It is July, which means football is right around the corner. July 27th the Pittsburgh Steelers report to Latrobe, PA for another training camp. Although we still have a few weeks of the “dog days” of the NFL offseason, it doesn’t mean there isn’t news to still be discussed.
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The Steelers are legitimate Super Bowl contenders…if they can find a way to get past the New England Patriots. The Pittsburgh secondary wasn’t up to the task when those teams met in January’s AFC Championship Game. Tom Brady picked apart the Steelers’ zone coverage schemes on his way to 384 passing yards.
In response, Pittsburgh’s defensive backs feel the need to be more aggressive this fall.
“Every team that’s won Super Bowls the last couple of years has been able to play man,” cornerback Artie Burns said, per ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler. “We want to be a team to play man, get the pressure on the quarterback and attack coverage downfield.”
Butler has been tasked with transitioning the defense from Dick LeBeau’s zone blitz-heavy scheme into head coach Mike Tomlin‘s vision, which isn’t nearly as good at disguising coverages.
If the staff is comfortable leaving some of its defensive backs on an island, Butler can get even more aggressive with his blitz packages. But he must strike a balance between where the defense is now and where it should be trending.
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