The Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense shut down one of the best offenses in the NFL Sunday. Until the Cincinnati Bengals finally broke the dam, Andy Dalton finding A.J. Green on a slant to put them ahead 13-10.
Today, speaking with Steelers.com’s Missi Matthews, defensive coordinator Keith Butler took blame for the defense he called on that play.
“We tried to roll up and jam [Green] a little bit but left him a little bit of room. He was able to catch it in there. It’s not the player’s fault. It’s more my fault for calling that defense. I wish I had that one back. We hadn’t practiced [that defense] in a week or so and we felt like that was the best one right there to stop him. 18, we wanted to stop 18, take him out of the deal. We’re a little bit hesitant but that isn’t all their fault. It’s a lot of my fault too for not repping it.”
Though it doesn’t make the sting of the loss any easier, it is admirable for Butler to openly take the blame for not having his team as prepared as possible for the moment. As you’ll see in the GIF below, Ross Cockrell doesn’t get a jam on Green, letting him win inside on the slant and ultimately score.
Butler’s comments throughout the interview made it sound like Green was the only Bengal he was intentionally trying to take out of their offense. There’s an additional level of disappointment when that guy scores what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown.