Keith Butler plots to beat Tom Brady with “conventional coverages”

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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.

35 responses to “Keith Butler plots to beat Tom Brady with “conventional coverages”

  1. Conventional? You better add some spice and some unpredictability to your coverages or else Brady will tear you apart…defenses with even the best personnel need great playcalling to be truly good. “Conventional” will beat Jared Goff, not Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers or any other elite quarterback.

  2. “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.”

    So you want to turn Tom Brady into Aaron Rodgers.

  3. Ok.. which one of the Steelers is covering GRONK, 1 ON 1?
    AND BTW,. They tried that last year and lost to the Pats backup QB.

  4. “Butler thought he had Brady and company on the ropes”——– ever heard of the rope-a-dope?? Steeler fans should not be booking superbowl reservations yet.

  5. I’ve seen every snap of Brady’s career, it doesn’t matter what coverage you play in the secondary, Brady can shred apart a zone or man defense. The only time Brady struggles is if you get constant pressure ALL game with your front 4 ONLY. More specifically, the pressure needs to be up the middle from DT’s. If it’s just speed edge rushers, Brady’s good enough in the pocket to step up or slide to negate that.

    In any case, as long as Tomlin is coach I don’t see Brady/Belichick losing a game that matters to Pittsburgh.

  6. Steelers need to worry about winning regular season games and making the playoffs first. Do you hear Patriots coaches talking about the playoffs? No, you don’t, because they haven’t accomplished a single regular season win yet. If you’re already looking past week one, you’ve already lost your championship.

  7. This is hugely insulting to the Steelers’ 3 division foes and the other 9 opponents (that aren’t the Patriots) on the Steelers’ schedule for 2017. Getting the first seed means minimum 12 wins and more likely 14 wins. Only one game is against the Patriots. Who says the Steelers can win the other 11-13 games?

  8. The Steelers couldn’t even beat a lesser form of Tom Brady with Farrior, Foote, Polomalu, Harrison, Hampton and Taylor all in their primes… it’s not happening any time soon. Brady at this point in his career has played so long he’s seen everything… the man knows the defense and who’s gonna be open before he even snaps the ball. Like somebody else just said, unless you can bring pressure up the middle by only rushing 4… Brady is going to shred you. You think the AFC championship game was bad? Just think of what it’s going to be like now with the added weapons. I don’t know who will be coming out of the NFC this year, but barring injury to Brady… the Patriots will once again be representing the AFC in the super bowl.

  9. Maybe Butler can teach Tomlin what a halftime adjustment is… case in point, regular season meeting at Heinz that featured Landry Jones at QB… Steelers D did a good job bracketing Gronk & Bennett in the first half. So the Pats just had them seal the edge for Blount & the running game in the second

  10. Everyone is missing the point.

    The AFC will run through Oakland, despite what the chowds think.

    Keep pumping the patsies and steelers though, see how that goes for you.

    Carry on.

    RAIDER NATION

  11. There’s not a secret formula to beat Brady.

    Man defense and an elite pass rush with the front 4 will slow down any QB, but most teams don’t have the personnel to pull it off.

    Brady still fares better than most anyway.

    He has beaten some good man cover defenses in recent years despite getting killed for stretches of those games.

  12. mullman76 says:
    Jun 15, 2017 2:51 PM
    Everyone is missing the point.
    The AFC will run through Oakland, despite what the chowds think.
    Keep pumping the patsies and steelers though, see how that goes for you.
    Carry on.
    RAIDER NATION

    ——————–

    Oakland will be better this year, but that’s a tough division now and their schedule isn’t the powderpuff version from 2016. Better worry about getting out of the division first.

  13. The Phantom Stranger says:
    Jun 15, 2017 2:19 PM
    “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.”

    So you want to turn Tom Brady into Aaron Rodgers.

    ————

    You seemed to be a little obsessed with the Packers. You might want to look into that. Just a thought.

  14. In other words, what Keith Butler meant to say was “I got nothing. Hopefully the players can pull up a miracle because I only know two schemes: zone and blitz. This year I’ve been learning “conventional” and maybe that will confuse the hell out of Brady”.

  15. I wanted to vote your comment down, but I couldn’t because you are correct.

    Tell Butler that neither the 2011 nor the 2007 NYG D isn’t walking through the door in Pittsburgh.

