Longtime Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau is gone and there’s a new sheriff in Steel Town. And the scene is new sheriff, new style as rookie defensive coordinator Keith Butler takes over LeBeau’s gig– presumably with a lot of input from head coach Mike Tomlin. Butler and Tomlin are running more Tampa 2 defensive schemes, moving away from LeBeau’s classic 3-4 defense. The Tampa 2 means more room in the middle for Rob Gronkowski, the monster Patriots tight end.
So against Pittsburgh’s new Tampa 2, Tom Brady and Gronkowski might look at times like they’re having a catch in the backyard on Thursday night’s NFL opener. Interestingly, though it’s named for the Tampa Bay Bucs teams that used it successfully under Tony Dungy in the late 90s, the Tampa 2 actually has its origins in Pittsburgh with the 1970s Steelers championship “Iron Curtain” teams.