Tom Brady‘s Deflategate testimony — in part of which he was questioned by commissioner Roger Goodell — was released Tuesday. (D Dipasupil/Getty Images)
Here are seven things we learned from the release of transcript from Tom Brady‘s appeal hearing on Tuesday:
1. Tom Brady said that he was upset about the condition of the footballs in the October game against the Jets, and in the ensuing days, that was when he first really found out about PSI.
“The ball was very hard, so it didn’t feel like the ball was the way I approved them before the game. And for one reason or another, I don’t know what happened to the balls,” he testified. “It was over the course of the first half that, you know, I was just, I was very pissed off. I was very pissed off at — partly because I felt like I got talked into using these balls that we had done, like I said, a different protocol, and I felt like it didn’t work out very well.”
Brady said he took his anger out on John Jastremski.
“I was pissed off. So it’s kind of a good attitude for me to have all the time on the football field, you know. And I know that he got the brunt of it because I didn’t like — for the first time in my life, I didn’t like the way the football felt.”
Brady, who said he had “zero” idea about what constituted proper PSI levels in a football, said that after the game, he consulted with equipment manager Dave Schoenfeld.
“I asked our equipment manager, Dave Schoenfeld,” Brady said. “I said, ‘Dave, what does it say in the rule book as to how the balls should be inflated?’ And he brought me a piece of paper that was highlighted and it said the balls should be between 12 and a half and 13 and a half.”
Brady added: “I said make sure when the referees get the balls, give them this sheet of paper that highlighted, because really I don’t want that to ever happen again.”
In the context of this conversation, it’s important to note that Brady, Peyton Manning and several other quarterbacks helped push through a rule in 2006 regarding the preparation of footballs. Brady was asked about this, and was asked that in the petition that was signed by Brady and other quarterbacks, if there was “any discussion of the pressure of the balls or inflating of the balls or anything about that subject at all?” Brady responded: “No.”
The questioning continued.
Kessler: “During the time in 2006, did you have discussions with anybody about inflating footballs or the psi’s of footballs or even what those requirements were?”
Kessler: “Did you ever learn the 12.5 to 13.5 standard during that 2006 process?”
2. Following the Jets game, Brady came to the realization that 12.5 was his preferred football size.
In cross-examination, Brady was pressed as to how he settled on 12.5 PSI.
“We basically just picked a number at that point, I guess, historically, we had always set the pressure at — before John Jastremski took over, it had been historically set at, like, 12.7 or 12.8. That’s what I learned after the fact. And I think based on the Jets game, I said why don’t we just set them at 12.5, bring (the copy of the rule) to the ref and I didn’t think about it after that.
“Ball pressure has been so inconsequential, I hadn’t even thought about that. I think at the end of the day, the only time I thought about it was after the Jet game and then after this was brought up, after the (AFC) championship game. It’s never something that has been on my radar, registered. I never said ‘psi. I don’t think I even know what that meant until after the (AFC) championship game. It was something that never crossed my mind.”
Attorney Lorin Reisner asked if he picked 12.5 because it was toward the lower end or the lower end of the permissible range.
“I’m not sure why I picked it in particular,” Brady said, “other than having to put some — I think John [Jastremski] said he did either 12.5 or 12.6. You know, we had to pick some number that we were ultimately going to set them to, so I said why don’t we just set them all to 12.5 and that was it.”
3. Brady said he never knew Jim “The Deflator” McNally’s name before the allegations of illegally manipulating footballs.
In a series of questions from Jeffrey Kessler, the quarterback said he didn’t know McNally.
Kessler: “OK. Now, by the way, there has been some discussion from the Wells report about Mr. McNally and whether you knew him or not, okay. Prior to all these allegations, did you know the name Jim McNally?”
Kessler: “Now, did you know who it was, even, who met with referees in their locker room when they are testing the balls? Did you even know which person physically on the Patriots was the person who went in there and did that?”
Kessler: “OK. Now, in the New England stadium on game day, are there lots of people who come in just for game day as kind of part-time people working in various ways?”
Kessler: “OK. And do you get to sort of know over the years their faces, whether or not you know their names?”
Kessler: “So is it possible that you actually knew — I will even ask it differently … Have you subsequently learned who Mr. McNally is among those people?”
Kessler: “And is he somebody you actually sort of knew as a face, somebody to go, like, wave to but you didn’t know who he was, his name?”
Kessler: “OK. Now, other than that, do you have any relationship with Mr. McNally at all?”
There were questions regarding Brady giving McNally signed gear. Brady said he signs autographs “on a daily basis” for a wide variety of people.
“I think I told Mr. Wells I don’t think I have ever turned anyone down. So if someone asked, I signed whatever they would ask,” Brady said. “Sometimes they would put it in my locker and walk away and there would be things there and I would just sign them. But if somebody asked for an autograph, I would give it to them.”
4. Troy Vincent said he first found out that there was an issue in the first half of the AFC title game.
Vincent said: “It was first brought to my knowledge approximately six or seven minutes remaining in the second (quarter) of the AFC championship game. There was a knock on the door by the General Manager from the Indianapolis Colts, Ryan Grigson. He proceeded in the room and he brought to myself, and Mike Kensil was actually sitting to my left, and said, ‘We are playing with a small ball.’ That was my first knowledge of the situation.
“So immediately as Ryan stepped out of the room, I turned to my left and I just told Mike that during halftime we should probably look at testing all of the balls from both sidelines. And at that particular time, he was on the phone with our sideline officials putting steps in order.”
5. Brady said destroying his phone has been something he’s always done for the sake of the privacy of his friends, family and teammates.
He testified: “Whenever I’m done with the phone, I don’t want anybody ever to see the content of the phone, photos. Obviously there is a log with the smart phones of all my e-mail communications. So in those folders, there is player contracts. There’s, you know, endorsement deals. There’s — along with photos of my family and so forth that I just don’t want anyone to ever come in contact with those. A lot of people’s private information that if it shows up somewhere, then, you know, all the contacts in my phone, you know, wouldn’t want that to happen. So I have always told the guy who swaps them out for me, make sure you get rid of the phone. And what I mean is destroy the phone so that no one can ever, you know, reset it or do something where I feel like the information is available to anybody.”
6. Brady said he was never told by Ted Wells that he could be disciplined for not turning over texts or e-mails, a point later echoed by Wells.
Brady was asked by attorney Jeffrey Kessler if he was ever told “that if you didn’t turn over some texts or e-mails or respond to that that you were going to be disciplined in any way, you know, that you were going to be violating some, you know, specific policy about that or anything like that? Did they ever tell you that?
Brady’s answer: “No.”
Kessler: “If you had been informed by them and they said ‘Look, this is your duty to cooperate,’ would you then have produced them no matter what your agents and your counsel said?”
Wells testified: “I made clear I didn’t want to take access to your phone. Mr. Yee can do it. I did not, as Mr. Kessler said — I want to be clear — I did not tell Mr. Brady at any time that he would be subject to punishment for not giving — not turning over the documents. I did not say anything like that.”
Wells later testified that his bill for the investigation and report is “going to be around somewhere in the range of 2.5 to 3 million.”
7. Players should get a copy of the game-day manual.
While ignorance is no excuse, the game-day operations manual is something that apparently isn’t widely circulated.
Kessler: “Where do you find the policy that says that footballs can’t be altered with respect to pressure? Is that going to be in the competitive integrity policy that Mr. Wells cited in his report?”
Vincent: “The Game-Day Operations Manual.”
Kessler: “In the manual? OK. Is it correct, to your knowledge, that the manual is given to clubs and GMs and owners, et cetera, but the manual is not given out to players; is that correct, to your knowledge?”
Vincent: “That’s correct, to my knowledge.”
Kessler: “In fact, when you were a player, you were never given that manual, right?”