Former Patriots running back Shane Vereen is standing by Tom Brady, telling NFL Network that Deflategate shouldn't affect the quarterback's legacy.
"I just look at the backlash that he has received and I don't agree with all of it," Vereen said Monday night. "I don't think he should be stripped of his Hall of Fame career. I don't [like questions about Brady's legacy]; I don't at all. I don't think it should taint his legacy.
"He's worked too hard; he's too good of a player, too good of a quarterback for this to taint his legacy. He's done so much, not just for the game of football — he's changed New England sports. I just don't think something like this should really hold him back from his accolades after football."
The pass-catching back added that it's time to move forward to the coming season, saying 2014 is over and the Super Bowl champions have been crowned.
Vereen, a second-round pick of the Patriots out of California in 2011, signed a free-agent deal with the Giants in March. He had a stellar game against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX, and revealed that Brady predicted his 11-catch performance, which tied the record for most receptions in a Super Bowl, when he was talking with Vereen's parents before the game.
"That is very true. I believe it was a couple of days before the game. Families were coming to the hotel for the pictures," Vereen said, "and after we took the pictures, my parents went up and said hello; fellow California natives, so they kind of got the bond. They came back and they told me that Tom said I was going to have a big game. Lo and behold, we did what we had to do to get the job done."
Vereen did return to Massachusetts last month to celebrate with his teammates at their Super Bowl ring party, and he enjoys savoring the memories of the Patriots' 28-24 win.
"It's still a dream come true to me. It's still something that I re-live every day," Vereen said. "You think about it just because you've been waiting for this moment for so long and now you can finally live it. The outcome of it, it's something that I'll never forget."
Follow Shalise Manza Young on Twitter @shalisemyoung.