As the Patriots try to match the Steelers with six Super Bowl titles, the Steelers hope to get past the Patriots for a shot at Lombardi Trophy No. 7.
To get there, the Steelers are working on more man-to-man coverage in an effort to slow down the New England offense. Defensive coordinator Keith Butler has elaborated on that point.
“We have to be able to develop a four-man rush and not just blitz all the time,” Butler said, via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. “This year we have to be able to play conventional coverages with conventional people playing those coverages and conventional people rushing the passer. We’ve got to be able to do that in order to advance defensively, in my opinion.”
Butler thought that he had Brady and company on the ropes during the regular season, before Brady found tight end Rob Gronkowski and broke the game open.
“He’s sitting there pumping the ball and we had a lot of opportunities to sack him and we didn’t,” Butler said regarding Brady. “Rush and coverage go together. If we would have gotten some pressure on him and sacked him a couple of times and get him to cuss his dadgum offensive linemen out, hey man, it’s a beautiful world for us.”
Butler thinks the world will be even more beautiful if the two teams meet during the postseason at Heinz Field.
“We have to make a Super Bowl come through Pittsburgh,” Butler said. “We have to be able to play at home. . . . We’ve got to take one more step. Our young guys are going to have to help us in that regard in terms of our draft choices. The rookies last year have got to continue to develop. If they do, hopefully we’ll improve enough to take that next step.”
Making the Super Bowl go through Pittsburgh is no guarantee of another Super Bowl appearance. In two AFC title games played between the Patriots and Steelers in Pittsburgh, the road team won each time. And for his career Brady has a 10-2 record against the Steelers.