Cowher: 8-4 vs. Belichek

The Steelers know better than anyone that coaching “genius” is still very dependent on the quality of your players. Nobody was calling a Bill Belichek a genius while he was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns…

No matter how exotic the Patriots become in their blitzing or pass coverage schemes to confuse the rookie QB, the Steelers still plan to pound twin power backs Jerome Bettis and Duce Staley repeatedly, just as they did in beating New England 34-20 on Oct. 31. Staley ran for 125 yards and Bettis 65, while the Patriots managed only 5 yards rushing without injured star Corey Dillon.

Jets running back Curtis Martin, a chess fan, refers to the deep-thinking Belichick as the Bobby Fischer of football, but the Steelers said no game plan can make that big a difference if a team controls the line of scrimmage.

Belichick “isn’t playing,” wide receiver Plaxico Burress said. “All he does is call the plays, and he puts his players in good position to make plays. That’s why they’ve been so successful and been able to win so consistently.”

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