In this play in overtime, Carr was playing off coverage and recognized a tendency that he has seen since his days with Haley in Kansas City. As soon as the play began, Carr read the out route, jumped the break on the route and returned the ball to the goal line to set up the Cowboy win.
What the Steelers’ offense does do very well is to find a defender and isolate him, forcing him to pick his poison. On this play, the Steelers recognize the Cover 3 zone. They had shown the same look just two plays earlier, when the Steelers lined up in the same formation, motioned Wallace from left to right and the safety to that side dropped down in the box. That left cornerback Mike Jenkins isolated without a receiver on the left side, a sign of zone coverage.
To Pittsburgh’s right, Wallace runs a post route and settles into a hole in the zone. Tight end Will Johnson runs an out-and-up, which finds the hole in the zone between the safety and Carr. Carr stays high to play Wallace’s seam route, probably a wise decision, but Roethlisberger hits Johnson in stride tiptoeing down the sideline for a nice chunk of yardage.
And, of course, the Steelers’ best play is still the Roethlisberger scramble drill. On the 30-yard touchdown pass to Heath Miller, they showed why they worked so well together. The first part of the play, the designed part, Miller ran a simple stick route to use his big frame to shield the defender.
Then, Miller runs an out route to give Roethlisberger a better throwing angle with defenders in his face. When he sees Roethlisberger begin to find a crease in the pocket, he takes off down the sidelines to grab the touchdown. In a situation like this, a linebacker like Emmanuel Lamur, who is fast and can shadow a long-developing route in coverage, could be a big help.