FOXBORO, Mass. — Bill Belichick said he didn’t do anything wrong, then Tom Brady said the same thing nearly seven hours later. So, we’re right back where we started.
The story that is either disgracing the NFL or not a big deal at all, depending on where you live or what region you live in, will not die.
Brady spoke to the media regarding DeflateGate at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. His news conference lasted 30 minutes, and his voice wavered at times, showing emotion. Brady maintained the whole time that he had no knowledge that balls were deflated in the first half of Sunday’s AFC Championship Game.
“I didn’t alter the ball in any way,” Brady said. “I have a process that I go through before every game where I go in and take the balls that I want to — to take balls that I want to use for the game. Our equipment guys do a great job of breaking the balls in. They go through a process that they go through. When I pick those balls out, to me they’re perfect. I don’t want anyone touching the ball after that. I don’t want anyone rubbing them, putting any air in, taking any air out. To me, those balls are perfect, and that’s what I expect when I show up on the field.
“That happened obviously on Sunday night. It’s the same process I always go through. I didn’t expect anything of it. When I woke up Monday morning, I answered a question on the radio about it, and that was the first I heard about it.”
Some questioned whether Patriots head coach Bill Belichick threw Brady under the bus in the morning when he essentially told the media to ask the quarterback about the controversy. Brady and Belichick appear on the same page.
“No, I think everyone’s obviously trying to figure out what happened,” Brady said. “That’s the main thing over the last few days, trying to figure out what happened. I was as surprised as anybody to find out on Monday morning what was happening. That’s, I think over the last few days, as the NFL is trying to figure out, what part of the process, and from when I saw the ball, which was 5 hours before halftime, exactly what happened.
Brady, despite saying that 12.5 PSI is the perfect pressure for a football, said he didn’t notice the balls felt differently in the second half.
“I didn’t — from the first half to the second half, I didn’t think twice about it,” Brady said. “I didn’t put one thought into the football at that point. Once I approved the ball, that’s the one I expect on the field. It wasn’t even a thought or an inkling of a concern of mine that they were any different. I expected them to be exactly the same in the first half as the second half.”
Obviously now there are even more questions than answers regarding what happened to make 11 of the Patriots’ footballs lose 2 pounds per square inch of pressure from 2 hours and 15 minutes before kickoff to halftime.
The NFL supposedly is investigating the situation, though Brady said he hasn’t been contacted yet. So it’s unclear how hard they’re trying.
Thumbnail photo via Elise Amendola/Associated Press