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View Full Version : Steelers D - too close for comfort?



SanAntonioSteelerFan
02-09-2009, 11:18 AM
OK, we took home the Lombardi, so it's obviously good enough, but can we depend on winning this way next year? We couldn't keep Warner and Fitzgerald down, in the 4th qrtr they had free range grazing in our secondary. They scored, 16 in that 4th quarter, and without last drive heroics by the offense, we would have lost that game. That goes beyond a "bend but don't break" philosophy, and I know that Ben's last drive would not have been part of any defensive coordinators game plan.

Our D is built to shut down the run. But are we too susceptible to the gunslinger QBs that can make quick reads and figure out the blitz and coverage? I remember the 25 yard prevent D that (in the not too distant past) gave up lots of yardage at the end of games, sometimes to the point that we lost. And that 4th quarter reminded me a lot of the Titans game, we just couldn't get to the QB in time.

Maybe we can't have it both ways (shut down the run AND the wiley experienced gunslinger), but what can we do differently next year?

calmkiller
02-09-2009, 11:29 AM
Winning the Super Bowl isn't enough? We are supposed to shut out everyone? The other teams pay their players as well....

Oviedo
02-09-2009, 11:37 AM
Have the league actually call holding would be a good if unlikely start. The blatant holding against Woodley and Harrison is the only way that a "wily" QB will beat that defense.

As far as Fitzgeralds big plays: on his first TD Ike had about perfect coverage. Fitz just outfought him for the ball which is not a hit against Ike given that Fitz is a freak of nature. On the long TD the Cards saw a hole in the middle of the defense and exploited. I would like to hear from thedefense what was suppose to happen because I have to think that a LB was suppose to drop into that hole. Also Ike was just about a half a step behind. If I recall correctly Tyrone Carter was also in the deep zone with Clark. Need a faster player than Tyrone back there.

Reality is you don't shut down someone like Fitz but we are unlikely to play that type of guy often.

papillon
02-09-2009, 11:37 AM
OK, we took home the Lombardi, so it's obviously good enough, but can we depend on winning this way next year? We couldn't keep Warner and Fitzgerald down, in the 4th qrtr they had free range grazing in our secondary. They scored, 16 in that 4th quarter, and without last drive heroics by the offense, we would have lost that game. That goes beyond a "bend but don't break" philosophy, and I know that Ben's last drive would not have been part of any defensive coordinators game plan.

Our D is built to shut down the run. But are we too susceptible to the gunslinger QBs that can make quick reads and figure out the blitz and coverage? I remember the 25 yard prevent D that (in the not too distant past) gave up lots of yardage at the end of games, sometimes to the point that we lost. And that 4th quarter reminded me a lot of the Titans game, we just couldn't get to the QB in time.

Maybe we can't have it both ways (shut down the run AND the wiley experienced gunslinger), but what can we do differently next year?

I hate the prevent defense and the Steelers went into that defense way too early. Dropping Clark and Polamalu 20 yards off the LOS and giving up underneath stuff to play makers like Fitzgerald, Boldin and Breaston isn't a good idea, IMO. The defense played 3 solid quarters of football and had the offense been able to score a TD from inside the 5 yard line on two different occasions the game is over.

A good quarterback and great WRs are going to be able to move the ball in the NFL. There is no shutting down that type of offense for an entire game. You need your offense to perform and get a lead to help your defense.

I know the defense would have gotten crucified if the Steelers had lost that game, but, there would have been equal blame on the offense for not being able to score TDs, IMHO. It should be unacceptable to Mike Tomlin to have an offense that can not gain the final 5-10 yards to score TDs.

I mentioned in another thread that the score should have been 28-7 going into the 4th quarter. The drive with 3 personal fouls gave the Steelers 6 tries insode the 10 to get a TD and they failed, that's dreadful offense no matter how you look at it.

Pappy

Iron Shiek
02-09-2009, 11:41 AM
I hate the prevent defense and the Steelers went into that defense way too early.

Pappy


That's it. Fire Lebeau too. :D

papillon
02-09-2009, 11:48 AM
I hate the prevent defense and the Steelers went into that defense way too early.

Pappy


That's it. Fire Lebeau too. :D


Wrong smiley sheik, this one would have been better. :stirpot followed by a :moon

:P

Pappy

stlrz d
02-09-2009, 11:56 AM
What this D accomplished in an offense friendly era should not be disregarded by any means.

Mister Pittsburgh
02-09-2009, 12:07 PM
You could also point to how our offense was able to move the ball and chew up time in the first half, and then Arians shut down the offense to a run, run, pass offense the second half. He did the same thing against Baltimore and instead of pulling away from them by using the same offense that got us the lead, he turtled up and they made it tight.

papillon
02-09-2009, 12:11 PM
What this D accomplished in an offense friendly era should not be disregarded by any means.

I'm not disregarding the defense, but, they did give up some big plays and drives to the Cardinals. Relying on the defense to win this game would have been a mistake. In all seriousness had it not been for an unbelievable 78 (well, 88) yard drive with 2:37 on the clock the defense would be getting lampooned for failing on the biggest stage.

A pass first offense will gain yards and score points in the NFL regardless, of how good the defense plays. What a defense has to do (and, the Steelers defense did it) is make some stops and big plays. You need the offense to score TDs and ours didn't until the final drive. The defense had a great year and an average SB. I'm glad Ben plays for the Steelers.

Pappy

Mister Pittsburgh
02-09-2009, 12:24 PM
I have rewatched the Superbowl about half a dozen times and the biggest thing that stood out to me where our D failed was tackling. We missed so many freaking tackles in this game it is unbelieveable.

calmkiller
02-09-2009, 12:29 PM
I am still not convinced that Fitz caught the jump ball cleanly. I have watched it many times and you can see that Ike had his hand on the ball and Fitz caught it against his helmet. On the way down I believe the nose of the ball hits the ground. Watch it again for yourselves.

MeetJoeGreene
02-09-2009, 12:38 PM
You could also point to how our offense was able to move the ball and chew up time in the first half, and then Arians shut down the offense to a run, run, pass offense the second half. He did the same thing against Baltimore and instead of pulling away from them by using the same offense that got us the lead, he turtled up and they made it tight.

Not to mention that if we converted one or both of those FGs into 7 points, we are not having this discussion....

papillon
02-09-2009, 12:59 PM
You could also point to how our offense was able to move the ball and chew up time in the first half, and then Arians shut down the offense to a run, run, pass offense the second half. He did the same thing against Baltimore and instead of pulling away from them by using the same offense that got us the lead, he turtled up and they made it tight.

Not to mention that if we converted one or both of those FGs into 7 points, we are not having this discussion....

There it is. :Agree Poor red zone offense again.

Pappy

Mister Pittsburgh
02-09-2009, 01:23 PM
You could also point to how our offense was able to move the ball and chew up time in the first half, and then Arians shut down the offense to a run, run, pass offense the second half. He did the same thing against Baltimore and instead of pulling away from them by using the same offense that got us the lead, he turtled up and they made it tight.

Not to mention that if we converted one or both of those FGs into 7 points, we are not having this discussion....

There it is. :Agree Poor red zone offense again.

Pappy

I would love to see how many plays we had from inside an opponents 5 yard line and how many of those we scored TD's on. I almost crapped when Holmes went down at the 7. I thought for sure we would sit on the ball with runs up the middle and chip in the FG and go to overtime.

Arians calls a crap game in the red zone for sure. I can't recall one jump ball type pass to our 6'7" TE Spaeth the entire season. If you are struggling to get the ball in the endzone....wouldn't that pop into your head? Maybe a fade to Sweed? We used to hit our TE for TD's all of the time in the redzone but saw very little throws to our TE in the redzone.

DBinAL
02-09-2009, 01:48 PM
Only a Steeler fan will find something to complain about after winning a Super Bowl. Geez, there are the fans of 31 other teams that would gladly trade places with the Steeler fans. Lighten up and enjoy #6. There are certain aspects of the team that need work, but to be bad-mouthing LeBeau's defense is hardly something that should be discussed.

LouSteel
02-09-2009, 01:50 PM
Fitzgerald: 1,431 yards, 12 TD
Boldin: 1,038 yards, 11 TD
Breaston: 1,006 yards, 3 TD

Ridiculous talent.

And our D still held them in check until the 4th quarter.

Not to keep beating the drum, but the D did beyond well, in my opinion. You know the group is special when they can hold that level of talent in check for the majority of the game.

If the red zone offense could generate points, we'd have won by a landslide.

After watching the SB, I realized a few things. First, I realized that this defensive unit is beyond incredible. This is once in a lifetime talent.

I also realized that our offense has some incredibly skilled players... I wasn't really nervous when Ben got the ball. I knew this is what he'd been doing all year and that he wasn't going to let us down.

And I realized that if we can get more consistent OL/running play/a short yardage back... we could be talking about a once in a lifetime team. I seriously think we have some the best overall talent in the NFL... shore up the few weak areas, and this is going to be an incredible group.

papillon
02-09-2009, 02:00 PM
Fitzgerald: 1,431 yards, 12 TD
Boldin: 1,038 yards, 11 TD
Breaston: 1,006 yards, 3 TD

Ridiculous talent.

And our D still held them in check until the 4th quarter.

Not to keep beating the drum, but the D did beyond well, in my opinion. You know the group is special when they can hold that level of talent in check for the majority of the game.

If the red zone offense could generate points, we'd have won by a landslide.

After watching the SB, I realized a few things. First, I realized that this defensive unit is beyond incredible. This is once in a lifetime talent.

I also realized that our offense has some incredibly skilled players... I wasn't really nervous when Ben got the ball. I knew this is what he'd been doing all year and that he wasn't going to let us down.

And I realized that if we can get more consistent OL/running play/a short yardage back... we could be talking about a once in a lifetime team. I seriously think we have some the best overall talent in the NFL... shore up the few weak areas, and this is going to be an incredible group.

I still believe that the defense played an average game. The Steelers went up 10-0 and the next drive the defense couldn't get off the field and allowed a TD drive making the score 10-7. A stop there and decent field position with the offense playing well would have been huge.

Up 20-7 in the 4th and gave up an 87 yard drive and followed that with a two play 65 yard drive to allow the Cards to take the lead.

On the plus side, Harrison's INT return, 3 holding calls against Gandy, no Cardinal running game to speak of and the sack of Warner that took them out of FG range in the 4th. Of course, the punt that followed was downed on the 1 yard line and I'm not sure that leading 20-17 and the offense getting the ball at or near the 20 wouldn't have been a better situation. None the less, the sack was huge.

So, all in all, it was an average performance by the defense, IMO. Keeping an offense like the Cards in check for 3 quarters is good, but, giving up two TD drives in the 4th is average to below average.

Pappy

RKSteel
02-09-2009, 02:02 PM
Have the league actually call holding would be a good if unlikely start. The blatant holding against Woodley and Harrison is the only way that a "wily" QB will beat that defense.

As far as Fitzgeralds big plays: on his first TD Ike had about perfect coverage. Fitz just outfought him for the ball which is not a hit against Ike given that Fitz is a freak of nature. On the long TD the Cards saw a hole in the middle of the defense and exploited. I would like to hear from thedefense what was suppose to happen because I have to think that a LB was suppose to drop into that hole. Also Ike was just about a half a step behind. If I recall correctly Tyrone Carter was also in the deep zone with Clark. Need a faster player than Tyrone back there.

Reality is you don't shut down someone like Fitz but we are unlikely to play that type of guy often.I re-watched LF second TD. Both safties were deep, Ike gives Fitz a free release. Harrison starts dropping back into coverage into the middle of the the field, but Warner got Fitz the ball before Harrison got there. Just good execution. Although jamming Fitz at the LOS, may have disrupted his pattern just enough for Harrison to get into position.

_SteeL_CurtaiN_
02-09-2009, 02:04 PM
The ball hit the ground on the first Fitz TD, after Boldin blocked in the back to setup the 1st and goal. The second TD was a blown coverage with the safties covering the flats leaving Fitz open on the slant. Without this defense this team doesn't even sniff the playoffs...

And Fitz managed to make other teams look far more silly that he did us.

SteelBucks
02-09-2009, 02:09 PM
I have rewatched the Superbowl about half a dozen times and the biggest thing that stood out to me where our D failed was tackling. We missed so many freaking tackles in this game it is unbelieveable.

:Agree

I noticed that too.....the tackling was terrible.

Mister Pittsburgh
02-09-2009, 02:17 PM
Have the league actually call holding would be a good if unlikely start. The blatant holding against Woodley and Harrison is the only way that a "wily" QB will beat that defense.

As far as Fitzgeralds big plays: on his first TD Ike had about perfect coverage. Fitz just outfought him for the ball which is not a hit against Ike given that Fitz is a freak of nature. On the long TD the Cards saw a hole in the middle of the defense and exploited. I would like to hear from thedefense what was suppose to happen because I have to think that a LB was suppose to drop into that hole. Also Ike was just about a half a step behind. If I recall correctly Tyrone Carter was also in the deep zone with Clark. Need a faster player than Tyrone back there.

Reality is you don't shut down someone like Fitz but we are unlikely to play that type of guy often.I re-watched LF second TD. Both safties were deep, Ike gives Fitz a free release. Harrison starts dropping back into coverage into the middle of the the field, but Warner got Fitz the ball before Harrison got there. Just good execution. Although jamming Fitz at the LOS, may have disrupted his pattern just enough for Harrison to get into position.

Yeah, I noticed Ike not getting any sort of jam on Fitz as well. Why get up in press if you are just going to allow the WR to freely release?

Iron Shiek
02-09-2009, 02:20 PM
Fitzgerald: 1,431 yards, 12 TD
Boldin: 1,038 yards, 11 TD
Breaston: 1,006 yards, 3 TD

Ridiculous talent.

And our D still held them in check until the 4th quarter.

Not to keep beating the drum, but the D did beyond well, in my opinion. You know the group is special when they can hold that level of talent in check for the majority of the game.

If the red zone offense could generate points, we'd have won by a landslide.

After watching the SB, I realized a few things. First, I realized that this defensive unit is beyond incredible. This is once in a lifetime talent.

I also realized that our offense has some incredibly skilled players... I wasn't really nervous when Ben got the ball. I knew this is what he'd been doing all year and that he wasn't going to let us down.

And I realized that if we can get more consistent OL/running play/a short yardage back... we could be talking about a once in a lifetime team. I seriously think we have some the best overall talent in the NFL... shore up the few weak areas, and this is going to be an incredible group.

You are on point Lou. Its crazy to think how much crap Colbert was taking, as recently as 2 years ago. We had people here/at trib that literally (I mean literally) were convinced they could do his job better than him and were very adamant about it. What he's done along with Cowher/Tomlin/Rooneys has been remarkable in finding guys towards the bottom of our roster than can actually be more than just roster fill ins. These guys are people other teams probably want, whereas most teams bottom 10 roster guys would not get picked up if cut.

ramblinjim
02-09-2009, 02:33 PM
This is just my two cents, but the Cardinals had three thousand plus yard receivers this year. With us playing in the warm weather like we were, the fact that the D only gave up 23 points is pretty darn good.

On Fitzgeralds long touchdown you can look at it two ways.

1.) You can't keep Fitz and Warner down for an entire game in warm weather, you just can't, you have a hall of fame caliber quarterback and a receiver with all the tools (speed, strength, work ethic, etc) to do the same and eventually, you'll hit one.

2.) I've seen that darn replay a zillion times and it looks to me that they just hit a sweet spot in the D on that play (and Ike missed the tackle). But there were three of our best guys all around him in Ike, Troy and Timmons and the guy was just in the right spot, running at the right speed and the right angle. If Warner threw that ball a little behind him, Ike makes the stop, a little ahead of him and Troy pummels him, a little short and Timmons may make the pick. It was the perfect storm for that play.

3.) The Cards hit lightening in the bottle in the playoffs. No one held them to less than 30 points and a zillion yards. They were playing great football up until the first three quarters of the Super Bowl and then in the 4th Quarter against us they showed what they can do.

Our D needs to get younger but you really can't fault them for holding the Cards to 21 points. Not when they chewed up two other pretty darn good defensive teams in the Panthers and Eagles.

Now our "O" needs some work. Our redzone offense isn't great and we need to get a couple of linemen that can overpower and average D-Line into the endzone. You may never get an O-Line that can simply out muscle some of the better D-Line's but when we are playing a team that is only average against the run, we need to be able to gash them. Then Ben can throw long without having to worry about getting killed.

:2c

Great game by the way, what a way for it to end. The Cards played about as well as you can play and still come up short. And it's been a great time on the board as well. I lurk more than I post but you guys all add to the fun of the season. Now bring on the DRAFT. I'm looking forward to all the draft guys' analysis.

feltdizz
02-09-2009, 02:41 PM
I had a thread with the conspiracy theory....

I really think the prevent was used to make the game interesting.

we left the middle so wide open and had our safeties so deep it made no sense. We never press.... yet we press Fitz and had no help in the middle. It was a headscratcher if I ever seen one.

papillon
02-09-2009, 02:46 PM
I had a thread with the conspiracy theory....

I really think the prevent was used to make the game interesting.

we left the middle so wide open and had our safeties so deep it made no sense. We never press.... yet we press Fitz and had no help in the middle. It was a headscratcher if I ever seen one.

And, Fitz got the inside release with relative ease on Ike as if Ike expected someone to be covering that zone. Both safeties attack the outside receivers before Warner even looks at them. That was one very strange defensive play and execution to be sure.

Pappy

SanAntonioSteelerFan
02-09-2009, 02:52 PM
I had a thread with the conspiracy theory....

I really think the prevent was used to make the game interesting.

we left the middle so wide open and had our safeties so deep it made no sense. We never press.... yet we press Fitz and had no help in the middle. It was a headscratcher if I ever seen one.

And, Fitz got the inside release with relative ease on Ike as if Ike expected someone to be covering that zone. Both safeties attack the outside receivers before Warner even looks at them. That was one very strange defensive play and execution to be sure.

Pappy

Busted play, or executed as called ... I guess we'll never know.

papillon
02-09-2009, 03:14 PM
I had a thread with the conspiracy theory....

I really think the prevent was used to make the game interesting.

we left the middle so wide open and had our safeties so deep it made no sense. We never press.... yet we press Fitz and had no help in the middle. It was a headscratcher if I ever seen one.

And, Fitz got the inside release with relative ease on Ike as if Ike expected someone to be covering that zone. Both safeties attack the outside receivers before Warner even looks at them. That was one very strange defensive play and execution to be sure.

Pappy

Busted play, or executed as called ... I guess we'll never know.

Yea, no one seems to be forthcoming with an explanation, so, we'll never know and, since, it all worked out I really won't dwell on it too long. Only until next season starts. :tt2

Pappy

feltdizz
02-09-2009, 04:11 PM
I know my theory is crazy... but I do wonder why D. LeBeau goes prevent at times... maybe it's so we don't show too much in one game... or we are baiting the O and they don't bite.

I do know this... it seems like the Steelers are always involved in classic, jaw dropping, heart stopping games in he playoffs.