New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady denied any involvement in a possible scheme to deliberately deflate the footballs used during his team’s blowout win over the Indianapolis Colts, telling reporters he “didn’t alter the balls in any way.”
A National Football League report released Tuesday found that 11 of the 12 balls prepared by the Patriots for Sunday’s game were under-inflated by 2 pounds per square inch. That made the balls easier to handle, especially for short passes — of which Brady made more than his opponent.
The quarterback pled ignorance over the altered footballs. “I didn’t, you know, have any — you know, I didn’t alter the ball in any way,” he said.
Brady explained his process of picking the balls before the game. “When I pick the balls 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.”
The quarterback also addressed allegations that he was a cheater. “I’ve always played within the rules, I would never do anything to break the rules,” he said. “I believe in fair play and I respect the league.”