Thursday morning former Arizona State star and NFL quarterback Jake Plummer shared an interesting anecdote in regards “DelflateGate” which has dominated headlines over the past several days.
According to Plummer the topic of Tom Brady and ball doctoring dates back over a decade.
“Brady sent me a letter [around 2005 or 2006] that I signed and sent to the commissioner that asked that QB’s be allowed to condition the balls themselves since we have it in our hands every play,” Plummer told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat in a phone interview Thursday. “Obviously, it’s something I think the QB should have a say in how the ball feels but there is set rules that you have to follow and the Patriots crossed that by, after they were checked and they were all good, obviously they went out and let air out of them so they could play better…they’re cheaters. No one likes a cheater.”
“Watch film from the late 90’s, early 2000’s the balls were actually a different color,” he said. “Now you look at them, they’re a dark brown. Quarterbacks get to condition their balls. They get to rub dirt on there. It takes that shine off of it. It gives it that natural feel of leather. It makes it a little more [easy to grip]. We didn’t get to do that when I was playing. That rule was changed by none other than Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees.”
Plummer expressed the quarterbacks weren’t comfortable using the brand new footballs straight out of the bag which often left a slick, moist residue that made gripping the ball difficult at times during games. He said at that time kickers would pre-condition the balls by using a rag in hopes of taking the sheen off but it didn’t make a significant difference.
“It does make a difference when you can grip that thing and it does feel more secure in your hand.”
New England head coach Bill Belichick and Brady have denied their involvement and insist they have and will continue to cooperate with the NFL during their current investigation.