Do your job.
That’s been the philosophy of the New England Patriots for the entirety of Bill Belichick’s tenure. For Sunday, the Steelers are going to borrow that idea.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Terrell Edmunds discussed the best way to slow down Tom Brady and company.
“You just try to stay on your technique, don’t try to do too much,” he said via the team website. “Big disguise game, try to get him off his game but at the end of the day, you gotta trust your technique and continue to do what you’ve been doing.”
Edmunds’ words echo what Mike Tomlin said during his Tuesday presser. The idea of the Steelers needing to take care of their business, play their game, and not make simple, sloppy mistakes commonly associated with Week One.
But Edmunds also hits on another critical point. The only way to beat Brady is to change what you’re doing pre-snap with what happens post-snap. In last year’s matchup, the Steelers did a great job of rotating their safeties right before the snap to force Brady to read coverage as he was dropping back, causing him to hold onto the ball and allowing the pass rush to get home.
Everyone talks about needing to hit Brady. Pressure him, get him on the ground. Make him feel like he’s a 42 year old still playing football. But knowing that and doing that are two very separate things. The only way to do it is to force him to hold onto the football and that’s only accomplished by hiding your scheme and mixing things up.
The good news is this is a defense that did it a year ago. The better news is this is a defense much improved from a year ago. More speed. More versatility. More experience. There’s every expectation they can replicate and add to what they did a year ago.
Do your job. Slow down Brady. Win the game.
What a start to the season that would be.