As we head towards the Super Bowl, Deflategate is picking up more and more steam. Today, Patriots coach Bill Belichick addressed the media and, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes, he appeared to subtly point the finger at quarterback Tom Brady for the deflated footballs used in the AFC Championship game against the Colts. “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.” Brady himself will face the media today at 3pm CT after having his availability moved up from Friday afternoon. More out of the AFC East..
- Ron Borges of the Boston Herald wonders how much more Patriots owner Robert Kraft can take when it comes to Belichick’s controversies.
- The Dolphins will face some difficult decisions thanks to their salary cap situation, as Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald writes. There are nearly a dozen players among the 58 under contract that may be either cut or have their salaries renegotiated to give the team an ability to conduct business in free agency and the draft. The Dolphins are slated to be about $3.3MM over the expected cap of $140MM, which roughly the same situation the Patriots are in. The Pats, of course, have gotten better returns on their (over)investment than Miami has.
- New Jets coach Todd Bowles won’t commit to Geno Smith as his starting quarterback for 2015. “I think it’s an open slate right now,” Bowles told ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike, according to Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. “It won’t be fair to say he is or isn’t the quarterback. Geno obviously is a heck of a football player, but there’s things we’ve got to evaluate and judge as a whole team. It’s not just Geno, it’s everybody. He’s the focus because he’s the quarterback, but everybody is going to be judged the same way. It’s an open slate on everybody coming in.”