Former St. Louis Rams quarterback Kurt Warner said Tuesday that the recent Deflategate accusations involving the New England Patriots "adds a sliver of doubt" about the legitimacy of the Patriots' Super Bowl XXXVI victory over the Rams.
During the Super Bowl Media Day, Warner told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News that while he doesn't "want to believe anything outside of his team beat [the Rams] ... there's a sliver of a doubt" after it was announced the league was investigating the Patriots over their use of under-inflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game.
From the New York Daily News:
"Was there any advantage they gained in any game?" Warner said. "Not just our Super Bowl game, but maybe a game before that to get to the Super Bowl. All those things enter your mind. It's not because I'm bitter. It's not because I say they cheated, because I have no idea."
Marshall Faulk made his feelings abundantly clear two years ago when he told CSN New England that he'd "never be over being cheated out of the Super Bowl." The Rams installed new red-zone and third-down calls specifically for that game, according to Faulk. The Patriots either made superior calls/adjustments or had the answers to the test, the Hall of Fame running back surmised.
On Monday, it was reported that the league's inquiry is now focused on a Patriots locker room attendant who was in possession of game balls before kickoff. It's unclear if the attendant committed any wrongdoing.
The NFL reportedly concluded that 11 of 12 footballs allocated to the Patriots were under-inflated by two pounds of air pressure during the first half of the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has also denied involvement in "Deflategate."
Warner also said the Deflategate investigation is unfair to the Patriots' legacy, as well as to his own legacy.
From the Daily News:
"I don't want to have to wonder, 'Well, did they beat me fair and square or was there something extra?' That's the unfortunate part that I don't think you'll ever get over, because you know something was done outside the rules. I have no idea how it helped them. I don't know if it gave them an advantage on one play that turned into an interception or touchdown. Or gave them no advantage. I don't know."