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View Full Version : Steelers D for '09 {Opinions needed}



jj28west
05-06-2009, 09:21 PM
Guys,
Thanks to my offseason boredom & constant worrying thoughts I went back and looked at the Super Bowl and was amazed at what the "D" did for the 1st three quarters only to have a minor breakdown in the fourth. When you look deeper at each Card play and possesion in that 4th quarter it seemed that the Cards coaches figured something out where Fitz was getting open and running free. Maybe you just tip your hat to Warner (almost 400 yds passing) and Fitz for playing "all world" that last quarter or did the Cards spread us out to where Troy P could not roll over coverage to support Ike on Fitz. I remember the touchdown to Fitz had Warner leading Troy away from Fitz.

Last years Defense from my observation was never out physicalled except for maybe the Titans game. The end of the Super Bowl was the only time I saw the D literally back peddle. On the flipside you have to look at how many teams have the firepower of the Cards so maybe for most teams there is really nothing to take away from watching film of this game in trying to expose our 3-4 defense.
Sorry if this has been discussed before but I was curious if others though this also.

steeld95
05-06-2009, 09:39 PM
I actually think our D is going to be better this year. I think we won't miss a beat with Gay getting playing time. We just need to build depth there. I think our LB play will be better, and thats scary. This was only Woodley's 1st year as a starter, so he will continue to get better. I think Timmons is going to have a huge year and has more potential then anyone I have seen in awhile. He has freak athletic ability you can't teach. Our D line should be fine for next year. Overall, I think our D will be better with the upgrades at lb and no drop off at other positions.

SidSmythe
05-06-2009, 10:07 PM
FITZ is no joke . . . .
The Steelers offense wasn't helpin' our defense out much getting 1st downs and running the ball (and clock).

IF you don't do that to an underdog w/ a veteran like Warner and a playmaker like FITZ, they will eventually make a big play.

Flasteel
05-06-2009, 11:05 PM
Guys,
Thanks to my offseason boredom & constant worrying thoughts I went back and looked at the Super Bowl and was amazed at what the "D" did for the 1st three quarters only to have a minor breakdown in the fourth. When you look deeper at each Card play and possesion in that 4th quarter it seemed that the Cards coaches figured something out where Fitz was getting open and running free. Maybe you just tip your hat to Warner (almost 400 yds passing) and Fitz for playing "all world" that last quarter or did the Cards spread us out to where Troy P could not roll over coverage to support Ike on Fitz. I remember the touchdown to Fitz had Warner leading Troy away from Fitz.

Last years Defense from my observation was never out physicalled except for maybe the Titans game. The end of the Super Bowl was the only time I saw the D literally back peddle. On the flipside you have to look at how many teams have the firepower of the Cards so maybe for most teams there is really nothing to take away from watching film of this game in trying to expose our 3-4 defense.
Sorry if this has been discussed before but I was curious if others though this also.

I think you're looking at some good players who were desperate and put us on our heels in that 4th quarter. They struck gold on one big play and gouged us on a few others but stuff like that can't hold up when we turn the heat on. That's why our pass rush has taken the defense to the next level. We've been stout against the run with Hampton and Smith for years. But our achilles heel during that time was always getting spread out or hit with the quick passing game. Improved play at corner and free safety has helped out a lot but our pass rush doesn't allow a whole bunch of time for a QB to operate. Over the course of a game, the rush will account for too many sacks, hits, and offensive mistakes for most teams to overcome.

I agree that Woodley seems to be on that level of progression where the best is yet to come. Combined with a more explosive inside rush on all three downs from Timmons and we could be looking at an even more dominant defense this season...especially considering the opposition. Imagine if our offense joins the party.

Man...I really like our chances next year. :Boobs

AngryAsian
05-06-2009, 11:40 PM
If there was an offense that had a chance to gouge our very stout D for some serious points it was Zona. No coach knows LeBeau and his defense better than Whiz. It was a matter of time before our D grew weary and fell on a couple of plays back peddling. But karma sure played a hand in our sixth championship. All year our defense came in and saved game after game from the loss column, and when it counted our offense gave some serious payback and when it counted the most. The season was a collective success.

