Breaking down Bill Belichick’s latest Deflategate presser

Jan 27, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick speaks during media day for Super Bowl XLIX at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 27, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick speaks during media day for Super Bowl XLIX at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /

Everything Bill Belichick did not say during Wednesday’s press conference tells you all you need to know about Deflategate.

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It’s of little secret that Bill Belichick is no great orator when it comes to press conferences. He works on a need to know basis and, in his estimation, the press needs to know little, if any, of what’s happening within his organization. From injuries to game plans to roster moves, mum’s the word.

For this reason, whenever the Patriots are a part of some controversy media members become giddy with excitement at the thought of Belichick having to face the press. The common sentiment being: he hates pressers on a normal day; just watch him squirm under the bright lights while being peppered with probing questions. It’s fun line of thinking, terribly arrogant and completely wrong.

To believe as much would be to think that Belichick doesn’t control the show each and every time he’s up at the podium. That he is trumpeter, not conductor. And while he may hate his speaking obligation more than any coach in America (it’s probably Belichick and Nick Saban as 1A and 1B in terms of bristling at the press), I’m willing to wager that Belichick enjoys controversy pressers more than any he has to give, save those after winning the Super Bowl.

Why? Because he knows there will be no invasive Xs and Os questions. Nobody will scoop important info – pertinent to gameplay – about his team. They cannot and will not affect how his team performs, or how teams game plan against him. He can pass off answers with little more than a grunt and a scowl. All Belichick needs to do is stand behind the podium and shrug off any/all questions as tabloid fodder.

Bill Belichick gives more away with what he doesn’t say than what he does. It’s the words he chooses not to use that offer up any information, and today’s Deflategate press conference was no difference. Below is a sampling of the transcripts ( via NESN) from Wednesday’s presser, along with an analysis of what Belichick was likely thinking/what point he actually intended to get across with his terse replies.

Bill Belichick: It’s good to see everyone back here. We’ve got all the players back today for the start of training camp. Right now we’re in a long step-by-step process as we head into the beginning of the 2015 season. So we’re just going to take it one day at a time. Today we’ve got some preparation work to do in terms of conditioning and going through some policies and things like that, trying to get everybody on the same page like we normally do. We’ll try to have a good day today and then try to have another one tomorrow and just string them along day by day. That’s really where we’re at. I think Robert (Kraft) took care of the other situation. Tom (Brady) has already had a statement. So, (there’s) nothing really to talk about there. I won’t really be dealing with that at all, just trying to get the team ready and prepare for the regular season as we always do and as we did all spring. So there’s no change for us on the football team.

Analysis: We haven’t played any football, so there’s nothing to talk about there. Brady and Kraft have already touched on Deflategate, a subject in which we stand together on. This conference is going to be as bland as you can expect about a team on July 29. Prepare to hear “one day at a time” a lot.

Question: Nobody has had more ability to understand his team than you have over the years. How do you think something like this will impact your preparation for the season?

Belichick: We’re going to take it day to day, just like we always do.

Analysis: Do  I look worried? Brady went down Week 1 in 2008 and we went 11-5. Besides, Kraft knows where the bodies are buried; we’re a long way from being settled.

Question: Do you believe Tom Brady when he says that neither he nor anyone in the Patriots organization did anything wrong?

Belichick: We start training camp today. We’ll get ready for the 2015 season starting today.

Analysis: Only an a-hole or an idiot would expect me to talk ill of Brady or my employer. Let’s try asking a real question next time.

Question: Is there something flawed about the system here in the organization that you keep ending up in these cheating controversies? Can you explain why?

Belichick: It’s already been addressed.

Analysis: I could sit here and say that Goodell is dragging this out and making a big deal over air pressure so as to deflect any talk of women beaters, child abusers, drug addicts and head injuries … but that would give you writers too much to work with.

Question: Could you elaborate a little?

Belichick: No.

Analysis: Good luck coming up with something to write about.

Question: Why not?

Belichick: Because it’s already been addressed.

Analysis: Call me when we’re talking football, not tabloids.

Question: Well, people have a lot of questions — the public, fans.

Belichick: You heard what Robert just said. It’s already been addressed. Maybe you ought to go back and look at your notes.


Question: I want your opinion.

Belichick: It’s already been addressed.


Question: Were you personally surprised by Roger Goodell’s decision yesterday?

Belichick: We’re going to continue to get the team ready for the 2015 season and that’s what we’re going to do.

Analysis: Who has better job security: me or Goodell? Thought so.

Question: How difficult is it to get ready when you don’t know who your quarterback is going to be for the first four games of the season?

Belichick: All the players that are out there will practice, just like they always do.

Analysis: The NFL governs on hypotheticals; the press writes on hypotheticals. Yawn.

Question: How much confidence do you have in Jimmy Garoppolo if Tom Brady is unable to start the season

Belichick: It’s a new season for everyone. We all have to reestablish our level of performance whether it’s a coach — starting with me — player, assistant coach, anybody else. That’s what training camp is for. It’s a new start of the year and we all have a lot of work to do, a lot of preparation. (It’s) a long time before we play a game, but we all have a lot of ground to cover between now and then and that includes everybody –- players, coaches, assistant coaches — everyone.

Analysis: Okay, I’ll bite. Here’s your one soundbite.

Question: Have you spoken at all to Tom Brady since the decision?

Belichick: I talk to the team every day.

Analysis: … that you genuinely care if I’ve spoken to Brady since yesterday as if it matters in any sense at all.

Question: Is your message to the team about maintaining focus and taking everything day by day any different at the start of this training camp compared to other seasons?

Belichick: Nope.

Analysis: Who let the new guy in?

Question:What is your essential message?

Belichick: I just gave it.

Analysis: Seriously, don’t we have a vetting process for the press?

Question: How will you split up the reps at quarterback with the first team offense?

Belichick: Training camp is where everybody gets reps. We evaluate the entire team.


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