship celebration a few weeks back.
Earnest had more comments about Brady Wednesday.
“I do think that people around the world, particularly children, particularly boys, do look up to Tom Brady,” Earnest said, according to CSNNE.com. "He is somebody who has a reputation for professionalism. He's somebody who's enjoyed tremendous success on the football field and has carried himself off the field in a way that has earned the respect of a lot of people. And I think that as he confronts this particular situation and he determines what the next steps will be for him, that he'll be mindful of the way that he serves as a role model to so many, not just American kids as you point out, but to kids around the world."