I don’t think you needed him to confirm what your eyes saw but Keith Butler admitted he was more aggressive against the Kansas City Chiefs.
And he needed to be in order to restart, or just plain start, a pass rush that was abysmal the first three weeks. By game’s end, Butler had sent more five man pressures and blitzes than he had in any game this season.
He talked about his gameplan with Steelers.com’s Missi Matthews on Coordinator’s Corner.
“Everybody says I blitzed more and all that stuff. We did, we blitzed a little bit more, and we gave the appearance of blitzing. We didn’t really blitz, we had some false blitzing going on, and we still just rushed four but it appeared we were rushing five, rushing six sometimes. Different type of fire zones and fire zones we’ll use. We’ll continue to do that throughout the year. Sometimes we will blitz. Sometimes we’ll bring six. We’ve done that before.”
That included a couple of new wrinkles.
“We ran some stuff they hadn’t seen before from us. They really did a good job of executing. We tried to hold these guys, as much as we could, to keep them under our goal of 16 points.”
If you missed my post earlier this week, Butler sent five 32.7% of the time and blitzed, sent someone who wasn’t a DL or OLB, 41.4%. Those were easily his two highest marks of the year.
Ideally, Butler and the defense could win with a straight four man rush. But it wasn’t effective and to win, the team knew they had to get quarterbacks uncomfortable.
“We needed to get pressure on the quarterback. That was the biggest thing for us.”
But it wasn’t a product of just scheme. Players won individual matchups and Butler was quick to point that out, too.
“Cam really did a good job at [winning matchups]. Cam had a heck of a game. So did Stephon. Both of those guys had good games. We need those guys to play well every week.”
Cam Heyward had three sacks, his first stuck game and first by a Steeler not named James Harrison since 2005. He and Stephon Tuitt bullied the Chiefs’ guards while James Harrison hassled Eric Fisher throughout the game.
The Steelers are now out of the league’s cellar in sacks. They’re now tied for 28th, ahead of the New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons.