PHOENIX — Box scores from Super Bowl XLIV credit Jonathan Casillas with recovering Thomas Morstead’s onside kick to start the second half, which helped the New Orleans take a lead over the Indianapolis Colts and propelled the Saints to victory.
But in his book, “Recovery of a Lifetime,” another member of the Saints, Chris Reis, claims he recovered the kick. So, who really was the hero of the so-called Ambush play? Casillas said both players were.
“We both did, me and Chris Reis,” Casillas, now a backup linebacker for the New England Patriots, said. “Hopefully he says that when they ask him.”
Casillas was unaware Reis wrote a book in which he takes credit for recovering the kick, and said he is fine if that’s his account of the play.
“I know I was involved in the play,” Casillas said. “My guys know that I was involved. I spoke to Sean Payton this morning. Sean Payton knows I was involved in the play. Chris Reis is like a brother to me. We’re Super Bowl champs together. If it wasn’t for me and Chris, we probably wouldn’t have won the game.”
While speaking with Payton on Tuesday morning, the Saints coach told Casillas that “he was jealous” his former player is getting a second shot at winning the Super Bowl.
While it might be with a different team, Casillas said his time with the Saints from 2009-2012 put him in position to be able to continue to contribute for an NFL team.
“That was my start. I learned what I know now from there,” he said. “I had the (Jonathan) Vilmas of the world. Even (Curtis) Lofton, when he came in, and Will Smith. ... I had some big veteran guys that were big brothers to me.
“They kind of taught me the ins and outs, not just on the field but off as well. If I didn’t have those guys, who knows what would have happened? Tremendous locker room when I was there. Drew’s the head of it and then everyone else.”
Watching from afar, Casillas said he was shocked to see the Saints finish 7-9.
“Very surprised. Losing all those games at home like that?” Casillas said. “Very surprised. When I was playing, we didn’t lose at the (Mercedes-Benz) Superdome. Losing those games at the Superdome — not to say they always struggle on the road. You expect a team to struggle on the road. But a team that holds it down so well at home like that? That’s surprising. It was like, ‘Wow.’ It was shocking for me to see that.”
Plenty of people asked and plenty of people were given blank stares and no comments.
While it is likely far from over, the New England Patriots are done talking about the deflated football scandal that has dominated the news for the past week.
“Well, we’re just focused on Seattle this week,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. “That’s it. So it’s all about Seattle, it’s all about us getting ready to play Sunday. That’s where all of our attention is. I’m not really worried about the rest of that.”
When asked how his players are responding, he said they did not have a rat’s gluteus maximus to spare on the issue.
While it likely will not be put to rest as a talking point in the near future, Seahawks safety Earl Thomas and cornerback Richard Sherman insist their injuries are not issues.
Thomas is battling a shoulder injury, and Sherman injured his elbow during the NFC title game against the Green Bay Packers.
“It’s feeling pretty good,” Sherman said. “It’s been good all week. I’m done getting treatment. It’s been getting better day by day.”
Sherman ended the game against the Packers with his arm clutched to his stomach. Thomas, meanwhile, does not expect his shoulder to hinder his tackling.
“No, when I tackle somebody, I just close my eyes anyway and just throw everything I have,” he said. “It doesn’t change my plans at all. I’m going out there doing what I know, trusting my teammates. I have so many great players around me.”
After sneaking in and spending six minutes on the floor during last year’s media day, Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch was assigned a podium at which to speak.
He still didn’t say much.
The running back was asked a series of questions, to which he repeatedly replied, “I’m here so I won’t get fined.”
Lynch was fined $100,000 by the league earlier this season for not speaking with the media.