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. 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. 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 – 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. 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, and do things together that will prevent us hopefully from getting to the point where we were just recently. 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. She’d be embarrassed at the great support we’ve gotten and how she touched people. We’re dedicating this season to her. She was a professional volunteer. She did the grunt work and the hard things, and set a great example for all of us. 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. 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. But I’ll tell you, he acted like a principle. He represented the long-term best interest of the players. 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. I don’t know if I would have been that committed if I had a short career. He was terrific, he was at every meeting, and the Colts should be very proud of their guy.”
“Can I just say congratulations to coach Schwartz and the Ford family. It looks like they’ve built an exciting team here and football’s back big time here in Detroit – unfortunately.”