  16. Please don’t down vote Raider Guy too much or we might not see one again for another 15 years.

  17. patriottony says:
    Jun 15, 2017 2:21 PM
    Ok.. which one of the Steelers is covering GRONK, 1 ON 1?
    AND BTW,. They tried that last year and lost to the Pats backup QB.

    It was the Steelers who started their backup QB, Landry Jones, in the regular season game last year. Roethisberger was out. Brady played the whole game.
    If you are going to keep trolling at least get your facts straight.

  18. Butler’s first mistake is he believes he has to beat Brady, no Butler you have to beat the system. I dare say, the Steelers would not fare any better if the Patriots played Garropolo as a QB. The chess master that is Belichick is darn near impossible to beat. You may be successful for one half of football but he will come up with an antidote for the other half of football. I have said it before since Manning retired, the Patriots have no legitimate opposition in the AFC. The Ravens come close second but only if they make the playoffs.

  19. patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    Jun 15, 2017 3:31 PM
    Butler’s first mistake is he believes he has to beat Brady, no Butler you have to beat the system. I dare say, the Steelers would not fare any better if the Patriots played Garropolo as a QB. The chess master that is Belichick is darn near impossible to beat. You may be successful for one half of football but he will come up with an antidote for the other half of football. I have said it before since Manning retired, the Patriots have no legitimate opposition in the AFC. The Ravens come close second but only if they make the playoffs.

    ————

    Keep beating that troll drum.

    ————–

  20. You cannot beat Tomasina Brady by better coverage – he has the patience to find whatever is there and he will exploit it. The Broncos have shown the ONLY way to beat Tomasina is to pound him into the turf on every play – that means you blitz him from every angle and you make him hurry – if you get to him enough early on, he is a below average QB because he’s prissy – he doesn’t like being hit and he thinks he has a RIGHT NOT TO BE HIT.

  21. The Cowboys will be the first to 7. They’re already the only team with five that have no asterisks next to them.

  22. Hey Keith-

    that’s what you did in the playoffs last year-very rarely blitzed, played conventional coverages on the back end, gave Brady a limitless amount of time to sit back there and find the open man in conventional zone.

    QBs hate having a lot of time to just survey the field in a clean pocket.

    It was a brilliant game plan, 2017 NFL defense is all about playing vanilla schemes.

  23. Maybe try Pats approach; just shut your mouth and focus on getting better at the next practice so you can compete in the opener instead of yapping about a game many months away.

    I guarantee Belichick doesn’t think his team is good enough yet to be worrying about the Pittsburgh game.

  24. This is baffling. The Steelers are not going to beat the Patriots on the strength of their man coverage. Their secondary lacks the speed to match up with Cooks, the size to match up with Gronk, or the depth to match up with Edelman, Hogan, Mitchell, and the RBs.

    The only defenses that have a shot of shutting down the Patriots passing attack with conventional coverages are Seattle and Denver, and even Seattle’s depth is iffy.

    Every team to beat the Patriots in the playoffs since 2007 has been able to successfully break the pocket with inside rush AND has had either an elite edge rusher or a complex and creative blitzing system. Pittsburgh’s best hope is inside pass rush. Their line of Hayward, Hargrave and Tuitt is very strong.

    The Steelers lack an elite edge rusher (though fans can hold out hope that TJ Watt is a solution here), so Butler needs to get more creative with his blitz packages. This means disguising and alternating athletic guys like Shazier and Mitchell as pass rushers.

  25. Keith Butler is as much a part of the coaching problem in Pittsburgh as Tomlin is. He should be no more than a LB coach. Not a DC. He’s over his head.

  26. Steelers are starting from the assumption they’ll make the playoffs.

    I believe the other day Belichick was asked about how he thought they’d do this season since they had done so well with the off season and he responded along the lines of –

    “We haven’t won a single game yet, I don’t know how good our team will be this year. We have get out there and work hard to improve ourselves.”

    Which coaching assumption will likely lead to the best results? I think we all know the answer to that.

  27. abninf says:
    Jun 15, 2017 4:18 PM
    The Cowboys will be the first to 7. They’re already the only team with five that have no asterisks next to them.

    ——————–

    The Cowboys have been so bad for so long that that isn’t even annoying. It’s just pathetic.

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