Belichick speaks out

Bill Belichick had this to say in today's Boston Globe about the various spying charges levied at him:

"In my entire coaching career, I've never seen another team's practice film prior to playing that team," Belichick said. "I have never authorized, or heard of, or even seen in any way, shape, or form any other team's walkthrough. We don't even film our own. We don't even want to see ourselves do anything, that's the pace that it's at. Regardless, I've never been a part of that.

"My entire coaching career, I have never filmed a walkthrough, our own. I've never been on a staff that has filmed a walkthrough. I'm talking about when I was a head coach. As an assistant, I've never seen a head coach film a walkthrough the day before a game.

"[The video-taping rule] states that any use by any club at any time, from the start to the finish of any game in which such club is a participant, of any communications or information-gathering equipment, other than Polaroid-type cameras or field telephones, shall be prohibited, including without limitation videotape machines, telephone tapping, or bugging devices, or any other form of electronic devices that might aid a team during the playing of a game.

"My interpretation was that you can't utilize anything to assist you during that game. What our camera guys do is clearly not allowed to be used during the game and has never been used during that game that it was shot.

"On the tape of the signaling that we talk about, that film usually wasn't even completed until Thursday or Friday of the following week. It was that low of a priority. In other words, the video guys had so much other stuff to do on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday getting ready for the other game, that a lot of times that film wasn't even processed until later in the week.

"I respect the integrity of the game and always have and always will. I regret that any of this, or to whatever extent it has in any way brought that into question or discussion or debate. The decision was made by the commissioner, the practice was immediately stopped, and we're not doing it.

"Just going back over the whole taping incident, if I contacted the league and asked them about the practice, I'm sure they would have told me - as they have done - that it is not permissible. Then I could have avoided all of this.

"I take responsibility for it. Even though I felt there was a gray area in the rule and I misinterpreted the rule, that was my mistake and we've been penalized for it. I apologize to everybody that is involved - the league, the other teams, the fans, our team, for the amount of conversation and dialogue that it's caused.

"I misinterpreted the rule. The commissioner made his ruling and we've been penalized for it and tried to move on.

"I wasn't comfortable talking about it earlier in the year because my No. 1 job is to win football games. The more distractions there are, I think the harder it is to prepare. I thought the more conversation about this would just take away from what my primary job and our primary job is, which is to win football games.

"I felt like now, the season has been over for a couple weeks, there are certainly a lot of questions out there about it, I thought this would be the timely point to address it as opposed to during the season, at any point. Of course, it came up a number of times."


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