Patriots’ tactics deflate the game’s integrity

This is my Thursday column.

I don’t trust Bill Belichick or Tom Brady.

But, I don’t want to rush to judgment. Maybe Belichick and Brady didn’t defile the integrity of the league this past Sunday. Maybe someone else or something else deflated the Patriots’ footballs before or during the AFC championship game. We don’t yet know all of the facts.

Here’s what we do know: NFL teams use their own footballs during games, meaning Brady was throwing the Patriots’ set of footballs and Andrew Luck was throwing the Colts’ set of footballs. These footballs must contain between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds of air per square inch. That’s a rule. During the AFC championship, the Colts accused the Patriots of using underinflated footballs. At halftime, officials checked them and determined 11 of the Patriots’ 12 footballs contained less than 10.5 pounds per square inch of air.

Underinflated footballs provide a forbidden advantage. They’re softer, easier to throw and easier to catch than regular footballs.

Two hours and 15 minutes before every game, each teams brings its footballs to the officials for inspection. It’s possible the Patriots handed over one properly inflated football and a bag of 11 underinflated footballs, and expected the officials to check them and inflate them. It’s possible the officials stuck an air gauge in only one of the Patriots’ footballs and not the other 11.

If the officials did not check all 12 footballs before the game, the NFL should fire them for negligence.

But, according to NBC Sports, which cites a league source, the officials checked all 12 balls before the game, which seems to eliminate the officials from our list of suspects.

This report doesn’t confirm the Patriots’ guilt. There are other suspects, like the weather.

As temperature decreases, air pressure in a football decreases as well. If the temperature in Foxboro during the game was 31 degrees Fahrenheit, the cold air naturally would have deflated each football by 2 pounds of air per square inch.

But, the temperature during the game was 51 degrees, not 31. So, it seems we also can eliminate the weather from our list of suspects. You’re off the hook, weather.

Who’s the next suspect? Consider the chain of custody.

After officials check the footballs two hours and 15 minutes before a game, an equipment guy gathers his team’s footballs in a bag, carries the bag to the field and drops the bag on the team’s sideline anywhere he chooses.

It wouldn’t have been difficult for the equipment guy to hide the bag behind the Patriots’ bench, kneel down and pretend to tie his shoes while casually sticking a needle one by one into 11 of the 12 footballs.

The equipment guy is my top suspect.

If he is indeed guilty, are we supposed to believe he acted alone?

Equipment guys don’t make unilateral choices like that. They follow directions or they get replaced by people who follow directions.

If a Patriots’ ball boy deflated the footballs, I suspect Brady or Belichick or both induced him to do so.

All Brady or Belichick had to say was, “Boy, these balls would be nicer if they were 9 or 10 psi,” within earshot of a ball boy, and they would get their point across. If the ball boy didn’t get it right away, Brady or Belichick could wink and nod to drive the point home.

I doubt they had to wink or nod. Brady explained his preference publicly more than three years ago to WEEI radio in Boston. “When Gronk scores … he spikes the ball and he deflates the ball,” Brady said. “I love that, because I like the deflated ball.”

If we know Brady prefers a deflated ball, the Patriots’ equipment guys probably know it, too.

I point the finger at Brady. Even if a rogue equipment guy worked alone, which I doubt, Brady knows the feel of a deflated football. As soon as he picked one up, he should have made the ball boy inflate it. Then, Brady should have made the ball boy check the other footballs. Too much was at stake not to. Brady had a chance to protect the NFL’s integrity, the Patriots’ integrity and his own integrity, and he failed.

I point a second finger at Belichick. He created a culture of cheating in New England when he started spying on other teams. The NFL fined Belichick $500,000 and took away the Patriots’ first-round draft pick in 2007 for videotaping the Jets’ defensive signals.

Belichick is one of the most successful coaches in NFL history, if not the most successful. Still, his contribution to the league has been negative. No one has besmirched the NFL’s reputation more than Belichick the past 15 years.

Belichick seems decidedly uninterested in the competitive part of football. He seems interested only in trying to cut corners and gaining crooked edges and winning at all costs. He leaves nothing to chance. Or skill.

If the NFL finds that the Patriots deflated the balls, the NFL should suspend Belichick and Brady for gross negligence.

But it won’t. You know it won’t. The equipment guy probably will take the fall and Belichick and Brady will get off scot-free.

That’s because the NFL seems to care less about its integrity than its media policy or its dress code. The NFL fined Marshawn Lynch $100,000 for refusing to talk to reporters and threatened to suspend him from the NFC championship game if he wore gold cleats.

The fine for deflating footballs is just $25,000.

What a wonderful league.

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for The Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at

This article has 399 Comments

    1. The Colts sure did have a lot more dropped passes than the Patriots in that game. Softer balls that are easier to grip can definitely be an advantage in wet weather.

      My condolences as well Grant.

        1. Did I say I blamed the Colts loss on the balls?

          It is an unfair advantage, and the Patriots if guilty of doing it knowingly should be harshly penalised for it. But it would not have made up for the way the Colts played.

              1. Heh, yeah, I’m just getting sick and tired of hearing about how every negative rumour about the 49ers is 100% true (and when you add them together they clearly show the front office is working in collusion to ruin this team to save money and make some quick bucks!), that they are completely inept and have no chance of doing anything right, and that every positive thing that has happened these past four years was solely due to Jim “the Messiah” Harbaugh and Vic Fangio.

              2. Scooter,

                I understand the frustration, but you have to admit there has been little happening to be positive about.

                I’m not a guy who will throw in the towel and say we’re doomed, but you and I both stated our biggest concern was the coordinators and the names I’m hearing concern me.

                Thankfully Tarver was not named DC, and Kiffin hasn’t been hired, but until we see who ultimately gets the gig there is reason to be concerned based on the names that have been attributed to us.

              3. Rocket, as I said in the other thread, I understand the concerns and have no issues with people voicing their concerns. But a lot of people are taking some facts and a lot of rumours to paint a picture of complete ineptitude and a return to post Mariucci times. Its way out of proportion.

                You and I were both worried about the OC and DC hires. But the 49ers have now hired Tarver as a LB coach (good hire), Foerster as the OL coach (decent hire) and Sparano as the TEs coach (very good hire). As you noted, the rumours that Kiffin and Tarver were going to be the OC and DC have not come to fruition, though Kiffin may still be in play. But the fact they haven’t hired Kiffin yet puts the rumour he was the leading candidate for the job in dubious territory.

                Maybe the OC and DC will end up being pretty ordinary. But so far the coaching staff they are assembling is shaping up to be decent.

    2. That is not the point, the point is they probably do it most of the times and it provides a competitive advantage, so in a closer game it would have tipped the scale towards the Pats, that is the point, we don’t know what other tactics they use to keep winning, so far they have been caught recording practices and now deflating balls, more than likely there is more to it

      1. Why shouldn’t all teams customize the football’s air pressure to match their quarterback’s preference? Other than it being a rule, what’s the point?

        1. Totally agree. “What’s the point?” . . . over-regulation like every bureacracy . . . I read an article discussing over-legislating in every aspect of life called “The Nanny State: Bliss Is Just One More Regulation Away!” That’s exactly the mindset of do-gooders and busybodies.

        2. htwaits have’nt there been enough rule changes to give the offense advantage. We protect the QB’s like they are small children [especially T Brady] You cant contact the WR after 5 yards. They have loosened holding rules for O linemen. Why should we change the rules regarding ball inflation just to make a bunch of divas happy. Its a rule abide by it. If the NFL can prove Brady or Belicheat had anything to do with it they should be suspended for 1 full year. imho

            1. htwaits The validity of the rule is it gives the offense an unfair advantage. Why do’nt we let teams play with 20 yard end zones like Canadian football? Because it gives the offense an unfair advantage. The rules commitee writes rules to keep a fair balance between O and D and teams ca’nt unilaterally choose which rules to abide by. You do’nt change rules just because its easier on QB’s and WR’s

              1. OldCoach,

                Pretty much every rule change that has been made recently has been to provide the offense with an advantage. The amount of air in the football is not where the league should draw a line in the sand. They want QB’s performing at a high level and if a QB can throw it better with less air then let him do it. It doesn’t make much sense that this is a rule that would be something to hardline over after all the other changes they’ve made.

