Two days later, Belichick still won't comment
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The silent movie that is Bill Belichick's answer to questions about the NFL's videotaping investigation entered its second day Thursday with the central actor keeping quiet about the probe.
The New England Patriots coach refused to clarify a one-paragraph statement he made Wednesday. And the three-time Super Bowl winner constantly tried to shift the focus of his regular news conference to Sunday night's game against the San Diego Chargers.
Still, the session opened with three direct questions about the investigation into whether New England violated league rules by videotaping New York Jets coaches sending defensive signals to players in the Patriots' 38-14 win last Sunday.
The first question asked for clarification of part of his statement Wednesday, which said he had spoken with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell "about a videotaping procedure during last Sunday's game and my interpretation of the rules."
What, exactly, did he mean by "interpretation of the rules," a question he sidestepped Wednesday.
"I said that I don't have anything to add to that," Belichick said. "When they give a decision, then I'll make a comment."
He said he had no indication when that decision would come.
Belichick also refused to expand on another part of his statement that said, "I want to apologize to everyone who has been affected, most of all ownership, staff and players."
What about the customers, a television reporter who usually covers news stories wanted to know?
"I made that statement," Belichick said. "That's all I have to say right now. I'll make a comment when it's over."
In one departure from Wednesday's news conference, which came 10 minutes after the written statement -- which he didn't read to reporters -- was issued, he didn't walk out of Thursday's session following a question about the investigation.
He did, however, address one method that might eliminate the temptation to use videocameras to steal opponents' signs -- putting transmitters in a defensive player's helmet to receive signals audibly. It's already done for quarterbacks.
The potential change was voted down during the offseason.
"There are pros and cons to everything like that. It was a pretty close vote," said Belichick, who didn't take a position on the issue Thursday. "You don't know who's going to be on the field. How many [transmitters] are you going to have? It's a lot easier with the quarterback position. Every team has a quarterback. It's a lot different on defense. It's not necessarily one guy.
"There's a lot of issues to talk about and get resolved," he said.
Tight end Kyle Brady thought the idea had potential.
"Right now, defensive coordinators communicate by hand signals and things like that," he said. "So it would just be a matter of signals being verbally communicated."
That would avoid teams using videocameras like the one that was confiscated from Patriots video assistant Matt Estrella while he was on the Jets' sideline. The league has confirmed that it is investigating whether the Patriots were taping the Jets' defensive coaches as they signaled to players on the field.
Wide receiver Donte' Stallworth doesn't care if defenders receive signals through headsets in their helmets.
"Everybody can have headsets on," he said with a smile. "You know what I'm going to lobby for? Our equipment guys to let me get some CD action in my helmet."
There'd be some hip-hop music, he said, Van Halen and Bon Jovi, the group led by one of Belichick's friends, Jon Bon Jovi, who has attended Patriots practices.
But any sounds about the investigation coming from Belichick on Thursday were muted.
He wouldn't say if it's common practice in the NFL for teams to pick up opponents' signals.
"Again, right now we're focused on the Chargers," he said. "We're preparing for them, and we're in our second big day of our preparation. That's what we're going to work on."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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