Bill Belichick deflects Deflategate questions: ‘We're on to next year’

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addressed reporters on Friday for the first time since the team's Deflategate punishment was administered.
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New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addressed reporters on Friday for the first time since the team's Deflategate punishment was administered.

The Patriots were fined $1 million and docked a pair of draft picks, and quarterback Tom Brady was suspended for four games, as a result of the report from attorney Ted Wells. The report said “it is more probable than not that New England Patriots personnel participated in violations of the Playing Rules and were involved in a deliberate effort to circumvent the rules” and that Brady “was at least generally aware of... the release of air from Patriots game balls.”

Patriots owner Robert Kraft said on May 19 that the team would not appeal the punishment.

SI’s complete coverage of Deflategate

Asked on Friday if he agreed with Kraft's decision, Belichick said, “Yeah, he made a statement on that last week.”

Belichick was also asked if Deflategate has taken anything away from the Patriots’ Super Bowl XLIX win over the Seattle Seahawks.

“That was a long time ago,” he said. “We’re on to next year. It’s 2015.”

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When asked if it has been difficult to endure the criticism levied at the Patriots, Belichick deflected, saying, “We’re just working hard every day to come out here and get better.”

Brady, who has appealed his suspension, was not made available to reporters despite “multiple” media requests, reports Comcast SportsNet’s Kevin Wash.

Mike Fiammetta