                There’s also the fact that after the balls were re-inflated at halftime, Brady went out and had a monster 3rd quarter so the air in the ball obviously didn’t matter all that much.

                They should be fined for breaking a rule, but this is pretty minor imo, and they really should get rid of the rule altogether.

              2. About 3 or 4 fumbles per season. In 2013, Blount fumbled 3 times in 153 carries and Stevan Ridley fumbled 4 times in 178 carries.

              3. Rocket,

                Whether the rule should be changed or not is up to the rule commiittee. It ca’nt be left in the hands of each team and regardless of whether you or I believe its a rule of little importance it is a rule. If the NFL can prove Belichick was involved he should receive a suspension. He seems to believe he is above the rules.

              4. Coach,

                I don’t think Belichick was involved. This was simply Brady wanting the ball with less air in it so he could handle it better in the bad weather. I understand it broke a rule and they should get a fine or even a draft pick taken away, but it is a rule of little consequence and really didn’t play much of a part in the games outcome considering Brady fared just as well or better once they were re-inflated. It’s a bigger story than it should be in my opinion and I doubt Brady is the only one who has done this.

              5. Grant is your point that the Patriots have played every game with under inflated balls? How far can you stretch that point?

      2. @Luis l

        Excellent point, and I don’t call it on Bellicek, but he has it figured out that small things win games…any advantage is an advantage…and like Scooter says “not every positive thing that has happened these last four years was due to Harbaugh and Fangio”….I’d go so far as to say that more was done around them than through them…Tomsula’s gonna’ kick ass…mark your calenders.

  1. FOX NFL reporter Jay Glazer says the Ravens tipped off the Colts about the Patriots’ tendency to deflate footballs. He also says the league was planning to inspect the balls at halftime of the game, which is what occurred anyhow.
    Glazer says the NFL is now trying to determine intent in the matter. Additionally, FOX says “many NFL owners, general managers and coaches are tired of the Patriots and are wondering if the league will finally take a hard line.” That is a much different sentiment from all the people who were defending the team by saying deflating a football hardly matters.
    This is starting to get good!


  2. Well explained Grant. Previous reports sounded like the balls were under-inflated for both teams, making me scratch my head as to why it would be an advantage for only one tea. Now its clear.

    One thing I noticed was how often Luck’s passes were dropped.

    [coaching tracker: Gase, Fangio, Dontell all with the Bears]

      1. The bears just got themselves a pretty solid coaching staff. Fox, fangio, Donatell, gase.

        It’s a good thing we have tomsula. Helps me sleep better at night.

          1. Thanks razor! You made me hungry for some fruity pebbles.

            I just cannot believe what we have done. Even if we end up with Mangini and Shanahan as our coordinators ( experienced, semi-decent and intermittently successful), it’s such a disappointment.

            To me it’s Almost equal to having tomsula become the CEO of google. And then trying to hire some people that used to know computers well. Maybe the guy that wrote DOS to be his assistants.

  3. Sounds like a conspiracy to me. After all this league would NEVER screw up it’s integrity with timly bad calls and the worst graded refs to call a Super Bowl. Naaaa. Clean as a whistle. Just like those boys in NE.

    1. NinerMD, you’re right I agree with you the Pats has a better defense than the Packers. But you’d got to go back and looked at the way the Seattle team destroyed both Arizona and the Carolina Panthers great defense. Which the Patriot and Packers are no where near both of this great defense the hawks beat decisively. Like i said earlier there’s no way that the Seattle offense will play another 3 horrible quarters and give up 5 turnovers that resulted with 16-0 lead by packers.

      The reason I believe Seattle will win the Super Bowl:

      1) Because Wilson will not throw 4 interception in the SB

      2) Seattle offense will be more sharper and they’ll put up more points on the score board early in the game.

      3) Seattle defense will hold off Brady and the Patriots offense. And Seattle offense will keep the Pats defense on the field and frustrate them all day long.

      4) Seattle will dominate this game defensively and the hawks offense will have a lot success against the Patriots defense.

      5) Knowing Pete Carroll and his coaching staff they’ll get their players ready and in the past they had a lot success in doing so.

      1. I don’t see them shutting down Brady. The only team that has are ones with a very good front 4.. NYG anyone???
        This Seattle team is nowhere near that Giants front four. They live and die bye making offenses one dimensional. Play the run with man. Teams that stick to running the ball makes them look average. We did last year until the horrible TD non call that destroyed Iupoti the next play. Couldn’t run the ball after. GB ran the ball well and we all know they have that game away. With being conservative.
        The Seahawks are a marginal first half team this year. The plan is simple.
        If you can run the ball and have quick slot receivers and a good tight end you can score on them.
        If you can stop lynch in the first half and get a lead going into halftime Seattle is beatable. Make Wilson beat you with his arm. NE secondary should easily take away their receivers. Don’t bite on the option and you can shut down their offense.
        NE has the pieces to beat them. Will they? Can they?
        That remains to be seen. But I think they will. And for the record I called Seattle destroying Denver last year. So it’s not a hate thing. I just smell the upset. That is is the nfl doesn’t get involved and “sway” the game a bit for “integrity” purposes.

        Bottom line. Seattle better not give up a first half lead to NE. They will not be conservative and will not kick a fg on the 1 yard line.

      2. An NFL analyst who played for NE for many years says he looked at an hour of MLynch video and says he doesn’t think NE has an answer for him. He says don’t even be surprised if PC comes out and runs ML for about 12 plays. He says he thinks Seattle will win b/c they are the better team right now and he’s not even sure if will be close.

        Guys I’m feeling so much better now!

          1. You mean people like you. I can tell the diff. between people who actually know what they are talking about and those that don’t. Pls. just slip back into mediocrity. haha.

  4. Sorry to hear about your loss Grant. And I agree with your article, although we’ll never really know if that’s the reason why the score was so lopsided.

  5. Only the Rams and 49ers in need of an OC at this time. I was nosing around Turf Show Times and it looks like they see an in-house hire as a good possibility. If so, that would leave the 49ers as Chud’s only OC possibility. I’ll be watching to see what the Rams do over the next few days.

    My condolences, Grant.

    1. Me too. He might not know Fangio’s 3-4 (4-3 under), but… he’s coached Nolan’s 3-4 linebackers with Tomsula as DL coach… and was DC in Stanford’s 3-4 and the Raiders 4-3. To get him to take a demotion says alot about his respect for Tomsula, and opens the door for another DC candidate.

      There are alot of variables in the next two seasons. Will Bowman return at a high level? Will Aldon be retained? Will Brooks fly the coop (likely)? Can Reid avoid concussions? In this situation scheme versatility is a good thing.

        1. At this point, if Mr. Smith were to make headlines for a classless act, I would expect Baalke would be forced to release him or lose any credibility he still possessed….

    1. Prime
      When they spot the ball they make sure it has the Sr. Ref’s certification sticker from an hour before kickoff. That’s the only check in their procedure. That from a former official.
      They already keep control of the balls for the kickers, they should keep control of them all. I’d be surprised if BB is the only one doing this if only because it’s a copycat league.

  6. If both teams have their own balls why does the NFL care how much air pressure they contain.

    Quotes like this may mislead some to think that the the football changes it’s weight significantly with a change in air pressure.

    “12.5 and 13.5 pounds of air” … Grant

    It’s air pressure not just air. How do you weigh 13.5 pounds of air?

    1. Why shouldn’t the quarterbacks pick their own preferred air pressure?

      OK. There is a rule. Why is there a rule? Maybe back in the day the visiting team had to use balls provided by the home team. I can see Papa Hales giving the visiting team a flat ball.

      1. Found it. So they checked the balls at halftime and inflated them to the proper psi. Brady then went out and started the 2nd half 9-10 with 2 TD’s.

        Welcome to Super Bowl dead week.

        1. An unexplained silly rule that in this case had no measurable effect on anything. Dead week is right.

          In a Superbowl in Miami Montana’s drug habit was the dead week story.

  7. After almost the entire coaching staff was “released” last week, do you feel its now
    (A) Easier for the 49ers to get to the Super Bowl
    (B) Harder for the 49ers to get to the Super Bowl
    (C) About the same

    My concerns about the loss of coaches are not a referendum on Baalke (I like him), or a prediction on how I think the 49ers will do next year (I think they will do very well), or if the replacements will be any good (I expect them to be a good coaching staff)…

    but whether or not York/Baalke made his own goal of winning a Super Bowl unnecessarily more difficult.

