Play Breakdown: It's Not Your Fault, DJ

If the great Robin Williams were alive (and knew football), I would like to think he would've consoled DJ White as he famously did to Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting.

"It's not your fault."

In the first quarter of the debacle in Pittsburgh on Sunday night, I saw a lot of people, as well as Chris Collinsworth, calling out DJ White for busted coverage on Darrius Heyward-Bey's touchdown. I watched it a few times and couldn't shake feeling like there wasn't much White could've done on the play. White did not have a good game last week, but this wasn't on him. I asked PFF's Sam Monson on Twitter if he thought it was a bust on DJ White. His comments are here:

After watching it several times, I can't help but to not only absolve DJ White of blame, but give immense amounts of credit to everyone's favorite rogue former Chiefs Head Coach Todd Haley for an excellent play call.

To view the play in it's entirety in All-22, I had to find it on the spanish video page on the Steeler's website. You can find it here:

Let's take a look at what went down on this particular play. The success of this play comes from the Steelers ability to utilize Heyward-Bey's elite speed.

The Chiefs will end this in a cover 3 (Field is covered in deep thirds by three defenders with four covering underneath). DJ White's responsibility is the deepest man in his third of the field. It is a closed formation on White's side, with TE Xavier Grimble in-line. Heyward-Bey, Sammie Coates and Antonio Brown are in a bunch formation on the other side of the field. Le'Veon Bell is a potential threat to White and safety Daniel Sorensen on the same side of the field as Grimble, but in the backfield next to Ben Roethlisberger.

Here is the brilliant play design drawn up by Todd Haley. Coates is going to run a vertical route, with Brown coming underneath. Heyward-Bey runs across as if he is running a crossing route, and after crossing Derrick Johnson's face, immediately presses vertically to the corner. Bell cross-blocks in protection across the Roethlisberger and runs a route into the flats. Grimble widens and runs an out route.

Here is why the play is brilliant. Eric Berry is playing the high safety and runs to the middle of the field to play his deep third. His only vertical threat is Coates. Because Bell crosses the center to the other side of the ball, there is only one threat to White's deep third, and that is Grimble. What Grimble does on this play is just as critical. Instead of a straight vertical threat, he widens to make his out cut, keying White further on him. Finally, Heyward-Bey utilizes his excellent speed to press vertically to the corner for a wide open touchdown.

Below is the view right before Roethlisberger makes the throw. Berry is heading towards his deep middle landmark with eyes on Coates. White has committed to the only threat he has, and Heyward-Bey turns on the jets for a TD.

I agree with Monson's assessment that this was the perfect play call against this coverage. I'm not really sure there was a ton that DJ White could've done differently on this play. This isn't to say White didn't make mistakes throughout the game (he did) but on this one, I'm having a hard time blaming him too much. Heyward-Bey's speed allowed him to get all the way across the formation. Haley used the skill sets of the talent of his team and out-leveraged the Chiefs defense. It was just an excellent play call by Todd Haley.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.