Baltimore Ravens Coach John Harbaugh might disagree, but New England quarterback Tom Brady doesn't see anything wrong about an unusual offensive formation the Patriots used three times during their 35-31 AFC divisional playoff win Saturday.
During his weekly appearance on WEEI-FM in Boston on Monday, Brady defended the Patriots' use of an unconventional formation and substitutions. Harbaugh drew a unsportsmanlike penalty in the third quarter when New England used the four-lineman configuration that confused the Ravens as to which players were eligible receivers.
"It was a play that we liked and we thought would work," Brady said. "We had a couple versions of it. It's kind of an alert play for our team, and we made them figure out what to do.
"I think that's what it looked like to me. We had to execute it, we had to make the appropriate calls and block it, and make the plays, and I was proud of us. That was a good weapon for us. That's part of football. You have to prepare for everything."
After the game, Harbaugh described the substitutions as "deceptive" even though Michael Signora, NFL vice president of football communications, told the Baltimore Sun that "everything was legal from a formation and reporting standpoint."
While Brady was more diplomatic in his comments Monday, he was less forgiving of the Ravens' viewpoint immediately after the game.
"Maybe those guys got to study the rule book and figure it out,” Brady said Saturday. “We obviously knew what we were doing, and we made some pretty important plays. It was a real good weapon for us. Maybe we’ll have something in store next week. I don’t know what’s deceiving about that. [The Ravens] should figure it out."
Baltimore Sun staff writer Aaron Wilson contributed to this report.