    1. Easier, though I’m certainly not suggesting it will be easy.

      The tension between FO and Harbaugh, and apparent dissatisfaction of some players with the coaching staff (see Joe Staley and Anthony Davis comments about the game plans as examples), would have made it very difficult for Harbaugh to continue to succeed with the 49ers.

      1. The loss of football acumen will increase the degree of difficulty. I’m not aware of the kind of tension from the front office or type of dissatisfaction from the players that comes from winning. The degree of difficulty for Harbaugh to win stemmed from the leaks coming from York, allegedly….

        1. Losing a good coaching staff hurts. But if they’ve been rendered less effective due to other factors then despite their best efforts, sometimes you need to move on.

          1. Losing Harbaugh and his assistant coaches that move on will certainly hurt the 49ers in the near future. There will be a lot of changes in the team chemistry, new HC, OC, DC and assistant coaches and the new and veteran players to adopt to a new system. I’d wondered if this 49ers team would be able to recover form those loses. And how long will this team struggles because of the changes, would this team be good in the new system right away or they’ll go back to the dark ages again like in the Mike Nolan and Singletary era?

        2. If they can hire Mangini and Sparano to go along with the Tarver hire the loss of football acumen will be decreased somewhat.

          Two guys who reached the playoffs as head coaches and were coordinators previously would be a nice get for them I think.

          1. I’ll say one thing for Tomsula, he sure doesn’t appear to be afraid to look at coaches with plenty of experience in the NFL above his own. Hopefully they can get some of these guys.

              1. Mood: Me, who else? Baalke couldn’t keep his mouth shut in Tomsula’s introductory press conference when he didn’t think Tomsula made himself clear. He’ll have influence over any choice that he thinks is important to him.

      2. I understand if Harbaugh and Baalke/York were at each others throats, then something had to happen. Some people fire themselves. The boss just does the paperwork.

        Greg Roman too. We can speculate who was to blame (CK, Harbs, Roman)… but it was a historically bad 4th qtr offense. Roman had to go.

        My comment was about the purge that followed. Fangio, Donatell, Levit, Solari, Seely. I would have at least allowed them to compete with external candidates (when applicable).

    2. I only know of two that have — Seifert and Jon Gruden. Are the 49ers set up that well in relation to who they will have to beat? Even if it starts out easier, they could also wind up with fewer regular season wins for all sorts of reasons.

      I think speculation about how easy/hard winning the Super Bowl is leads to expectations that aren’t fair to JimT or his new staff. Jed and Baalke should live with those expectations, not the new coaches. At least not at first.

      1. I respect the heck out of Tomsula. Totally rooting for him. I hope he shocks the world, and shuts up all the yackity-yacks that judged him based on his press conference with a great season. He’s not “just a position coach.”

        Like the Tarver pick too. That bodes well for the defense.

        1. If Tomsula enjoys good success, e.g., winning the division, then his naysayers need to be subjected to a thorough Tomsulascopy which will examine the source of some of the accusations.

        1. … but it was Barry’s second year, when we were starting our “Policy’s Salary Cap” nightmare. Jimmy, Jimmy, George, Barry, and Gruden.

          It still gives me flash-backs.

  8. Grant sez :

    “…That’s because the NFL seems to care less about its integrity than its media policy or its dress code….”

    This describes Roger Goodell to a “T” !!

    And for that reason … Bellicheat will get a slap on the wrist ..
    (so will Brady) …

    (Is there any way to get Tagliabu back ?)

  9. Now I know what I haven’t been able to find out in this august body.

    “Appearing on Wednesday’s Pro Football Talk on NBCSN, Ravens defensive lineman Chris Canty compared deflating footballs to using steroids or other banned substances.”

    I’m certainly against steroids or other banned substances.

    Since defensive holding is against NFL rules, maybe defensive holding should carry the same consequences as steroids and banned substances.

    I know why defensive holding, steroids, and other banned substances are against the rules. Why is custom air pressure for each and every quarterback against NFL rules?

  10. The fine for deflating footballs is just $25,000.
    Which should tell you how much of an advantage the league feels an over inflated ball truly gives a team. If it was truly as grievous of a sin as you’re making it out to be and if it truly gave a team a significant advantage there would be a much harsher penalty.

    How about spending your time writing about a team you cover instead of wasting it trying to play trial attorney in the sports page.

    1. In this case it’s under inflated, not over inflated. It seems that Rogers likes over inflated balls, and Brady likes under inflated balls. Why not give them what they want?

      1. Yep, blew it, meant under.

        Like I said, if the league really cared they wouldn’t have a slap on the wrist fine for doing it.

  11. I think the point is that under inflated balls has more of positive impact in bad weather. In the rain and cold the ball is much slicker making it harder to hold on to on carries and receptions. To those that ask why the psi is important- well you have to have some sort of median standard because what would keep the teams from going to extremes. They could have a whole lot of balls with varying pressures dependent on game situations. What would keep them from using a flat ball if there was no criteria at all. Sounds silly but I believe that if there were no standards some teams would even resort to that if it gave them an advantage on a specific play. Rules are made for the unjust and cheaters.

    1. Now you’re making fun of a very old man. Flat balls indeed.

      There are standards that really don’t have to be in the rules. Why not have different air pressure for different conditions? Saying chaos would rain doesn’t say anything.

      I suppose that a flat ball might bring back the old “hidden ball” play.

    1. Remember that Corey Lemonier was excited and optimistic until he couldn’t be any more. Hope for it, but don’t expect it. Full recovery is not promised.

        1. Bowman and Willis are not guaranteed to be as good as they were before their injuries. Corey Lemonier’s knee was similar to Bowman’s knee in severity. Any foot injury, especially one that’s chronic like Willis has can have long term effects. It may be best to hope, but not expect, for better from those two in 2015 than 2013.

  12. Just wondering why the refs or line judges disnt feel the difference in the balls. They do touch the balls after every play. Hmmmm

    1. Maybe because their hands aren’t strong enough to depress an under inflated ball. New England wasn’t playing with a Nerf ball.

  13. I’ve heard on the radio that a deflated ball also helps the RB to secure the ball more since he can “squeeze” it easier. Guess how many times their 5 RBs have fumbled this year, combined? ZERO…coincidence?

    1. Why should the ball be over inflated to increase fumbles, dropped balls and bad throws. Especially in a league that’s on record as promoting better (high scoring) offense. If it’s fair to both offenses, why does there need to be a rule?

      1. I like to call him Tommy because it’s quicker to type than Tomsula, and some have referred to him as “Tommy Boy”.

        Now that we have that settled, do you have an answer to my question?

        The only thing on the subject I have found so far is this bit from his introductory press conference when Baalke was asked about it, “Jim has spent a lot of time on the phone, talking to coaches, gauging interest, setting up interviews, setting up discussions. Am I going to be a part of that process? Yes. Am I going to be the final decision maker? No. Jim is putting together a staff that he feels he can go out and work every day with because it’s tough business. You spend a lot of hours together. So, it isn’t always getting the best. It’s getting the best that can work together. That’s the goal”

        1. Jack, quit it, Baalke is clearly the one doing all the calling and hiring of coaches. He’s doing it using voodoo at the moment to control Tomsula (aka Baalke’s personal puppet boy) while he’s spending the week in Mobile.

            1. George,

              It’s me. This was my original avatar but I had to change it a while back because another commenter started using it.

        2. Truly it sounds good, but the world is more complicated than that.

          “Am I going to be a part of that process? Yes. Am I going to be the final decision maker? No. ” … Baalke

          They both know how it’s supposed to work, and selecting his staff is probably in Tomsula’s contract. If Tomsula picks up on Baalke’s subtle messages then they can come to a mutual agreement about which choice will work for both of them, and Baalke isn’t responsible for the choice.

          I doubt if Baalke was involved much in the people that Harbaugh brought from Stanford or contacted after he was hired. I don’t remember any reports of Baalke attending Harbaugh’s interviews for his staff.

          So the answer to your question is that it will never be reported that Baalke is having a major influence over Tomsula’s staff.

          Maybe Jim Tomsula will turn out to be another John Madden. I hope so.

          As for unanswered questions, do you know of any reason the NFL needs to rules to police ball pressure?

