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Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Tolerable Towels? That's Brady's aim

By Chris Forsberg



FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Heinz Field can be a tough place for visitors to play, those yellow Terrible Towels whipping when the Steelers' offense is clicking. But Patriots quarterback Tom Brady kind of likes the idea of 65,050 vs. 53.

"I think we always talk about it the night before a game; You look around your meeting room and you go, ‘Look guys, this is all we got and this is all we need,'" said Brady. "If we make good plays, the crowd’s not going to be a factor. If we don’t, you better believe they’re going to be there all day long.

Scott Cunningham/Getty ImagesPittsburgh fans will be armed with their Terrible Towels for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers clash.
"The better we play, the less of a factor it’s going be. And there’s less margin for error because you’re playing in a place where you’re very unfamiliar and they’re playing in a place where they have the crowd noise and a lot of the energy is focused on the home team. We get that same thing [at Gillette Stadium]. We’re pretty tough to beat here at home. The Steelers are pretty tough to beat at home. We’ve been fortunate to do it a few times, but I tell you that the times we’ve beaten them, we’ve had to play very, very, very good games, and we have.

"I think that’s probably what I am most proud of: Some of our greatest games that we’ve ever played have been against them and that’s just the level of execution."

That said, the Patriots are no stranger to the Heinz crowd whopping it up, like in a particularly frightful Halloween visit there in 2004 that handed the Patriots their first loss of the year (and ended New England's 21-game winning streak overall).

"It was a tough day for us," said Brady. "That was a rough day. They were going crazy, the towels were waving and the fans were really into it. It’s a great stadium. It’s very loud. It’s a very imposing stadium. What makes it the most imposing is the way that they play and their physical style. I think they’ve always had that hallmark there of what they try to accomplish on defense, which really sets the tone for their offense. They’re a tough team that’s always run the ball well that’s always played good defense. Then when they get ahead of you, they can rush the passer. They’ve got a lot tough blitz combinations that they bring to force the ball out quickly. Quarterbacks don’t typically have a lot of time and the crowd going crazy obviously doesn’t help the communication with the offense very much."