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Bill Belichick: I believe the Patriots have followed 'every rule to the letter'

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick addressed the Deflategate controversy at a news conference on Saturday.
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New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick addressed the Deflategate controversy at a news conference on Saturday.

Noting that he is "not a scientist," Belichick provided details about procedures the team underwent to try to determine why the footballs used against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game were underinflated.

He said that he was "embarrassed" about the amount of time he devoted to learning about the specifics of football air pressure and other aspects of the controversy. 

Belichick and said he believes the organization has followed 'every rule to the letter" and that there was not "any intent" to try to compromise "the integrity of the game."

SI's complete coverage of Deflategate

The NFL reportedly determined that 11 of the 12 footballs allocated to the New England Patriots the AFC Championship Game were under-inflated by two pounds of air (PSI).

On Friday, the league released a statement saying it has conducted nearly 40 interviews so far, including of Patriots "personnel, game officials, and third parties with relevant information and expertise."

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The NFL said the evidence "thus far supports the conclusion that footballs that were under-inflated were used by the Patriots in the first half." The league confirmed that prior to the game, the balls were all tested and found to be of satisfactory inflation, and that the balls were all properly inflated for the second half and remained that way. 

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Patriots owner Robert Kraft issued a statement on Friday in response to the NFL, saying he was informed about the investigation on Monday by the league and that the organization has provided the NFL access "to every full- and part-time employee the league's representatives requested to speak with."

On Thursday, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said he "didn't alter the balls in any way," while Belichick said he was shocked to hear about the controversy. 

The Patriots will face the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl on Feb. 1.

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