The NFL's decision to suspend Super Bowl winning quarterback Tom Brady for four games has shocked the NFL.
Brady has been suspended because of his involvement in the deflategate saga, with an NFL investigation concluding that he was "generally aware" that Patriots employees deflated balls during the team's AFC Championship Game win over Indianapolis Colts in January.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft has defended Brady and his team throughout the whole process of the Ted Wells investigation, and even following the penalties against the Pats, which also included losing draft picks, Kraft remained angry at the NFL and defensive of Brady.
Nonetheless, the Patriots will appeal the ban that would see Brady miss the opening four games of the 2015 NFL regular season.
Even though the ban may damage Brady's reputation, star Patriots safety Devin McCourty insisted on Tuesday that the quarterback still has the respect of New England's locker room.
“We’ve got full belief in Tom as our quarterback as a leader as a man on our team,” safety Devin McCourty told the Providence Journal.
“I feel the same way as everyone else does in that locker room. Whatever it is, it’ll be for our team, but we have full belief and faith in our quarterback in Tom and it’s been like that for me for six years. And that’s not going to change now.”
Business as usual
For a team that is used to controversy and taking punishments from the NFL, it is not a surprise to hear that McCourty says things are business as usual at the Patriots facility this week.
“I think right now we’re just focused on getting better for the offseason,” McCourty said. “We’re not worried about what’s going to happen once the season starts. It’s just too far away right now for us as a team. Right now, our heads are down and we’re just trying to get better.”