Morning Sports Update: Reggie Wayne gets a physical with Patriots – Boston.com
Former Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne could be catching balls from Tom Brady soon, The MMQB’s Peter King offers up a mea culpa on Deflategate, ESPN’s NFL analyst Chris Carter is in hot water for comments made about NFL rookies, and the rest of the sports news you need to know to start your Monday.
Reggie Wayne reportedly on the verge of joining Patriots: “Former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne is visiting with the New England Patriots and [took] a physical Sunday with the reigning Super Bowl champions, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Wayne, who parted ways with the Colts earlier this year after spending 14 seasons with Indianapolis, arrived in New England on Saturday night, sources told Schefter.” (ESPN.com)
Peter King offers mea culpa on original Deflategate report: “I think you’re owed an explanation from me, in the wake of Ben Volin of the Boston Globe writing Sunday that it wasn’t just Chris Mortensen who got a bum steer from someone in the NFL about the deflated footballs in the AFC title game. Volin said it was me, too. I reported after Mortensen’s story that 11 of the 12 footballs were at least two pounds under the minimum limit of 12.5 pounds per square inch when tested by the league at halftime. I reported that I’d heard ‘reliably’ that the story of the footballs being at least two pounds under the minimum limit was correct.
“As I said on Twitter on Sunday, I believe the person who told me this believed the story was accurate when, obviously, it clearly was not. So, were we used by someone to get a storyline out in public? Maybe … but the reason I’m skeptical about this is because with the knowledge that there would be a full investigation and clearly the air pressure in the footballs would be publicized at some point, the league would look stupid for putting out false information that would eventually come back to embarrass the league. Clearly, this story, along with the Ray Rice story from last fall, has made me question sources and sourcing in general, and in a story as inflammatory as this one, you can’t just take the story of a person whose word you trust as gospel. It’s my error. I need to be better than that. Readers, and the Patriots, deserve better than that.” (TheMMQB.com)
Patriots president Jonathan Kraft thinks Roger Goodell has too much power in NFL discipline matters: “Kraft was careful to point out that he wasn’t talking only about the controversy that resulted in the NFL imposing a four-game suspension on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, but ‘the seriousness of a lot of the other issues that we’re dealing with,’ such as domestic violence.
“’There probably needs to be a rethinking so that the league office and the Commissioner aren’t put in a spotlight in a way that detracts from the league’s image and the game,’ Kraft said, ‘even if the league office is doing the right thing, or the wrong thing, or whatever you think. It probably needs to be rethought for the modern era that we’re in and the different things that are coming up that I don’t think people anticipated and how the public wants to see them treated.’” (ProFootballTalk.com)
Old friend Randy Moss says Tom Brady has an “emotional scar” over Deflategate: “Moss, who was at the team’s practice in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., earlier this week, spent some time with Brady and took away a few observations. ‘Anytime that the spotlight is on you, there’s a concern,’ Moss said. ‘Just with talking with Tom the last couple months, I think he is handling it like a professional, but at the same time he is still affected by it.
“’Tom Brady is OK. He is human. He does have somewhat an emotional scar because I don’t think that Tom Brady has ever been through anything like this.’” (FoxSports.com)
Is Randy ready to make a comeback himself?: “’I actually have not lost the itch,’ Moss told Curt Menefee of Fox. ‘I’ve been working out with a few guys over the offseason. I have been retired for the last two years, but you never know, Curt. But it’s the love of the game that I still have inside of me.’ Replied Menefee: ‘That’s not a commitment that you’re gonna be here beside us the rest of the year. It doesn’t sound like it. Are you thinking [about a return to football]?’ Said Moss with a big smile, ‘Hey, I don’t know. The sky’s the limit for me, Curt. So we’ll just have to wait and see.’
“Moss seemed downright giddy as he discussed the possibility, which suggests that he either has decided to come back and/or that he knows the interest may be there.” (ProFootballTalk.com)
Add WWE wrestler John Cena to the list of those in Tom Brady’s corner: “’Let your accomplishments speak for yourself. There is no better argument to any speculation than to go out there and just kick some ass. You are great; you are part of a great organization that prides itself on trying to create a dynasty atmosphere. … Stay the course, keep doing well, and years from now we’ll just wonder why we spent federal tax dollars investigating deflated footballs.’” (USAToday.com)
Under Armour will continue to promote Brady: “Even as [Tom] Brady, the New England Patriots’ quarterback, fights a suspension, the sportswear company is planning to feature him in a new commercial that highlights his training regimen.
