FOXBORO, Mass. — A football could be under-inflated, over-inflated, wet, dry, muddy or frozen — according to Bill Belichick, it shouldn’t make any difference for his team.

Belichick said during a news conference Thursday morning — his first since the “DeflateGate” story broke following the New England Patriots’ 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts — that given what he puts his players through in practice, the condition of the football on game day should be irrelevant.

“Let me just say that my personal coaching philosophy — my mentality — has always been to make things as difficult as possible for players in practice,” Belichick said. “So, with regard to footballs, I’m sure that any current or past player of mine would tell you that the balls we practice with are as bad as they can be.

“Wet, sticky, cold, slippery — however bad we can make them, I make them. And anytime players complain about the quality of the footballs, I make them worse, and that stops the complaining. So, we never use the condition of the footballs as an excuse. We play with whatever or kick with whatever we have to use, and that’s the way it is. That has never been a priority for me. I want the players to deal with a harder situation in practice than they’ll ever have to deal with in a game. Maybe that’s part of our whole ball-security philosophy. I’m trying to coach the team, and that’s what I want to do.”

Belichick did add, however, that the Patriots in the future will make a it point to increase the pregame inflation of their footballs to avoid situations like the one they found themselves in this week.

Thumbnail photo via Charles Krupa/Associated Press