The last time the Patriots played the Steelers, Pittsburgh gave up 51 points on its way to its second straight 8-8 season.
Since then the defense has lost several former leaders but has gotten younger and faster. Going into Thursday night's opening game against New England, Pittsburgh is going to have to find answers against Tom Brady after its defense looked porous throughout most of the preseason.
Part of that solution may come from the Steelers' new defensive coordinator, Keith Butler.
Though whispers have leaked that Pittsburgh will jam tight end Rob Gronkowski, and tape review of the Steelers' most successful outings against the Patriots often involve tighter coverage with ramped up blitz schemes, Butler chooses not to divulge anything about his plan of attack against New England until the Steelers' defense actually takes the field.
"We'll do some different things," Butler said to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. "Schematically, we'll be different, yes...but ya'll won't notice it. [Brady] will."
The Steelers are most likely going to be switching personnel often to keep their defense fresh and make sure Brady feels the pressure from the pass rush and cannot have a field day like he did two years ago. Butler's keys to success seem to be fundamental in nature.
"The thing you have to do is stay patient," Butler said. "They will dink and dunk you down the field if that's what you give them. They are going to take what you give them."
Splash plays are what the Steelers' defense must limit from the Patriots' offense and force Brady to be perfect on every drive and have to make several good plays each drive in order to score points.
In less than 48 hours we will all see what Butler's plans are and if he is successful.