Brady has Steelers' 'respect, attention'

The idea, as always, will be to put pressure on the quarterback, Tom Brady included.

"It's going to be a great big deal," outside linebacker Bud Dupree acknowledged regarding Sunday's AFC Championship Game. "Playing against a great quarterback, you have to do anything you can to try to get in his face.

"They do a lot of great things schematically to try to prevent him from getting touched. You have to just man up and whoever the man is on a particular play, you have to win your 1-on-1s."

Sounds like a plan.

But free safety Mike Mitchell knows when it comes to plans, intent and execution are two different things, especially against Brady and the New England Patriots.

"Houston did a pretty decent job getting pressure up the middle," Mitchell observed of the Patriots' 34-16 victory over the Texans last Saturday night. "I think everyone pretty much knows that's the plan.

"It's much harder to execute that plan, though."

Brady attempted 432 regular-season passes and was intercepted twice.

He threw 38 times against the Texans and was picked off two more times.

Brady also had 287 yards passing (19-for-38), two touchdown passes and a passer rating of 68.6 in New England's playoff opener.

Houston also had two sacks and eight quarterback hits.

Brady completed 19 of 26 passes for 222 yards with two touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 124.2 in the Patriots' 27-16 victory over the Steelers on Oct. 23 at Heinz Field.

The Steelers had no sacks and three quarterback hits.

"He's going to get a lot of respect and attention from us," Mitchell said. "He deserves it. But the way they beat you is it's usually a full team effort. If you look at their Houston game, that was special teams, defense and then the offense kind of caught their stride late in the game.

"For us it obviously is going to be minimizing his role late in the game by trying to get pressure on him, but it's going to be a full team effort. We're going to need our special teams to win the field-position battle and make plays. We're going to need the offense to score points, possess the ball, keep Tom Brady off the field. And then our defense, we're going to have to stand up when our number's called."

The Steelers had just eight sacks in their first seven regular-season games but collected 30 in their final nine.

They got Matt Moore on the ground five times in their playoff victory over Miami and dropped Alex Smith once last Sunday night in Kansas City.

"It's going to be important," defensive end Stephon Tuitt said of getting to Brady, "just as a lot of things are going to be a factor."

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