Deflate-Gate: Local football players weigh in - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Deflate-Gate: Local football players weigh in

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WAVERLY (KWWL) - Amidst NFL controversy centering around deflate-gate, KWWL met with football players from Wartburg College in Waverly to test it, and also to find out the advantages to the practice.

A KWWL crew along with Coach Matt Wheeler, Offensive Coordinator for Wartburg Football, took a college-sized football and deflated it by several pounds of air using a handheld helmet pump.

Quarterbacks can mostly benefit from deflate-gate. Zach Hiller plays football for Wartburg, and says he can tell if he's handling an under-inflated ball.

"It's definitely more comfortable, you can tell with me being able to dig my fingers into the ball," Hiller said.

Receivers can also benefit. Jordan Schmitt is Hiller's teammate, and says deflate-gate can help especially in cold weather.

"It doesn't bounce off your hands as much, making it a lot easier," Schmitt said.

Quarterbacks usually have a preference in terms of how full a ball is; some may prefer a softer ball, and hand size also plays a factor.

However, there are rules that dictate how deflated a game ball can be to still be legal. Coach Wheeler says the football's pounds of air must fall within the numbers stamped on the ball to still be within regulation.

Coach Wheeler says during a regular season, game balls are handed off to officials an hour before the game to be checked. Therefore, technically, it is up to game officials to make sure they are still legal for play. Coaches say, in other words, officials are ultimately liable for the legality of the game ball.
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