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Steelers were hoping for Tom Brady in season opener

The Pittsburgh Steelers watched the resolution of Tom Brady's suspension appeal as close as anyone. And even though the result puts Brady on the field next Thursday, it was the result they were hoping for.

"It wouldn't be better if you beat him," Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward said (via TribLive) when asked if they'd prefer the far less-seasoned Jimmy Garoppolo. "Our best against their best. (No.) 7's (Ben Roethlisberger) gonna be there -- 12's (Brady) gonna be there. So let's join the party."

While it's certainly better for the viewing audience, Heyward probably isn't speaking for first-year defensive coordinator Keith Butler. Butler has the unenviable task of taking over for longtime coordinator and zone-blitz legend Dick LeBeau.

Teeing off on a first-time NFL starter is one thing. Prepping for an angry -- and vindicated -- Tom Brady is quite another.

This is what we've always admired about the Steelers, though. There is a certain fearlessness within the culture coach Mike Tomlin has created. If nothing else, it helps build the hype for a game that everyone was already going to watch.

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