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.