Former Arizona Cardinals QB Kurt Warner compares James Harrison, Malcolm Butler INTs
Feb 3, 2015, 2:37 AM | Updated: 3:07 am
They both involved slant passes. They both occurred near the goal line at the end of a half. In both instances, a touchdown would have given the team on offense the lead.
But according to former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, the similarities between linebacker James Harrison’s interception in Super Bowl XLIII and safety Malcolm Butler’s pick to win Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday end there.
Warner joined Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM on Monday to talk about the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl victory over the Seattle Seahawks. In that game, Butler’s goal-line interception of Russell Wilson on second and goal from the 1-yard line sealed the Pats’ win with 20 seconds to play.
Warner was asked to compare that play with the interception he threw to Harrison on first and goal from the 2-yard line as time expired in the first half of Super Bowl XLIII between the Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers. Harrison’s subsequent 100-yard return for a touchdown gave Pittsburgh a 17-7 halftime lead.
Warner’s ill-fated pass was intended for wide receiver Anquan Boldin.
“If you look at James Harrison, he’s actually supposed to blitz on that play. So he starts his blitz, gets picked up and ends up falling off to make the interception,” Warner said. “Otherwise it’s a walk-in touchdown for Anquan on that play.
“The difference is that (New England’s) corner jumped it from the outside at six yards’ depth. On this play, James Harrison comes from the inside. It has nothing to do with the coverage on the outside.
“Based on the coverage on the outside, we have a walk-in touchdown is what I’m saying, and James Harrison comes from the inside to make the interception.”
Warner and the Cardinals overcame the mistake and mounted a late rally to take a fourth-quarter lead over the Steelers. But a last-minute Santonio Holmes touchdown gave Pittsburgh a 27-23 win — a final score eerily similar to New England’s 28-24 winning margin Sunday.
While the defensive scheme that led to the interception was much different, Warner did concede that the play call to Boldin was much like Wilson’s over-the-middle pass intended for Ricardo Lockette.
“No question, that part is definitely similar,” he said.