FOXBORO, Mass. — New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is passing the buck on DeflateGate.

Belichick, in a news conference Thursday at Gillette Stadium, claimed that he has no knowledge of how the Patriots’ footballs became deflated during the first half of the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts. Belichick also said that he’s learned a lot more about the process of how footballs are prepared and approved by the NFL in the last three days than he knew in the last 40 years of coaching.

The head coach said he was “shocked” to find out that the Patriots were being investigated for football deflation Monday morning.

Belichick even said that he doesn’t touch game balls during a game.

“I think we all know that quarterbacks, kickers, specialists have certain preferences on footballs,” Belichick said. “They know a lot more about it than I do. They’re a lot more sensitive to it than I am. I hear them comment on it from time to time. But I can tell you and they can tell you that there is never any sympathy from me on that subject. Zero.

“Tom (Brady)’s personal preferences on his footballs are something that he can talk about in much better detail and information than I can possibly provide. In my entire coaching career, I have never talked to any player, staff member about football air pressure. That is not a subject that I have ever brought up. To me, the footballs are approved by the league and game officials pregame, and we play with what is out there. And that is the only way that I have ever thought about that.”

Brady will address the media Thursday at 4 p.m. His news conference originally was scheduled for Friday.

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images