Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Brice McCain had a huge interception Sunday in the win over the Jacksonville Jaguars and since the game ended he’s talked about the turnover and how he had a pretty good idea that quarterback Blake Bortles would be throwing his way on that particular play.
Interesting enough, Bortles and the Jaguars ran a similar rub play concept late in the second quarter. Because fellow cornerback Cortez Allen was playing off of his man on that play, McCain was easily rubbed off, but luckily the completion didn’t go for many yards.
More than likely, McCain also probably noticed the Jaguars running the same concept/play that he got his interception on the previous week against the San Diego Chargers. You can see that below.
McCain not only read the play Sunday correctly, he was able to get his head up quickly and locate the football. It also didn’t hurt that Bortles was late with his throw.
I think you can certainly see how important film study is. While offenses will gradually add things over the course of the season, for the most part they use a same set of core plays and run them out of different personnel groupings and occasionally different formations.