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    Tom Brady wary despite Steel success


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    Join date : 2010-10-11

    Tom Brady wary despite Steel success Empty Tom Brady wary despite Steel success

    Mesaj  Swinderman on Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:40 pm

    FOXBORO — Tom Brady [stats] hated the question. He wouldn’t accept the premise, not for a second.

    The Patriots [team stats] quarterback may have dominated the Steelers defense in his career, including two road wins in AFC Championship games. He may own a 6-1 record against Pittsburgh, with last season’s 39-26 trouncing at Heinz Field serving as the most recent example.

    He may know what defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau better than any signal-caller in the league. But the assumption that this Sunday’s showdown at the Steelers will follow suit?

    Nah. Brady’s isn’t buying it.

    “Would it just be like last year?” Brady asked back at a reporter’s question about his dominance over LeBeau’s unit. “We didn’t score much in the first half last year. The second half we played a little bit better. It all comes back to execution.”

    It always does.

    But in gearing up to face Pittsburgh’s No. 3-ranked defense, Brady can’t ignore the past. He can’t ignore the feeling he left the Steelers with after jumping out to a 23-3 lead with an ailing foot and finishing a 30-of-43 performance with 350 yards and three scores. He can’t ignore a performance that was like so many others.

    “They beat us pretty convincingly,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “We have to prepare better, we have to put together a better plan than we did and ultimately we have to perform better.”

    It is widely acknowledged that LeBeau’s 3-4, pressure-happy, tough-up-front scheme hasn’t changed over the years. And Brady’s success over the Steelers, thanks in part to spreading them out and limiting their ability to pressure, is well-documented.

    Is it safe to believe history will repeat itself?

    “We’ve had our moments against them, they’ve had their moments against us,” responded Pats coach Bill Belichick. “They’re a good football team, they give everybody problems. We’ll go up there and compete against them and hopefully we’ll be able to give them some problems.”

    The Steelers have a well-earned reputation for toughness. They generated headlines last year thanks to linebacker James Harrison’s head-hunting, fine-inducing hits. They reached the Super Bowl last year thanks to a defense predicated on disruption.

    With a star-studded unit that features safety Troy Polamalu creating havoc thanks to blitzing from rushers like LaMarr Woodley and Harrison (who is out with an injury this Sunday), Pittsburgh has allowed just 279 yards per game. They lead the league in pass defense.

    “Steelers are typical Steelers,” receiver Julian Edelman said. “Hard-nosed, tough.”

    Yet they’ve been similarly dominant in each of Brady’s last wins — in 2010 (2nd overall), 2007 (1st) and 2005 (4th). And Brady still combined to complete 93-of-130 passes (71 percent) with seven scores against one interception in the three victories. And the fact that he has an extra few days to prepare with the bye week only adds to what must be overwhelming confidence.

    As Brady notes, he’s always confident before a game. It just doesn’t always translate.
    “Every week when you put in the play you never think, ‘Yeah these plays will be pretty average against what they’re doing,’ ” Brady said. “You really think every play has a chance to score; that’s what you’re trying to design. These guys make it tough on you. They’re very physical, they cover well, and they have continuity in their defense.

    “If you watch the Super Bowl from last year, they get after the quarterback. . . . They always lead the league in defense — you can see why. They’re one of the best we play all year.”

    Yet Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw for 304 yards with three scores in the Super Bowl, albeit against a hobbled Polamalu. With their array of weapons and their ability to stretch the field horizontally, the Patriots [team stats] compare favorably to Green Bay.

    Will the past be a predictor of the future on Sunday?

    “There’s no magic dust we put in our cereal in the morning or anything like that,” Brady said. “We’ve played them when we haven’t played very well, like in 2008. They kicked the crap out of us (33-10), and in 2004 they kicked the crap out of us (34-20).

    “We have to go in expecting to play our best game. If we don’t, it’s a long hard day. If we do, we’re confident that we can get the win.”

      Wext û Saet niha: Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:35 am