Patriots Play Defense Over Under-Inflated Footballs

Quarterback Tom Brady defended himself against allegations of cheating, insisting he didn't alter the footballs.
4:19 | 01/23/15

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Transcript for Patriots Play Defense Over Under-Inflated Footballs
Tonight, the new England patriots they superstar quarterback, Tom Brady, facing the cameras and tough questions, heading into his sixth super bowl, ten days from now. Brady has an incredible run with the patriots, winning three super bowls already. Off the field, grabbing headlines with his glamorous wife. Playing a different kind of defense late today, answering questions about the footballs authorities say were deflated. Tonight, Tom Brady answering the question, did he cheat? Here's ABC's Ryan smith. Reporter: Tonight, football's golden boy grilled. Obviously, I'd like to know what happened, as you would all too. Reporter: Tom Brady, bombarded with questions about ESPN's report that 11 of the 12 balls his team used to beat the Indianapolis colts were underinflated. A violation of NFL standards that some call cheating. Today, Brady was asked point blank -- are you a cheater? I don't believe so. I mean, I feel like I've always played within the rules. I would never do anything to break the rules. Reporter: Brady is one of football's biggest stars, both on the field and off. In his 13 seasons as starting quarterback with the patriots, he's helped make the team team one of the most profitable in the league, leading them to the super bowl six times with three wins. Today, patriots head coach bill belichick said Brady picks the footballs he's going to play with. I had no knowledge whatsoever of this situation. Tom's personal preferences on his footballs are something that he can talk about in much better detail. Reporter: Brady then explained his pre-game ritual. You go through that process of breaking the balls in and getting comfortable with them. Of course, I choose the balls that I want to use for the game and then that's what I expect to go out on the playing field with. Reporter: The balls in Sunday's game were approved by a ref more than two hours before game time. Experts say the only time they could have been deflated was in the final minutes before kickoff, or during the game on the sidelines. Touchdown! Reporter: So, I wanted to see how long it could take to do just that. Just like that. What's that, three, four seconds. Right. Reporter: In the patriots locker room today, players telling me they can't distinguish between a regulation ball and a deflated one. Can you tell the difference between a ball that's two pounds lighter? I wouldn't even know, man. Reporter: So, you can't tell that difference? Personally, no. Reporter: When you hold that football, can you tell the difference? No. Reporter: Not at all? No. Reporter: One thing nobody disputes -- this is an unwelcome distraction for the team with the super bowl right around the corner. This has been a tough P.R. Season for the NFL. And to have the patriots, a team that is so visible, but so off involved in these controversies, it's about as bad a scenario as you can see from the league. Reporter: Tom Brady's said no one from the NFL has contacted him about the issue, despite the NFL telling us they are investigating. When asked if Tom Brady will be questioned, and who else has been interviewed so far, the NFL telling us they are not commenting on the details of the review at this point. David? Ryan smith, thank you. Let's get right to our colleague, ESPN's Jesse palmer, a former quarterback yourself. You heard Tom Brady say that before the game, he goes and selects the footballs. Much like you did. Reporter: Every quarterback, the day before the game, gets to select which footballs they want to throw with on game dame. Herb is pretty particular. But absolutely they get to pick which footballs they play with. There is a little bit of leeway there. The big question we did not hear answered, the window of time. Who would have had access? Reporter: In that window, members of the equipment staff could have tampered with the footballs. Buff I want to know about the referees. Sure, they check them before the game. What about during the game? Each snap, there was a referee with his hands on the football, spotting it. If there was less air in that football, they would have known that. Why didn't they stop the game? Why didn't they say anything? You think they would have noticed it. Why would you have deflalted a football? It is an advantage. Quarterbacks can squeeze the football more. It is easier to catch a deflated football. It is easier to not fumble a deflalted football. Certa certainly, there are advantages. Super bowl now just days away. What does this mean for the game and for the star quarterback? Reporter: This is a massive distraction. New England's going to have to deal with it all week. But in my opinion, this does not affect Tom Brady's legacy. All right, Jesse, great to have you with us here tonight.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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