          1. Same reason there’s a specific height to a tennis net. Same reason there’s a specific height to a basketball basket. 90 foot base paths. Rules for bb bats and golf clubs.
            These games are played within the parameters of the rules; that’s the competition between the athletes. Everything else has to be the same.

              1. Right. That’s exactly what I said isn’t it? That’s obviously what I meant too, huh?
                You can do better than that.

              2. At one point the forward pass was illegal, and then later on the shape was changed to make footballs more aerodynamic. Footballs are made from steer hides that are embossed with a pebble pattern to provide athletes a better grip.

                All those changes were made to make the game more interesting for the public. As Jack pointed out, the balls in the New England game were re-inflated at half time, and Brady didn’t miss a beat. Giving quarterbacks their choice of air pressure would probably make no difference to the public. They would never notice.

            1. BroTuna,

              Tennis players get to choose the tension of the strings in their rackets, golfers get to choose shaft, club-head, grip, and ball types. Baseball players can choose bat weight and length. Football players can choose spike length.

              It seems this rule is on the books, just because. There doesn’t seem to be a good reason for it, as long as both teams can choose their own ball pressure, IMO.

              1. Ex
                Ah, but the size of the racquet head…….
                This could be endless, LOL.
                I recognize that a number of people question the need for this air pressure rule.

              2. Definitely one of those border line questions. Probably not that significant either way.

                Actually, breaking the rule when already under a cloud of suspicion is another matter. Hubris and bad judgment are a lousy combo…

    1. Tomsula doesn’t have a lot of contacts around the league which leads to speculation that Baalke is involved in it. I have read so many stories I can’t remember who has said what, but Tomsula would definitely need help putting a Coaching staff together considering he’s worked for one NFL team and for a relatively short time in the league.

      I do like the fact that Tarver was not named DC and Kiffin has not been hired. I will remain cautiously optimistic, but these coordinator hires are extremely important. I can live with Mangini and Chud, but remains to be seen if they will land them.

      1. “Tomsula doesn’t have a lot of contacts around the league which leads to speculation that Baalke is involved in it.”

        The number of contacts that Tommy has around the league is pure speculation itself.

        1. It’s common sense. That’s why he’s been talking to guys he Coached in NFL Europe with. We also seem to be missing out on a lot of prospective OC’s at the moment. It’s now Chud or bust. I have to think that is related to Tomsula in some way.

          1. We don’t know for sure who they’ve spoken with. For the most part it’s all speculation.

            A week ago Tarver was reported to be the Defensive Coordinator. That played out and wasn’t accurate.

            For a guy who says he knows what he doesn’t know, you sure seem to think you know now.

            1. As I said Jack it’s common sense. Being a Dline Coach for 8 years with the same team doesn’t provide a lot of contacts around the league. What we’ve seen so far with hiring bears that out.

              The fact we are sitting here still looking for an OC with one relatively positive option (Chud) remaining, also shows a limited ability to attract good prospects in the Coaching pool.

              If we wind up with Chud and Mangini as coordinators and Sparano as TE’s Coach, I’ll be happy with that, but what we’ve seen so far sure doesn’t paint the picture that Tomsula has a lot of contacts or interest around the league.


              If they settle for Chryst it will be a clear sign they couldn’t get anybody else. I’d feel sick if it came to that.

              1. Look guys you can choose to believe what you want to believe, but it’s pretty obvious to me and everything that has transpired so far gives me no reason to think differently.

                Tomsula is a good guy, good Dline Coach, and is a first HC in a league where he’s been with one team for 8 years. They are struggling to find good candidates to fill the Coaching staff. Those are pretty clear signs of a guy not being very well connected.

                I don’t care about big names prime. I care about quality Coaches and so far I haven’t seen any hired. Tarver, Foerster, and the ST’s Coach whose name escapes me at the moment, were not hot candidates with impressive backgrounds. None of them come here with a track record of success.

                The most important hires still remain so we’ll see how it ends up.

              2. Maybe it’s been Chryst all along. “Reports” indicate that his roll is still undefined. That’s pure speculation on my part based in the absence of other “reports”.

                I do like the pure speculation that Baalke might be shopping for coordinators using the strategy that he favors for free agent shopping. I probably like that pure speculation because it’s my pure speculation.

              3. McGaughey comes to SF with a Super Bowl ring and NCAA Championship ring as an assistant coach, but yeah no track record of success there.

              4. He wasn’t the ST coach on that SB team and the Jets were 16th in ST’s last year. He was not a part of a National Championship team. He may be great here, but I don’t see a great history, and the key to the hire is he’s a friend of Tomsula’s from NFL Europe.

              5. I stand corrected. He was the ST Coordinator for the 2011 LSU team that played for the championship.

                And yes he was only the assistant when the Giants won the Super Bowl but he was still a part of the staff.

                There’s a little bit of difference between the talent with the Jets and 49ers yet the results weren’t too far off.

              6. Rocket, Tomsula likely has a lot more contacts than you believe. He may not have worked with many of these people, but Tomsula often works drills at the Combine, was around when the 49ers were taking a team in the Senior Bowl, and his agent will no doubt have contacts too.

                He’s a well respected guy in the NFL as a position coach, and working at the Combine and Senior Bowl would have put him in contact with a lot of people.

                In saying that, I am certain that Baalke would also have provided some contacts as well. That simply makes sense.

              7. Rocket, Tomsula likely has a lot more contacts than you believe.

                From what I have seen so far, most of the new staff hires have either worked on the same staff with Tomsula or a connection with Parcells. Not exactly rolodex material in my opinion.

              8. Scooter,

                I’m sure he has some contacts. My point is he is not as connected as most HC hires that take place in this league. So far I’ve seen nothing to suggest has a very wide net to access from. He’s hired 3 guys he’s worked with previously, none of which are at the top of their profession are even remotely close. The one well respected Coach they have hired (Sparano) is due to Baalke’s relationship with Parcells.

                As long as we wind up with quality coordinators, I don’t care how they were hired. I just want to see more guys like Sparano, and less like Tarver and Foerster.

              9. Yes, agree with that rocket, very unlikely he is as well connected as other HC candidates that have served on multiple teams.

          2. Rocket it’s not common sense because you don’t work in the NFL.
            You have no idea how connected Tomsula is or isn’t.
            Lastly don’t be enamoured by the big names out there not being hired. Whoever is hired should be judged week one and beyond. Wins and losses determine that. Everything else is static!

            1. Prime, I just notice that a lot of good coaches interview by the 49ers don’t want to come to San Francisco? Is there something wrong here are we missing anything why some good coaches are not signing with the 49ers? Or just maybe Jed and Baalke are waiting for the left over coaches that can be yes man like Tomsula:-)

      2. What about Mangini/Chryst, I know Chryst as OC would likely indicate that we failed to lock down any of our target OCs so we went with plan B, or more like Plan J. But how would you feel with Chyrst running the O?

        1. Leo,

          Chryst would definitely be the fall back option, but he has experience in the role and was ok in San Diego with a bad team prior to getting stuck with Ryan Leaf.

          1. I know those teams were awful offensively, but he didn’t do ok. In two seasons they threw nearly twice as many INTs as TDs and averaged 3.0 yards per carry.

            The only saving grace I give him is that the year after he left, with Norv Turner as the OC, and with a better (albeit marginally) QB in place (Flutie) and RB (Tomlinson) they still threw more INTs than TDs and had a less than 4.0 yards per carry average.

              1. An incomplete grade at best. Lets face it, the talent was awful and so was the offense. Hard to say he did ok, but then equally hard to say he did a lot worse than could be expected.

  14. What if it turns out that Gronk spiked 11 of the 12 ball rendering them under-inflated? Ok, this shows once again the Pats are ethically challenged, but really the way people are going on and on about this you’d think this actually matters.

  15. Just read that Chud’s contract doesn’t expire until 1/31. If the FO is waiting to interview him, that means that their won’t be an OC announcement until February.

      1. True, but I read somewhere that at the very least, Chud might use interest from other teams as a way to negotiate a higher salary with the Colts. He could increase the strength of that tactic by actually having an interview or two.

  16. I think I discovered where that “Latino Heat” creature migrated to.
    I saw a post on Matt Maiocco’s insider page from some organism named “Sweaty Taco.”

