The Slatest

Patriots Coach Bill Belichick Denies Culpability in Ballghazi Deflation Scandal

Belichick at Thursday’s press conference.

Maddie Meyer/Getty

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Thursday that he did not order the deflation of footballs used by the Patriots offense during the team’s Sunday game against the Indianapolis Colts. The team is suspected of tampering with the balls to make them easier to throw and catch. Said Belichick: “In my entire coaching career, I have never talked to any player or staff member about football air pressure.”

Belichick, who was fined $500,000 in 2007 when the Patriots were found to have violated league rules by videotaping an opposing team’s coaches during a game, said he was not aware of the ball pressure issue until Monday. Game officials reportedly measured and then reinflated the balls being used by the Patriots at halftime on Sunday after a complaint from the Colts.

Belichick said quarterback Tom Brady might be able to speak more specifically to the issue: “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,” he said. Brady is scheduled to appear at a 4 p.m. press conference Thursday.