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Former Bengals reflect on DeflateGate

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"That leather freezes. And if it's new and it hasn't been scuffed up a little bit, I mean, I'm sitting there looking at my hands and I've got a couple jammed fingers from balls that came because they were fully inflated," said TE Tony McGee.

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DeflateGate is this year's hot topic but there are exceptions; the only people who seem to care are the national media, the New England Patriots, the league office (for obvious reasons) and bookies in Las Vegas. There's a curiosity from those associated with the Jets, Dolphins and Bills, as well as anyone on New England's schedule -- will Tom Brady be serving his four-game suspension (maybe reduced?) against those teams?

In a story written by Jim Owczardski of the Cincinnati Enquirerformer Bengal players reflect on the applied changes on gameday footballs over the years.

"2001 was the year in particular that I remember they were doing this deal where they were trying to make the balls come right out of the box," Jon Kitna said via the Cincinnati Enquirer. "That was … that was really difficult to be effective consistently." Visiting teams were forced to use newer balls that were broken in by the home team's quarterback. Five years later, in 2006, a change allowed visiting quarterbacks to break their footballs in, creating a specification for those quarterbacks during gamedays.

For his part, Kitna said he wasn't concerned about ball pressure during his pre-2006 career - it was about the slickness of the leather. He also said he allowed any working over of any ball to the equipment staff during the week.

"It really made them difficult to throw when they had all the sheen on them and things like that," Kitna said. "Then they started allowing people to break them in and work at them and then re-use them from week to week. I didn't spend a ton of time thinking about (the inflation) or anything like that."

Jeff Blake told stories about modifying the air pressure and tight end Tony McGee explained the noticeable difference. "That leather freezes. And if it's new and it hasn't been scuffed up a little bit, I mean, I'm sitting there looking at my hands and I've got a couple jammed fingers from balls that came because they were fully inflated. If you think about it, you're grabbing a ball, when that ball's coming at you and it's got a little give you can kind of squeeze into more. It's a slight advantage."