Super Bowl XLIX is now less than one week away. And for a brief moment, it seemed as if all the chatter about Deflategate would die down for a bit—at least until after the big game. But two New York Jets players could not help but jump at the opportunity to rip their division foe.
Both center Nick Mangold and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson played in the 2015 Pro Bowl on Sunday night, and they made sure to share their thoughts on the Patriots’ alleged cheating scandal after the game. Both players said they aren’t surprised about the recent Deflategate accusations involving their AFC East rival.
Richardson is rarely at a loss for words, and the young anchor of the Jets’ defensive front tends to say exactly what’s on his mind. Sunday night was no different.
“That’s the Patriots,” Richardson said, via the New York Post. “I’m not surprised at all. If they ain’t winning with controversy, they ain’t winning.
“It’s funny when they say, ‘We keep it professional and clean cut.’ Because they don’t. They don’t at all.”
And Richardson wasn’t the only member of Gang Green to sound off. Mangold took a “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” approach when asked about Deflategate.
“All 12 of [the Patriots’] balls having something wrong with them does tell you something is amiss,” he said.
It’s interesting that the Patriots’ image was called into question by Richardson, as he’s not the only player to do so. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman made a similar comment about Tom Brady just last week, saying the Patriots quarterback isn’t the “clean cut” guy that some believe him to be.
Richardson and Mangold are likely trying to ruffle some feathers and distract the Patriots during Super Bowl Week. But history tells us Bill Belichick’s team won’t take the bait, and will instead focus on the task at hand.