BOSTON (CBS) — On the morning after the release of the transcript of Tom Brady’s appeal hearing, CBSBostonSports.com’s Michael Hurley joined the Toucher & Rich program to discuss the nitty-gritty of the proceedings.
Some key points.
On Roger Goodell’s abilities as arbitrator…
“If a judge were to assess the job that Roger Goodell did as an arbitrator, I think he would probably retire.”
“I’ve been tough on Goodell for the past few months … because he’s made some clearly bad decisions, he’s made some really unfair decisions, he’s been proven to be a liar by Judge Barbara Jones in the Ray Rice case. But reading the testimony, I think he’s actually not very smart. Every time he interrupted the testimony, he asked questions which were basically alerting the room that he was still there.
BRADY: When I felt them that night, I liked them so we went with them.
COMMISSIONER GOODELL: ‘That night’ was what?
BRADY: The night of the game.
COMMISSIONER GOODELL: OK
“And then there was this:
REISNER: And do you know whether in the six months prior to January 19, 2015, you had ever communicated with John Jastremski by telephone?
REISNER: How many times?
BRADY: I think once or twice.
COMMISSIONER GOODELL: Just so I am clear, once or twice in the six months prior to the Championship Game?
COMMISSIONER GOODELL: Did you guys go into the — did you ever walk through to observe the stadium on Saturday?
COMMISSIONER GOODELL: You did?
COMMISSIONER GOODELL: Yes?
“What?! What is happening?”
On Goodell repeating behavior from the Ray Rice ordeal…
“Goodell’s ruling to uphold his suspension, everyone sort of ate it up, and they talked about the cell phone destruction, but in that ruling, Goodell basically summarized Brady’s comments about his increased communications with John Jastremski after the championship game as, ‘Oh we were only talking about the footballs for the Super Bowl.’ That’s what Goodell wrote in his ruling, and yet, if you read the transcript, Brady talked at length, saying essentially, ‘Yes, we knew the allegations were out there, the reports were out there, I heard it on the radio, I talked to Jastremski immediately and we talked a lot about it.’
“He never denied that he talked to Jastremski about it, but Goodell painted it as this shady hiding of it. And that is a pattern for Goodell. When you say something behind closed doors, he’s going to mischaracterize it when he goes public with it, and I think that was probably the biggest takeaway — that he didn’t learn his lesson from the Ray Rice situation. He still mischaracterized behind-closed-doors, what he thought was going to be off-the-record conversations of the person he’s punishing. And I think if anything should be the big story, that should be it.”
On Ted Wells’ performance…
“For all that money Ted Wells made, he came up short in doing his job, and he can’t admit it. And when you read the testimony in the transcript, he still can’t admit it. He still relies on ‘the totality of the evidence.’ Even though the science has questions, even though everything has holes in it, he still relies on this ‘totality of evidence’ and that it was the ‘worst decision in 40 years’ for Brady to not give up his phone. You didn’t have access to his phone. You couldn’t have it.”
On why Jim McNally and John Jastremski weren’t called as witnesses…
“From reading that transcript, he was so well-coached for that cross. From the very first question, it was, ‘I believe that could be true,’ ‘I don’t recall,’ ‘I don’t remember.’ He was coached so well for what was basically a prosecution’s cross-examination, where he’s treated as if he’s a criminal. And Kessler did a good job getting him ready. I don’t know that he had enough time to get McNally and Jastremski ready, particularly because they’re not used to talking in such situations. Brady can handle the pressure a lot better. I would guess that the task would have been much too tall to get those guys ready for that type of environment.”
On Colts GM Ryan Grigson and others’ awareness of air pressure in January…
“The fact that Grigson storms into the press box on the night of the championship game and says, ‘We’re playing with small balls,’ … he doesn’t know that the Colts provide their own footballs and that the Patriots don’t touch them? So if you want to raise the conspiracy flag, that what was going on? The GM of the Colts, who alerted the league ahead of time that the Patriots might have some funny business with their footballs, doesn’t know that his footballs aren’t touched by those guys? And that they’re smaller?
“Everyone was so stupid about PSI. Have they never filled up a tire before? For Grigson to have no idea about anything, but people have such a hard time believing that Brady wasn’t some PSI expert up until this. They say, ‘Oh, how could Brady not know?‘ Well, Grigson thought the balls shrink and that the Patriots share footballs with them. So it’s a lot easier to believe that Brady didn’t know all of these things that we all now know.”
On how the transcript will impact the NFLPA’s case against the NFL…
“I would have to think a judge — especially one like this Richard Berman fellow who’s not taking much crap, he seems to be like, ‘You guys are all idiots.’ — to read this transcript and see the process … . The opening statements, it was like a trial. It was like, you go to criminal court and the attorney for the NFL, Daniel Nash, was arguing to Roger Goodell for Roger Goodell’s decision. He was saying, [essentially], Commissioner, I think you made the right decision in this, and this is why. Commissioner, you made this decision and it was based on this, and that’s excellent.
“It was the most bizarre kangaroo court type of situation I have ever seen. And at one point, when Ted Wells was being interviewed, an NFL laywer (Nash) said, ‘I don’t think this is an appropriate line of questioning and we are now getting into privilege. And I have to say it also isn’t relevant to any issue in Mr. Brady’s appeal.’ And then Gregg Levy, the attorney for the NFL, comes in and says, ‘Sustained!’
“You’re not a judge. You’re just sitting there because Goodell doesn’t know the law and you’re making sure the proceedings go along. It’s an NFL lawyer sustaining an imaginary objection from another NFL lawyer.”
On the “independence” of the Wells report…
“Lorin Reisner’s name is on the front page [of the Wells report]. … I just can’t see a real judge looking at this and saying, ‘Yes, this was due process.’ Especially with Lorin Reisner being the first attorney the NFL called upon to run a cross examination … of the key witness. Of Tom Brady.”
On the impact of the transcript release…
“At a certain point, the NFL bears a responsibility [in what happened]. This release of these transcripts is the first that anyone can actually see that — outside of New England, where there have been people like me poring through it the whole time. I think it’s good that there’s more of me now out there. When the Deadspins of the world are picking up on it, it’s a sign of good progress.”
Listen to the full analysis below: