This past week, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed former Houston Texans cornerback Brice McCain to a one-year contract and by now, you probably already know how bad of season he had in 2013. McCain allowed six touchdowns last season and below are breakdowns of all six of them.
The first touchdown allowed by McCain in 2013 came against the San Diego Chargers. In the gif below, you will see that the Texans are playing man coverage with McCain lined up in the slot against Chargers wide receiver Eddie Royal. Post snap, Royal gives a subtle fake and McCain tries to jam him, but fails to get his hands inside. Royal has the better position and easily runs away from McCain to the pylon for the easy score, as the area is cleared out by the Chargers outside receiver. Take a good look at this play as other teams certainly did as the season progressed.
The second touchdown allowed by McCain in 2013 came the following week against the Tennessee Titans and it’s somewhat similar to one he allowed against the Chargers. Once again, McCain is in the slot in man coverage. In all honesty, McCain has pretty good coverage on this play and it takes a perfect throw by Titans quarterback Jake Locker and great catch by wide receiver Kendall Wright to end in six.
In the Week 9 game against the Indianapolis Colts, McCain allowed his third touchdown catch of the season and this time it was to wide receiver T.Y. Hilton. Once again, McCain is in the slot in man coverage with no safety help. McCain’s job is to cut off the inside area of the field in hopes that the blitz gets home. He is a sitting duck, however, as the speedy Hilton easily runs away from him without really making much of a move. Still, the ball is thrown a bit behind Hilton and McCain is late getting his head around.
Against the Arizona Cardinals, McCain gave up an easy touchdown to wide receiver Andre Roberts, who had motioned from left to right pre snap. McCain’s aggressiveness to get under the rub of Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald makes him a sitting duck for an out and up wheel route by Roberts for the easy touchdown. Once again, the Texans defense is victimized by not having safety help.
This next touchdown allowed against the Oakland Raiders is real ugly as McCain is slow breaking on the football. Raiders wide receiver Rod Streater even appears to have to wait on the football, but McCain still can’t get there in time. He was still in his back pedal when Streater sinks his hps and breaks inside.
The last touchdown that McCain allowed in 2013 came in the Week 16 game against the Denver Broncos. On this play, McCain wants to prevent Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker from getting a free release outside. While trying to jam Decker, however, the Broncos wide receiver gets his hands inside for an easy push off. McCain stumbles to the ground as a result and Decker scores easily on a pass from quarterback Peyton Manning.
McCain was victimized quite a bit in 2013 in man coverage. In my opinion, he plays his best football in the slot with safety help. With the Steelers, McCain will certainly be a fourth or fifth cornerback if he makes the team with his primary role being on special teams.