The New England Patriots seem to be occupying a large portion of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ collective brain this offseason.
Steelers cornerback Artie Burns said this offseason that the team plans to use more man coverage because deploying zone against the Patriots went so poorly. Now Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler has gone down the rabbit hole of playing a game of ‘What If’ about Pittsburgh’s Week 7 loss to the Patriots.
“Last year, we changed (up coverages) on him, too,” Butler said via ESPN.com “The first game of the year (quarterback Tom Brady) caught us on what we call a triple seam with (tight end Rob Gronkowski). We made him do this all day long (pump fake). If you look at the first game, he’s sitting there pumping the ball, and we had a lot of opportunities to sack him and we didn’t. 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 daggum offensive linemen out, hey man, it’s a beautiful world for us.”
And if a bullfrog had wings, well, you know the rest.
The Patriots beat the Steelers 27-16 in Week 7 and 36-17 in the AFC Championship Game. And unfortunately for the Steelers, the Patriots actually got better this offseason.
Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports Images