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John Harbaugh Responds To Patriots' DeflateGate


Amid reports that a league investigation discovered 11 of 12 New England Patriots footballs were underinflated in their AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts, another report surfaced that Ravens believed the kicking balls were also underinflated in their matchup against the Patriots in the divisional round.

Underinflating footballs are against league rules; they can create a competitive advantage.

There was a difference between the two games, however.

Against the Colts, the underinflated balls were used only by the Patriots on offense. It is believed that deflating a ball makes it softer and easier to throw and catch. The home team is in charge of these balls, and the Colts complained about one during the game after linebacker D'Qwell Jackson intercepted quarterback Tom Brady.

Against the Ravens, the alleged underinflated balls were used by both the Patriots and Ravens' kicking teams. The league is in charge of the kicking balls, and the Ravens did not make a complaint during the game.

Harbaugh was asked whether he or his players noticed underinflated balls.

"It's really not something that is in the forefront of our mind, I can tell you," Harbaugh said Wednesday. "I know the NFL is doing an investigation and they called some of our people about it. Our guys answered – as far as I know, I don't know exactly what the conversations were – they answered honestly."

Harbaugh said nobody on his team noticed anything with the Patriots' offensive balls because they never had a chance to handle those. He said they did notice softer kicking balls, but at the time, they simply attributed it to cold weather.

"As far as the kicking balls, you know it was 20 degrees out, so the balls were softer, our guys told us during the game. I just chalked that up to the fact that it was cold," Harbaugh said. "Both teams were kicking the same kicking ball. I didn't really think anything of it during the game. Other than that, it's not something that I really gave any thought to at all."

Now that the league has discovered the 11 offensive underinflated balls from the AFC championship, does that make Harbaugh wonder if something more happened in past matchups?

"I'd really rather not [get into that]," Harbaugh said. "As far as the past, I don't really want to get into all of that. I don't have any comment on that."

Kicker Justin Tucker also tweeted about the topic Wednesday afternoon:

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