FOXBOROUGH — Matthew Judon knows what’s coming Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh. After spending the first five years of his career with the Baltimore Ravens, the Patriots pass rusher is well-versed in all the traditions in the Steel City.
“We know around a third quarter or second half they’re going to play [Styx’s] ‘Renegade,’ “ said Judon of the Steelers’ unofficial rally song. “I was in that division. I’ve been there. That’s a very intense place to play, especially the home opener. There’s going to be Terrible Towels. They don’t like you just because they love the Steelers. So, it’s going to actually be a good environment to play in. That’s one of my favorite stadiums to play in. You know, they bleed yellow and black up there. So, it’s a great, great environment.”
Judon said his favorite memory of the rivalry was his first win as a visitor.
“There was a saying [in Baltimore]: You’re not a Raven until you win in Pittsburgh. And so, my first win in Pittsburgh [was the most memorable].”
Matthew Judon said Pittsburgh is one of his favorite environments to play in. “They bleed yellow and black up there,” he said. #Patriots pic.twitter.com/D1cp8NfOkM— Jim McBride (@globejimmcbride) September 14, 2022
Judon, who landed four hits on the Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa last Sunday, is one of five players with at least 90 quarterback hits since 2018. Judon has 103 hits, ranking third behind the Steelers’ (138) and the Rams’ Aaron Donald (119).
Judon said it was a bit odd not to see Ben Roethlisberger at the controls for the Steelers — Mitchell Trubisky is the starter — but regardless of who’s taking the snaps, getting him on the ground is the No. 1 goal.
“We’ve just got to find ways [to create pressure]. We’ve got to create havoc in the backfield and find ways to disrupt plays, whether that’s sacks, QB hits, quarterback pressures, making them just get rid of the ball and making them feel uncomfortable in the pocket,” said Judon. “So, you know, we’re going to go to work and watch how they’re trying to block us, and every week is going to be different and every team’s going to block us different. So, it’s going be some in-game adjustments.”
Sunday’s game will be the 500th of the Robert Kraft era. Since Kraft purchased the club in 1994, the Patriots have 341 overall wins, 33 playoff wins, 19 AFC East titles, and 6 Super Bowl wins … Cornerback Joejuan Williams, who went on injured reserve after having shoulder surgery during training camp, was spotted in the locker room … Count Steelers coach Mike Tomlin as a big fan of Patriots cornerback Jonathan Jones, especially after watching Jones’s work against Tyreek Hill last Sunday (four catches, 50 yards). “[The Patriots] play a really, really good matchup game. For example, I’m watching their tape, and they’ve always got a lockdown-match corner over the years,” Tomlin said this week. “In recent years it’s been [Stephon] Gilmore, and then it was [J.C.] Jackson, and now it’s Jones. I think that’s what you get when you get continuity in a program. The names my change, but the roles and how they go about business, their mode of operation, very much remains the same. I turned on the tape from last week and I see 31 tracking 10 from Miami very much in ways like the No. 1 corners from New England usually do.” … As a reminder, the Steelers’ home is no longer called Heinz Field and there’s no more gargantuan ketchup bottles. The new name is Acrisure Stadium, which frankly sounds made up.
Jim McBride can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globejimmcbride.