    1. One thing is certain, I’d rather have Latino Heat…aka “Sweaty Taco” back in here posting than that DS lunatic troll from hell.

      Sometimes you gotta reply to your own posts. :-) It’s not as bad as the whacko’s walkin down the street having full on conversations and gesturing to themselves.

  17. Just for perspective on the BB fussing:
    I remember Bill Parcels mentioning this several times over the years. He said many times he’d bring his G-Men into The Stick and for some reason right before or after opening kickoff there’d be some glitch in the headset system on SF’s side and both coaching staffs, by rule, would have to not use the headsets. About the same time as the 49ers were in their pre-scripted opening drive, when SF didn’t really need the comm.
    Would the genius really do that? Everybody is looking for an edge; its just how far do you take it….?
    In a lighter, legal and ethical way, Madden used to like to mess with Hank Stram. When they’d meet before games, as they parted, John would always say: “Good luck, Coach.”
    Stram was then ‘forced’ by good manners to wish Madden good luck also, which really irritated him because he did’t mean it. Just a little tease.

  18. This has been blown out of proportion simply because it involves Belichick and the Patriots. Any other team and this is probably a story that goes away in a couple of days.

    I really don’t know why there is a rule on the air pressure of the ball to begin with. It should be whatever the team wants to perform at their best. It would also be ridiculous to suggest Brady is the only one who is doing this. He just got caught. To me it’s no big deal and they’ll get fined for breaking a stupid rule, but the rule will likely be changed at some point.

  19. Mel Kiper has Niners taking WR Kevin White from West Virginia at #15, has anyone in here seen him play or know much about him? No Googling or Youtubing :-)

    I’ve only seen a few ESPN highlights of White but he looked good.

    1. Yeah Crab15, me and Razor and Scooter have been talking him up. Good size and excellent speed. Wins contested balls. Jumped onto the scene this year, so only one year of big production, but kept improving his game throughout the season.

        1. I believe he was one of 28 to decline the Senior Bowl. Interviews are what’s going to separate some of these wide receivers….

        2. MWN – thanks….No doubt it has to be a WR with first pick….If not than I may consider going Robin Williams……I kid about RW but I was a big fan of that dude…..Suicide is not an option in my book, that’s the easy way out. There’s always hope man.

      1. Thanks Bro T,
        Glad to hear White can go up and get it……Sherman is the king of those 50/50 balls so maybe White can snatch a few.

          1. oh yeah ..
            I forgot about Odell’s l’il bro … but, I
            expect we’ll be hearin’ a lot more about these guys
            (and more) between now and the draft ..

            I still get crap from my Eagles-fan grandson
            about them taking the guy I liked last year

          1. Still cautious about him as I don’t understand why he only has one year of strong production. Also concerned that he appeared to cool as the season went on – did teams start to work him out? In 5 of his last 8 games he averaged less than 10 yards per catch, and in 4 of his last 6 games he had 63 receiving yards or less. Somewhat reminiscent of AJ Jenkins really.

            But from what I saw on film he looks the part.

    2. Way too early to speculate whom the 49ers take. We need to know who the OC and DC will be as well as their schemes and preferences plus who won’t be coming back from the 2014 roster.

          1. I don’t believe in a guy who quit on the team cause he didnt get his way with his contract. I will be very surprised if him and Boone are on this roster come training camp.. I expect Boone to get traded cause he is very replaceable. Vernon to get cut cause he is owed way too much. For what he has become..

            1. The same with Kaepernick, this guy should’a been let go along with Harbaugh. Won’t surprise he’ll have a short leash with the new 49ers. Baalke will not hesitate to get another young talented QB in the Draft to replace Kap, if the niners go down hill next season Kap will surely won’t have no difficulty finding the exit out of S.F:-)

              1. Kaepernick is not the problem is SF. Getting a competent O coordinator and receivers that can separate along with having one of the worst O lines in football this year is the bigger issue. Does kaep need to improve absolutely. Way to talented of a QB to be on a short leash. He is making commitments on improving. Now it’s up to balke to give him some speed to help him out. I expect a big year from kaep this coming year. I do believe though they should invest in a QB in rnd 2-3 .

  20. If Magini becomes our D.C. I will have a hard time deciding which Rob Lowe I will become.

    Super Creepy Rob Lowe, Painfully Awkward Rob Lowe, Scrawny Arms Rob Lowe, Overly Paranoid Rob Lowe, Crazy Hairy Rob Lowe, Far Less Attractive Rob Lowe or Meathead Rob Lowe?

  21. I just watched BB’s Presser addressing the football air pressure. He claims no knowledge of the tampering. I listened and he actually convinced me to believe him. Watch it and judge for yourself.
    The team is still responsible for the tampering.

    1. Did you hear it? He talks briefly about his coaching practice philosophy and how that relates to his personal perspective on stuff like that. I didn’t think he was weasel ing. I watched on Sports Center.

        1. MWN,

          He’s a Parcells guy, which means Baalke was instrumental in this hire (that’s for the above conversation).

          Top notch Oline Coach and in all honesty I wish he was in that role here, but having him on the staff in any capacity is a really good move. Very experienced and knowledgeable.

        1. Chryst has coached the TE position in the past and it has been made known that he won’t be coaching the QB position like he had under Harbaugh. Now I’m not saying that this makes it more certain that Chryst will be the next OC, but it does increase the possibility with two of the positions that he coached not being available.

    1. I like it. Sporano for TEs. Traver for OLBs. Forrester (likely) O-line coach.

      Getting former HC and DC’s to take on position coaching jobs bodes well. It signals the 49ers reputation as a good place to coach is still intact.

      1. It signals the 49ers reputation as a good place to coach is still intact.

        I’m not sure about that. It might be more of a better than no job situation.

  22. More “speculation” from Matt Barrows:

    “Offensive line: The 49ers reportedly reached a deal with Chris Foerster last week, but the team has not announced the move (or any move). Foerster, however, has been seen around the building, implying that it’s a done deal. Foerster is regarded as one of the top offensive line coaches in the league. Joe Staley, who worked under Foerster in 2008-09, is particularly happy about the hire. Foerster is adept at coaching stretch-running schemes, something Washington successfully employed when he was the offensive line coach there. One league observer noted that Foerster would not commit to a job unless he knew who the offensive coordinator would be. The observer wondered if Shanahan, who was Foerster’s boss in Washington, is still a possibility with the 49ers.”

    1. I like the idea of Shanny more than I would like the actual hiring.

      I get too much of a Norv Turner feel from it. Yes his track record has been great, but it would no doubt be a one year deal, no matter the length of the contract.

      1. Leo,

        Norv Turner has had success every where he’s gone as an OC. His issues came when he was a HC. Shanny would be a very good OC imo and the contract wouldn’t be an issue due to his age. I think his options as a HC in the future are pretty much closed.

        1. Yea that’s what I was getting at. I think he’s a great offensive mind and would no doubt improve our offensive production, but my worry would be him leaving the year after for HC elsewhere.

          But you may be on to something. Maybe he’s done with the HC stress and knows his window is closing for HC-ing positions. Maybe that was his pitch to Baalke and Tom.

  23. Tuna you’re dumb as dirt. There’s a pattern here. BB knows everything that goes on with his team.

    What was that questionable play NE used against the Ravens: whether Ravens got proper notice of an ineligible player. . . I remember Tom Brady saying when questioned after the game about it by the press — why don’t they (Ravens) learn the rule book.

    BB and Tom Brady know exactly what’s going on. And, knowing your personalty, if you were a Colts fan you’d be screaming your f head off along with most of the people in here.

    1. It’s bad enough that you come in here squatting and pissing your Seahawk dribble, but to come in here and disrespect Brotha Tuna is grounds to have your @ss kicked. If you were nearby, I’d have my wife teach you some manners….

        1. It’s still DS….
          Claiming to be this Seahak fan because it knows it rattles some cages. This clown is the same old circus act. The alien isn’t fooling me at least.

      1. Isn’t it obvious yet that ‘Mary’ is not a chick?
        In my experience, although many chicks TALK that way, most of them don’t WRITE that way.
        In that tone, I mean.
        Maybe that’s his wife or daughter’s name…or mommy perhaps.
        Whatever the case, the ass kicking part seems warranted.

