Morning Sports Roundup: Brandon Marshall says some players believe race influenced Tom Brady’s Deflategate ruling

New York Jets Brandon Marshall believes race plays a factor in NFL discipline.
New York Jets Brandon Marshall believes race plays a factor in NFL discipline. –AP

The Patriots have reportedly requested the reinstatement of John Jastremski and Jim McNally, Tom Brady makes the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated, Dustin Pedroia returned to the Red Sox lineup, and the rest of the sports news you need to know to start your Wednesday.

Jets receiver Brandon Marshall says players feel race was a factor in Deflategate discipline: “Jets receiver Brandon Marshall said some NFL players think there’s a double standard based on skin color when it comes to the way the league metes out discipline.

“’The race card,’ Marshall said during his first appearance of the 2015 season on ‘Inside the NFL,’ which aired Tuesday night on Showtime. ‘There are a lot of players out there that believe that—white players specifically, at the quarterback position—are treated differently.’’’ (NJ.com)

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Patriots have reportedly requested reinstatement of John Jastremski and Jim McNally: “Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Patriots have indeed asked for the employees to be reinstated.

“The request was made on or before late Monday afternoon. It definitely was made before Tuesday; it possibly was made before Vincent said the league hadn’t heard from the Patriots. It’s also possible that the people who have said the request wasn’t made weren’t told that a request had been made. Either way, the request has been made.’’ (ProFootballTalk.com)

What’s stopping Jastremski and McNally from selling their story? “I don’t know what is stopping them. But I can guess: They would like to work in football again one day, and I’m sure they feel tremendous loyalty if not to the Patriots, at least to Brady. They may have some short-term gain from speaking out for profit right now, but I believe it will be pretty short-term. I think one of the interesting things about this story and the Pats employees who handled the footballs is that it has shined a light on the part of football that no one paid much attention—the pre-game preparation of footballs. While that is a pretty dry subject generally, it does have the potential to flare up into a big story if people believe that illegal things have been happening in the preparation of the footballs. My gut feeling here is that those two guys still probably feel loyal to Brady even though their lives have been turned upside down because of this story, and I doubt they would say anything right now that they believe would get Brady in any trouble.’’ (Peter King/ TheMMQB.com)

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Rams coach Mike Martz’s 2008 statement about Patriots has not changed: “Upon closer review, it now appears that Martz’s allegation regarding changes to a statement given to the NFL in 2008 has no merit. Unless, that is, he had never previously read his own statement in the seven-plus years since it was issued.

In the ESPN story, Martz explained that he provided a statement regarding suspected cheating prior to Super Bowl XXXVI, between St. Louis and New England. He then was shown the statement. And Martz said he didn’t recognize it.’’ (ProFootballTalk.com)

Dolphins sign former Patriots running back Jonas Gray to practice squad: “[Gray’s] powerful running style could come in handy for the Dolphins, who are carrying only three tailbacks on the 53-man roster because of Jay Ajayi’s chest injury, which got the rookie placed on injured reserve for the first half of the season.’’ (Sun Sentinel)

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Brady’s old friends believe Tom will make opponents pay for his troubles: “’He uses negatives and turns them into positives,’ [Brady’s longtime friend Jay] Flannelly said. “Tom Brady by himself is bad. A pissed-off Tom Brady is really, really bad. You know who it’s going to be bad for? The 11 defenders every week who have to play against him and the defensive coordinator on the other team. They’re all going to pay for this. You think he’s a cheater? We’ll find out. “You guys have no idea what you have done to this guy and what he’s going to do to you and this league this year. It’s going to be ugly, with a capital U.’’’ (Providence Journal)

Seahawks were tipped off by other teams on protecting Super Bowl practices from Patriots: “Multiple teams called Seattle, unsolicited, with advice on how to secure the team’s practices for the Super Bowl. Their message was clear: You’re not playing John Fox’s Broncos again. You’re facing Bill Belichick and the Patriots. You never know who might be watching.

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“The Seahawks trained in Tempe, on Arizona State’s outdoor practice fields, which left a large perimeter to secure. They worked hard to secure it. They hired extra guards and scanned any area nearby with a vantage point of the field. Security personnel monitored what locals call “A’’ Mountain, the 1,400-foot hill that towers above the university’s athletic complex. They combed the parking garage and parking lots between Sun Devil Stadium and the practice fields. And they checked around the boundary of the complex, where baseball and softball fields and various buildings provided clear views of Seattle’s Super Bowl drills. Several observers who have attended practices for other Super Bowls noted the unusual, Secret Service–like level of activity.’’ (Sports Illustrated)

Brady makes the cover of Sports Illustrated for 17th time:

Pedroia’s hamstring feels ‘great’ after return from DL: “‘I felt great,’ Pedroia said. ’I just wish we had won. We played hard, we just couldn’t find a way to score some more runs. It was great to be out there with the guys.’

“The 32-year-old Pedroia, who finished the night 1-for-4 with a wall-ball double, said he feels good about the prospects of playing again on Wednesday in the final game of the three-game series. Interim manager Torey Lovullo said they would re-evaluate Pedroia’s health on Wednesday before making a lineup decision.’’ (WEEI.com)

Red Sox to open 2016 in Cleveland: “The Red Sox start the season April 4 against the Indians at Progressive Field. The home opener will be April 11 against the Baltimore Orioles. It will be the sixth straight season the Red Sox open on the road and the first time in history they will open in Cleveland.’’ (The Boston Globe)

Photo Finish: Casting the “Deflategate’’ movie:

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