Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino said on Wednesday's SI Now that deflated footballs could give quarterbacks an advantage.
According to reports, 11 of the 12 footballs allocated to the Patriots in Sunday's AFC Championship Game were under-inflated by two pounds of air (PSI) less than league regulations allow. A ruling on "Deflategate" from the NFL isn't expected until after the Super Bowl, but according to Marino, an under-inflated football could help quarterbacks grip the ball in inclement weather, as was the case in Foxborough, Mass., for the Patriots' 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
"In inclement weather, if the ball is a little deflated, it can help you," Marino said. "It's something that when I played didn't think about it as much, or notice that much. The balls that we'd get before the games, we'd always rough them up.
"We'd use them. When you'd play on the road, you'd have to rely on the other quarterback to make sure that the balls were in good condition. ... Then [the rules changed]. Now, you can bring the balls on the road with you and the ones that you like and the ones that you want to use."
Marino said he didn't think Patriots quarterback Tom Brady intentionally deflated the footballs in Sunday's game.
- Mike Fiammetta