Patriots owner Robert Kraft was interviewed during Saturday night’s halftime Exhibition game against the Detroit Lions, and here’s the transcript:
On if he thought there was any doubt on this season.
“I think we had a great team of owners and I’d like to give special credit to Commissioner [Roger] Goodell and [DeMaurice] Smith. Â When you think about this whole deal – I was talking with Jonathan flying out here that a lot of complicated big deals get done, but you don’t have tens of millions of people judging you. Â I think both Roger and [DeMaurice Smith] – this is their first experience doing this – and thank goodness [DeMaurice] managed all his group. He empowered players – like Jeff Saturday and Dominique Foxworth -Â they acted as principle, and Roger managed 32 kookie owners and kept us all together and the big beneficiery is the fans because we have a 10 year deal. Â We can build together to never get to that point again, hopefully.”
On if it was a “win-win” deal for both sides”
“This is a win-win, and the good part about it, when you think about 10-years, we have a chance now to go out with our partners and build this business, and grow revenues, Â and do things together that will prevent us hopefully from getting to the point where we were just recently. Â And once again I give the major credit to [DeMaurice] Smith and Roger Goodell.
On condolences to Kraft on his wife Myra
“Well, my sweetheart was a special, special lady, and I want to thank all the fans and people who sent cards and supported us. Â She’d be embarrassed at the great support we’ve gotten and how she touched people. Â We’re dedicating this season to her. Â She was a professional volunteer. Â She did the grunt work and the hard things, and set a great example for all of us. Â She gave me 4 great sons and 8 grandchildren, and wer’re going to keep her legacy going with hopefully great values.”
On the hug by Jeff Saturday:
“I’ll tell you, he’s a pretty special guy. Â For me to have great affection for the guy who Peyton Manning has his hands – getting the ball on every play – that’s hard to believe. Â But I’ll tell you, he acted like a principle. Â He represented the long-term best interest of the players. Â We made a lot of changes to the rules that help players play longer, but the core values of this deal are great, and I give he and his fellow player group a lot of credit.”
On if Patriots fans thought the hug was ‘Just wrong” (Joking):
“I’ll tell you, I really have great respect and admiration for him and the group of players he had, and they did a great job. Â I don’t know if I would have been that committed if I had a short career. Â He was terrific, he was at every meeting, and the Colts should be very proud of their guy.”
“Can I Â just say congratulations to coach Schwartz and the Ford family. Â It looks like they’ve built an exciting team here and football’s back big time here in Detroit – unfortunately.”