The Hall of Fame running back, who ranks third on the NFL's alltime rushing list (15,269 yards), discusses the Deflategate controversy with SI Now host Maggie Gray
MAGGIE GRAY:Did the air pressure of the ball ever give you an advantage or disadvantage?
BARRY SANDERS: It wasn't something I ever really noticed that much. I do know some guys like a ball that is more worn or that's broken in, but that's about it.
MG:So softer balls or maybe a little bit more firm doesn't matter to you? It doesn't mean you can grab it from the quarterback better?
BS: No, no. The newer balls tend to be more slippery with all of the oils and things like that, so I think that is why guys like to scuff them up a little bit. But that's about it.
MG:Do the players think this story is a big deal?
BS: It has to be a big distraction for the Patriots. And the Seahawks are probably sitting there laughing and are really amused and enjoying the fact that the Patriots have to answer all of these questions about this. I think they probably see it as an advantage.
MG:Do you think it would be an advantage for you if you were playing?
BS: I think it would be. If the other team had to address these issues? Absolutely. I'm sure the folks in Seattle are doing their best to fan the flame as much as possible.
MG:You have a son who plays football as well, Barry J. Sanders for the Stanford Cardinal. Was there ever any apprehension about letting him play football?
BS: For me, I balance it by saying, there are risks. They're normal concerns. But there are so many benefits to team sports and organized sports that for us we made the decision that it's O.K. for our kids to play.
For more of Sanders's interview, plus the SI Now archive, go to SI.com/video
"The Seahawks are probably sitting there laughing."
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PETER BROUILLET/GETTY IMAGES (SANDERS)
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