DeflateGate: Tom Brady Claims He 'Didn't Alter Ball In Any Way'

In response to the New England Patriots Deflategate controversy, quarterback Tom Brady claimed he “didn’t alter the ball in any way” during a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

The Patriots face accusations that the team used under-inflated footballs during its win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game on Sunday. The Patriots beat the Colts 45-7.

The purpose of a deflated ball would be to make it easier to grip in bad weather. Sunday’s game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts saw rain, and a deflated ball would have given Brady an advantage.

Reportedly, 11 of the 12 balls used by the Patriots during the game were not inflated to league-required limits.

Three-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady said he had no knowledge of the Deflategate. “I was surprised as anybody when I heard Monday morning that this happened.”

Brady explained that he has a “process” to select footballs prior to any game. He assumed the ball he picked for the first half was the same he played with in the second half.

“I didn’t think twice about it. Once I approve the ball, that’s the ball I expect out there on the field,” he said.

According to ESPN, the Colts brought up concerns about the Patriots using under-inflated balls in November. The NFL was aware of the concerns going into the AFC Championship game.

During the Nov. 16 game between the Colts and Patriots, Colts safety Mike Adams intercepted the ball from Brady twice during the game. Adams then gave the balls to the Colts’ equipment manager. The team’s management noted that both balls felt deflated.

Earlier Thursday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick also claimed he had no idea what happened to the footballs. He explained that during his coaching career he never inquired to his players or staff about football air pressure.

Belichick, the all-time winningest coach in playoff history, said he was fully cooperating with the NFL’s investigation into the issue.

Tom Brady said the Deflategate controversy questions the integrity of the game which is important. However, he criticized the ongoing scrutiny by saying, “this isn’t ISIS…no one’s dying.”

[Photo Credit: Keith Allison]