What’s that? You want even more coverage about Deflategate? Well, certainly!
“Prior to the AFC Championship game, no one from the Ravens talked to the Colts about deflated footballs. We knew nothing of deflated footballs. John Harbaugh has been consistent in his answers to reporters about this since he was first asked on NBC-TV at the Super Bowl.”
So, there’s that. For his part, Harbaugh basically reiterated the same point with a statement of his own, although he did mention the text sent to Colts head coach Chuck Pagano from Ravens kicking consultant Randy Brown, but claimed it did not mention the Patriots.
“I’ve been consistent from the beginning when asked about whether the Ravens tipped off the Colts about deflated footballs. I’ll say it again – we didn’t. We knew nothing about deflated footballs.
“As a former special teams coach, I know that members of the kicking group from teams talk to their counterparts all the time about conditions, including field, weather and footballs. I learned this morning that our kicking consultant (Randy Brown) sent a text to Coach Pagano on Jan. 16 suggesting to the Colts that they pay attention to how the officials rotate the kicking balls into the game. Coach Brown’s text did not mention the Patriots and did not complain about anything the Patriots did. The Colts never responded to Randy’s text, and he had no further communications with the Colts on this matter.”
As proof of this, the Ravens actually put up the text that Brown sent to Pagano on Jan. 16.
“Make sure the refs rotate the kicking balls cause last week they wouldn’t let our ball in the game. Their ball was done so poorly that it was nearly impossible to kick off deep…It was hard and not worked in well at all…Let Tom (McMahon, Colts special teams coordinator) know he can call me at any time.”
The alleged text doesn’t mention anything about the Patriots being known for having their ballboys deflate footballs, although it’s of course possible the Ravens aren’t telling the full story here, and there were other texts sent, or a phone conversation about the deflated balls between Pagano and Ravens special-teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg, which is what the email in reporter Ben Volin’s tweet suggested.
Finally, Rosburg also released a statement on the Ravens website, where he admits having a phone conversation about Pagano, and about one of the Patriots plays and, of course, not deflated footballs.
“On or about January 12, 2015, Chuck Pagano called me to ask about a punt-field goal substitution play that New England used against the Ravens in the Divisional game (Jan. 10). At the 10:55 mark of the second quarter at the 34-yard line, New England sent its place kicker (Stephen Gostkowski) onto the field with the field goal unit. This caused us to defend the punt with our field-goal block team. The play was blown dead by the officials because the Patriots were penalized for delay of game. Coach Pagano wanted to know about New England’s substitution because the coaching video does not show that part. There was no conversation regarding footballs.”
This is all very messy, and I think the large majority of fans are ready for this all to go away. However, now that a third team is fully involved, that’s probably not going to happen anytime soon. It’s up to Judge Richard M. Berman to determine what will happen with Tom Brady’s suspension from here on out, but it’s unclear how much longer the war of words between the Patriots, Colts, and Ravens will go on. It’s clear someone (or multiple people) is lying.