Bill Belichick clears the air on comments about playing in Mexico

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- With several reporters from Mexico present ahead of Super Bowl LII, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick cleared the air about comments he had made following the team's victory over the Oakland Raiders in Mexico City in November.

"With certainty, I did not intend it to be a negative thing," Belichick said Thursday. "We had a good time there, the people were great, it was a long way to [play] a game, without a doubt, but there was a great atmosphere, and it was a good game."

In his weekly interview on sports radio WEEI after the victory over the Raiders, which capped off a long week away as the team had trained in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Belichick had said: "The players did a great job with all the challenges we had to deal with. I think we were fortunate that there were no volcanic eruptions or earthquakes, or anything else while we were there, when you have two NFL franchises in the area where you do not know how stable the geological plates are under us, but nothing happened, so that was good."

In Minnesota on Thursday, Belichick said, "I have a lot of [Mexican] friends and a member of our [strength staff], and one of my closest friends, one of the people who I most respect, is Mexican. I did not seek to offend anyone there."

Several Patriots players were asked about their experience in Mexico, including quarterback Tom Brady, who said of Estadio Azteca: "That was one of the nicest stadiums I've ever played in."