Tom Brady on DeflateGate: 'No knowledge' of incident - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Tom Brady on DeflateGate: 'No knowledge' of incident

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(NBC) -

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said Thursday that he had "no knowledge of any wrongdoing" and could not explain why footballs in the AFC championship game were reportedly deflated below league standards.

"I would never do anything to break the rules," he said. "Everyone's obviously trying to figure out what happened."

He spoke to reporters as a scandal grew over whether the team deliberately removed air from the footballs to make them easier to throw and catch during the game on Sunday, which sent the Patriots to Super Bowl XLIX.

For a little perspective, he said: "This isn't ISIS. No one's dying."

Brady said that he went through the same process he does before every game — going over the footballs and selecting the ones that felt right.

"When I pick those footballs out, at that point, to me, they're perfect," he said. "I don't want anyone touching the balls after that. I don't want anyone rubbing them. To me, those balls are perfect. And that's what I expect when I show up on the field."

Brady expanded his denial to say that he had never knowingly played with a football that was pressurized below the league standard.

He said that his ideal grip is a football with 12.5 pounds per square inch of pressure — the low end of what's allowed under league rules. ESPN reported that an NFL investigation found the footballs supplied by the Patriots to be 2 pounds below standard.

Brady passed up a chance to play down the importance of the scandal. "The integrity of the sport is very important," he said. But he added that he felt the Patriots "won the game fair and square." They routed the Indianapolis Colts 45-7.

Earlier in the day, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said he knew nothing about it — although he suggested that Brady might have answers.

"Tom's personal preferences on his footballs are something that he can talk about in much better detail and information than I could possibly provide," Belichick told reporters. "I have no explanation for what happened."

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