While acknowledging fault, Belichick plays down Spygate

As part of New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s news conference addressing the use of under-inflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game, he talked about Spygate more extensively than he has in years.

“Look, that’s a whole ‘nother discussion,” Belichick said when asked by a reporter whether he stopped “pushing the envelope” on the rules after he was found to be illegally videotaping signals in 2007. “The guy’s giving signals in front of 80,000 people, OK? So we filmed him making signals out in front of 80,000 people like there were a lot of other teams doing at that time, too. Forget about that.

“If we were wrong, then we’ve been disciplined for that.”

The Patriots were docked a first-round draft pick and fined $250,000 and Belichick docked $500,000 after it was found they were illegally taping the New York Jets' defensive signals during a September game in 2007.

While Belichick acknowledged Saturday that he was in the wrong, he also said the signals were something that everyone could see.

“The guy is in front of 80,000 people, 80,000 people saw it. Everybody on the sideline saw it,” Belichick said. “Everybody sees our guy in front of 80,000 people. There he is. So, it was wrong and we were disciplined for it. That’s it.

“Again, we are never going to do it again and anything that’s close, we aren’t going to do it, either.”

Belichick stressed Saturday that he errs on the side of caution with NFL rules.

“We always do, but I mean anything that’s even remotely close, we are on the side of caution,” Belichick said.