New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick held a press conference Saturday afternoon to discuss the "DeflateGate" allegations. Citing his own personal and a team internal study of the situation, which surrounds allegations that the Patriots played with under inflated footballs during the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts, Belichick explained that the team's preparation of the football is through using the ball in practice and breaking in the ball to a way quarterback Tom Brady likes. The balls are then turned over to the referees before the game and the "process is finalized."
The head coach explained that the process of getting the balls ready, things like rubbings he balls to get the texture to where a quarterback likes, using multiple balls over the past week to conduct the study, showed the balls then rise a pound per square inch in pressure. Belichick said the team delivers the balls to the referees, asking them to put the balls at 12.5 pounds per square inch. He continued, saying the team simulated the conditions of the game, measuring the changes in the balls, which determined the pressure dropped about 1.5 pounds per inch. The team then took the balls back inside, finding the pressure readings moved back up about half a pound, resulting in the balls reading 11.5 pounds pern square inch, which would register one pound under the NFL mandate.
Belichick flatly stated that the Patriots as a team, and all individuals associated with the team, followed the NFL rules 100-percent.
He repeatedly stated that he does not know what the officials did with the balls during their inspection. He also stated that the team has no knowledge of the pressures of the footballs throughout the game, and they are more concerned with the texture of the balls.
Belichick did explain that the team used their quarterbacks in testing the differences of the pressures in the balls, with none of them able to determine the difference between balls with one pound per square inch differences. He said at two pounds, some differences were able to be felt, but that some balls were correctly identified and some were not.
He also said the team routinely makes it harder for the team to handle the ball during practice, not easier.
"At no time was there any intent whatsoever to compromise the integrity of the game or to try to gain an advantage," Belichick remarked. "We feel like we followed the rules of the game to the letter."
He also said he is embarrassed at the amount of time he and the team have had to spend this week on this matter. He welcomes the NFL's investigation, and there are many things that need to be explained, but that this would be the last of his remarks and time spent on the DeflateGate matter. The team needs to focus on their "huge challenge" coming up as they prepare to face the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl in a week.
During questions, Belichick again reiterated that he feels the preparation of the ball, specifically the rubbing of the ball to get it to the proper texture and raises the pressures of the ball about a pound per inch, followed by the ball being allowed to reach an equilibrium state, could lead to a ball being measured at a lower pressure later.
He was also asked about the 2007 SpyGate controversy in which the team was punished for taping the New York Jets' defensive signals. He stated that this is very different, and that if they were wrong for seeing signals being used in front of 80,000 people, they were pusished and have never, and will never, do it again.