As people who follow football know, Bill Belichick hates doing press conferences and usually spits in the eyes of those conducting the interviews by answering all question like a two-year-old, but today he was forced to actually string a few sentences together to defend himself- from another round of cheating charges after it was reported that 11 out of 12 footballs that the Patriots used were under-inflated.
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Thursday he was "shocked" when informed of the allegations that his team used balls that were deflated after they were inspected by officials before the game.
"I was shocked to learn of the footballs on Monday. I had no knowledge until Monday morning," Belichick said. "I'd say I've learned a lot more about this process in the last three days than I know, or had talked about it, in the last 40 years that I've coached in this league."
Answering questions from reporters after an opening statement that lasted about eight minutes, Belichick repeated multiple times, "I have no explanation for what happened" and "I've told you everything I know."
"In my entire coaching career, I have never talked to any player or staff member about football air pressure," he said. "The footballs are approved by the league and officials pre-game, and we play with what's out there. That's the only way that I have ever thought about that."
The NFL needs to deal with this before teams arrive in Arizona because they will not want to have this hanging over their heads during the run up to the Super Bowl. I tweeted that Belichick should be suspended for the Super Bowl and I stand by that, but the NFL does need to be able to feel they have cause to do so.
This is the second time New England has been caught cheating (who knows how many times they weren't caught) and they need to be punished severely.
The great John Madden is blaming Tom Brady for "deflategate."
“That would have to be driven by the quarterback,” Madden told The Sports Xchange on Wednesday. “That’s something that wouldn’t be driven by a coach or just the equipment guy. Nobody, not even the head coach, would do anything to a football unilaterally, such as adjust the amount of pressure in a ball, without the quarterback not knowing. It would have to be the quarterback’s idea.”
Madden’s position makes a lot of sense. Quarterbacks are particular about their footballs. Anybody doing anything to the footballs without the quarterback’s knowledge or consent would be asking for a tongue lashing. In Brady’s case, his tongue wouldn’t be needed to formulate the various “F” words that would be hurled at he who messes with the quarterback’s primary tool.
“He is the effected,” Madden said. “He is the only guy. I heard some of the pundits saying the ball is easier to catch, but that would never, ever, ever be done for that unless the quarterback wanted it. You wouldn’t do something for a receiver to catch the ball if the quarterback couldn’t throw it. So it’s going to be done for the quarterback.”