It wasn\’t really hard to tell that Pittsburgh Steelers safeties Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark played a big part in giving up the 57-yard touchdown to New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz in the Saturday night preseason opener and Clark confirmed after the game that they both were at fault.
“It was Troy and Ryan Clark, not being Troy and Ryan Clark,” said Clark, according to Dale Lolley of the Washington Observer Reporter. “We’ve got a third down there and I over-disguised and got myself out of position and missed a tackle. Then Troy was trying to do some things there, and (the Giants) made a play because of things we weren’t doing.”
In the breakdown of the play that I posted following the game, the animated gifs show that the Steelers defense was in cover-2 with man underneath. Cornerback William Gay was in the slot on the right side of the defense on Cruz and his responsibility was to trail the receiver inside as either Polamalu or Clark were responsible for giving him help over the top.
While we still don\’t know for sure because of the lack of a good camera angle, it appears as though Polamalu thought Giants quarterback Eli Manning was going to go to wide receiver Rueben Randle on the play as he had a step on cornerback Ike Taylor, who appeared to stumble a bit as he turned to run. Clark, per his own admission, was too far out of position and without the proper safety help over the top, Manning had an easy target in Cruz, who had a step and a half on Gay down the middle of the field.
It\’s all spilt milk at this point, and the preseason is used to get all the kinks out. Clark thinks they will do just that.
“We had the conversation on the sideline; when it’s 25 and 43 messing up in the preseason, I can deal with that. I know they’ll get it fixed,” he said.