“’I think personally Tom will have his moment to redeem himself,’ Adrienne Lofton, senior vice president for brand marketing at Under Armour, said recently. ‘There was absolutely no moment where we said we should pull him out of the campaign.’” (New York Times
Chris Carter takes heat for “fall guy” comment to NFL rookies: “ESPN and the NFL both condemned comments made by ESPN NFL analyst Cris Carter at the 2014 NFL Rookie Symposium, when Carter talked to players during the NFC session about having a ‘fall guy in your crew’ in case the player got in trouble.
“The video was brought to light after a recent ESPN The Magazine interview with former San Francisco 49er Chris Borland, when Borland retold the story, but wouldn’t identify who said it. Video of the symposium had been archived on NFL.com, with Carter and Warren Sapp talking to players. Carter talked about having a fall guy, and Sapp repeated Carter’s statement that ‘we’ll get him out” if the person goes to jail. The video was later removed from NFL.com.’” (ESPN.com)
Browns All-Pro Joe Thomas rips NFL over Deflategate saga: “’I would equate what [Tom Brady] did to driving 66 [mph] in a 65 speed zone, and getting the death penalty,’ Thomas said Sunday after the Cleveland Browns’ training camp practice. The Pro Bowl left tackle said Brady does not even deserve to be fined, but added that what Goodell is doing is ‘brilliant.’
‘I’m not sure if he realizes what he’s doing is brilliant, but what he’s doing is brilliant because he’s made the NFL relevant 365 [days] by having these outrageous, ridiculous witch hunts,’ Thomas said. ‘It’s made the game more popular than ever and it’s become so much more of an entertainment business and it’s making so much money.’” (ESPN.com)
Yankee Doodle Andy gets his number retired at Yankee Stadium: “It was an honor that seemed impossible in 1995, when [Andy Pettitte] was called up, and unlikely in 2007, when he was named in the Mitchell Report for his use of human growth hormone. But unlike most players, who alibi, obfuscate and litigate, Pettitte did something original: He apologized.
“That’s probably why no other player in baseball directly linked with PEDs has had his number retired, while Pettitte — who admitted using HGH briefly to rehab an elbow injury in 2002, three years before it was banned — spent Sunday in The Bronx getting the highest individual honor the Yankees could give.” (NYPost.com)
Cranston fights on to play another game tonight: “There was a bounce in the step of Cranston Western’s players and coaches Sunday afternoon at the Little League World Series. A one-hour practice on a back field passed in the blink of an eye, crisp and clean throughout. Another 30 minutes in the batting cage saw Cranston Western’s hitters continuing to build confidence after their breakout performance Saturday night.
“A win will do that for a team, especially one that came courtesy of a sweet 5-2-3 double play with the potential go-ahead run at the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning. Cranston Western’s white-knuckle 6-3 triumph over Midwest Regional champion Webb City, Mo., assured at least one more meaningful night in what has been a magnificent run.” (Providence Journal
Another foul ball incident with a baseball fan raises more safety questions: “Asked for a solution to the issue of fan safety, [Cubs manager Joe] Maddon replied: ‘Pay attention. I hate to say, but those are wonderful seats. You paid a lot of money for them … the fact that you’re right there. I watch and you see people turning their back to the field. You just can’t do it.’
“Asked about the possibility of adding protective screens in front of the box seats, Maddon said: ‘That would be an answer for someone other than me. But when you are at the ballpark and you are in those particular locations, watch what’s going on. Every time a ball is pitched, you look. That’s probably the best answer, just pay attention.’
“On Friday, a female fan in Detroit was injured by a foul ball behind the Tigers dugout. That prompted Tigers star Justin Verlander and other players to say there needed to be changes at ballparks to protect fans, such as extra netting.” (Chicago Tribune
Photo Finish: Notable departures from ESPN