Pettine spent time on the Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills’ staffs and a few years as Cleveland Browns head coach before joining the Packers in 2018. Pettine never controlled the entire defense when he faced Brady before 2020 but instead tried to get a plan ready to slow him down. It hasn’t worked yet, as Brady has never lost against Pettine, the Madison State Journal noted.
When Brady got a taste of Pettine’s defense earlier this season, he threw two touchdown passes as Ronald Jones II ran for 113 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Pettine explained to reporters Thursday how difficult it is to prepare for someone like Brady.
“Just having gone against him so many times — being in Baltimore, playing him a bunch; and then New York twice a year, even three times the one year; and then Buffalo twice — it’s as big a challenge as you’ll face as a coordinator, as a defensive staff. Because he doesn’t miss anything,” he said.
“That’s the thing. If you have an area of weakness, whether it was in New England or now at Tampa Bay, they will exploit it and continue to exploit it until you make a correction and force them out of it. So, it’s a huge challenge. It’s pretty clear and obvious he’s going to go down as one of the best of all time. (But) I just love it, because it’s a great challenge for our guys. That, ‘Hey, to go to the Super Bowl, we have to beat Tom Brady.’ I think our guys are excited for the challenge, but we’re made sure we’ve stressed it all week, knowing what they’re in for.”
Green Bay has had a top 15 defense this season. The team was ranked 13th in points allowed and 9th in yards allowed. But Pettine stressed that Brady was a different beast.
“We’ve played some good defense this year,” he said, via Packers Wire. “That’s gotten us here. There’s no sense straying away from that. We’re going to be who we are. We’re going to throw our fastball. Our guys have to understand, we’re not going to fool him, but we can out-execute him.”
The NFC Championship will kick off at 3:05 p.m. ET on FOX.