Brady: 'I didn't alter the balls in any way'

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Foxboro, MA ( - Tom Brady spoke of his involvement regarding the deflated footballs used during the AFC Championship Game on Thursday.

And like his head coach, Brady pled ignorance.

"I didn't alter the balls in any way," said Brady, who did not have a prepared statement and instead took questions from the media on the issue. "I've always played within the rules and I would never break the rules."

Brady explained his routine with team equipment managers and said nothing was any different from their normal preparation.

"I have no knowledge of any wrong doing. ... I don't know what happened," said Brady, who will play in his record sixth Super Bowl on Feb. 1. "I don't like that this has taken away from what we've achieved as a team."

The Patriots advanced to Super Bowl XLIX by rolling to a 45-7 win over the Colts last Sunday, a rain-soaked affair the saw Colts quarterback Andrew Luck complete just 36 percent of his passes.

Brady, meanwhile, connected on 66 percent of his attempts and was picked off once, an interception by D'Qwell Jackson in the second quarter that commenced what has been since been deemed "Deflate-Gate."

Jackson noted the ball provided by the Patriots was underinflated, and ESPN reported Tuesday night, citing league sources, that 11 of the 12 balls used by the Patriots during the game were underinflated by two pounds of air pressure per square inch (PSI).

NFL rules mandate game balls, which are inspected by the referee, be inflated to 12 1/2 to 13 1/2 PSI.

Earlier Thursday, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick deflected blame, saying he was "completely and totally unaware" of the situation until Monday.

The NFL has not released any official statement on the matter, but a number of penalties are evidently on the table if the Patriots are at fault.

They could be subject to penalties similar to ones levied after the team was found to have videotaped defensive signals used by the New York Jets during a game in September 2007.

Those penalties included a $500,000 fine for Belichick, a $250,000 fine for the team and the loss of a draft pick.