In a game that featured the Pittsburgh Steelers turning the ball over 8 times it is hard to pinpoint which of them hurt the team the most in their 20-14 loss to Cleveland Browns on Sunday. All of that aside, it certainly doesn\’t help matters when you hear that one Steelers player admitted after the game that he ran a soft out pattern that helped contribute to one of the three interceptions thrown in the game by quarterback Charlie Batch. Who was that player? It was the newly signed wide receiver Plaxico Burress.
Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports via Twitter that Burress admitted after the game that he ran soft out route that allowed Browns cornerback Sheldon Brown to cut under him and intercept a pass that ultimately led to the Browns game-winning touchdown
The play in question took place with 7:10 left in the third quarter and it was a third down and 6 from the Steelers own 19 yard-line with the Steelers clinging to a 14-13 lead. The Steelers were in their 11 personnel grouping with Burress split out by himself just outside the numbers on the weak-side of the formation. Burress runs a simple 10 yard out pattern but he he rounds it off and drifts at the top of it. Brown has a good enough drive on the sloppy break that it enables him to easily make the interception.
At the snap, Batch looks off the safety, but he has to wait until Burress makes his break until delivering the football. That pause gave Brown even more time to undercut the route and pick off the pass cleanly almost right at the 10 yard mark.
Had Burress not been so lazy with this route, Batch likely would have delivered the ball a hair quicker and at worst Brown just defenses the pass instead of intercepting it.
Instead, the Browns had the ball at the Steelers 31 yard-line and they took the lead for good just 3 plays later.
You can see animated gifs of the play below.