        1. Exactly!!!!
          This is DS. The man/woman/alien moron it’s always been.
          Says the same dumb stuff it did before. It was so mad at harbaugh for canning Alex it went away for awhile. And now it’s back claiming Seattle to upset some people.
          It’s not a conspiracy. It’s just simple equation.

        2. A little slow on the uptake aren’t you? Most had figured out that Mary was a man after the first few posts months ago — except for those who were too busy gushing figure it out in the beginning just because they thought there was a female on the blog. Some dogs were sniffing the wrong branch, lol.

        3. Well that’s pretty impressive that I’ve learned enough about football and terms that you think I’m a man. And if using the phrase “dumb as dirt” classifies me as a man in your eyes than you don’t know anything about women.

          1. Mary,

            Firstly, you know surprisingly little about football for someone who has had the stated goal of learning about football.

            Secondly, being flattered by being told you know as much about football as a man (apparently, you’re referring to a man who doesn’t know much about football) is weird, considering you’re a woman. You should be insulted.

        1. Ghost, you’ve been right all along and for the right reasons. Mary doesn’t realize that she can’t disguise a male voice while writing. That’s why so many male writers fail miserably trying to create female characters in fiction. Seen many try in writing groups and never pull it off, too.

          1. Exactly my point!
            There was this ‘person’ that used to post on Barrows’ blog that went by the handle Bryn Mawr something or other.
            ‘She’ insisted that ‘she’ was a student there and was just a young, female, 49ers fan out of Pennsylvania.
            Actually, ‘she’ knew quite a bit about the game and the players and wrote like having played the game before, although she vehemently denied it.
            It didn’t take long to figure out that that was a guy posing as a young woman.
            It’s all in the tone.
            I wonder if guys just get off on that type of thing…
            Anyways…rock on Mary!
            Enjoy the blog dude!!!!

  24. Smurf WR Dorsett from U Miami said by his school to have run a 4.21/40. Will be interested to see what he runs at the Combine.

  25. And we are all anxiously awaiting Tom Brady to take the podium. Like he’s going to admit that he’s responsible for this deed. God, what a joke this is. Magically, 11 out of 12 balls were deflated, except maybe the one they used for FG, etc. Amazing.

    1. Yeah like your drug addicted team admitted they were using PED’s and your coach admitting his scandal at USC.
      Your house must have shattered windows all around it. DS
      Get lost you troll.

  26. Doesn’t it strike anybody odd that they are hiring these assistant coaches without there being coordinators? I know some of you have spoken about Shanahan being in the wings, but if so, why is it taking so long to announce him, and, besides, that doesn’t explain hiring defensive assistants without the DC. This all suggests to me that the coordinators will be college coaches, for example, Kiffin, who are still involved in recruiting, and that Baalke has them lined up and the assistant coaches have been told who they are. I can’t be certain about this, of course, but I can’t think of another explanation. Anyone care to comment?

    1. Your guess is as good as mine. Of Shanahan is in the weeds waiting. Why would he want to come? Second, third or fourth best? It’s very odd indeed.
      My gut says they’re waiting out the chud negotiations out. Then they’ll make the move for him of Shanahan. I hope to Gawd it’s not from within.
      I don’t think Tomsula knows a lot of people through out the league to talk most into coming in. Shortening the list.

    2. I feel as though they’re making it up as they go now, because they got caught with their pants down by not anticipating the amount of refusals from their targeted personnel….

      1. Razor,

        I understand why you might feel that way, but by most accounts, the choaching hires that have been made have been pretty good. Someone pointed out that good assistant coaches wouldn’t come, unless they felt good about who’s on the list of possible OC’s.

        1. I agree with Ex…. Hiring ex head coaches and coordinators is a win. Especially since they’re taking a step back into the beginning ranks.
          I like the last two hirings

    3. Chudzinski is OC choice #1. He is what is holding things up on the offensive front.

      I think they were really hoping to get Dennis Allen as DC, and they are now exploring other options. Mangini interviewed yesterday apparently, and I’d say he’s a good chance of getting the job if he wants it.

      1. You sure about that, because I’m told they went hard after Gase. Not to mention others were swallowed up. The interest in Kubiak forced him to politely say he was staying put only to become the Broncos coach less than a week later so they’ve met with some adversity with procuring their first tier candidates in my opinion….

              1. Yea, and the young Shanahan agreed to be the Falcons OC two weeks before they could even offer Quinn the job. What’s your point?

        1. I’ve heard Gase was still being considered for the OC role and the 49ers remained in contact with him, but I’ve not heard they went after him “hard”. And if they really wanted him as HC they could have had him but opted for Tomsula instead.

          Kubiak was never an option as OC. And is it really surprising that when the organisation and QB he coached for a very long time came calling he would be willing to listen? He was pursued by other teams as well as the 49ers and said no to all of them before the Broncos came calling.

          1. To wait for Chudzinski seems like a big risk considering he has more than a few options. Clearly they are sol on their top DC’s….

              1. In this case Chryst would be my mystery candidate at the fall back position. If they would be able to lure Shanahan in any capacity, I think it would be a good idea….

              2. Note that while the title of the piece says as OC, Maiocco says according to his sources he could be brought back as an assistant. It is another report he references about him being brought in as OC.

              1. Yep and pickings are getting slim. Chud and VanPelt are about the only two quality ones left in my opinion. When you’re looking at Kiffin, you’re looking at a nuclear option in my opinion….

      2. Scooter,

        If it’s true they were wanting Dennis Allen to be DC, that paints them in a negative light considering he accepted a lesser job in NO.

        I’m not sure what exactly transpired with Gass but they obviously had a lot of interest in him and he’s not here. Kyle Shanahan turned down an interview. It’s pretty much become all or nothing on Chud. If they don’t get him, I’m not sure what they will do.

        1. Dennis Allen jumped at the chance to reunite with Sean Payton at the Saints. Nothing too surprising there.

          Yes, they obviously had a lot of interest in Gase, interviewed with him a couple of times, and they went with Tomsula. I guess it is possible he turned the 49ers down, though most reports I’ve seen suggest that wasn’t the case. Even if the 49ers did then try to hire him as an OC, is it really that surprising he might turn down such an offer after being overlooked for the HC job?

          Kyle Shanahan turned them down, which is interesting because it is known they talked to Mike Shanahan. I strongly suspect Mike Shanahan will be hired in some capacity, whether it is as OC or as some form of offensive assistant. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised to see Geep Chryst as OC and Mike Shanahan as Senior Offensive Assistant. Pure speculation on my behalf.

          1. I hope Shanahan is still an option Scooter but I think he would have been hired by now if he was being considered.

            Bottom line is, the best OC candidates and some that were rumored to be on the Niners wish list, are not here and the options are slim. If they get Chud, great, but if they don’t, then it’s slim pickings, especially if they really aren’t interested in Shanahan.

            1. Mike Shanahan isn’t going anywhere else, so they don’t need to rush in and hire him. Like I said, I think Chudzinski is option #1. The fact that Matt Maiocco also believes that to be the case strengthens my opinion – he’s clued into a lot of the goings on with the 49ers.

              1. I agree on Chud being the #1 option; I’m just not sure they can land him. Hopefully his contract expires and he wants to come here.

              2. If Chud does come here, then expect the team to go after one or two deep threats in FA and/or the draft.

              3. I think regardless of who the OC is they will look to bring in at least one WR that can stretch the field vertically.

              4. I know, but it will probably be more pertinent if Chud is hired since deep threats are a staple in his offense.

          2. That’s a good theory. I think Chryst is a decent choice and if you look at his qualifications, I think he offers some intangibles with his history of using some hurry-up.

            I am happy we have added a lot of experience to the staff. Remember everyone, the players are the ones on the field, and we don’t have too many holes to fill on the roster as it is………

  27. When it comes right down to it, Belichick will convince the ball boy or some other peon to be a hero and take one for the team…..After the ball boy is let go, he will be secretly compensated at a later date. He will be told to keep his mouth shut if he knows what’s good for him. He will be rehired later as a towel boy so they can keep an eye on him.

    No way any Pats coach or player would admit to knowing anything about deflated balls.

    1. Crabs,
      All you need is one disgrunteld ex coach\employee to leak it next year or after and Shady Tom Brady and Bill Belicheat go down. IE Eric Mangini.

