The main players from the “Deflategate” investigation are mostly saying all the right things.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is still getting some jeers from the Patriots following New England’s Super Bowl victory, though.
Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia wore a t-shirt depicting Goodell wearing a clown nose as he got off the team plane at Logan Airport on Monday.
Goodell suspended Pats quarterback Tom Brady for the first four games of this season over “Deflategate,” and football fans frustrated by Goodell’s reign reveled in the moment when the commissioner handed the Lombardi Trophy to New England owner Robert Kraft on Sunday. Kraft made a vague reference to Brady’s suspension on the podium after accepting the trophy.
"A lot has transpired over the last two years, and I don't think that needs any explanation," Kraft said. "But I want to say to our fans, our brilliant coaching staff, our amazing players, who are so spectacular: This is unequivocally the sweetest."
Brady and Bill Belichick have downplayed any lingering bitterness toward the commissioner for the suspension, and Belichick said it would be "inappropriate" to suggest that Brady put in more effort this season.
"To insinuate that this season was somehow different, that this year he competed harder or did anything to a higher degree than anything he has in the past I think is insulting to the tremendous effort and leadership and competitiveness that he's shown for the 17 years that I've coached him," Belichick said.
While Brady hasn't made any overt shows of extra satisfaction in overcoming the suspension, he may have been trying to troll Goodell in a pre-taped advertisement that ran shortly after the Super Bowl ended.