Patriots

Patriots

NEW YORK -- Patriots fans have explored every nook and cranny looking for holes in Roger Goodell's suspension of Tom Brady. But there's one that hadn't been probed much. It's been probed now. 
 
Judge Richard Berman hammered away at NFL Management Council attorney Daniel Nash, trying to establish if the NFL had "any direct evidence linking Mr. Brady" to ball deflation, specifically on the night of the AFC Championship Game between the Patriots and the Colts. 
 
Beginning by revisiting the facts of that night, Berman first pointed out that, "it turns out Mr. Brady did better without the underinflation." Berman even quoted Brady's first-half passing stats in the AFC title game and compared them to the second half. 
 
After that, Berman asked Nash, "What direct evidence implicates Mr. Brady in that half of that game."
 
Nash noted that at Brady's appeal in June, the quarterback stated that neither Jim McNally nor John Jastremski would have deflated footballs of their own accord. To which, Berman replied, "Is that it?"
 
"Is there a text or e-mail? No," admitted Nash. "But there is considerable evidence that Mr. Brady knew about this. While there may not be a smoking gun, there is evidence of culpability."
 
Berman, a few minutes later, returned to the idea of narrowing the scope to the first 30 minutes of the AFC Championship since that's what the punishment was handed down for. 
 
"I'm trying to figure out what was the evidence of a scheme or conspiracy during the Jan. 18 game. I'm having trouble with that," Berman told Nash. 
 
Nash did attempt to cite text messages which insinuate balls being doctored by saying, "The texts previous."
 
Berman parried, "This is the only game we're talking about. This relates to one game."