Belichick subtly points finger at Brady


On Wednesday, Hall of Fame coach John Madden directly pointed to quarterback Tom Brady as the prime suspect in the NFL’s investigation of deflated footballs.  On Thursday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick did the same thing, in far more subtle fashion.

Belichick’s extensive comments from his Thursday press conference, fully transcribed by MDS, reveal a clear and unequivocal position from the head coach that he has no knowledge of or involvement in football air pressure.  But Belichick also made it abundantly clear that others in the organization may.

“I think we all know that quarterbacks, kickers, specialists have certain preferences on the footballs,” Belichick said.  “They know a lot more than I do.  They’re a lot more sensitive to it than I am.  I hear them comment on it from time to time, but I can tell you and they will tell you that there’s never any sympathy whatsoever from me on that subject.  Zero.  Tom’s personal preferences on his footballs are something that he can talk about in much better detail and information than I could possibly provide.”

In other words, take it up with Brady.  Brady’s the guy whose preferences may have resulted in tampering with the footballs. (Brady said in 2011 that he prefers the balls to be deflated.)

“[M]y overall knowledge of football specifications, the overall process that happens on game day with the footballs, is very limited,” Belichick emphasized.  “I would say that during the course of the game, I honestly never — it probably has happened on an incomplete pass or something — I’ve never touched a game ball. That’s not something that I have any familiarity with on that.”

But Belichick made it clear that Brady does.  And Brady is now scheduled to meet with the media at 4:00 p.m. ET on Thursday.

162 responses to “Belichick subtly points finger at Brady

  1. Here is what’s going to happen later with Brady’s press conference. Belichick just said he doesn’t know anything about how footballs are prepared and put it on Brady. Brady will say I intentionally under inflate the balls going into the inspection by the refs. After they test them I don’t touch them until the start of the game. It’s already well documented that QB’s do this going into the inspection of the balls. Even if the refs say they tested them properly it becomes he said she said and there is plausible deniability on Brady’s part. As long as there is no video of either the refs testing the balls or someone tampering with them it will just become an argument of was it Belichick or Brady.

  2. Step 1: Create a culture of cheating in New England.
    Step 2: Watch others find creative ways to cheat on their own.
    Step 3: Deny any knowledge or responsibility.
    Step 4: $$$

  3. Wow… This is really getting good.. As a matter of fact this whole saga will probably turn out to be better than the SB itself.

  4. Wow. Sorry Bill but as the head coach it’s your responsibility to be aware of any cheating shenanigans your players may be up to. YOU are supposed to be the one running the show after all.

  5. As a die-hard Patriots fan, will find it easier to take if it is Belichik than if it is Tom Brady.

    Obviously, Brady could be complicit but not directly involved, having made it clear he prefers under-inflated balls, having been able to tell that’s what they were, but having “only” said to the ball boy “I sure hope the pressure is at the low end.”

  6. Just fuel for the fire. Brady and Belicheck love having their backs against the wall, and twine they do, they take out out on the other team. They are going to win the Superbowl. The rest of the world will hate it, but that is what is going to happen. They’re going to make Russell Wilson look like a novice. Its going to be punishing, absolutely punishing.

  7. This is all part of the Patriots’ strategy. If Belichick were held responsible for this latest bit of cheating, the punishment would likely be far more severe than if it was all laid on Brady. The team is nothing but a bunch of cheating scum and Brady is a liar.

  8. He didn’t throw him under the bus, he executed part one of a strategy that Brady is on board with. This did not catch 12 by surprise. This was Bill’s role. Tom’s part is this afternoon. He will be as prepared for that as he is for Sundays.

    This is a QB situation. He should have to answer for it. Obviously it is the QB and not the HC that is concerned about the game balls. I’m sure he will handle it similarly to Rodgers, only with slightly more “aw shucks” and winning smiles. Stuff bounces off 12.

    My take is that the Pats just shook off days of media hysteria in about 10 minutes and this thing is over. 25K fine coming and we can all move on. Pats win again.

  9. In a 45-7 loss, I think the Colts had many more problems than slightly deflated footballs. I can’t imagine that this would’ve changed the outcome of the game. Wouldn’t deflated balls have helped Luck as well?

  10. Kraft cutting his losses. Brady can’t play forever, but Belichick can still coach. Guess who falls on the sword?

  11. If Lynch was going be ejected or suspended in the NFC title game for gold cleats, the same should go for Belicheat or Brady for cheating. If it does not happen, the race card could come flying out. Just sayin.

  12. Tom Brady is practicing his denial laugh. Needs a little more work to get it just right.

  13. Don’t be surprised if league announces balls were .2lbs psi. under, not 2lbs psi. under. When referencing what Pats would do in the future he twice used .3lbs as a guideline.

  14. It’s time to seriously punish this franchise for violating rules. They do it all the time and get wrist-slaps. They aren’t going to stop as long as the penalty is monetary. Take away their trophies or their playoff appearance. They’ll start paying attention to the rules if you make it clear that they can’t just buy their way out of the mess.

  15. Yeah, like I believe there’s something that happens on an NFL game day that Belichick doesn’t know about?

    Every article about him ever written focuses on his obsession over every minute detail of an NFL game.

  16. I believe Hoody. Let’s talk about the game.. Pats need to stop beast mode unlike what they did with Forsett. First rb to 125 plus wins. Beast mode or Blount

  17. I honestly hope that the past 3 days the NFL has been investigating that they have interviewed and interrogated the ball boys and staffers who might have touched the balls after the inspection. Any real evidence would come from statements from these people and I’m sure with the NFL pressuring them, if they were paid or told to do this then the truth would come out.

    I’m also sure that if Brady did tell the staffers to deflate, that he has checked to see what they told the NFL, if if they told the truth, he will come somewhat clean later today and say he did it but that everyone does, if they kept their mouth shut he will continue to play the ‘I did nothing’ game.

  18. Let’s be honest here every team has their psi preference with the football it’s well-documented. The Patriots beat the Colts handily by scoring over 40 points in the last few games and were thoroughly embarrassed. They know that PSI is impacted by weather at Foxboro on their footballs since they inflate on the low end and knew they could use this to embarrass them after being so handily embarrassed on the football field once again.

  19. It’s not cheating ,it’s a competitive edge.I think Bill and Tom are very honest people.It was probably an honest mistake,I would give them a warning to try and not do it again.You don’t want to hurt their feelings before the super bowl

  20. I will be pulling for the Seahawks to Punish them.
    Don’t get me wrong I don’t like Sherman either but maybe he can tear his own arm off while breaking Tommy boys ribs.

  21. Time to break out the popcorn! Will be interesting to see WHO, if anyone, takes a bullet on this. But suffice it to say Belicheat put Brady right in the crosshairs!

  22. Tom’s toast and he and his organization are about to pay a hefty fine. They also should be given a warning that if they cheat again.. they’re gone..for good.

  23. I wonder if Brady can afford the $25,000 fine for the nothing infraction. Yawn…..Story generated to fill up two boring weeks before the super bowl. Do you think Marshawn Lynch will get suspended for the crotch grab, same impact on winning that game as a 2psi deflated ball……none.

  24. This rediculas BB did not throw Brady under the bus. Another example of media feeding frenzy

  25. So if Aaron Rodgers over inflates the balls before the game and it gets by the refs it’s ok. If Brady under inflates the balls before the game and it gets by the refs it’s cheating. This is pretty comical!

  26. The NFL, wanting to send a clear message and preserve its stainless image, suspends Tom Brady for the Super Bowl. The line in Vegas goes from even to Seattle -13. Jimmy Garoppolo leads New England to a stunning 23-17 victory. A new Patriots legend is born and I make enough money to retire twenty years early.

  27. I’ll take Belichick at his word that he had no knowledge because I don’t believe he’d get up there and intentionally lie to everyone. I think many people out there owe him a huge apology. Now the onus falls on Brady and what did he know and when did he know it. Sounds like there was some clear sabotage involved. I’d investigate the Ravens.

  28. Someone with access to the Patriot sideline obviously took pressure out of the balls after they were inspected. By now the Patriots know who it was. And they know why it was done. That person didnt just do it unilaterally. He did it knowing someone wanted it that way. That someone appears to be Brady and Belichik isnt going to take the fall.

  29. It’s down to Mr Brady to get himself out of this one. Can’t wait for the press conference this afternoon now it’s been moved up, because of the problem.
    Guilty as hell “Tommy” so explain it. Yet again another “Cheatgate”.

  30. Won’t matter with Goodell— The Buck (almost) always stops with the man that’s supposed to be in charge….

    That is: Unless it’s the Commissioner of the League responsible for investigating matters to deliver consequences for illegal behavior that goes against league conduct policy….. THEN, the person in charge can claim those beneath him didn’t do their job correctly.

  31. The real losers in this are going to be the Seahawks. They don’t want to face a pissed off Patriots team with a chip on their shoulder. The Pats are going to absolutely drub the Hawks in the SB.

  32. Lets go back to the Vinatieri snow kick and the game winners in the Super Bowls. I’m sure those balls were doctored too

  33. The Colts’ excuse for getting humiliated was deflated footballs? Blount could have been carrying a sack of rocks and still would have torched the Colts.

  34. I am really surprised by this, Belichick usually gives almost no details. It is not that subtle an inference more like a finger pointing at Tom Brady specifically.

  35. You can’t tell me Belicheck didn’t know anything about this. Brady and Belicheck have been joined at the hip for 14 years!!!

  36. Clearing the way for Brady’s path out of town. He becomes the quarterback of the Los Angeles Rams. The Patriots get a haul in return. The league would be ecstatic over revenue possibility. The Patriots move on early and strengthen the rest of their team. The Garoppolo era begins.

  37. Now that is funny, Bill throws franchise under the bus to save his own hide. Classic. Bill has always struck me as a coach that let’s players and other people around the team do whatever they want. Wink Wink

    Bill doesn’t mind not knowing what is going on. Please Bill is Liar and a cheater. He Knew.

  38. We as fans need to send a message to the NFL –
    If these rule breakers are permitted to play for the Championship without a real consequence for their actions we boycott next season… no going to games, no watching games, no supporting their sponsors.

    It’s not the first time they’ve been caught … it won’t be the last either… allowing them to play for the Title without suspension of at least Brady and more appropriately Brady AND Belichick shows they don’t care about the integrity of the game!

  39. i find a little funny that no one … NO ONE is talking about the ILLEGAL formation ran by the Seahawks on the onside kick that they then recovered to save their game…

    since 2009 a 6 man wedge on a side is illegal and seattle did just that .. .but i guess wondering if Brady touched the ball the wrong way is way more intriguing

  40. The NFL should be investigating itself for the crap way they handled footballs for games. A dozen here, a dozen there, home team here, visitors there, kickers, over there. Goodell fines himself $50K. Play ball!

  41. I don’t agree with or condone any type of cheating.

    However, with all the folks calling for fines, suspensions, and nooses…

    Why are you only targeting the Patriots? Why is the net only cast upon them. Why aren’t other teams and their QB’s included in this, especially with on air admissions even THIS season?

    The presser by Bill should have also had those other coaches standing next to him. The presser with Tom should have Aaron Rogers and others (e.g. Vikings, etc.) next to him.

    This should not just be about the Patriots.

    All that a side, my personal view of this is that it’s an issue that’s way blown out of proportion. Especially given the fact that since the dawn of Football it seems, teams have always prepared the balls the way they like. Why is it an issue now? What has changed to make it a concern if no one, including QB’s of opossing teams, has cared all these years…I mean we’re about to play SB 49 not SB 1 and this has been going on all along.

    I just find it odd how things have unfolded especially with the target only on the Patriots. That’s the biggest issue I have with this.

  42. Nobody is getting suspended. They will most likely get the 25k fine(in the rule book for that offense) and that’s it. Move on folks. Brady will not be suspended, keep dreaming.

  43. If Brady was smart he would throw McDaniels under the bus. Everybody knows McDaniels is a cheater! Anybody remember spygate 2.0?

  44. The colts aren’t making excuses and the result of the game is irrelevant.. They broke nfl rules and the nfl is investigating it. It seems like all pats fans can say is ” but it was 41-7!! We would’ve won anyway!! Blount ran for 3 tds! ” once again they cheated when they didn’t even have to bc they are schmucks!

