It’s not entirely clear whether Jim Kelly has closely followed everything surrounding Deflategate, but he has plenty of strong opinions on the matter regardless.
The Buffalo Bills legend weighed in on the saga surrounding Tom Brady back in May when Kelly said “he doesn’t need to do that” in reference to the allegations levied upon Brady in the wake of the Wells Report.
One day after the entire transcript of Brady’s suspension appeal was released, Kelly still isn’t sure about Brady. Despite the fact Brady denied (under oath) any involvement or knowledge in the deflating of footballs, Kelly still wants more out of Brady. The New England Patriots quarterback has vehemently denied any sort of wrongdoing all along, but Kelly still wants Brady to find a way to actually prove his innocence.
Kelly was a guest on ESPN’s “First Take” on Wednesday at Bills training camp, and he had plenty to say about Brady. Here’s a transcript of the entirety of his Brady thoughts. Kelly’s words are italics.
No. 1, Roger Goodell and the NFL do not want to have to have Tom Brady sit out. He’s the greatest quarterback — that’s an asset to the NFL to have a guy like Tom Brady. But the thing is, if you don’t have anything to hide, then let it all out there. The only thing that bums me out is if you’re a quarterback and you did nothing wrong, then they ask you to do something, show something — then do it.
The thing that bummed me out at the beginning with it — and I love Tom to death and I think he’s one of the greatest to ever play the game — when they asked him “Do you think you’re a cheater?” and he says “I don’t think I am” — no. If someone’s dogging you and talking negative about you, you do whatever you can to clear your name. And when you don’t clear, then you start having doubts.
When the national media and national public are just abusing you and saying all of these negative things, me personally, “What do you need to see to prove my innocence?” If you don’t do that, if you destroy phones — and I don’t know all the logistics behind it all — I just pray that he didn’t do it.
I’ll tell you what: You think there’s an equipment manager in the NFL who’s going to do something to a football and not let the greatest quarterback in football know about it?
“First Take” co-host Skip Bayless: He said none of his equipment people did anything to the footballs.
Of course he said that. He’s in a situation right now … it’s like the old saying, once you start to lie, you continue to lie and it keeps getting — I don’t know whether Tom’s telling the truth or not, but the thing is, if it’s me and I have nothing to hide, “What do you need to see? What do you need to prove my innocence?” Especially when you are Tom Brady. If you have nothing to hide, what do you need to see? If you need to see my cellphone, here it is, but don’t take it with ya.
I don’t care what they say. … If someone was told me that I was cheating and you’re doing this and you’re doing that, I’m telling you what, Jim Kelly is going to defend himself. My dad told me when I leave my home, you represent the Kelly name and don’t tarnish it. Tom Brady’s name is being tarnished now. I hope, I pray that something comes out that shows that the didn’t do it. The person to do that is Tom Brady. He needs to stand up and man up and say this is the way it is and we see how it works out. I pray everything works out for him.
Bayless: He testified under oath in the appeals process that he did nothing wrong, 100 percent innocent.
Well then he needs to answer all the questions they need to ask him to make sure his name is cleared. I hope he does it and we find out sooner or later what’s really in Tom Brady’s heart. Again, I love Tom to death and I hope everything works out. … I know that I said before he only gets a two-game suspension because the Bills play him (in Week 2). That was something you to be funny. I would like to see the Buffalo Bills play Tom Brady. I’d like to see that defense to see what Tom Brady can do against them because he’s the best.
Kelly then added this as the segment was coming to a close.
I love Kraft very well. I have nothing against the Patriots. But I’ll tell you what: If you are defending yourself, you say whatever it is to defend your name.
Thumbnail photo via Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Sep 14, 2014; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills former quarterback Jim Kelly salutes the crowd during a tribute to Ralph Wilson before the game between the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports