(Matt Slocum / AP)

Who, exactly, is to blame for the New England Patriots’ DeflateGate controversy? John Madden points the finger straight at Tom Brady, not Bill Belichick.

“That would have to be driven by the quarterback,” Madden told The Sports Xchange (via Pro Football Talk).

“That’s something that wouldn’t be driven by a coach or just the equipment guy. Nobody, not even the head coach, would do anything to a football unilaterally, such as adjust the amount of pressure in a ball, without the quarterback not knowing. It would have to be the quarterback’s idea.”

Although the matter of how the Patriots’ footballs were deflated in the AFC championship game remains under investigation, quarterbacks — especially top-tier quarterbacks — are finicky about their footballs. Brady laughed off the allegation that the balls were underinflated Monday, calling it “ridiculous.” But the matter is serious now.

“He is the affected,” Madden said. “He is the only guy. I heard some of the pundits saying the ball is easier to catch, but that would never, ever, ever be done for that unless the quarterback wanted it. You wouldn’t do something for a receiver to catch the ball if the quarterback couldn’t throw it. So it’s going to be done for the quarterback.”