Who, exactly, is to blame for the New England Patriots’ DeflateGate controversy? John Madden points the finger straight at Tom Brady, not Bill Belichick.That procedure is the game referees examine the balls given to them by the home team and, after being approved, they're turned over to the home team's equipment manager. The deflation would have had to take place at that point. Certainly the equipment manager did not own his own take the balls and deflate them by up to a very noticeable 2 pounds per square inch. That order would have had to come from Patriots coach Bill Belichick or Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Madden points his finger at Brady:
“That would have to be driven by the quarterback,” Madden told The Sports Xchange via Pro Football Talk).
New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady
“That’s something that wouldn’t be driven by a coach or just the equipment guy. Nobody, not even the head coach, would do anything to a football unilaterally, such as adjust the amount of pressure in a ball, without the quarterback not knowing. It would have to be the quarterback’s idea.”
Although the matter of how the Patriots’ footballs were deflated in the AFC championship game remains under investigation, quarterbacks — especially top-tier quarterbacks — are finicky about their footballs. Brady laughed off the allegation that the balls were underinflated Monday, calling it “ridiculous.” But the matter is serious now.
“He is the affected,” Madden said. “He is the only guy. I heard some of the pundits saying the ball is easier to catch, but that would never, ever, ever be done for that unless the quarterback wanted it. You wouldn’t do something for a receiver to catch the ball if the quarterback couldn’t throw it. So it’s going to be done for the quarterback.”
During a press conference, Belichick claimed that he knew nothing about the deflated footballs and pointed to Brady as the ones who would know what happened. When questioned about the deflated footballs, Brady was less than convincing that he didn't know about the deflated footballs, much less ordered it done by the equipment manager.
If it turns out that Brady did order the deflating of the footballs, then the NFL would have no choice but to suspend Brady for the Super Bowl. To do anything less would be to condone cheating that directly affects the integrity of the game.
My guess is the NFL will do everything it can to extend its "investigation" beyond the Super Bowl.