The two head coaches took to the stage on Friday. Having them both up there at the same time is a fairly new format for the traditional Friday presser. The consensus is that it's much better than having one follow the other. Much more interesting seeing them interact with each other. Plus, someday there will be two coaches up there that genuinely don't like each other and that will be fun to watch. Watching Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll, there couldn't be more of a contrast in style. Belichick is measured, controlled. Carroll is more frantic in his answers, often not finishing sentences before moving to another thought. We see that on the sidelines as well. Aside from when he's furious at a ref, Belichick's body language is that of someone thinking about the next move. He'll congratulate a player coming off the field after a good play but for the most part he's scanning the field like a chess master does the board. On the Seattle sideline Carroll is on the move. After a change of possession he'll walk from one end of his team's space to the other, only to turn around and walk back. He's like a labrador let loose at the park after a day in the house. He needs to expend energy.
The Commissioner's annual press conference followed a couple hours later. It was the day's featured event for the obvious reasons. Anyone waiting to hear some sort of revelation, however, was disappointed. I can understand not being able or willing to address specifics about deflategate. And I think his strongest answer had to do with him having no choice but to pursue any evidence of wrongdoing whenever something threatens the game's integrity. He wouldn't be doing his job otherwise. What he should have addressed are the leaks. That's where his office is falling down. Why did they happen and what can he do to stop them going forward. Overall, Roger Goodell's answers to questions sounded prepared and way, way too defensive.
Let's face it, Goodell has a tough job. Yes, we'd all give it a shot for $44 million. I get that. But working for 32 billionaires is no cupcake. There's also an added element he has to maneuver and that's his own workforce in New York and Los Angeles. There is a lot of layered management, much of it in place before Goodell took office. Call them fiefdoms if you will, but Goodell needs to rope them in or risk implosion. Yes, Commissioner Goodell, you should be able to envision a scenario in which you could be fired. Whether you deserve it or not, the final dagger could come from outside or inside. Everyone is replaceable. Everyone.
On a lighter note, I'm always amused watching people at press conferences ask questions when someone else is holding the mic. Invariably there is this need by the person asking the question to help hold the mic as if one hand isn't enough. If you can, watch Goodell's press conference again on Patriots.com. At one point a questioner seemed to realize what he was doing but still didn't know what to do with his hand and wound up resting it on the mic holder's wrist. Just one of those weird things I find fascinating.
Ran into a Patriots alumni's wife in the evening and she said she was on her way with her husband to have dinner with Chris Singleton. She said Singleton and her husband played together back in the day. I said, "Oh, tell Chris I said hello!" As I walked away I realized I was thinking of Chris Slade and that Chris Singleton will have no idea who I am. Oh well, tomorrow's another day.