While Matt Ryan has had only five doses of Brady, defensive coordinator Dean Pees has six years of experience coaching during the Brady era in New England under his belt. He also has seven more years coaching against Brady in Baltimore and Tennessee––which may or may not work in Atlanta’s favor.
“I’ve been around him a long time,” Pees said via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Went against him in practice every day for six years. Coached against him seven times while on another team as a coordinator. So, he’s going to know where people are going to be.”
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Pees’s Plan to Fool Tom Brady
No matter what scheme Pees has up his sleeve, he knows Brady can’t be fooled.
“The way I’ve always looked at Tom Brady is that he’s got the chalk last,” Pees said. “Him and Peyton Manning and those guys, they’ve got the chalk last.
“A couple of years ago, we were playing against him and our safety decided that he was going to fool him,” Pees said. “Kind of leaned one way and give him a look. It didn’t happen. He ran a seam route on the other side for about 40 (yards). He’s got the chalk last. So, don’t do those things.”
So how do you fool a guy as good as Brady?
Pees put it simply––you don’t fool Tom Brady.
“I’m just going to assume they are going to see it,” Pees said. “They are going to know. It’s better to assume that they know what we are doing, than to assume that they don’t.
“So, that’s how when we kind of structure our defense, pressures or whatever we’re doing, is we have to make sure that we are in the right position to get our job done. Because if you don’t, you just have got to assume that he’s going to do it.”
Brady completed 32 of 50 passes for 379 yards and threw four touchdowns in the Bucs’ 31-29 win over the Dallas Cowboys last week.
Pees Gives Brady the GOAT Label
While Pees knows for certain that Brady can’t be fooled and players shouldn’t try anything on their own, they can at least try to slow him by mixing coverages.
“You can’t just play one coverage,” Pees said. “You can’t just say I’m going to man him up or play cover-2, or I’m just going to play cover-3. I think you’ve got to keep mixing the coverages on him.”
Pees added that the defense can absolutely not give up easy plays or let Brady throw a deep ball.
At the end of the day, however, Brady is the “GOAT”––hard to stop––and Pees is not afraid to admit that.
“You just watch anybody that has played against him,” Pees said. “Watch Dallas, I don’t care who you are, it doesn’t have to be Dallas, it’s really anybody. If you’re not where you’re supposed to be, he will take advantage of it. The guy has tremendous vision and a tremendous feel for the game. If he’s not the greatest of all time, I don’t know who is.”