It’s one thing to get out-executed which the Pittsburgh Steelers undeniably were Sunday evening. It’s another to be surprised by what an offense does and struggle to adjust. Which, according to Bud Dupree, is exactly what happened.
“The first drive hit us by surprise,” Dupree said via Steelers.com. “They came out on fire. And it caught us off guard.”
The Patriots threw the ball all five times on their opening possession, hitting Julian Edelman for a 41 yard gain on the second play. The drive stalled out to just a field goal but it set the pace of play for the rest of the contest.
Dupree said they expected New England to use no huddle but were still caught off by the circumstances.
“Yeah but not that much [no huddle]. We thought it was but we didn’t know they were come off the bat. We didn’t really anticipate it like that.”
He also said the Steelers’ defense struggled against Brady’s audibles and adjusting to what the Steelers’ defense presented, something we wrote about yesterday afternoon. By games end, Tom Brady had thrown for 384 yards, three scores, no picks, and hardly a mistake to speak of.
For what it’s worth, William Gay painted a slightly different picture. He said the preparation was sound but, echoing the words of Mike Tomlin, the execution sour.
“Man, we tried to do a lot of things,” Gay said. His gameplan was better than ours. They executed better than ours. That’s where it came from. We went in with great preparation, a great gameplan, but like I said, they executed better than we did.”
It’s difficult to understand how the preparation was great if the gameplan and execution were both significantly worse than the opponent’s.
Seeing the game unfold hurts a lot. But hearing these comments, about the Steelers being caught off guard in crucial areas, might hurt even worse.