The release of the Wells Report on Deflategate has cast new scrutiny on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's Jan. 22 press conference, at which he offered his side of things in the matter.
Jim McNally, an officials locker room attendant for the Patriots, and John Jastremski, an assistant equipment manager for the Patriots, were implicated in the Wells report as likely being behind the effort to deflate the footballs used in the AFC Championship after they had been examined by the referee. But the report also came down on Tom Brady, saying the Patriots quarterback was found to be "at least generally aware" of what was going on.
Here's a review of Tom Brady's initial press conference from Jan. 22, compared with the findings of the Wells Report.
Q. Are you comfortable that nobody did anything?
What Brady said: Yeah, I'm very comfortable saying that. I'm very comfortable saying that nobody did it, as far as I know. I don't know everything. I also understand that I was in the locker room preparing for a game. I don't know what happened over the course of the process with the footballs. I was preparing for my own job, doing what I needed to do.
What the Wells report said: Based on the evidence, it also is our view that it is more probable than not that Tom Brady (the quarterback for the Patriots) was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of McNally and Jastremski involving the release of air from Patriots game balls.
Q. Have you tried to find out why the balls were underinflated?
What Brady said: That's a great question. I think there are a lot of people that have more information than me. I only know what I've kind of gone through and the process I've taken as part of the game and the postgame, as well as trying to prepare for the Super Bowl. Yeah, I have questions, too. But there's nobody that I know that can answer the questions that I have.
What the Wells report said: Jastremski's phone records and text messages show that Brady spoke with Jastremski by phone six times in the three days following the AFC Championship after the two had not communicated for six months. The calls totaled about 55 minutes. Brady also checked in on him via text, "seemingly designed to calm Jastremski," according to the report. Two of them read: "You good Jonny boy?" and "You doing good?"
Q: Have you reached out to the equipment staff to see if they did anything to the footballs?
What Brady said: Yeah, and they haven't, and I believe them, and they also know how I like the balls, and I tell them how great they are before the game – 'Perfect job, great job'. So, they know how I like it, and that's exactly the way they are.
What the Wells report said: Jastremski warned Brady that Dave Schoenfeld, the team's equipment manager would be "picking your brain later about it. He's not accusing me, or anyone….trying to get to bottom of it. He knows it's unrealistic you did it yourself …"
Q: Bill Belichick said the team will inflate the balls over the minimum requirement from now on. Is that going to be an adjustment if 12.5 pounds is what you like?
What Brady said: I don't think that would make much of a difference. Like I said, I didn't feel any difference between what was a 13-pound football or an 11-pound football the other night. That is pretty irrelevant to me.
What the Wells report said: According to Brady, Jastremski and other Patriots personnel, during the October 2014 Jets game, Brady complained angrily about the feel and inflation level of the game balls, which were set between 12.75 and 12.85 psi. He told Jastremski between drives that the balls felt "like bricks" and were heavier and harder to grip than they had been when he approved them prior to the game.
Rachel G. Bowers contributed to this report. Follow Andrew Mahoney on Twitter @GlobeMahoney