GLENDALE, Ariz. - During an interview with Bob Costas that aired during NBC's pregame programming Sunday afternoon, Tom Brady scrambled around like Russell Wilson.
The Patriots quarterback ducked directly answering questions about the overarching narrative of the past two weeks: the league's investigation into the use of deflated footballs by the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.
In an interview taped Tuesday, when asked by Costas if he had any knowledge of the footballs being deflated, Brady said: "You know, look, I've talked about that in the past, and I don't want that to continue to be a story about this particular game. All the facts will come out after the Super Bowl, and however those facts come out, you know, that will be news to me, as well. So that process will all take place at some point.
"I'm excited about the Super Bowl, and that's where my energy is. I think there was a little bit of an energy drain, like I said, with my emotions and feelings being involved earlier in the week, but, you know, I've got to be able to move past those things and compartmentalize those things and be mentally tough enough to go out there and try to shine through."
Brady also was asked how he could have been unaware of a pressure difference in those footballs, as he has said.
"You know, it's all up to the individual," he said. "On that particular night, you know, I was facing a great defense. You know, it was a wet, chilly night. It was, you know, things are happening pretty quick. So, you know, the last thing I was thinking about was, you know, how the ball was inflated. I thought I was trying to deal with how the ball felt in my hand. And, like I said, it felt pretty good all night."
Then Costas noted that most people figure that a ball boy or other team staffer would never deflate a football without Brady's consent.
"I could understand why people feel that way," Brady said. "You know, there's an investigation going on. I'm sure all the things will come out. It's been a lot of speculation. And I think that's what led to my hurt feelings. You know, hopefully the facts come out. And, you know, we understand that, you know, whatever happened, happened. And you know, it's not going to have an effect on this game. And you know, we can move forward."
Costas asked Brady if he thought deflating footballs would be closer to gamesmanship than breaking rules.
"I'd like to just wait for the facts to come out before, you know, you can talk about anything of those things," Brady said. "You know, in some ways, to make judgments based on things that I know nothing about, you know, is not really fair to whatever the process will end up being.
"We're under tough scrutiny, you know. We've won a lot of games, and people are very critical of what we do, and they're critical of a lot of teams.
"Part of being in this profession is that you've got to take the good with the bad. But I'm OK with it. Our team is OK with it. We've had great focus this week. Hopefully, our best is going to come through on Sunday night, and that's where our focus has got to be."
And what will happen after this investigation? Will Brady and his name be cleared?
"Look, everybody's entitled to an opinion," he said. "And, you know, when you play for one NFL team, there's 31 other NFL teams out there. And they're probably not much of a fan of you.
"I mean, if people want to feel whatever they feel, I have no problem with that. They're certainly entitled to those beliefs and those feelings. I realize it's not about me. Not a lot of people know who I am and know what I'm about. And the people that do, you know, they do know what I'm about and what I stand for."