Stephen A. Smith on Belichick: ‘This Man Deserves the Benefit of the Doubt’

On Thursday’s broadcast of ESPN2’s “First Take,” network regular Stephen A. Smith reacted to New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s earlier press conference, in which he denied knowledge of any alleged efforts to intentionally deflate footballs to gain a competitive advantage in his team’s win over the Indianapolis Colts last weekend.

According to Smith, Belichick deserves the benefit of the doubt.

“So when he said those two things, during his press conference, I found it incredibly believable and plausible that that is something that he would sit there and summarily dismiss,” Smith said. “He’s not doing that. This is Bill Belichick that we’re talking about here. So I completely believed every word that he said. I thought he articulated and elocuted himself perfectly. I thought he was far more expansive than he’s known to be in his press conferences. He didn’t duck anything. He addressed the issue head on, and he said what he needed to say. And as far as I’m concerned, based on that and his resume of excellence, don’t give me SpyGate as a reason to malign him and knock down these assertions that he is making on his own behalf. We are innocent until we are proven guilty. Bill Belichick has stated his case. Now, if you’re the NFL, its investigators, the media, etc. — go out there and prove him wrong because as far as I’m concerned, based on that press conference that I just saw, this man deserves the benefit of the doubt. And i don’t know about anybody, but he’s getting it from me.”

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