(CNN) — New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Thursday that he was “shocked” to hear allegations that his team’s footballs were under-inflated in violation of NFL rules, a controversy that’s cast a shadow over his team as it prepares for Super Bowl XLIX.
Belichick denied having any knowledge of the situation, including who may have deflated the footballs, and how it may have happened, at last Sunday’s AFC championship game — a game that the Patriots won handily, 45-7, over the Indianapolis Colts. He said that he’s learned more about the football inflation process in three days than he has known or talked about in his 40 years in the league.
“In my entire coaching career, I have never talked to any player (or) staff member about football air pressure,” Belichick said. “That is not a subject that I have ever brought up. To me, the footballs are approved by the league … pregame, and we play with what’s out there.”