HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – New England Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick says he is “shocked” to hear that 11 of 12 footballs New England used in its AFC Championship victory against Indianapolis did not meet NFL standards for air pressure.
The NFL is investigating if the Patriots provided under-inflated footballs in their 45-7 win against the Colts Sunday night. Under-inflated footballs can possibly give a team an advantage, because they are considered easier to throw and catch. NFL rules state that game balls be inflated to within 12.5 to 13.5 pounds per square inch. Each team provides its own footballs for use on offense, which are inspected. Tampering or switching footballs can result in $25,000 fines, or worse.
In a news conference Thursday morning, Belichick said ““When I came in Monday morning, I was shocked to learn of the news reports about the footballs.” He went on to say, ““I had no knowledge whatsoever of the situation until Monday morning. I would say I’ve learned a lot more about this process in the past three days than I knew or have talked about it in the last 40 years that I’ve coached in this league.”