Polian says all balls should remain in custody of officials

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During a visit from Bob Glauber of Newsday to Tuesday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio, Glauber and I had a little fun with the potential reaction of former Colts G.M. Bill Polian to the #deflategate controversy if he were still the current G.M. of the team that alerted the league to the possibility that the Patriots were letting air out of footballs to enhance the grip.

Coincidentally (or not), Glauber thereafter spoke to Polian about the situation.  And Polian offered up a simple idea for eliminating the issue in the future.

“Just treat the footballs exactly like the [kicking] balls,” Polian said.  “Keep them in the officials’ custody until right before the game, and once they’ve been inspected, give them to a neutral person to handle them during the game on the sidelines.”

The procedure for the kicking balls, known also as “K” balls, was adopted amid concerns that teams were doing things with the balls in order to enhance their flight.  Given the existence of concerns that teams may be taking air out of (or adding air to) footballs, the next logical step is to keep the balls under the supervision of league personnel throughout the game.

As NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent explained on Tuesday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio, the ball attendants aren’t employees of the league.

“Those are team employees,” Vincent said.  “Each team gives our office the footballs after their Friday practice.  So those 12 balls, each team turns those in.”

Eventually, the balls are given to team employees.  Changing that procedure should be enough to remove the occasion for foul play.

“I don’t want to say is much ado about nothing, and it certainly didn’t affect the outcome of the game,” Polian said.  “But why would you want this issue even surfacing?”

He’s right.  Making that adjustment eliminates the opportunity for a team employee either to go rogue — or to implement orders received from others with the understanding that, if the issue comes to light, the story will be that the team employee went rogue.

36 responses to “Polian says all balls should remain in custody of officials

  1. I think there are many people who are/ were ready to give the Pats some props on their success this year, but of course come to find out they probably cheated again.

    Brady has been the “best bad weather QB”… Well now I guess we know why. Hand your guy a soft ball, and let the other QB play with a rock hard ball.

    If they are so good, why go to such great lengths to cheat?? I know, because he can count on the media and his loyal fans to keep telling everyone that it doesnt matter.

    Belichik is the best coach in football, but there has to be a consequence to getting caught cheating the way he has. People are allowed to view them as shady and feel like it diminishes what they’ve accomplished. There is merrit to that thought, even if Pats fans refuse to accept it.

  2. I completely agree, the league should control everything on game day that it can.

    That includes the roof on retractable stadiums or walls of windows that can be opened or closed.

  3. Here’s an idea….both teams okay with the same balls…why each team has their own set of balls is ridiculous….baseball uses balls out of the same bucket….typical NFL overcomplicating things….

  4. One journalist from Indy brought up this mess after watching the Colts get smoked like a county fair hog, now it’s turned into Mount. Rushmore again accusing NE of cheating. When is this madness going to end? Would a pound of air made a difference? Absolutely not, let it go already!

    P.S. I can’t stand Bill Polian, ESPN was a good fit for him, they’re all full of it on that network.

  5. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t we all assume that’s how they already did it? It’s common sense!!

  6. Hypocrite, all thermostats should be under league control as should all stadium sound systems. The Colts AFC Championship in 2006 was won by cheating, thus the victory over the Bears was truly illegitimate.

  7. Did he talk about pumping fake crowd noise into the arena so the visiting team couldnt run their offense effectively?

  8. polian is a Belichick hater – because the Patriots and Bill have been whooping his butt forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bill Belichick is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Ah yes have Bill Polian the guy who cried about the Patriots beating up the Colts commenting on this and made a rule out of it (Ty Law Rule). What unbiased reporting this is (note the sarcasm.)

  10. Bill Polian tacitly coming to the defense of the Patriots!! A Patriot hater to his sole but you can sense that he knows a wrong has been committed against the Pats

  11. Bill Polian is 100% correct. We have not heard the actual air pressure in the alleged deflated ball. Why is this confidential information? Please tell the truth. Was it deflated? What was the air pressure? How did the ball get tampered? Roger Goodell is focused on domestic violence and establishing a London team, but maybe the NFL should be controlling the balls.

  12. Wow. Here it comes. Chris Mortenson reporting:
    “NFL has found that 11 of the Patriots footballs used in Sunday’s AFC title game were under-inflated by 2 lbs each, per league sources.”
    10:57 PM – 20 Jan 2015

    ” 2 lbs each” sounds like a lot. Mortenson also reported that the NFL is thoroughly pissed off.

  13. Seriously. Why would anyone ever trust the fox to guard the henhouse?

    From the Tuck Rule to the Complete the Process with a Football Move to not having any idea what went on in the Ray Rice elevator to this idiocy — it’s clear the NFL is TERRIBLE at their job.

    But even through they’re less than competent, they’ll still always make oil tankers full of money because the product sells itself and the market is the embodiment of an inelastic demand curve.

  14. So both teams turned them in on Friday. The league didnt inspect.
    The colts intercept Tom at the end of the 2nd half, they swap the balls.
    Then score 28 unanswered. We’re on to Seattle.

  15. The league office should have supervision throughout the process. Eliminate the 12 practice football from the process. Force teams to play with new football once the games start with a label, so that the official can identify. Have league office supervise those football throughout the games, therefore, eliminating any cheating.

  16. Say what you want but a deflated ball is so much easier to control and grip without fumbling in those type of weather conditions in NE Sunday… Horrible that the Pats did that.

  17. Why not have the NFL provide all game balls and maintain custody throughout? There’s no point in having someone inspect the balls, if you’re just going to turn them back over to the team.

  18. Balls, balls, balls, balls.

    McCarthy is getting tired of all this scrutiny surrounding BALLS.

  19. This is a hold over from the early days when owners threw nickels around like man-hole covers.
    The league should now supply all the balls and let the refs regulate them.

  20. Even if the officials had the balls in their possession the whole time it still would have resulted in the same problem.

    Footballs that are inflated to the bare minimum in a warm temperature will lose psi as soon as they enter a colder environment. Even though the footballs were legal when turned over to the officials, they will naturally become underflated during colder playtime conditions. There is no human intervention needed.

  21. Did the Def Cord for the Saints go rogue in BountyGate? Why was the Head Coach Payton suspended for a year? Because the HC is accountable? Oh yeah now I remember, accountability. But with Inflate Gate, Bill’s past tells us he probably hand pumped the balls himself. He’s a pathological cheater. Suspend him. Ban from the Hall.

  22. Why wasn’t this done to begin with and who the hell approved the current system?

    It makes zero sense.

  23. I can see the ad for a new position on nfl.com:

    Positions Avaliable: Ball Pressure Coordinator
    As an employee of the NFL, your task will be to manage all ball exchanges during play. additional duties will include frequent monitoring of ball air pressure during game events. Generous benefits, including medical, dental, 401K and employee discounts on NFL-licensed product.

    Of course, the position will gain fame when a defensive back and wide receiver crash into the guy as a play spills off the field and onto the sidelines. I can hear Solomon Willcots now:

    “Great gain by Megatron, Ian, but it looks like he and Revis have taken out the ball official…”

  24. Speaking of the officials, how incompetent must they be if it takes a defensive player, who almost never touches the ball, to notice that it is under inflated instead of the officials that handle the ball on every single play and that are paid specifically to protect the integrity of the game?

  25. The NFL is so dysfunctional for the simplest things. If they weren’t a monopoly and tax exempt playing a game Americans love, their incompetence would put them out of business.

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