Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery caught his sixth touchdown pass of the season Sunday in the win over the Buffalo Bills and he talked after the game about the play that he called a “fall-asleep fade”.
“That’s what it is,” Cotchery said. “We just try to lull the guy [Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore] to sleep. And once he peeks (into the backfield), it’s a touchdown. Ben did a great job of putting the ball up there so I could run under it. It was a great call by [offensive coordinator Todd] Haley. He went into the archives for that one, and he pulled it out at the right time.”
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger also talked after the game about the play that Haley had used when he coached the Chicago Bears wide receivers from 2001-03.
“We have had it in for a couple of weeks now. We just haven’t found the right time to use it,” said Roethlisberger. “That’s what we talk about what Jerricho brings, on the previous series Jerricho said that the DB was set up for that play, and you trust him that he is going to give you good information, and he did.”
I have pulled the gifs of both plays and as you can see below, it’s the same personnel and formation and almost the same exact field position.
The first time the offense used that formation, Gilmore is out wide on Cotchery, who really gives him a half-hearted blocking attempt. The play was a run to running back Le’Veon Bell and we likely wouldn’t have seen the fade play had the Steelers not driven back down the field on their next series.
On the touchdown, Cotchery gives Gilmore the exact same half-hearted attempt of a stalk-block and once the young cornerback turns to look into the backfield, the veteran releases for the back pylon and Roethlisberger puts the pass right on the money.