  45. Pagano has lied about this from the first minute, then we find out Harbaugh is involved- Looks to me like a set up between those two sore losers and an NFL official

  46. Curious..when will the investigation into the Vikings and Packers begin? Minnesota was caught heating up balls on the sideline..are we to think this had no effect on the air pressure of the ball? They must also be docked draft picks.
    And as for Aaron Rodgers, his admission that he purposely inflated balls past an acceptable range must also yield an investigation. Needless to say Rodgers will also be suspended for for some time next season.
    Next, I think the NFL should look into vacating 2002 TB super bowl victory after Brad Johnson admitted to bribing ball boys to doctor balls.

  47. Thank goodness the Packers epic comedic meltdown occurred otherwise they would be dealing with this circus while trying to focus on the big game.

  48. This is outrageous that the Colts got screwed out of that win. Of course the ball caused them to only get 7 points. Colts suggest the following punishment.
    N.E. Patriots get disbanded and shipped to the CFL.
    Kraft is fined 1 billion dollars.
    Colts are spotted 45 points at the start of the S.B.
    Andrew Luck is named MVP of the S.B.

  49. People are awful naive if they think that BB and Brady have not talked about how they are going to handle this with the press. Brady knew exactly what BB was going say, and BB knows exactly what Brady will say later today. They’ve clearly worked it out to mitigate any punishment the team may receive, and realized that if Brady just does the bare minimum, he’ll take the heat…get a fine..and then they all move on.

    Like clockwork.

  50. Regardless of who did it or instructed someone to do it,
    It’s a team sport so it’s a team penalty.
    Lose your 1st round draft pick, and $5 mil in cap space.

    Fines don’t seem to bother these guys. Money is no issue seeing the owners are billionaires.

  51. It starts from the top. Belichick has always encouraged staff and players to think in terms of win first, rules a distance second. Didn’t McDaniels have a violation in Denver on the London trip? It’s a culture and Bill needs to take the ultimate blame. For a guy who’s known for his detail, he’s sure let rules enforcement be sloppily managed.

  52. Didn’t he say he had his team practice with over inflated balls to make it harder to handle. That is
    some knowledge of air pressure.

  53. As long as when, if any punishment is handed out for tampering with the air pressure of the game balls that Aaron Rogers gets the same punishment simultaneously. I mean it’s undeniable that he too toyed with air pressures to his preference. He said it for all the world to hear. Eli Manning must be questioned too. He takes month’s to doctor a ball to his specific liking’s. All those crying for fairness must demand this.

  54. The difference between other quarterbacks having there preference of balls is they did not alter them after they were inspected. That’s called cheating. Y’all can take issue with it all you want

  55. Why are people still talking about Aaron Rodgers? All he said was he likes balls over inflated. He never said he liked them over inflated above what the rules allow, he never said he used over inflated footballs, and he was never caught using over inflated footballs. Give me a break.

  56. This guy is on top of everything including how to submit a false injury report every week. No stone is unturned, but he doesn’t know how the footballs are prepared?


  57. To the parrots that keep chirping “rodgers uses over inflated balls” and “28-0 run after halftime in colts vs pats” 1) the benefit of deflated balls is they are easier to grip/throw. And they have less bounce of the hands/chest of a receiver. It also benefits the RB having a better grip reducing chance of fumble or strip. Rodgers prefers a ball that is more difficult for his teamates but good for him. 2) the point of this conspiracy is not the one game, its the question of how long they have been doing this to benefit all the aspects of the game. Months? Years? The decade? Seems questionable that a 6th round pick all of a sudden became a great QB with a coach that was a failure in his early tenure. Funny how they get together and magic happens. Also funny how they plug in any mediocre RB and somehow they have minimal turnovers over the years. Get over yourselves. They are a tainted legacy.

  58. Brady is going to say he never asked anyone to tamper with the balls. The implication will be that the ballboys know how Tom likes the balls prepared so they took it upon themselves to tamper with them. Then, we might have one of the ballboys come forward, take the heat and get fired (while he may or may not be getting paid some significant lump sum payment from some qb or team). Crisis defused; cheater identified and dealt with; no stink on Bellechick, Brady or NFL. All will be right with the universe again.

  59. In every other sport, if a team is caught cheating, they get disqualified!
    It is NO DIFFERENT HERE! Fines, suspensions, and losing draft picks – don’t make me laugh!! The NFL is condoning cheating if they allow them to play in the Super Bowl!! Teaching kids, its ok, its a business decision – cheat, play, win!
    The rules are important – do cheaters get to win again??!!??

