Over the past three years, we have all seen the David Tyree catch multiple times. Forget divine intervention helping Tim Tebow win with the Broncos this season. The closest thing I have ever seen to divine intervention on a football field was Eli Manning somehow escaping the grasp of Jarvis Green and Tyree somehow making a catch against his helmet. Rodney Harrison was the man covering Tyree, but he did everything he could. The ball just was not going to come out.
On Monday night, Harrison reluctantly discussed the most infamous play in Patriots history. What’s done is done, and there are plenty of people who can be blamed for the Patriots failure to complete the perfect season. Harrison did, however, reveal a piece of information that was not really known through the years: Tyree was Asante Samuel’s responsibility.
“I think I was playing Cover 4,” Harrison explained according to Pro Football Talk. “It was man-to-man coverage and, no one really knows this, but that was Asante Samuel’s man. I don’t want to throw him under the bus but basically he kind of let him go. He freed up and I thought that (Manning was going to be sacked) but I was still playing my position. I was in perfect position for my two wide receivers I had over here and all of a sudden I see (Manning) escape and I just see David Tyree. I see a receiver wide open in the middle of the field and I just did my best to try to separate him and the ball. It didn’t work.”
As you’ll see if you watch the video below, Harrison sounded like he was being sincere in not wanting to throw Samuel under the bus. That being said, the information he gave makes that particular drive a nightmare for Samuel. He allowed an interception to go right through his hands just before that, and on top of that it was his man running free that made the game-saving catch. You know what they say about hindsight.