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Horton saw a “tell” in Pats’ offense

Ray Horton

Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton works with his defense during NFL training camp football practice at Northern Arizona University Thursday, July 26, 2012, in Flagstaff, Ariz.(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)


Before Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald crowns Bill Belichick as the greatest coach in NFL history, Fitz may want to have a chat with Arizona defensive coordinator Ray Horton.

Horton has shared with the Doug & Wolf Show on Arizona Sports 620 that the Pats and Belichick had a tell in Week Two. Before tight end Aaron Hernandez was injured, the Patriots ran the ball whenever Hernandez lined up tight to the offensive line. After Hernandez was injured, it became more simple -- the Pats ran the ball whenever quarterback Tom Brady lined up under center, and they passed the ball whenever Brady lined up in shotgun formation.

The end result is that the Cardinals were able to confuse Brady. “I heard through Jay Feely that he talked to Tom Brady after the game and Tom said, ‘I have no idea what you guys are doing,’ and so it did work,” Horton said.

So why was Horton being so candid? Though that question didn’t come up during the interview, the reality is that the Pats will be playing the other three teams in Arizona’s division, and it’s in the Cardinals’ best interests for the Patriots to figure out that they have a tell -- and to get rid of it before playing the Seahawks on October 14, the Rams on October 28, and the 49ers on December 16.

UPDATE 11:23 a.m. ET September 20: As it turns out, Horton’s “tell” tale was a tall tale. The tendencies about which he boasted didn’t apply a whopping 21 times.