ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi came out strongly in defense of his former team on Monday, saying he vouches for the integrity of both New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady and believes without a doubt that neither did anything wrong in relation to Deflategate.
In his weekly interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI, Bruschi was asked flat-out whether he has ever known Belichick or Brady to be cheaters.
“I'll answer that question,” Bruschi said. "No, I don't. No, I have not. I won't expound on it but just give you the word: No."
Bruschi said it has been hard to hear the pile-on criticism of the Patriots over the past week.
“I think it's a very difficult position for me to be on set [at ESPN] with certain people that said certain things that of course I was listening to and I heard,” Bruschi said on WEEI. "Every man is entitled to their opinion. I disagree with them as strongly as I possibly can because I've been in this organization for 13 years.
“Tom Brady, I know. Bill Belichick, I know. If vouch is the word, vouch is the word I'll use. I vouch for these guys. I know their character. There isn't anything more that they can do or they can say in terms of what they know what happened.”
In the view of Bruschi, who won three Super Bowl rings during his career in New England, the reason the Patriots are a perpetual target for scrutiny throughout the league is because of their consistent success.
Bruschi called out former Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney, who late last week openly wondered whether there was a “culture of cheating” in New England.
“There are just certain opinions about the New England Patriots out there because somebody’s team got beat,” Bruschi said. “Marty Hurney, your team got beat. That's all it is. Move on. But you want to talk about and you want to bring it up because you need some reason why as to why you were beat. But this is the reason why: you were outcoached and you were outplayed. ...
“We won, that’s the bottom line. And that [Patriots] team is still continuing to win and people want their own justification as to why. Why? You were outcoached, you were outplayed. End of story.”