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Fie, spy

The Baltimore Sun

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- When New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick held his news conference yesterday at Gillette Stadium, he was peppered with questions regarding the NFL's ruling on video spying. He opened with the following statement:

"OK, I know there is a lot of interest here on the situation and decision last night, but as I stated, it's over and we're moving on. All my energy and focus and attention is on the San Diego Chargers game Sunday night. That's where we're at."

The next 6 minutes, 30 seconds were dominated by questions on the NFL's ruling.

Some of the Q&A;:

Did you craft the statement yourself?

"It's my statement."

You wrote it?

"It's my statement, yes."

Why would you not read or actually speak that statement?

"There was quite a bit of interest, and we had a number of requests from the media to respond to the decision. I tried to do that."

But in essence, you never actually stood in front of people and expressed your remorse, if that's the right word.

"I tried to act in a timely way."

Do you want to address the fans?

"We're moving on to San Diego. That's what I'm addressing. All my energy is on the San Diego Chargers."

Moving on to San Diego, is there something different than you did last weekend with your video assistant - will he not be on the sidelines anymore? Will he not be videotaping?

"That is correct."

What won't be happening?

"We will change our procedure on that."

Can you explain how you misinterpreted the rule?

"It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. We're moving on."

But you lost a first-round draft choice and were fined a half-million dollars. It does matter.

"It already happened. Right now, we're focusing on what's in front of us, and that's the Chargers."

Would you care to comment on people suggesting this has happened in the past, and if it taints your record in the past?

"All my focus is on the San Diego Chargers. I'm just working to get ready for that team."

Do you get to pay a half-million dollars in installments, or do you have to pay it up front?

"I'm just thinking about the Chargers."

With the Chargers in mind, has this become a distraction?

"We're going to try to do the best we can to get ready - Friday, Saturday, all day Sunday. Do all we can to get ready and put our best effort out there. That's what we're doing."

How difficult is it to move on?

"My focus is on the Chargers. I understand there is interest out there. I understand there are stories. But everything is in the past. It's been decided. It's over with."

How much is it that if you win games, that everything else will be forgotten?

"There is nothing you can do about the past."

Do you feel the punishment was fair?

"It doesn't make any difference."

Has this affected your ability to prepare this week?

"At points, it's taken a little time out of it, but we'll be ready. We'll do what we've done, what we normally do. What we do today, Saturday and Sunday. We know we're going to have to be at our best against San Diego. They're good in all three phases of the game. That's what we need to be."

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