  60. All the saints heard from the NFL regarding the bounty scandal was ” ignorance is not an excuse “. Please apply the same application to Bill , Tom and the patriots.

  61. Could there possibly be a rift between Bill Cheaterchick and Terrible Tom?

    Did Bill Belicheat want Jimmy in after that massacre against Kansas City? Tom hasn’t looked good…ever. Really.

  62. To all you NE fans trying to claim a “witch hunt”, you are right! This is a witch hunt, for the person or persons involved in CHEATING!

    NE fans appear to miss the point of this article. To break it down for the cognitively challenged: Manning & other QB’s weren’t caught cheating. Brady & Belichick were! It’s not wrong for a player or group of players to request a change of the rules that is then approved by the competition committee. It’s wrong for players or a team to then use that change to help facilitate cheating! Brady’s past words in relation to this subject make it impossible for him to deny involvement! Belichick could, but then he is admitting that he isn’t the coach he has always claimed…you know…the Large & In Charge guy that has complete & total control of his locker room & knows EVERYTHING that is going on in HIS club house. He can’t exactly have it both ways, he knew & we everyone knows it! PROVEN Habitual Cheaters & now Liars (given both BB’s & Brady’s recent comments to the effect of “Er, Uh…I don’t know nuthin'”. There’s no running from it, there’s no denying it, there’s only the choice as to whether you will continue to support a team with those individuals on it. And those that choose to continue to support them are just as bad as they are!!!

  63. Balls inflated to required pressure prior to game

    Balls weighed by referees before game, and verified within specification.

    Balls that Brady uses deflate…somehow.

    No one touched them…apparently.

    Its a mystery.

    Fine Brady and the Pats and in the future both QBs use the same footballs.

  64. I’m willing to bet that Brady falls on the sword during this afternoons presser. Takes all the blame for instructing the equip guys to bleed the balls down. Essentially daring the NFL to suspend him for the SB. The bluff will pay off, and he will pay a fine or be suspended for a game next year…

  65. Make sure you check all balls, check on any illegal video recording, and bring as much security to the pats sidelines at the start of any game in the near future. I’m not sure that’ll do it but its a start.

  66. So, IF Beli threw Brady under the bus and IF Brady at his press conference says “yeah, I had it done….it doesn’t matter….I didn’t know it was illegal”, how will be explain away his laughter and denial-by-avoidance when asked about it on Monday?

  67. Sean Peyton suspended one year for bounty gate and his 1st offense. This is Belichick’s 2nd offense. One year or more suspension coming? Gotta stay consistent Roger

  68. I don’t care who’s idea it was, I have a VERY HARD time believeing that the toilet paper rolls are changed without Belichick approving it.
    Fact is, the Head Coach is responsible for everything that happens.

  69. mezanine10 says:
    Jan 22, 2015 11:06 AM
    The Colts’ excuse for getting humiliated was deflated footballs? Blount could have been carrying a sack of rocks and still would have torched the Colts.

    Not a fan of either but maybe game is in Indy/some other city if Patriots were not doing this all season not sure they would have had home field advantage ….if they had advantage with the balls in other games maybe record is quite different…hard to believe a team could have one fumble all year btw…..just saying…

  70. Patriots can’t win just playing straight up football without…has to be some type of trickery.

  71. vailskier99 says:
    Jan 22, 2015 3:41 PM
    The Pats have no chance in this SB, cheating or not. I have faith in RW3 to lead his team to winning the SB again.


    Really? No chance? Glad you have faith in your QB but you, me and the rest of the world know the Pats have a very good chance of beating the Seahawks.

  72. beachsidejames says:
    Jan 22, 2015 3:08 PM
    Patriots can’t win just playing straight up football without…has to be some type of trickery.


    Come on. I guarantee if your team pulled those 2 eligible receiver plays you would have loved it. Plus, 2 “trick” plays in the last 15 years highly successful years and you say they “can’t win” without using trickery…


  74. Is Brady that desperate to win another Super Bowl? I bet the Colts were thinking, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”Did Brady actually think the colts weren’t going to test the balls, especially since they made the same claim of deflated balls the last time they played them.

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