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Robert Kraft: NFL’s Deflategate investigation ‘really ticked me off’

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The great offense Robert Kraft took from the NFL’s investigation into the Deflategate scandal following the AFC Championship Game appears to still be upsetting the New England Patriots owner, who said recently the entire spectacle “really ticked me off.”

Kraft explained to the Boston Herald’s Steve Buckley why he took charge at the beginning of Super Bowl Week to take the pressure off New England’s coaching staff and players.

“I was really upset,” he said. “I was trying to take the heat off our guys . . . it really ticked me off. Jonathan (Kraft, his son and the team’s president) and I were flying out there and chatting about it. I just decided, it was back and forth and back and forth, and I just decided (to say something).”

When the Patriots landed in Arizona to begin preparations for Super Bowl XLIX, Robert Kraft was the first to speak, taking the podium for what was expected to be a press conference involving Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Kraft vehemently criticized the NFL’s investigation into Deflategate and said he and the team expected an apology once it was discovered his team did absolutely nothing wrong.

Kraft said no one but his son and vice president of media relations Stacey James were aware of his intent to run some interference.

While he still seems to harbor some resentment toward the NFL for how it initially handled the investigation into Deflategate, the owner clearly is keeping his eye on the prize. And for a team as successful as the Patriots, that can only mean Kraft and his team are focusing on being at Levi’s Stadium in February 2016 for Super Bowl 50.

“Next year is the 50th (Super Bowl),” Kraft said. “Our objective is that we want to make the playoffs, but in the end, once you make the playoffs . . . if we were somehow fortunate (to win the Super Bowl) that would allow us to win 10 percent of all Super Bowls. We’re hungry as an organization, and we’ll do whatever we can to put our team in position to do that.”

(photo credit: The Associated Press)