New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady finally addressed the controversy regarding cheating accusations over deflated footballs this week.
On Thursday (Jan. 22), the Patriots star spoke at a news conference, where he revealed that he’s yet to be contacted by the NFL about its investigation in the matter and added: “I didn’t alter the ball in any way.”
Brady also detailed how he selected 24 footballs for referees to inspect before Sunday’s (Jan. 18) AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts.
“When I pick those footballs out, at that point, to me, they’re perfect,” he said. “I don’t want anyone touching the balls after that. I don’t want anyone rubbing them, putting any air in them, taking any air out. To me, those balls are perfect, and that’s what I expect when I show up on the field.”
Later, Brady explained that he prefers his football to be inflated at 12.5 pounds per square inch, the lowest end of the league requirement. “To me, that’s a perfect grip for the football,” he said.
Since the game, the NFL found that 11 of the Patriots’ 12 game balls from Sunday, in which they blew out the Colts 45-7, were inflated significantly below league requirements, sources tell ESPN.
When asked if he’s spoken to the Patriots’ equipment staff about the allegations, he said: “Yeah, and they haven’t, and I believe them. They also know how I like it and that’s exactly the way they are.”
Brady also professed his innocence. “I feel like I have always played within the rules,” he said. “I would never break the rules.”