Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has faced and beaten Tom Brady in a Super Bowl before, but he doesn’t sound like someone who believed that makes beating him this Sunday more likely.
Spagnuolo met with reporters on a video conference Tuesday and fielded questions about what the team’s defense can do to make life difficult for Brady and the Tampa offense. Spagnuolo was able to do that when he was the Giants’ defensive coordinator in Super Bowl XLII, but suggested he won’t be taking the same approach that he took back then because doing one thing against Brady is not a recipe for success.
He said Brady is “a step ahead of everything” and that it is always a “challenge when you go against a cerebral quarterback.” Osi Umenyiora, who played defensive end in that Super Bowl win, asked a followup about how Spagnuolo plans to generate pressure and the coach said he’s looking for his players to win 1-on-1 battles rather than try to overload any area with blitzes.
Spagnuolo noted that offensive line protection schemes are better than they were when he and Umenyiora were winning a ring. He added that “the quarterback we’re playing is still the same” and stopping him will be the defense’s top priority on Sunday.