Patriots head coach Bill Belichick vigorously defended Tom Brady for throwing into the end zone on the third down play on the final series against Pittsburgh, and perhaps not checking down to an open James White with 26 seconds to play and no timeouts, Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald reports.
A holding penalty had put the Patriots at the Steelers 21. The Patriots took three shots in the end zone to no avail. Belichick lauded Brady’s judgement and decision-making abilities and didn’t find fault with how his quarterback handled the situation.
“All the questions about why don’t we throw to this guy? Because there’s five guys out on the pattern. We’re going to try to do what’s best on that play. In Tom’s judgement, which I certainly wouldn’t second-guess his judgement given the game situation, and the time and all the things that went into that play, he made the best decision that he thought he could make at the time. I’m not going to second-guess it,” Belichick said during a conference call today. “You can second-guess it if you want to, but nobody knows better at that time with the ball in his hands where he feels like where he’s got the best chance, and if we complete a pass, and the clock’s running, and how much time that’s going to take, and what we have left, that’s a split second decision that he’s gotta make. I don’t think anyone’s going to make it better than him. You can second-guess it all you want. But that’s the person we have doing that, and we have great confidence in him doing it.”
“The defense has a big advantage in that situation and they played it well,” said Belichick. “We weren’t able to get in the end zone.”