Super Bowl XLIX is just three days away, but the nation's biggest sporting event may be overshadowed by the "deflate-gate" scandal. Rattling the minds of officials and fans alike -- whether Patriots quarterback Tom Brady could have noticed that he was playing with under-inflated footballs.
Other veteran quarterbacks, Troy Aikman in particular, have come down hard, saying there's no way the ball would have been deflated without the quarterback knowing about it. But Brady said he didn't notice any difference between the balls used in the second half of the game and those in the first that were not sufficiently inflated.
New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees, appearing Thursday on "CBS This Morning," said that he would be able to tell the difference between footballs with different levels of inflation -- but he would not be focusing on that during a game.
"If you just gave me two balls right now and you said, 'Feel these balls and tell me if there's a difference in the weight or how much air is in them,' I could say yes, I could tell a difference," Brees said. "But throughout the course of a game, your mind is on -- it's hard enough to make the right read and then get the ball to the open receiver that you're not recognizing that, I think, as the ball is snapped to you -- you're just doing your job."
Because of their lower PSI, balls with less air are easier to grip, and some point to the inclement weather during that AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts as a reason the balls may have been deflated.
"I don't know if it makes a difference or not, I really don't, but certainly it's been a huge controversy," Brees said. "The fact is, if rules were broken, rules were broken, and there are consequences for that."
"He doesn't seem to be distracted by much. He seems like he's all business and all football," Brees said. "And yet, it doesn't appear to be that he's been in an interview over the last two weeks where he hasn't been asked about it, so I'm sure it's getting a little bit annoying for him."
When it comes to the actual game, Brees said both Belichick and Seahawks' coachPete Carroll have proven that they know how to win. While much talk has been focused on New England's offense and Seattle's defensive tactics, it could be the teams' other sides that make a difference.
"It's going to be Seattle's offense with Russell Wilson at the helm. I think they gained a ton of confidence last week in the way that they finished that game against Green Bay," Brees said. "And the Patriots' defense, because I think that they haven't necessarily received the attention that the offense has received this year, but they've been a huge part of their success."
Wilson may be shorter than the average quarterback, but Brees said the Seattle QB has been able to use all 5 feet 11 inches to make a difference on the field.
"Us short guys stick together. That's for sure," Brees said. "I think for guys like us, we've always had to play the game a certain way, and that is finding throwing lanes, being able to move your feet and make plays outside the pocket. He's absolutely one of the best at doing it."