Wells Report reflects well on Walt Anderson, crew, officiating supervisors


While NFL observers await Commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision on discipline after the release of the New England deflation investigation findings on Wednesday, and while some might ponder how Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s legacy could be affected by the controversy, there is one group that might have had its reputation bolstered by the Wells Report: NFL officials, particularly referee Walt Anderson.

The Wells Report depicts Anderson, a 19-year NFL veteran, as an organized, by-the-book, detail-orientated referee.

“It is obvious that he approaches his responsibilities with a high level of professionalism and integrity,” the Wells Report investigators wrote.

Through its research, the investigators found that Anderson “is one of the few referees who personally tests the inflation levels of game balls prior to the game, rather than delegating that responsibility to another member of his officiating crew.”

The report goes into detail on how Anderson tested the footballs before the AFC title game, noting he had not one, but two air-pressure gauges, and used a gold pen to mark the footballs that were tested. He also marked the spare footballs in case they were to be used during the cold, wet game in Foxborough, Mass., but only after asking NFL senior director of officiating Alberto Riveron for permission.

Riveron is also a major player in the Wells Report; he alerted Anderson to Colts G.M. Ryan Grigson’s concerns about New England’s footballs before the game, as did NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino. Then, after the Colts expressed concern about the inflation level of a ball intercepted by linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, Riveron was one of the NFL officials pushing for the Patriots’ footballs to be checked, passing word to the officials to bring the footballs in at halftime. Riveron was also part of the initial testing of the football the Colts reported to be softer than usual, finding the ball was below 12 psi.

Then, at halftime, Riveron oversaw the testing of the Patriots’ footballs, instructing Anderson to go through his normal routine. Two officials tested 11 Patriots footballs and four Colts footballs, with the Patriots’ footballs all found to be less than the minimum 12.5 psi and the Colts’ football all within NFL rules.

No matter how the NFL proceeds after the deflation investigation, this much is certain: the NFL’s officiating system, from management on down, comes out well in the Wells Report. Some may dispute the report’s findings, and some may wonder why the NFL did such a deep dive on the matter of air in a football, but the officials involved were depicted as organized, communicative and diligent.

36 responses to “Wells Report reflects well on Walt Anderson, crew, officiating supervisors

  1. Didn’t Anderson say he had no information of being told to look out for deflated balls before the game… and this report shows that he got an email saying to look out for them?

  2. Of course it does, it is a whitewash by a paid professional charged with covering for the NFL. The weakness in the NFL’s internal controls and the breach of protocols by NFL employees was not even subject to investigation. If the refs couldn’t find the balls before the game why didn’t they test them again? The NFL made a mountain out of a mole hill and had to justify its own actions.

  3. For the Colts balls, it depends on which gauge was used. One gauge actually had them all underinflated.

  4. Let me get this straight. Anderson was aware of inflation issues with the Patriots prior to the start of the AFC champ game and didn’t feel the need to record all the balls psi before the game. That doesn’t reflect well on anderson or the NFL

  5. If the head of officials lied about his knowledge of the situation before the super bowl. Why should I believe one of his officials??

  6. Coleman did a terrific job of protecting the integrity of the AFCCG aside from …

    1. Keeping the footballs under his “supervision”
    2. Doing nothing when realizing he failed at 1.

  7. Brady is going to get put on the Comish’s exempt list. JK he will be flat out suspended. Hopefully for a reasonable amount of time, he deffinetly deserves it for doing this numerous times, and then lying about it.

  8. The Wells Report depicts Anderson, a 19-year NFL veteran, as an organized, by-the-book, detail-orientated referee.

    You had me at “orientated”, is that similar to oriented?

  9. “some may wonder why the NFL did such a deep dive on the matter of air in a football”


    cork in a bat = underinflated balls

  10. I just love all this hate, know what? Balls weren’t deflated in the Super Bowl, we still beat the Seahawks, still Super Bowl 49 Champions!
    Go Patriots!!!!

  11. If Brady knew Patriots lineman was holding on a play is he obligated to tell Ref? No So he is not obligated to say the ball seems underinflated, both things are Refs job to notice

  12. Goodell has absolutely got to go. The NFL has become like the WWE. The statistics that the NFL presents are total garbage. If you don’t have complete data (i.e., recorded air pressures at all points), you can’t demonstrate anything, no matter how many statistics you run. All those pages of data would get laughed out of peer review.
    Pointing out that Brady wouldn’t hand over his phone and text records? Laughable. Who in their right mind would hand over everything going on in their private and professional life to the leak-prone clowns in the NFL office?

