During his Tuesday press conference, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked to describe what went wrong on the 41-yard catch and run by Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Louis Murphy late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss.
“We were in a zone defense, we had a four man rush that was encompassed in the game,” started Tomlin. “The game was just a little slow, I think we had just hit the quarterback as he got the ball out. We didn’t hold our zone very well from a depth standpoint. That created a void. Once the ball was thrown and caught, our angles in the hole weren’t very good to the ball and that created the run after.
“Usually when you fail in that manner, 41 yards, it’s a combination of failure in all three levels and really it was. The game was a little slow, the underneath defense didn’t have the proper depth and we didn’t have the correct angle to the ball after the catch to minimize the yards after.”
Tomlin’s description of what happened on the play, which I have broken down here, puts the blame squarely on safeties Mike Mitchell and Troy Polamalu. Mitchell did not have the proper depth underneath while Polamalu took a very poor angle.