Now that an investigation has commenced regarding whether the Patriots indulged Tom Brady’s preference for deflated footballs, the question becomes whether other teams do the same thing.
Via Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com, at least one possibly does. Reiss notes that, during the November 30 game between the Packers and Patriots on CBS, Jim Nantz and Phil Simms discussed the preference by quarterback Aaron Rodgers for overinflated balls.
“‘I like to push the limit to how much air we can put in the football, even go over what they allow you to do and see if the officials take air out of it,'” Simms said Rodgers told them before the game.
Simms pointed out that Rodgers is the exception.
“Everybody wants it smaller and soft, so they can dig their fingers into,” Simms said. “[Rodgers is] such a feel thrower. You can tell. The one touchdown he threw down the field to the tight end is such feel; then he flicks it. That shows you he just has great control of it, with his fingers and hand.”
On his weekly radio show with ESPN Milwaukee, Rodgers confirmed that he prefers the balls to be overinflated, and that he doesn’t think there should be a maximum air pressure.
“It’s not an advantage when you have a football that’s inflated more than average air pressure. We’re not kicking these footballs,” Rodgers said, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com.
Look for more anecdotes to emerge regarding the things teams do to make the footballs the way their quarterbacks like them. While on one hand it takes some of the sting out of the possibility that the Patriots broke the rules, on the other hand it’s yet another case where, at a time when everyone may be getting away with it, the Patriots are the ones who got caught.