  13. “The report goes into detail on how Anderson tested the footballs before the AFC title game, noting he had not one, but two air-pressure gauges”

    In a previous article it was noted that 2 readings were taken at halftime and all of the second readings were lighter. Now if Anderson had 2 gauges he was testing balls with, aren’t they going to be less inflated than when a different official only measures once?

  14. Wait a minute.

    First the ref says he had no forewarned knowledge, but the investigation says otherwise.

    Then Grigson says he never notified anyone prior to the game, but the investigation says otherwise.

    And all of the Pats balls were checked, but only 4 of the Colts balls were? Coupled with them being aware of the balls getting checked during halftime?

    I am starting to see why Brady’s father is calling it a CYA campaign for the NFL…..

  15. He let the balls out of his sight and then didn’t recheck them. That doesn’t sound like he did a good job to me. If he had immediately rechecked then there would have been a real smoking gun instead of all this hoopla. It would have also insured that the game was being played under the proper conditions.

  16. When the Colts couldn’t beat New England with Manning it was because The db’s were holding and pushing the receivers, so the NFL changed the league forever with new illegal contact and pass interference rules. Now with Luck their getting whipped even worse by the Pats so it’s the footballs and the air pressure when EVERYONE in the league knows that most teams doctor the balls. See in most stings, they don’t alert just one side. It’s like the cops stopping at one local bar to tell the patrons that their gonna have a DUI roadblock up the street and not telling the bar across the street. This thing stinks.

  17. Except for that part where he lost the balls after being told that there might be something hinkey with them.

  18. This whole thing was started because Tom Brady made John Harbaugh look silly by telling him he should read the rule book. It was compounded by Robert Kraft demanding a apology from the NFL if no evidence could be found implicating the Patriots. There was now way the NFL was going to issue a report exonerating the Patriots after Robert Kraft made this statement no matter what they found. The battle of egos will continue.

  19. I can see where an under inflated ball might have a slight edge to one team in a close game. But how does it affect LaGarette Blount running through the Colts defense for all those yards? How did it help the Patriots defense in almost shutting out Andrew Luck? How did it cause the Patriots to get the interception at the end of the Superbowl which gave them the championship? The game was a blow out. I am not a Patriot fan at all, but this seems to be pretty petty. Face the music; as much as I dislike the Patriots, I have to give them there due as a well-coached, very good team. They all may be arrogant smug bastards, but there Superbowl winning arrogant smug bastards.

  20. shure ar allot of scientests on here. patriots arenot classy an d cheet.. they should be baned from the leage and lose like probably thre number one draft picks they cheet but wil never be as good aa gods team……. the packers

  21. “Two officials tested 11 Patriots footballs and four Colts footballs, with the Patriots’ footballs all found to be less than the minimum 12.5 psi and the Colts’ football all within NFL rules.”

    You need to correct or clarify that, Wilkening.

    That’s not what the report says. The report says that all NWE footballs were low on both gauges. All IND footballs were low on one gauge and legal on the other.

    Be more GD careful.

  22. Man, you pats fans need to read the report. Stop defending the indefensible. Your team cheated. Thank goodness for Ryan Grigson for helping put an end to the patriots most recent cheating scandel.

  23. Ryan Grigson is a sniveling little snitch. What a guy, and then Goodell for all his greatness, is no Tags. Never will be. He’s as crooked and as bad as a commissioner can be. Kraft ought to realize, that is no friend of his, not even a heads up. Chump.

  24. Anderson admitted that he lost contact with the footballs a few minutes before the game – how can he be exonerated in the Wells report when he was notified before the game that this was a major issue.

  25. Joke investigation by the joke league. Pats trolls keep running your mouths, we all know when our teams hit the field the Pats are gonna stomp a mudhole in yours. Keep wearing out these asterisks on your keyboard because thatll be the only time you see an asterisk by the Super bowl champs.

    Go Pats

  26. I understand why Pats fans are so desperate to cling to any shred of argument that their team isn’t a cheat addict, including signing in under pseudo names to pretend they’re objective, but it becomes pathetic.

    You’re enablers.

    Don’t you want your team to win ANYTHING cleanly?

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