Belichick denies any involvement in ball deflation

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 22, 2015 10:22 AM

(Reuters) - New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick denied any knowledge of the footballs being deflated for Sunday's AFC Championship game win.

The NFL is investigating whether the Patriots used deflated balls to gain a better grip in their rout of the Indianapolis Colts which secured them a Super Bowl berth against the Seattle Seahawks.

"I was completely and totally unaware of this until Monday morning," said Belichick in a televised news conference.

"I have no explanation for what happened I can’t comment on what they (the NFL) are doing that is something you should talk to them about," he said.

"In my entire coaching career, I have never talked to a player or staff member about football air pressure," he said.

The issue of the deflated balls has dominated the early build-up to the Super Bowl with questions raised given the Patriots have broken NFL rules before.

In 2007, the league fined Belichick the league maximum $500,00 and the Patriots $250,000, along with forfeiture of a draft pick, for videotaping an opponent's defensive signals.

Belichick said he had always considered the football's condition a matter purely for officials.

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"That is not a subject that I have ever brought up," he said. "To me the footballs are approved by the league and game officials pre-game and we play with what is out there. That is the only way that I have ever thought about that.

Belichick said that in the future the Patriots would inflate the balls to a higher level "to account for any possible change during the game".

(Reporting By Simon Evans. Editing by Steve Keating.)