Belichick says he had no knowledge of Patriots deflated footballs until Monday

The Patriots' head coach spoke to the media at a press conference for the first time since the controversy broke late Sunday night, after New England's AFC Championship victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

Elise Amendola/AP
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick speaks during a news conference prior to a team practice in Foxborough, Mass., Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015.

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.

However Belichick suggested more detail may be available from his quarterback Tom Brady.

"Tom's personal preferences on his footballs are something that he can talk about in much better detail and information than I could possibly provide," said Belichick.

The Patriots said Brady would address the media later on Thursday.

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.

"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, suggesting they had been inflating to the lowest legal level.

"I've learned about the inflation range situation. Obviously with our footballs being inflated in the 12.5 pound range, any deflation would take us under that specification.

"Knowing that now, in the future, we will certainly inflate the football above that low level to account for any change in the game."

But the Patriots coach insisted there had been no wrongdoing.

"I can't think of anything I would have done differently based on what I knew then, based on what I know now."

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