Josh McDaniels says the Patriots aren't deceptive

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Josh McDaniels does not think the Patriots have deceived officials in any way.

The Patriots' offensive coordinator understands the notion that New England looks like a team intentionally trying to skirt the rules. Their use of four linemen against the Ravens could be interpreted as an attempt to circumnavigate some of the league's standard operating procedures.

But in a week where the Patriots have had to address plenty of controversies, McDaniels joins the chorus by saying that there's nothing to see here.

"We were very open, I believe, with the officials and all that before the game and telling them," McDaniels said Wednesday. "You know, they always ask you if you have anything that's unique or different or whatever. I think everybody was -- I wasn't at the meeting -- but, I'm sure it was communicated to them.

"Again, when we did that, I think we've only done it five times all year. We've huddled every time. We've reported every time, ineligible. And once we did that we broke the huddle, we lined up and we ran the play. We didn't try to hurry. We didn't try to do anything that was deceptive in that manner. I think it was unique for a few plays. What most people probably don't know is we ran it a couple times last week against Indianapolis and got nothing out of it."

The real problem moving forward will be a movement by coaches en masse to employ trick formations featuring the four down linemen, which Vikings coach Mike Zimmer recently voiced his concern about. Then, meetings like these will increase in importance. Then, there could be some merit to this refrain if the officials cannot keep up with the bizarre looks.

But in the interim the suggestion that New England was in any way devious is a little off base. The Patriots have some more serious issues to be answering for during Super Bowl week, anyway.

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