  28. Brady looked like a kid who heard the jingle jangle of the belt buckle as his father approached to bend him over. I’ve never seen him with fear in his eyes before. As the press conference continued, he regained his composure it seemed to me….

  29. @CamInman

    After 2 years with #49ers offense, Eric Mangini slated to become their defensive coordinator (per @AdamSchefter). Won 3 SBs as Pats DB coach

      1. He runs a 3-4 defense, but I’m a bit concerned he does not possess the ability to mix and match the use of base, over, and under defenses in his schemes….

          1. Scooter,

            2 gap, which on paper doesn’t seem to be a fit with what we have. I would imagine he’s flexible though considering he worked with Belichick for awhile.

            1. That’s the point I was trying to make, I’m concerned he’s not flexible nor is he multidimensional in his defensive schemes….

              1. If he is, I sure don’t recall seeing a lot of it during his time there, nor do I recall his second half adjustments that impressive. Was it 2008 when the 49ers beat them?

          1. What we most probably are getting for a coaching staff (excuse the edit):

            “They’re not great hires, but they’re certainly not bad hires either.”

            That may sum it up.

  30. Niners hire mangini as there DC! Good hire.. He is back coaching defense where he belongs.. Niners staff taking shape! I like it.. Experience and more experience!

    1. I don’t like either guy but at least Chud has worked with a great pocket passer and a running QB. He might be able to get the best out of CK.
      Kiffin has the potential to be fired after OTA’s.

    2. Ham – Kiffin is a complete jerk……You want a complete jerk coaching your beloved Niners? He’s a sneaky rat too. You want a beady-eyed rodent coaching Niners?…..We never agree anymore……Weird. :)
      I prefer Chud or M. Shanahan

      1. His final year at SC he got a little pass happy, but this year at Bama he ran the ball a lot more.

        He doesn’t fit because he’s not very good. He’s also looking at his next job while working his current one. Not a fan at all.

        1. His final year at SC he got a little pass happy, but this year at Bama he ran the ball a lot more.

          True, but it’s on record that Saban wanted him to use the ground game more.

          1. “True, but it’s on record that Saban wanted him to use the ground game more.”

            And what do the 49ers want to do more in 2015.

      1. I’ve always thought he was a good play-caller at SC. He led a historic offense in ’05. And did a solid job with John David Booty in ’06 when Leinart and Bush left.

        Raiders were obviously a nightmare when he got there and not much changed when he left. But he did solid with very limited talent in Tennessee, especially at QB.

        When he returned to USC, they were right in the midst of that whole scholarship fiasco and he didn’t have nearly as much to work with as his predecessor. I don’t remember if he called the plays, but he developed Barkley into a very good QB at the collegiate level.

        I think most concerns are regarding his personality and pattern of leaving for the next best open position. But I think he wants to be back in the NFL, and if he were to succeed with this offense, I doubt teams would be knocking on his door for a while for a HC spot.

      2. I just can’t get on board with hiring a personality like his. If history is a guide he’ll bring unnecessary drama.

  31. Per Maiocco regarding DB coach:

    The new coach here has big shoes to fill, as Donatell did a great job with a bunch of moving parts in the secondary. Former New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell is expected to interview for the job, reports NBC4 in Washington. Fewell has been a defensive coordinator since 2006, when he took over the Buffalo Bills’ defense. Before that, he was a defensive backs coach

      1. If you want to fire up the aggression in the front seven, there’s no better way than to pour Fewell on the secondary….

  32. WhoKnows and Kaua: You’re both lunatics — a man can’t write like a woman in novels???

    and to Ghost: You’ve had one too many accidents on your motorcycle — wear your helmet.

    and to Tuna: You aren’t dumb as dirt and I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings and that was mean.

    Last but not least, there’s only one person in here who believes me. And, he doesn’t even like me. Most of the time he doesn’t approve of my behavior and that’s Jack Hammer. I don’t know it, I just feel it.WhoKnows and Kaua: You’re both lunatics — a man can’t write like a woman in novels???

    and to Ghost: You’ve had one too many accidents on your motorcycle — wear your helmet.

    and to Tuna: You aren’t dumb as dirt and I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings and that was mean.

    Last but not least, there’s only one person in here who believes me. And, he doesn’t even like me. Most of the time he doesn’t approve of my behavior and that’s Jack Hammer. I don’t know it, I just feel it.

    1. Mary: Actually more 49er posters/fans like you than would be willing to admit it. They want nothing better than to sit around watching a game with you while polishing off a six pack of beer. They, however, just wouldn’t want to admit that they had six with that woman.

  33. the same integrity the 49ers shredded cheating on the salary cap ? seems the salary cap issue would have much more of an effect than taking 2 psi’s of air from a ball ? jerry rice calling the pats cheaters , that’s funny mr kettle

    1. Lets see BOSTroll, Spygate? check. line up illegaly too close on opponents FG attempts? check. come out with funky formations and then snap the ball without giving ref the time to notify defense? check. Geez I wonder why no one is willing to give the pats the benefit of the doubt when it comes to deflate gate

      1. Give him Hell, BOS! Hahaha!
        Brady may think he’s telling the truth because his equip guys have been doing this so long (giving him the ball he prefers) that TB hasn’t mentioned it in a while, so plausible deniability.
        All year? Nah, for longer than that would be my guess. All the former players in the media say that the equip guys give everybody their gear just the way the player likes it, without being reminded.
        How many other QBs have been doing this? Odds are at least some have.
        In the end the NFL has been lame on this. They sequester the kicking balls but use half-assed measures on the others? That’s like an armored car company saying “We didn’t think anyone would steal the smaller denomination bills.”

  34. Alex smith had 6 different OC in his 7 years with the 49ers. Kaepernick has 4 years experience in the NFL with the 49ers he’ll just need 2 more years to tie him with Alex. But wait, I don’t think Jed And Baalke will allowed that to happen. Give Kaepernick this 2015 will be his last season, he need to get better or he’ll end up like his mentor Harbaugh.

  35. A batter would get suspended for the World Series if he got caught using a corked bat in the NL Championship, but Tom Brady gets to play in the Super Bowl.

        1. With the length of time it usually takes for MLB to hear an appeal the series would be over with was my point.

          I really don’t care about ball inflation. It’s a silly rule.

          1. I agree very stupid rule. With every other rule they’ve put in to favor the offense, why in the world would they draw the line on how much air is in the football.

            There’s also something else that hasn’t been mentioned here: after the footballs were inflated at halftime, Brady proceeded to go 9-10 with 2 TDs. Obviously the amount of air in the ball wasn’t an issue.

            More extreme overreaction to something insignificant. I’d bet this is common around the league.

          2. Deflating footballs creates an unfair advantage. If you don’t care about that, you don’t care about the integrity of the game.

            It took the MLB five days to process Sosa’s appeal.

            1. It’s a dumb rule and again look at Brady’s numbers right after the balls were reinflated. It wasn’t much of an advantage.

              We haven’t even mentioned the fact there’s been no proof it was intentional. That’s why theres an investigation done before determining guilt.

              1. A deflated ball is easier to grip and harder to fumble. It’s unfair for one team to have that advantage over another team.

                The Patriots’ running backs haven’t fumbled once all season. That’s bizarre.

                Deflating a ball is like corking a bat. It doesn’t matter if a batter never gets a hit with a corked bat. He still cheated.

              2. “The Patriots’ running backs haven’t fumbled once all season.”

                They are good at keeping 3 points of contact.

              3. The Patriots’ running backs haven’t fumbled once all season. That’s bizarre.
                Well somebody better checks the Steelers, Bengals and Broncos team balls then because they all had less fumbles then the Patriots this year. The Ravens and Cardinals both had the same # of fumbles as the Patriots better check them too.

                How about the fact that Blount had 3 fumbles himself alone in 2013, what are the odds that this is the first and only year that the Patiorts deflated their footballs?

                Can we please move on to something more interesting.

              4. Blount fumbled once when he was on the Steelers this season. Jeremy Hill fumbled four times. Ronnie Hillman, Juwan Thompson and Montee Ball each fumbled once. Justin Forsett, Bernard Pierce and Lorenzo Talieferro each fumbled once. Andre Ellington fumbled twice and Kerwynn Williams fumbled once.

