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Wyche: Deflategate over inflated, but should be a warning

The Marvin Lewis Community Fund has a habit of bringing people together and so this past weekend on the occasion of the Marvin Lewis Golf Classic, it was no surprise to see two of the Bengals first quarterbacks calling signals together 47 years after they took the field under No. 1 draft pick Bob Johnson.

Since one of them was Sam Wyche, he and John Stofa weren't huddled up. But Wyche, creator of the modern game's no huddle offense, and Stofa were in perfect agreement.

"Don't you think it's a little overdone, Sam?" Stofa asked.

"It's overplayed, overdone, it should have been a warning shot," Wyche said.

The subject, of course, is "Deflategate,' and the punishment the NFL handed the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady for the alleged deflation of footballs in the AFC championship game.

"All the years of playing and coaching, I never gave it a thought," said Wyche, who gave enough things thought that he's called an innovator. "You'd go grab a ball out of the ball bag and 'I like that one, I like that one, I don't like that one.' …It was more the feel of the leather than the pressure….It helps the receiver more than the quarterback."

Wyche, head coach of the Bengals for eight years before finishing in Tampa for another four, is all for letting the quarterbacks have their way. He's even for letting them practice with the balls during the week and if they want a little air out…

"Every rule in the NFL is done for one of two reasons. Safety or offense," Wyche said. "Think about it. Never for defense. They want more scoring.  Don't they want a ball that's easy to handle? I was in favor of them practicing with it all week long to break it in.

"You want a good game. You don't want fumbles or interceptions. You want pretty plays."

Wyche believes that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's four-game suspension of Brady has done more damage to the league's competitive balance than the incident itself. He notes the Patriots open with the old friends in Pittsburgh.

"It's not fair to Cincinnati that Pittsburgh gets to play them without Brady," Wyche said. "The competitive balance is being toyed with here."

But while Wyche wants a warning shot and thinks there has been an overreaction, he wants all rules enforced.

"You let Brady know if there are any more shenanigans while he's the quarterback of the Patriots, it's a 16-game suspension and that could end his career," Wyche said. "And then it'd be a $25 million fine for the team."

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