Bill Belichick spoke to the media on Thursday for the first time since Deflategate — the controversy over whether Belichick’s New England Patriots intentionally deflated balls for the AFC championship — turned into a full-fledged national scandal that’s transcended sports. The coach was defiant, unapologetic and not forthcoming in his 11-minute presser. Here are the seven biggest takeaways.
1. Belichick hung Tom Brady out to dry.
Not directly, of course, but by saying he had nothing to do with the deflation of the balls, Belichick insinuates that his quarterback did, especially by delivering this damning quote:
“Tom’s personal preference on his footballs are something he can talk about in much better detail than I can possibly provide.”
Et tu, Brutu-chick?
Brady was supposed to talk to the media on Friday, but that press conference/confrontation has been moved to 4 p.m. ET on Thursday. The quarterback certainly got no cover from his coach prior to his chat with the press. When asked a question about whether Brady handles the footballs before the game, Belichick demurred, saying that was a question that could be answered by the league. Time and again he was given the opportunity to defend his quarterback. He never did.
The coach also kept saying he was speaking from his perspective, an implication there’s another perspective to be had: Brady’s. This was a “save my legacy” press conference, not a “defend my team” one.
2. He dressed somewhat nicely.
I mean, I’m not saying he’s Tom Ford, but at least there was a collar, long pants with no holes in them and a lack of hoodie. It was almost as if Belichick wanted people to gain a positive opinion about him. All that was missing was the homemade cookies for the press.
3. He says his coaching philosophy is to make footballs bad in practice so his team is always prepared …
“Make things as difficult for players in practice. With regard to footballs, I’m sure that any current or past player of mine would tell you that the balls we practice with are as bad as they can be: wet, sticky, cold, slippery, however bad we can make them, I make them.”
4. … but said he has never talked about ball pressure before.
“I can tell you that in my entire coaching career I have never talked to any player, staff member about football air pressure. That is not a subject I’ve ever brought up.”
So does he make the footballs as “difficult” as possible or is he just learning about the “inflation range situation?” Seems to me that someone so concerned with making balls “wet, sticky, cold and slippery” would occasionally want to make the balls harder or softer in practice so his team can operate in every conceivable situation. But that’s just one man’s opinion.
Belichick also had this hyper-specific quote about how the Pats will now inflate the balls to the maximum levels so they don’t dip under the 12.5 PSI minimum. “If a ball deflated 13.2 to 12.9 it wouldn’t matter, but if it deflated from 12.5 to 12.3 it would.” Does that sound like someone who’s never talked about football pressure?
5. Belichick didn’t know about the footballs on Sunday.
“I had no knowledge whatsoever of this situation until Monday morning,” he said, almost as if he was practicing for a Senate hearing.
6. He’s told you everything he knows, he’s told you everything he knows, he’s told you everything he knows, he’s told you everything he knows, he’s told you everything he knows, he’s told you everything he knows.
In the course of the 11-minute press conference, Belichick said “I’ve told you everything I know” (or some slight variation) a total of six times. Even more impressively, most of those came during the short Q & A session with reporters, meaning his pace at the time was probably one “I’ve told you everything I know” every 45 seconds.
7. He doesn’t have an explanation for what happened, he doesn’t have an explanation for what happened, he doesn’t have an explanation for what happened, he doesn’t have an explanation for what happened, he doesn’t have an explanation for what happened.
Belichick’s lack of explanation was only mentioned five times. I can’t explain why and have told you everything I know about the situation.
ARTICE SOURCE: USA TODAY