Tom Brady addressed the press today (January 22) in the midst of criticism and speculations surrounding the New England Patriots and what has been dubbed “Deflate-Gate.”
Immediately, the quarterback responded to allegations that the team used footballs that did not meet the National Football League‘s inflation guidelines during the team’s win over the Indianapolis Colts in Sunday’s AFC championship game. “I didn’t alter the balls in any way,” Brady said.
On Monday (January 19), news surfaced that the NFL found New England had used as many as 11 of 12 footballs that were not inflated properly during the game in question. Despite this, Brady maintained that he knew nothing regarding any wrongdoing. “I’ve always played within the rules,” he said. “I would never do anything to break the rules. I believe in fair play.”
NFL’s rulebook indicates that balls should be inflated between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch. Deflated footballs are said to be easier to grip, according to some players, giving an advantage to a team that uses them. During the press conference, Brady acknowledged he prefers the footballs to be “at 12.5,” calling it a “perfect grip for the football.”
Of course, Brady isn’t the first high profile New England figure to address the issue. Coach Bill Belichick also spoke on the matter during a separate press conference today. “I had no knowledge whatsoever of this situation until Monday morning,” Belichick explained. “I can tell you that in my entire coaching career, I have never talked to any player, staff member about football air pressure. That is not a subject that I have ever brought up.”
The Patriots are prepping for their upcoming Super Bowl match-up against the Seattle Seahawks, scheduled to take place February 1.