Looking closer at Brady & 'tipping plays'

September, 19, 2012
9/19/12
2:41
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Stories can sometimes spread like wildfire these days, so here's an attempt to nip one in the bud quickly.

Was Tom Brady tipping off plays in Sunday's 20-18 loss to the Cardinals? That's what Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton hinted on Arizona Sports 620's Doug & Wolf Show.

"We let Tom Brady tell us what kind of defense we were going to play," Horton said. "What I mean by that is we had looked at them and given our players some fantastic keys. We'd call the defense in the huddle, but if New England came out [with a specific look], we were going to check to [something else] because we knew they were going to run the ball. The players did a great job.

"When [Aaron] Hernandez got hurt, it threw that game-plan out the window. We knew that whenever Hernandez was in tight, it was going to be a run. So we had a run check. But when he got hurt, it screwed that up because they went to three wide receivers [instead of two tight ends]. What they did, and we figured out real quick, was whenever Tom Brady was under the center they were going to run the ball and whenever he was in the shotgun he was going to pass the ball.

"We told our players, make the run check if Tom Brady is under the center. If he's in the gun, go to the pass check. They handled it beautifully. We had dual calls and what we were telling them was that we knew when they were going to run and pass. Our players put us in the best position to win the game. They did a flawless job of managing the game of getting inside New England's head."

The comments by Horton, who need not boast about the fine work of his defense on Sunday, don't completely match with what unfolded (includes false start penalty; edited 3:10 p.m. ET):

Shotgun
Runs: 9
Passes: 38

Under center
Runs: 20
Passes: 13

At the end of the third quarter, when it was 13-9 Cardinals and the Patriots weren't forced into a heavy passing mode by playing catch-up by passing almost exclusively out of the shotgun, the numbers looked like this:

Shotgun
Runs: 7
Passes: 18

Under center
Runs: 17
Passes: 11

To listen to the audio of Horton's interview, CLICK HERE.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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