Tom Brady: “I Didn’t Alter The Ball In Any Way”

He says he felt the team “won the game fair and square.”

Tom Brady opened his press conference by stating: “I didn’t alter the balls in any way.” He then said that to him, “those balls were perfect.”

He says he has always “played within the rules,” and was “as surprised as anyone” when the news broke that the Patriots were being investigated by the league.

Brady likens footballs to a baseball glove that an individual player breaks in and prefers to use in a certain way.

Brady says he never knowingly played with a football that was inflated under the league mandated 12.5 lbs.

The quarterback says he tries to exemplify a “high moral standard.”

Though he acknowledged the seriousness in respect to the NFL, Brady boldly stated: “this isn’t ISIS.” patriots.com

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Brady also said he believes the Patriots won the AFC Championship game “fair and square.”

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Earlier today, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick held a press conference in which he immediately told reporters he was “shocked” to find out the league was investigating the team’s footballs.

Belichick said that, during practice, he subjects his players to the worst possible conditions for a football: wet, sticky, really anything that will prepare his players for equipment trials during games.

The coach said he doesn’t have the authority to speak to how quarterback Tom Brady prefers his footballs to be inflated. In doing so, Belichick subtly attempted to pass off any potential blame onto a member of the team’s crew, or his own quarterback. Many reporters who have covered Belichick for many years have expressed skepticism that the notoriously detail-oriented coach would have a lack of knowledge about how his team’s footballs are prepared.

He said that he, along with most fans and media, has learned a lot about the process of inspecting team-provided footballs.

Belichick said he has never spoken to crews about the preparation and variation of footballs. He said he always just left it to the crews, let them pass inspection, and never thought about it otherwise.

Belichick says the Patriots typically inflated their footballs to 12.5 lbs, the league minumum, but that the team will now inflate them above league minimum to account for any possible deflation during game time. This was a carefully worded detail that the team hopes will convincingly prove the under-inflation was not a deliberate decision.

Later that day, Tom Brady met with his teammates to discuss the scandal. NBC News reports Brady told his teammates he likes the footballs prepared “a certain way.”

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick on Sunday. AP Charles Krupa

Official game balls for the NFL football Super Bowl XLIX on Jan. 20. AP Rick Osentoski

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