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Report: NFL, ex-Jets exec 'driving force' behind Deflategate probe

Former Jets director of operations Mike Kensil is the “driving force” behind the NFL investigation of the New England Patriots to see if they played with underinflated footballs used during the AFC Championship against the Colts.
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Former New York Jets director of operations Mike Kensil is the “driving force” behind the NFL investigation of the New England Patriots regarding underinflated footballs during the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts, reports’s Tom Curran.

Kensil worked for the organization for more than 20 years, left the Jets in 2006 and is now the league’s NFL Vice President of Game Operations. Kensi's reported interest in the Patriots began well before the AFC Championship.

According to the report, the connection between the investigation and the Jets “hints certainly at a preexisting judgment” of the Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick, who denied knowing anything about the deflated footballs during a news conference last week.

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After Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson picked off Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in the second quarter of the 45-7 victory, Jackson reportedly took the ball to someone on the Colts equipment staff on the sidelines, who noticed that the ball might be underinflated. Colts head coach Chuck Pagano and general manager Ryan Grigson were then notified and proceeded to contact Kensil.

Kensil told the officials at halftime of the issue.

The NFL says it has conducted almost 40 interviews, but did not say when that investigation will be completed.

- Scooby Axson