'Deflategate' overshadows Seahawks' Super Bowl arrival

Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:25pm EST
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By Steve Keating

PHOENIX (Reuters) - With the arrival of the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Super Bowl week was officially underway but the spotlight remained on the mystery of the under-inflated footballs the New England Patriots used in the AFC title game.

An hour after landing in Phoenix, a smiling Seattle coach Pete Carroll and six players huddled with the media at the team hotel and faced the inevitable question: what were their thoughts on 'deflategate'?

The Seahawks could afford to be relaxed with the spotlight on the Patriots, their Super Bowl opponents, while the NFL investigates why illegal balls were used by New England during a blowout victory the Indianapolis Colts that clinched a Super Bowl berth.

"We're not focused on that, we're focused on playing our football and finding a way to win the Super Bowl," Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said. "That's where our focus is. All the other distractions have really nothing to do with us."

The same questions will not be so easily dismissed when the Patriots and coach Bill Belichick land in Phoenix on Monday.

The New England coach had told a news conference on Saturday that the team had followed "every rule to the letter."

"At no time was there any intent -- whatsoever -- to try and compromise the integrity of the game," he said.

The NFL had said earlier it still needed to obtain more information, including video and other electronic information and physical evidence, before wrapping up its investigation.   Continued...

Jan 25, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll fields and answers questions during at press conference at the Arizona Grand Hotel in preparation for Super Bowl XLIX. at Arizona Grand Hotel. Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports