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View Full Version : Trouble If 'Zona Runs The Spread Offense?



BradshawsHairdresser
01-21-2009, 02:33 PM
Good article over on Stillers.com...Author speculates that Whisenhunt will attack our D the way the Patriots did a couple years back--running 4 WR sets and quick passes. With Warner's abilities, this would effectively neutralize our current pass rushing schemes. It's an offensive plan we really haven't faced this season, so we are untested concerning it. If the Cards adopt it, will LeBeau be able to adapt and change our defensive strategy in time? In some of those past games against NE, he clearly was NOT.

This concerns me, as Whiz knows our history, and he has the players to execute this kind of offense.

What do y'all think?

RuthlessBurgher
01-21-2009, 02:44 PM
Good article over on Stillers.com...Author speculates that Whisenhunt will attack our D the way the Patriots did a couple years back--running 4 WR sets and quick passes. With Warner's abilities, this would effectively neutralize our current pass rushing schemes. It's an offensive plan we really haven't faced this season, so we are untested concerning it. If the Cards adopt it, will LeBeau be able to adapt and change our defensive strategy in time? In some of those past games against NE, he clearly was NOT.

This concerns me, as Whiz knows our history, and he has the players to execute this kind of offense.

What do y'all think?

We can run a nickel in which Deshea and Timmons replace Hampton and Foote. The base set would have Harrison, Keisel, Smith, and Woodley rushing the passer, Farrior and Timmons in short zones, Troy and Clark in deep zones, and Ike, BMac, and Deshea lining up opposite Fitz, Boldin, and Breaston, respectively. LeBeau could mix it up with an inside backer, corner, or safety blitzing occassionally while one of the front four guys dropped back into that zone instead.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
01-21-2009, 02:48 PM
A couple of years back we did not have 4 capable CBs.

A couple of years ago we did not have a healthy and effective Troy.

A couple of years ago we did not have the ability to bring in a Lawrence Timmons who has the versatility to chase down either the QB or the receiver.

A couple of years ago we had Porter and Haggans coming off the corner, not Harrison and Woodley.

This is a much better D than the one we fielded then.

SteelerSal
01-21-2009, 02:59 PM
Our best defense will be our offense.
Execute, eat up the clock and make the drives count by getting points, Period.

Steeler Shades
01-21-2009, 03:04 PM
This concerns me, as Whiz knows our history, and he has the players to execute this kind of offense.

What do y'all think?
I think Wiz will try. The question is whether DL will try to defend against it like he has in the past and whether our defensive players can jump those receivers quickly instead of sitting back and keeping everything in front of them. 8)

flippy
01-21-2009, 03:36 PM
I'd blitz Timmons next to Harrison every play. They'd kill Warner.

We didn't have Timmons, Harrison, or Woodley last time Whiz was around.

We also didn't have Clark or McFaddy and Gay playing at a high level.

Brett Keisel hadn't developed either.

The problem with spreading the field is there's not enough guys to block Harrison, Timmons, Woodley, and Smith if you send those 4 and you can still drop 7 into coverage and Warner would have to throw jump balls to Fitz or deep balls to Breaston.

ikestops85
01-21-2009, 04:04 PM
umm, didn't we play the *'s this year? Didn't they try and run the spread against us? Didn't we kick their arses? I guess my point is this is a much better defense than we had when Whiz was here. It's a copycat league and if anyone had found a chink in the armour of our defense everyone would have been exploring it. About the only team that you could say was remotely successful against us was the Titans and I truly believe we had an emotional letdown in that game. There is no question in my mind the only reason the steelers are playing in the SB is because of the defense and I don't see them letting us down in this game. :tt2

Steeler Shades
01-21-2009, 04:06 PM
The problem with spreading the field is there's not enough guys to block Harrison, Timmons, Woodley, and Smith if you send those 4 and you can still drop 7 into coverage and Warner would have to throw jump balls to Fitz or deep balls to Breaston.
Which 7 are you dropping? You're rushing 3 LBs and one DE. Are there any other defensive linemen and are they going to drop back in coverage? 8)

steelsnis
01-21-2009, 04:36 PM
Well, if we're only rushing those four, then we'd probably be in the "dime" defense rather than the nickel. The dime uses 6 defensive backs (Ike, BMac, Deshea, Gay, Troy, Clark) plus the 4 you mentioned who are rushing (Woodley, Harrison, Timmons, Smith) so i would guess the 11th guy on the field at point is Farrior.

steeld95
01-21-2009, 04:54 PM
A couple of years back we did not have 4 capable CBs.

A couple of years ago we did not have a healthy and effective Troy.

A couple of years ago we did not have the ability to bring in a Lawrence Timmons who has the versatility to chase down either the QB or the receiver.

A couple of years ago we had Porter and Haggans coming off the corner, not Harrison and Woodley.

This is a much better D than the one we fielded then.

:Agree

We have better personal to match up against the spread now.

mshifko
01-21-2009, 05:07 PM
i could almost guarantee you that they will do some form of what you mentioned...spread our defense out, run quick routes, get rid of the ball fast, etc...

i'm trying to speculate and see what defense we will run against that set...we'll see...i have faith in lebeau

Chemsteel
01-21-2009, 05:16 PM
Ruthlessburger wrote:


We can run a nickel in which Deshea and Timmons replace Hampton and Foote. The base set would have Harrison, Keisel, Smith, and Woodley rushing the passer, Farrior and Timmons in short zones, Troy and Clark in deep zones, and Ike, BMac, and Deshea lining up opposite Fitz, Boldin, and Breaston, respectively. LeBeau could mix it up with an inside backer, corner, or safety blitzing occassionally while one of the front four guys dropped back into that zone instead.

Good analysis. Most of the crossing patterns run by Arizona involved direct routes within the 5 yards chuck zone. Perhaps Woodley and/or Harrison can drop back from the opposite side and get a running hit on either wideout. The Eagles missed all delays on the Cardinal receivers. We should consider all WR's over the middle as possible blockers and hit the them with all force we can muster.

ANPSTEEL
01-21-2009, 06:56 PM
Good article over on Stillers.com...Author speculates that Whisenhunt will attack our D the way the Patriots did a couple years back--running 4 WR sets and quick passes. With Warner's abilities, this would effectively neutralize our current pass rushing schemes. It's an offensive plan we really haven't faced this season, so we are untested concerning it. If the Cards adopt it, will LeBeau be able to adapt and change our defensive strategy in time? In some of those past games against NE, he clearly was NOT.

This concerns me, as Whiz knows our history, and he has the players to execute this kind of offense.

What do y'all think?

We can run a nickel in which Deshea and Timmons replace Hampton and Foote. The base set would have Harrison, Keisel, Smith, and Woodley rushing the passer, Farrior and Timmons in short zones, Troy and Clark in deep zones, and Ike, BMac, and Deshea lining up opposite Fitz, Boldin, and Breaston, respectively. LeBeau could mix it up with an inside backer, corner, or safety blitzing occassionally while one of the front four guys dropped back into that zone instead.

I like the idea- i just wouldn't put Ike on Fitzgerald. Ike's ball awareness is easily his worst attribute- Fitzgerald would school him - even with help over top.
If I were to assign a specific corner to him, it would be McFadden.

NorthCoast
01-22-2009, 12:06 AM
Can't remember the year, but I recall a couple of teams trying to run the spread on us. It may have been Oakland who torched us with 5 wide and the next week NE tried the same thing but the D pounded the QB into submission. I may have these games switched....age will do that to you.

frankthetank1
01-22-2009, 10:25 AM
im not worried about the spread. new england ran the spread this season and didnt have any luck. the same can be said about every team that ran the spread this season against the steelers

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
01-22-2009, 02:15 PM
It will be very difficult to get to Warner for a sack because he will get the ball out. But...The way to beat the Cards is to do it anyway even if you don't get there before the ball comes out. Warner frustrates easy when he is forced to throw the ball early and/or ends up on his back.The Steelers can not change what they are doing. Hit Warner erly and often and limit YAC. Make him complete the ball in front of you and make the tackle. Warner will not "dink & dunk" while he gets pounded and he will make a mistake by forcing something. Expect overload blitzes with shallow zones to create turnovers on Warners hot routes. The LBs could see a couple of INTS if they hold on to the ball. What makes this D so good in pass right now is the timing is down for blitz schemes versus coverage. When you know the pressure will be there in the 3 second range on a blitz...It makes the coverage behind it easy. The talent in the front 7 really can dictate what the Steelers can do. The best example of this is Townsend's pick last week. He was sitting back in a shallow zone with his eyes in the backfield. When he saw Woodley coming free and Flacco planting off his drop looking in that direction...He jumped the route. The play will end in a sack, bad throw, or a pick on his guy. He will have no time to reload! When you have guys like Harrison, Woodley, Timmons, rushing the QB...You can set up guys in shallow zones to defend the quick pass or hot routes. It creates big plays/turnovers when you know the pressure will force the quick throw. Force Warner to throw it quick...I like our chances!

As for the spread O...There shouldn't be any worries. The defense can withstand that type of assault. That wouldn't be the best strategy for the Cards. They need to protect Warner and disguise what they are doing as much as possible. The only reason the succeeded through the playoffs is they started to run the rock. If they think they will come out in 4/5 wide and beat the Steelers they better bring some napkins!!! Warner will need to wipe the drool from Harrison & company off of himself because he will be mauled all day!!! He will also need the napkins to wipe himself when he "sheets" his pants after the Woodley "X Factor"!

proudpittsburgher
01-22-2009, 02:29 PM
The Eagles put a lot of pressure on Warner in the second half of their NFCC game, and it was very effective, so we know it's possible. If we ca apply pressure early and get ahead, making them one-dimensional, we could very well make Kurt Warner look bad.

Steelerphile
01-22-2009, 07:37 PM
I really think that Whiz having been offensive coordinator two years ago and supposedly knowing the Steelers well because of that, is of little consequence. The Steelers have gained several new faces in that time period, and the ones that were here then are not playing exactly the same.

I do think he is a smart creative kind of coach, so I am expecting to see a few gadget plays, that he will hope to hit big on. I do think he will try to go downtown in the first series to try to take a quick lead. A jump ball to Fitzgerald almost anytime is a good play since he rarely loses that battle.

I don't believe Arizona can march up and down the field playing straight up football on the Steelers. I like the Steelers collection of DBs and also Timmons and Farrior in underneath zone. But you have to be concerned with Warner and their collection of WRS, Fitzgerald, Boldin and Breaston.

I also think Tomlin and LeBeau are smart coaches who will make a good game plan.

If the Steelers win the toss, I think I would like them to take the ball. They usually defer. Big Ben has been looking so strong and focused that I think the Steelers can score on the first drive. If they can, I think that would have a deflating effect on Arizona. I do worry about their first drive. Their coaches will have something up their sleeve.