              5. Brady performed quite a bit better once the balls were reinflated. Lends some credence to the idea it was not intentional and it definitely did not provide an advantage considering he was 12-14 with 2 TDs in the second half.

              6. Sorry I forgot to mention that those fumbles were in the post season. For the regular season the Patriots still weren’t the team with the fewest amount of fumbles.

              7. Rocket
                Here is why its relevant. The pats played a cold weather game vs the ravens a week prior that was very tight and contested. Unless you believe that this was the first time the pats cheated by deflating the balls (and I don’t based on their habitual line stepping history) and were caught on their first try they got an unfair advantage in previous games most notably the baltimore one.
                Also the pats backs have had a history of fumbling in prior years but this year they miraculously fixed that problem. Coincidence? perhaps but those that say “it didn’t help them win” are wrong in that it makes ball security easier by throwing/catching and also not fumbling.

                It was a stupid rule but a rule nontheless. the fact that the nfl fined the Seahawks WR chris mathews 11G’s for a “crotch grab” celebration with ML but as of friday hasn’t even spoken to Brady about deflate gate tells me that the NFL doesn’t care about this and much like OJ is still looking for the real killer one golf course at a time

              8. Exactly.

                The Ravens suspected the Patriots of deflating balls against them, and then tipped off the Colts.

              9. CFC is correct, and it’s the pattern of behavior that is creating the maelstrom the Patriots find themselves in….

              10. Bos,

                That is pure speculation on your part which is fine but we are now into non factual reasoning. Neither the Ravens nor the NFL have mentioned this possibility at least not officially.

                The fact Brady performed better with the balls at regulation pressure blows up the advantage argument in regards to him. The fumbling argument is also pretty far fetched and as CFCS pointed out, they were not the team that fumbled the least this year.

              11. That’s like saying a corked bat has no advantage because one guy went 1-for-4 with it the day after going 3-for-4 with a non-corked bat.

              12. No what it does is show that the air pressure was probably not set that low intentionally.

                Your corked bat analogy doesn’t work. Umpires don’t touch the bats. NFL officials touch the ball on every play. The ability to deceive is not the same nor does air pressure provide an advantage to the level of cork in a bat.

              13. You think the weather deflated the Patriots’ footballs and not the Colts’ footballs?

                Making a bat lighter, making a football lighter, same thing. It’s cheating.

              14. I don’t give two hoots whether it was an advantage in reality or not. If the Patriots deflated the balls after they were checked and cleared they didn’t do it because they thought it would hurt their chances or keep them at the status quo. If they did it, it was because they believe it provided them an advantage. From a mental and confidence point of view, something as simple as that can be a huge benefit to start the game.

                As to why they played fine after the balls were reinflated, it is worth noting they already had built a nice lead, had already gotten into the flow of the game, so the nerves wouldn’t be as bad as at the start of the game.

                If they are guilty of deflating the balls, they cheated, plain and simple, and should be punished. Doesn’t matter if the rule is stupid.

              15. I don’t think the intention was to have the air pressure that low. The ball really isn’t that different in terms of weight either. It’s purely grip for a QB.

                It’s really not worth all the pub it’s getting. This is based more on the team involved than the infraction.

              16. “I don’t think the intention was to have the air pressure that low.”

                Doesn’t matter. All that matters is whether they intentionally reduced the air pressure after the balls were checked and cleared.

                If they did this, and it sure is looking like they did, you have to imagine it is about assisting with the comfort level of the QB. Even if it is only in his head, it is an advantage. And if they reduced the air pressure after the balls had been checked and cleared, it was cheating to gain an advantage.

              17. Blount fumbled once when he was on the Steelers this season. Jeremy Hill fumbled four times. Ronnie Hillman, Juwan Thompson and Montee Ball each fumbled once. Justin Forsett, Bernard Pierce and Lorenzo Talieferro each fumbled once. Andre Ellington fumbled twice and Kerwynn Williams fumbled once
                I don’t follow why you posted that? Blount was on the Patriots in 2013 and had 3 fumbles just himself. Im pretty sure if they are deflating footballs now they were probably deflating them then too but it didn’t help Blount hold on to the ball did it?

          3. The Patriots are deflating footballs for a competitive edge, meanwhile the 49ers are deflating their franchise for a classier vibe….

    1. Grant,

      It’s an easy fix if the NFL wants to be serious about enforcing ball pressure.

      Hire league employed ball boys. A league official inspects the 12 balls for each team prior to the game, at halftime, and immediately following the game.

      1. The most logical thing following that same line of thinking is that the balls are only touched by the players on the field during play. When the teams switch the ball is kept by an official rather then the respective team.

  36. How about they fire Goodell and reset the NFL. Get rid of rules you don’t need and make sure the ones you keep are clear, and not complicated in application….

    1. What is the rule? And what would they be doing instead of using the headset – have the QB come to the sideline after each play to call it in? They can do that anyway. What is the advantage?

      If a team knowingly breaks the rules to gain an advantage, even if its only in their own eyes, the team should be punished. Plain and simple.

      1. They’d signal the plays in like they used to. I was referring to the headset between upstairs and the field anyway,

        1. I’m still not sure what the rule or advantage gained would be here, nor how it would differ from something they could otherwise do anyway?

          Speaking of underhanded things teams do for an advantage, over here in Australia there was a rugby league team that when playing at home would hose down the visitors change rooms before the other team arrived (don’t do it anymore – was frowned upon by the league). It was in one of the colder areas of Australia during winter (Canberra), and these change rooms were basically just concrete blocks. Everything was wet, cold and depressing. Underhanded, but worked a treat. They had one of the best home ground records around!

          1. If a certain coach already has his offensive plays scripted at the beginning of a game there is no need for the headset, and he can shut off the defensive communication for a series or two.

            That’s an advantage early on in a game.

              1. A looong way. I’m in the north of the country – Warrnambool is about as far south as you can go without crossing the Strait to Tasmania.

              1. Bill Walsh did it against the Giants in 1985.

                Check out the NFL Network “Bill Walsh Football Life” show. About an hour in.

              2. Before my time watching the game, so I’m not really familiar with the story I’m afraid.

                Its an interesting one though. Is it actually against the written rules of the game to lie about whether your headsets are working? Flagrant disregard for sportsmanship and the integrity of the game, and provides an unfair advantage, but not against the rules per se.

                However, much like the rumoured practice of some teams intentionally interfering with communications to the away team’s player helmets in pressure moments, if found guilty of the practice the team should have been punished (though too late now, of course). It may not have been against the rules, but actions like that need to be dissuaded. It is a blatant unfair act.

              3. Scooter-
                On that Walsh/headset stuff:
                There was a rule that the comm system had to be equally available; period. If one side couldn’t use it, neither side could. So Walsh leveraged that rule to a temporary incremental advantage in the game. I don’t believe that BW’s ploy specifically violated the letter of any regulation, but it’s hard to argue that it didn’t take unfair advantage of the intent of the rules on the technology. The rule was to ensure fair access and competitive balance to the technology. Bill pushed HARD against the boundaries on that one.
                Btw, Bill Parcells was hardly chivalrous.

    2. Feign injury for an advantage is another rule breaker that is used. Football is a game of many deceptions. Remember when Jim Brown would get up slow after the tackle pretending to be wearing down or hurt?

      1. There’s always something.
        > Astrodome used to direct their a/c fans to blow against visiting teams. In summer it would blow “In” when the visitors batted, out in the bottom of the inning.
        > Jim Taylor of the Packers was strong enough that laying under a pile of guys after the whistle he would crawl forward for another yard.
        > In a playoff game Bum ‘Aw shucks’ Phillips’ Oilers cracked the Chargers’ hand signals code and knew the offensive plays that were coming. Got a couple of picks, jumped out to a lead and cruised.
        -Long list……

  37. The wife and I watched Boyhood last night. Good lord it’s a long movie but if you have kids it’s well worth the time.

    1. Grant: do you still have the same opinion abt SB outcome since ET and RS injuries. They are both still playing but heard someone on NFL explain how the WR will test RS. Thanks.

  38. “Marshall Faulk made his feelings abundantly clear two years ago when he told CSN New England that he’d “never be over being cheated out of the Super Bowl.” The Rams installed new red-zone and third-down calls specifically for that game, according to Faulk. The Patriots either made superior calls/adjustments or had the answers to the test, the Hall of Fame running back surmised.”

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