Brady: I Did Not Alter Footballs, Don't Know How They Were Deflated
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said this afternoon he did nothing to alter the balls that he used in the AFC Championship Game.
"I was as surprised as anybody when I found out Monday morning," said Brady, adding he has no knowledge of how the balls became deflated below the NFL's allowable level.
He explained that he has a process before every game in which he selects the balls that he wants to use. Brady said the balls he picked out "felt perfect" and he did not give it any other thought during the game.
"I would never do something outside of the rules of play," he said, describing it as a "serious topic" that is not being blown out of proportion by the media.
Brady said he has "no idea" if he has ever played with an under-inflated ball in the past, declaring, "I'm not a cheater."
Earlier today, head coach Bill Belichick said he had no idea that the footballs used by Brady in the AFC Championship Game had been under-inflated.
Seeking to distance himself from the growing controversy, Belichick said he had "no explanation" for how the team's balls were deflated.
He said Brady has a "personal preference" for how he likes the ball.
ESPN reported Tuesday night, citing anonymous sources, that the NFL found 11 of 12 footballs provided by the Patriots were not properly inflated, while balls used by the Colts on offense met league standards.
Since Sunday's 45-7 victory, many have questioned whether the Patriots may have been seeking an unfair advantage.
On "America's Newsroom" this morning, former Super Bowl-winning quarterback Joe Theismann said he found no discernible difference when he threw an under-inflated ball this week.
He also said it would be "hard to believe" the balls could have been deflated without Brady knowing.
Watch a portion of Brady's remarks above.