Patriots coach Bill Belichick took a few questions from reporters following his impromptu news conference to address allegations his team has improperly deflated footballs in the AFC title game. Here is the transcript from the at-times testy exchange:
Reporter: Did the NFL share with you the pregame documented PSI?
Belichick: “You have to talk to the league about anything they did or didn’t do.”
Reporter: You don’t know if they documented?
Belichick: “We can sit here and talk about this stuff for two hours all right? You want to ask the league any question about what they do or don’t do, ask the league. I’m just telling you what I’ve learned in the study that we’ve done in the experience that I’ve had over the last few days in looking into this matter. That’s all I can tell you. I’m not a scientist. I’m not a league official.”
Reporter: Do you feel like after the amount of research and work you put in this week that you could be exonerated from this whole thing?
Belichick: “I just told you what I think. That’s what I think right there.”
Reporter: Has your game preparation for the Super Bowl been compromised at all?
Belichick: “Well, I’ve spent a lot of the week in game-planning. Look I told you I thought this was an important issue and I addressed it.”
Reporter: It sounds like a combination of atmospheric or weather conditions and then trusting that the officials did inflate the ball to 12.5 PSI, is that correct?
Belichick: “You take the atmospheric conditions out of it because if the footballs are measured in the same atmospheric conditions then it’s a non-factor. But, if you measure a football in a controlled condition like this and you measure a football let’s just say like on the night that we played Baltimore, then no way are they the same. You take that football and you set it outside and the football becomes accustomed to those climatic conditions and those temperatures, there’s no way it’s the same. Take it out and bring it back in and let it sit for X amount of time, then it probably is the same. So, no. That’s not the issue. Depending on where footballs are measured and where they were measured, that’s a whole ‘nother discussion. No, the situation is the preparation of the ball caused the ball to I would say be artificially high in PSI when it was set at the regulated level and it reached its equilibrium at some point later on, an hour or two hours into the game whatever it was. That level was below what it was set in this climatic condition. I think that’s exactly what happened. And I think anybody that wants to do those experiments should go ahead and do them themselves. Don’t take my word for it. I’m telling you, we are trying to get to an answer to this and that’s what we have.”
Reporter: Bill, you said you try to err on the caution with the rules, but the videotaping, you were pushing the envelope on that, did that change that?
Belichick: “Look, that’s a whole ‘nother discussion. The guy’s giving signals in front of 80,000 people, OK? So we filmed him making signals out in front of 80,000 people like there were a lot of other teams doing at that time too. Forget about that. If were wrong, then we’ve been disciplined for that.”
Reporter: That’s clearly not trying to do everything you can stay on the side of caution.
Belichick: “The guy is in front of 80,000 people. 80,000 people saw it. Everybody on the sideline saw it. Everybody sees our guy in front of 80,000 people. There he is. So, it was wrong and we were disciplined for it. That’s it. Again, we are never going to do it again and anything that’s close, we aren’t going to do it either.”
Reporter: I’m talking about what you said a few minutes ago about staying on the side of caution.
Belichick: “We always do, but I mean anything that’s even remotely close, we are on the side of caution.”
Reporter: There was a lot of science talked about today, did you have a lot of science people help?
Belichick: “We talked to a lot of people.”
Reporter: How much time did you spend on the study?
Belichick: “I didn’t log it.”
Belichick: “Look, I came in here Thursday and I told you I didn’t have any answers. I am very confident in the things that we have talked about, the study that we did. We’ve fine-tooth-combed everything. I’m 100 percent confident in everything that I’ve told you. That’s what I believe. That’s what I know. That’s what it is. I’m as transparent as I could be on this one. Period.”
Reporter: Is that a yes that you feel relieved about saying this?
Belichick: “Look, I did what I did. No I’m not using those adjectives. I told you what I did.”
Reporter: Do you rub the football vigorously?
Belichick: “We rub it to get it to the proper texture. Yes, I don’t know what is vigorous, what isn’t. We’re not polishing fine china here. We’re trying to get a football to the proper texture that a quarterback wants it. Does that stimulate something inside the football to raise the PSI? It does.”