Three key quotes that show how carefully the Patriots have been choosing their words

When it comes to #deflategate, it seems what the Patriots appear unwilling to say speaks more loudly than what they actually do. What follow are three egregious examples that made headlines.

1. Bill Belichick’s Thursday morning press conference:

When I came in Monday morning, I was shocked to learn of the news reports about the footballs.

Bill, we know you’re shocked about all the news reports. Why wouldn’t you be? There’s strong circumstantial evidence you’ve been playing these games since 2007 — that means you had nearly eight years to get used to the idea you wouldn’t ever be caught. What we were hoping to hear instead is that you were shocked to learn that the footballs were deflated.

2. Tom Brady’s Thursday afternoon press conference:

I didn’t alter the ball in any way.

Listen, Tom, we know about ball boys or equipment managers or whatever you call them. Brad Johnson described exactly how he paid others do it 12 Super Bowls ago, and he’s Brad Johnson. You’re Tom Brady. Nobody thinks it was literally you who doctored the ball. We’re just pretty sure you had someone do it for you.

3. Belichick’s surprise encore performance this afternoon:

We feel like we followed the rules of the game to the letter.

Yeah, nobody’s worried about the letters, Bill. The specific accusation is that you deflated balls below the regulation 12.5 pounds per square inch minimum. That is, the problem was your failure to to follow rules to the number. But nice try.

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