Steelers not changing scheme for Tebow

January, 5, 2012
1/05/12
11:00
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PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers say they don't plan to alter their defensive style when playing the non-traditional offense run by Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow.

[+] EnlargePittsburgh's Dennis Dixon
Bob Donnan/US PRESSWIREPracticing against quarterback Dennis Dixon will help the Steelers prepare for Tim Tebow.
Pittsburgh believes playing as a team lifted the defense to No. 1 in the NFL and that it will shut down Tebow, who is more of a running back at times than a quarterback.

"We’ve been a solid defense around here for a long time," defensive end Brett Keisel said. "Regardless of who we’re playing, we understand what we’re capable of as a defense. If we all just do our job, we’re pretty good."

Actually, the Steelers' scheme seems to be a bad matchup for the Broncos. Pittsburgh typically plays with eight men in the box with safety Troy Polamalu lurking around the line of scrimmage.

And while some teams have a hard time adjusting to Denver's spread option, the Steelers think they will be fine because of Dennis Dixon. As Pittsburgh's third-string quarterback, Dixon has been running Tebow-like plays for years in Steelers practices after playing in an option-style offense at Oregon.

“We prepare for it during the offseason,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "We’ve been looking at it now for the last several years."

But it looks like other teams have figured out Tebow lately. He has turned the ball over six times in the Broncos' three-game losing streak to end the regular season.

Now, he looks to break his slump against a defense that ranks first in fewest yards, points and passing yards.

"They're really good," Tebow told Denver reporters Wednesday. "Sometimes it looks like it is chaos out there, but they know where they're going."

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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