Back in Week 2, when Maryland football took on Towson, DJ Moore had one of the best plays of the year. Even if you didn’t watch the game, you probably remember this one:
Marshawn who? pic.twitter.com/DrFITUMK56
— Terps Watch (@TerpsWatch) September 9, 2017
The receiver in motion grabbing a handoff and running to the outside is a deadly play, if executed correctly. That’s what the Pittsburgh Steelers showed us Sunday, when former Terp Darrius Heyward-Bey made a bunch of Cleveland Browns defenders look silly en route to the end zone.
On the opening drive of the game, Pittsburgh was moving the ball down the field with ease. Running back Stevan Ridley had three carries for 29 yards, and quarterback Landry Jones went 3-for-4 for 14 yards, to get the team to the Cleveland 29. Then, with the Browns accustomed to conventional offensive plays, the Steelers decided to shake things up on 2nd-and-8:
He fast. PIT 7 | CLE 0 pic.twitter.com/eTN11RiOc9 — Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) December 31, 2017
Landry took the snap from the shotgun and immediately handed it off to running back Fitzgerald Toussaint. Heyward-Bey, who was lined up in the slot, circled around and took a lateral from Toussaint, then bolted 29 yards for the first touchdown of the game. One extra point later, and Pittsburgh was ahead, 7-0.
If this play looks familiar, that’s because Heyward-Bey did pretty much the exact same thing last year against the Miami Dolphins — except that one was more than twice as long:
Yeah… He gone. ???? https://t.co/W3HMKoS3FG
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 16, 2016
Heyward-Bey has now spent nine seasons in the NFL — four with the Oakland Raiders (who drafted him seventh overall in 2009), one with the Indianapolis Colts and four with the Steelers. With this speed and ability to shrug off tacklers, it’s easy to see why he’s stuck around. Even with only 201 career receptions entering Sunday, he’s still a dangerous player.
When Moore enters the NFL in 2018, we can only hope he’ll get the chance to take an end-around like he did against Towson. Heyward-Bey’s shown us that even if you don’t have chances to make plays in the passing game, you can still find pay dirt in the running game.