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Marvin Lewis defends Patriots in Deflategate; 'What did they do?'

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Marvin Lewis essentially defeated the Patriots when asked about Deflategate, and he made some good points about how the NFL is actually at fault.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Marvin Lewis thinks the talk of Deflategate is mostly hot air.

After the New England Patriots were caught illegally letting the air out of footballs during their AFC-Championship win over the Colts, a national outrage ensued. From forfeiting the AFC Championship, to suspending Bill Belichick, to forcing New England to watch the entire Pro Bowl, the media and fans want blood for what the Patriots did.

Not Marvin Lewis. A member of the NFL's Competition Committee, Lewis doesn't see a controversy with what New England did, nor does he see how they can be at fault for the deflated balls not being caught sooner.

Per the Mothership:

"Why? What did they do?" Lewis asked. "The issue is in the championship game the footballs are turned over the officials and they are checked by the officials so I don’t know — to me that’s where the thing stems is the NFL. I don’t understand how this occurs when the balls are in the hands of the officials. To me, it’s really, unless somebody from some of the clubs got access again to change the balls after that, then I don’t know understand."

Lewis goes on to point at the league and its referees for not catching the abnormality in the deflated footballs.

"What I’m saying is it lies within the league. It’s their responsibility. They are in the charge of the game," Lewis said. "The official balls are given at a certain point prior to the game to go out to the officials locker room or wherever the place is. I know that’s somewhat the procedure. How they get to the sidelines and so forth that’s part of it…How can anybody do it when the balls are checked?  It’s not like the air should be seeping out of the balls. "

Though Lewis makes a valid argument, the Patriots are still facing punishment from the NFL, essentially because the league didn't see the error in their own way sooner.

We've certainly heard that line before.