Horton: Brady 'may be the greatest player'

Horton: Brady 'may be the greatest player'
December 7, 2013, 12:45 pm
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Tom Brady says preventing early turnovers wouldn't put the Patriots behind to start with.

(AP Photo)

Remember Ray Horton? The defensive coordinator in Arizona in 2012 when the Cards stunned the Patriots at Gillette? The guy who, after that game, said he cracked the code of the Patriots offense – they ran the ball when in tight formations and threw from shotgun?
 
The guy who, it turned out, didn’t notice the 21 times during that game when the Patriots did the opposite.
 
Well, he’s in Cleveland now as their defensive coordinator.
 
And he’s back on the topic of the Patriots, this time saying of Tom Brady, “I believe he’s the greatest draft pick in the history of football. I might go so far as to say he may be the greatest player that’s ever played. That’s not just because we’re playing him.

“That’s my belief.”
 
Personally, I believe the greatest player I ever saw was Jerry Rice. I mean, the object of the game is to score, right? Rice did that 208 times.
 
He was – like Brady, like Joe Montana, like Johnny Unitas – the owner of above-average physical tools. He honed those tools until they were automatic. His performance-level was so consistently superior to that of players blessed with greater raw ability it was laughable.
 
Rice, Brady, Montana and Unitas weren’t anointed when they came into the league. And because of that, they all played with unwavering confidence in themselves and a competitive edge aimed at proving others wrong. So those are my top four. And Jim Brown. The greatest physical mismatch.
 
Anyway, back to Ray Horton. It will be interesting to see how well his words from 2012 lodged in the mind of Brady and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Because it’s one thing to beat an offense. It’s another thing to take a victory lap based on a bogus claim.