Another quiet morning on this Tuesday, but here’s a quick look at a few of today’s top stories.
Brady’s Lawyers Step it Up – In the event Tom Brady can’t get the 2nd circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to re-hear his case and the effort to escalate it to the Supreme Court doesn’t come to pass, it’s going to be hard not to look back at the previous trip to the second court without one regret.
As good as Jeffrey Kessler was in front of Judge Berman before last season when the judge overturned the NFL’s Suspension, his poor performance in front of the judges that lead to the suspension being reinstated may lead us to wonder if things might have turned out a little differently had the NFLPA turned to recently hired lawyer, Ted Olson, a little sooner.
Olson’s approach to this case so far essentially picked everything up and put it back on track, directly addressing the most important factor in this case, which was the language in the CBA that should have made Brady’s penalty nothing more than an equipment violation.
Olson’s latest submission essentially states that Goodell’s punishment is inconsistent with the CBA, and that his unbiased view of the case prevented him from acting with “fundamental fairness” with his procedural rulings.
Olson is also emphasizing the fact that the outcome to this case could have serious implications for not only the NFLPA, but will also have “far-reaching consequences for all employees subject to collective bargaining agreements.”
“The decision and the standards it imposes are damaging and unfair – not only to Tom Brady, but to all parties to collective bargaining agreements everywhere,” Olson said on Good Morning America on Monday. “Commissioner Goodell cannot sit as an appellate arbitrator and then affirm the league’s initial disciplinary decision based upon a new theory and imagined evidence and pretend to be an unbiased decision-maker.”
Olson also said Goodell “completely ignored the collectively bargained schedule of penalties for equipment-related violations.”
Those are strong arguments, and ones that might have held a little more clout during their first time in front of the 2nd Circuit judges. Instead, the approach they took saw things go poorly before the judges ruled 2-1 in favor of the league, reinstating Brady’s 4-game suspension.
Needless to say the biggest question now is whether Olson’s efforts will result in a re-hearing, or if he’ll be able to get the Supreme Court to hear the case. Both are considered long-shots at this point, and seeing Olson work makes you wonder if he could have run the table and won both victories in court had they had him from the beginning.
The good news is, they at least have him now. Hopefully for Brady’s sake, it’s not too late.
Ninkovich Not Interested in DeflateGate – As the saga rolls on for over 400 days, Brady’s teammates are obviously aware of what’s going on and they’re doing their best to make sure it doesn’t distract them from what needs to be done.
Veteran defensive end Rob Ninkovich was at his “Ninko’s Ping Pong Challenge charity event” and told NESN that he’s trying not to think about Brady’s battle, but obviously supports him.
“You don’t even think about it,” Ninkovich told NESN. “You’re all just working together to try to get better. You can’t let that distract you from your ultimate goal.”
“Tom’s a tremendous competitor,” Ninkovich said. “I’ve been with him for a long time now, so that whole thing that’s going on, obviously we all support him. He’s a great teammate.”
Ninkovich had a little fun recently when asked by the Boston Herald about the fact he’s been in the league for 11-years and about his age, but he joked that his lack of playing time early on should make him a little younger.
“I subtract three years because I really didn’t play much in my first three,” said Ninkovich at the time. “I still feel good, and it’s all about production on the field, so I feel my production is still there and I’m still getting to the quarterback.”
The veteran was among players who have been back at the stadium during voluntary workouts prior to the start of OTAs, and heads into his 11th season having played in 102 regular season games, third best among players at his position, as well as 81 straight starts, ranking him second behind Julius Peppers among defensive ends.
Reed Talks Patriots – There’s no question that there was plenty of mutual respect between head coach Bill Belichick and former Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed.
Reed, who is now an assistant coach in Buffalo, talked to the “Talk of Fame Network” and said playing against the Patriots was always a match-up he enjoyed being a part of.
“Those games were awesome,” Reed said via Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com. “You knew you were going against the best. You knew the outcome could be either way. You knew it was going to be a close game for the most part. You can only control so much, but those are the best games because you’re going against the best. Who didn’t want to play against the best players at the time – especially at the quarterback position. With myself being the safety and Brady being the quarterback … I loved that matchup any day. It’s just that those guys are so good you had to be on point, you had to mind your p’s and q’s all the time.
“And I had so much respect for them as an organization and team … as coaches and players for what they stood for and what they accomplished. That’s what you wanted to go against.”
On the day of his retirement, Reed was asked about how tough it was studying against the great quarterbacks, and he highlighted a play that stuck out in his mind, which involved a play against Brady.
“I pointed out the play that Cary Williams [made] in the AFC Championship Game before going to the Super Bowl,” said Reed. “I told Cary to bring us home, bring us to the Super Bowl, and the next play, Tom Brady threw him the ball. So I’m like, ‘You’re still doing this. You’re still studying, still knowing where they’re going to throw the ball.’ That play stuck out to me, because that was the one that carried us over the hump.”
“That was the play that solidified, and I think we knew that it was over. We were going to the ‘ship [Super Bowl].”
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