New England Patriots president Jonathan Kraft was a guest on sports radio WEEI on Friday morning, appearing on the “Dennis and Callahan” program. His remarks on cornerback Darrelle Revis were already highlighted, and here are some leftovers:
Why Robert Kraft came out so strongly before the Super Bowl. “We had been in the middle of a bunch of different things, not only the air pressure thing with the league, our organization getting ready to go to the Super Bowl, and [also] a pretty acquisition in one of our other businesses. It had been a crazy week and we were flying and it was the first time he and I had really had significant private time, just the two of us, sitting there and talking. I don’t think it was so much about what people were saying, it was more a feeling of displeasure with how the whole thing had started and been handled. I think that during the week before, we had taken some time internally to try to understand what, if anything, had gone on that was inappropriate. To the best of our abilities, we were not able to find anything out. If anything, the key people in our organization were pretty incredulous. As we flew out there, and Robert and I were talking, the idea that we were going to have to be at the Super Bowl and have a week’s worth of people – with media all over the place asking questions – we came to the conclusion to get out in front and make a very strong statement so you didn’t have to make it a million times over. Also, make it at a time when you knew the media attention would be high and try to get the week off right.”
More on the way the investigation was handled. “The things that were coming out publicly, which were leaks from what appeared to be the league office, we didn’t think were appropriate. We found out about the whole situation from the media on Monday morning. I know when Bill said that, people didn’t believe him. But that is the way our organization found out about it. We first got an official letter from the league late Monday morning, I want to say it about 11, 11:30 eastern time, a letter that was emailed to us. That week, there was just a lot of stuff in the media, which we didn’t feel was appropriate. You’re supposed to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. … I believe the league office is probably not happy about all the leaks also.”
On Super Bowl XLIX. “I think what made Sunday so special is when you saw [Jermaine] Kearse make that [catch] and you had visions of [David] Tyree – it was right on the same field, almost the same time of the game, almost the same type of circumstance. … You say, ‘How can this be happening again?’ Lay it on top of some of the other stuff that had taken place in the couple weeks before, and stuff from earlier in the season, it felt good. … I’m not sure you could have scripted a more improbable, emotional last two minutes of the football game. Really the whole fourth quarter when you think about it.”
Appreciating Tom Brady. “The thing, from my perspective that I thought was best about that fourth quarter was you got to see why Tom Brady is the greatest of all-time. Whether we had won or lost that game, it didn’t matter. To go to nine AFC Championship Games and six Super Bowls, and now to have won four in an era of a hard [salary] cap and unrestricted free agency and coaching staff turnover, these other guys that he gets compared to played in a totally different era where you had much greater consistency and there were fewer teams in the league and the level of competition wasn’t what it is now. That fourth quarter is Tom Brady. He’s as great of a competitor as has ever played the game. He’s the greatest leader. He’s the greatest quarterback. And on top of it all, and you guys know it, he’s an amazing guy, amazing friend, father, husband. They broke the mold when he was born; what you see with him is what you get. He deserves it and the team deserves it. ... That had been an incredibly trying week on him, the week before, that I know. It's because he is a human being who cares, and cares a lot and works very hard to be who he represents and appears to be. It was unfair."