“Good pick”. I almost can’t imagine something that could possibly be better to hear from Tom Brady. After all, what else would you want from him than an interception? And pickoffs have been such an incredibly rare commodity against the Pittsburgh Steelers that the fact Vince Williams managed to get one is something of a minor miracle.
The first interception of his career, mind you, though he once got an assist on one, if there were such a thing. Back in 2015, hosting the Arizona Cardinals, Williams and Sean Spence played for Ryan Shazier. While Williams was in, he was able to get a hand on a pass that ricocheted to his right, where it was snatched out of the air by Lawrence Timmons.
But I digress. I noticed a few days ago during one of my reviews of the game that as soon as the game ended with the final kneeldown in victory formation, Brady immediately took off his helmet and called out to Vince Williams and said something to him.
If you follow me on Twitter, where I mentioned it, you saw that I wondered aloud at the time what he said, speculating that it was probably something about the interception, and perhaps something about Shazier.
Jeremy Fowler got the answer I was looking for yesterday when he asked Williams himself, telling the reporter that he said, “good pick”. At least that is part of what he said. I don’t suppose we can know unless the player himself says it if there was more to the exchange, though there seemed to be.
But back to the interception itself. It is such a rare commodity that it should be talked about. The last time the Steelers were able to pick off one of Brady passes, we were a couple of safeties back. Sean Davis is the current free safety. He was preceded by Robert Golden and Will Allen, taking over for Ryan Clark.
It was Clark’s processor, Chris Hope, who last picked off a Brady pass, eight games ago, including the postseason. Back in 2005, when Brady was a young buck at 28, the safety picked off the future Hall of Famer in the end zone at the end of the first half in a game the Patriots would win on a last-second field goal.
Brady doesn’t through a lot of interceptions, but the Steelers get about as few of them as anybody. So Williams deserved his props, and it was a big moment for the team, and for the player, I would suspect.
With the Patriots facing a third and short at their own 33, they showed a five-wide looks and the defensed pressed them at the line. Facing pressure, Brady tried to force a pass overhead to Rob Gronkowski, but Williams plucked, bobbled it, and secured it, returning it about 13 yards to the 22.
Good pick, indeed, and a long time coming.