Tom Brady, speaking Thursday at a press conference regarding the “deflategate” investigation, denied any wrongdoing or even that he could tell whether the balls were deflated in the win over Indianapolis Sunday. Brady said he believes in “fair play” and doesn’t think about the footballs once the game starts.
Brady, who held a players-only meeting, according to a report on NBC News, said he likes his balls a “certain way”, in that meeting, though there was no mention what that weight was.
Additionally, three years ago Brady told WEEI that likes deflated balls.
“[W]hen Gronk scores – it was like his eighth touchdown of the year – he spikes the ball and he deflates the ball,” Brady said in November 2011. “I love that, because I like the deflated ball. But I feel bad for that football, because he puts everything he can into those spikes.”
Brady though said Thursday that he prefers his footballs to be at the minimum regulation weight of 12.5 pounds/square inch. “To me, that’s a perfect grip for the football,” he said. “I would never do anything outside the rules of play.”
Furthermore he could give no explanation for what happened Sunday leading to 11 of the 12 footballs to be deflated just hours after the referees examined them. “I have no knowledge of anything, any wrongdoing,” said Brady. “I’m very comfortable saying nobody did it as far as I know.”
Under league rules, each team provides 12 balls for use on offense. Referees approve the balls more than 2 hours before game time, then keep the balls until they’re turned over to ball handlers provided by home teams just before kickoff.
The Patriots, who are trying to prepare to face Seattle next week in the Super Bowl, are looking at a fine as well as a possible loss of draft pick(s) should the NFL find them guilty.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.