When Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler last saw Tom Brady, he was carving up the Pittsburgh secondary for 381 yards and three touchdowns in the AFC Championship Game on his way to a fifth Super Bowl title.
It wasn't much better for Butler's D in Week 7 in Pittsburgh (Brady was 19-for-26 with two TDs).
But the key number was zero. That's the number of sacks the Steelers had on Brady in both games. That's got to change, Butler told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.
"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 said.
Butler reiterated what Steelers corner Artie Burns and others had said earlier this month at OTAs - that Pittsburgh needs to move away from zone coverage against Brady and other elite QBs.
"We have to be able to develop a four-man rush and not just blitz all the time," Butler said. "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 will get his chance to test the strategy this season in Week 15 when Brady and the Pats visit Pittsburgh.
The Patriots received their Super Bowl LI championship rings in a ceremony at Robert Kraft's home on Friday night.
The team's social media accounts gave fans their first glimpse at the franchise's fifth championship ring as well as photos from the evening.
According to the Patriots, the ring has more than 280 diamonds with "greatest comeback ever" and "we are all Patriots" engraved on the inside.
"We celebrated our first Super Bowl ring ceremony 15 years ago to the day," Robert Kraft said, via Patriots.com. "It was our first Super Bowl championship in 42 years and, at the time, I couldn't imagine a more exciting game or ring celebration. But, we have had the good fortune to now celebrate five Super Bowl championships, and much like the games themselves, the rings and the celebrations keep getting bigger and better. It was a historic comeback win and the players deserve to have a ring that represents that accomplishment, so we created the biggest Super Bowl ring ever made. Watching the expressions of the players and coaches when they saw them for the first time and the overwhelming pride when they put them on was priceless."
As the Patriots prepare to get their fifth Super Bowl rings tonight, Las Vegas oddsmakers at The Golden Nugget have them playing for a sixth ring in Minneapolis in February.
Their opponent? the Dallas Cowboys. America's Team vs. New England's team. Both franchises the rest of the NFL loves to hate.
The Nugget, per ESPN, has released odds for all 256 potential SB 52 matchups and a Pats-Cowboys game leads the pack at 7-1. Next is Pats vs. the Green Bay Packers at 8-1. And a rematch with the Atlanta Falcons comes in at 10-1.
Last month, Bovada set regular-season win total over/unders and had the Pats at 12.5 and the Cowboys at 9.5.
The longest shot Super Bowl? The New York Jets vs. San Francisco 49ers. That ain't gonna happen but they give it 5,000-1 odds. In fact, ESPN did 10,000 simulations and that matchup never occurred.