New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick held an impromptu press conference Saturday where he insisted that he and his team "followed every rule" in relation to the NFL's Deflate-gate scandal that has dominated Super Bowl headlines two weeks before the big game.
"I believe now 100 percent that I have personally and we as an organization have absolutely followed every rule to the letter," Belichick said.
This wasn't the usual bland brand of Belichick that we've become accustomed to seeing on a daily basis. This version of Coach Hoodie was in attack mode. He was fully engaged and full throttle during his 23-minute session
Belichick took time to detail the Patriots' own internal investigation and shed light on some of the ways their footballs could have been found to be under-inflated one-to-two pounds below the low threshold of 12.5 PSI.
"So, I just want to share with you over the last week, I'm embarrassed to talk about the amount of time I've put into this relative to the other important challenge in front of us," Belichick said, referring to the team's Super Bowl matchup against the Seattle Seahawks next Sunday. "I'm not a scientist. I'm not an expert in footballs. I'm not an expert in football measurements. I'm just telling you what I know.
"I'm not going to say I'm Mona Lisa Vito of the football world as she was in the car expertise area, all right?" Belichick continued, referencing Marisa Tomei's character in "My Cousin Vinny."
Belichick talked about the way he and his team prepare the footballs, trying to attain a particular "tackiness" and get the leather broken in. He said he conducted his own internal experiments meant to mock the life of an NFL football hours before kickoff, inflating the balls to 12.5 PSI in a controlled environment, then prepping them, exposing them to different conditions. It's true that temperature absolutely has everything to do with air pressure, and Belichick said his experiments showed the footballs drop down to 11 PSI after treatment and exposure to cold and rise to approximately 11.5 after reintroduction into a controlled environment.
In a way, both Belichick's experiments and press conference were defiant. Belichick doubled-down on his team, dared the NFL to find results differently, and even gave what sounded like a veiled threat to Roger Goodell.
This was a preemptive snarl at investigators swarming his franchise, basically calling it all garbage. It assures he'll get no leniency if proven wrong and he clearly doesn't care about that risk. If they come at him, he promised he's coming back with more about how the league itself is incompetent. New England isn't going quietly here.
"We did everything as right as we could do it," Belichick said. "And we welcome the league's investigation into this matter. I think there are a number of things that need to be looked into on a number of levels."
Belichick gets no benefit of the doubt, even if he's now set a record with his sixth Super Bowl appearance as a head coach. The league gets no benefit of the doubt, either, after the botched Ray Rice investigation. So, you have the Patriots investigating themselves and finding nothing wrong and the first week of the league's investigation, with nearly 40 interviews conducted, also turning up nothing.
And that does nothing to change the narrative for Super Bowl week. It will be all DeflateGate, all the time...
Belichick finished by saying he was done with the topic altogether, a figurative, "We're on to Seattle" for the second time in a week.
"This is the end of this subject for me for a long time, OK?" Belichick said. "We have a huge game, a huge challenge for our football team and that's where that focus is going to go."
For fans-or haters- u just saw what a player sees in a heated team meeting. No BS. Pissed off. Gets to bottom of issue. And then moving on.— Matt Chatham (@chatham58) January 24, 2015
The Broncos are at the Pro Bowl. DenverBroncos.com has plenty of coverage, including a photo gallery of matchups(with Aqib Talib vs. Emmanuel Sanders being the highlight for Denver fans). Chris Harris Jr. was the site's in-house correspondent, and it also provided an opportunity for us to remember how much this means for undrafted guys like Harris. We at MHR were pushing for him to make the Pro Bowl all year round, after all.
"...With me coming in undrafted, I had to do everything above and beyond everybody else, just to get noticed," Harris said. "I think now people are finally seeing what I did the past four years, is finally what has really gotten to me here."
Most of the Broncos' Pro Bowl players are under contract through 2015. Meanwhile, former Broncos Elvis Dumervil and Mike Adams fired a few shots at the team that let them go. More on this later.
Woody Paige makes a push for Wade Phillips as Broncos defensive coordinator, cherry-picking stats and totally missing out on the fact that Larry Coyer was Denver's 2nd-best-ever defensive coordinator.
Former Broncos QB Chris Simms broke down Denver's offseason needs, ordering them tackle, guard, then safety (with Rahim Moore a free agent).
As far as potential cap casualties go, Bleacher Report puts Ryan Clady at the top of Denver's list.
Cutting Clady would save the Broncos $8.8 million for 2015-not too shabby. There isn't really a better alternative for Denver, so this is highly unlikely. But you never know, right?
It's not likely with Denver having over $20 million in cap space, but as far as contracts go, Clady didn't live up to his in 2014.
Finally, Andrew Mason LOST. I repeat, Andrew Mason LOST. Sayeth Mason, smiling, "I'm humiliated... I'm mad at myself for missing the Orlando Franklin question." This seemed impossible all season long. Do you think the fix was in?