As for our D improving this year, without a doubt. Prepare for some seriously dominant numbers and most definitely 3 of our 4 LBs will have double digit sacks this year. We have a serious chance in repeating The Saints success in '87 with the Dome Patrol of: Rickey Jackson, Sam Mills, Vaugh Johnson, and Pat Swilling where all four made the Pro Bowl the same year. If there was a LB corps in the league that can contest this record, I seriously think that our starting 4 this year can do it. Scary Good!

Chadman
05-07-2009, 01:48 AM
Fitz is obviously an awesome player, but Chadman would like to point out an observation he has had way back since the SB victory over the Seahawks- Ike Taylor gives up a lot of catches on short crossing routes. If you try to beat Ike deep, or even just try to get behind him, Ike beats you. But if you play short, Ike gives up catches. Hey- maybe most CB's do? But it's just Chadman's observation.

Remember in the "Seattle SB" that Darrell Jackson kept toasting Ike on the short to medium routes?

All it would take is to have a WR that is a little bit 'special' after the catch & Ike can get into trouble.

Not saying Ike is a bad CB- just that he can be beaten on short routes.

Oviedo
05-07-2009, 08:06 AM
Fitz is obviously an awesome player, but Chadman would like to point out an observation he has had way back since the SB victory over the Seahawks- Ike Taylor gives up a lot of catches on short crossing routes. If you try to beat Ike deep, or even just try to get behind him, Ike beats you. But if you play short, Ike gives up catches. Hey- maybe most CB's do? But it's just Chadman's observation.

Remember in the "Seattle SB" that Darrell Jackson kept toasting Ike on the short to medium routes?

All it would take is to have a WR that is a little bit 'special' after the catch & Ike can get into trouble.

Not saying Ike is a bad CB- just that he can be beaten on short routes.

I agree. Our vulnerability in the LeBeau defense has always been receivers who can catch the short to mid range pass and get yards after the catch. Every defense has a vulnerability and that is ours and it has been for years. I think that is where Timmons helps in pass defense shutting down those short crossing routes. Something Foote couldn't do.

phillyesq
05-07-2009, 08:11 AM
Fitz is obviously an awesome player, but Chadman would like to point out an observation he has had way back since the SB victory over the Seahawks- Ike Taylor gives up a lot of catches on short crossing routes. If you try to beat Ike deep, or even just try to get behind him, Ike beats you. But if you play short, Ike gives up catches. Hey- maybe most CB's do? But it's just Chadman's observation.

Remember in the "Seattle SB" that Darrell Jackson kept toasting Ike on the short to medium routes?

All it would take is to have a WR that is a little bit 'special' after the catch & Ike can get into trouble.

Not saying Ike is a bad CB- just that he can be beaten on short routes.

I think a lot of that is scheme as much as it is Ike.

The D this year could easily be as good as last year. If Ziggy is able to contribute as an inside pass rusher on third down (I'm not counting on him to contribute at DE yet), that just adds another headache for opposing offenses.

A few concerns:

- Losing Foote isn't that great of a loss, but now Timmons will have to get worn down fighting through blockers in the running game, and won't be as fresh when rushing the passer on third down.

- Very few injuries last year. With Farrior and the DLine advancing in age, injuries are a bit of a concern.

- James Harrison -- I still think he'll have a pro-bowl year, but last year, he was out of this world. This year, we may have to settle for extremely good instead of absolutely unblockable.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
05-07-2009, 09:00 AM
I think the defense will be better too. Woodley has a full year under his belt and I expect his numbers to only increase as long as Harrison is on the other side. I think Hood will make a contribution in nickel & dime and also provide some energy in the rotation. Timmons full time will be a factor. He will grow...This will be exciting to watch. Where I actually think the biggest upgrade will be is in the secondary. Gay was equal to Mcfadden by years end in pass coverage. I don't think we will miss a beat in base. Where I think we will see a noticable upgrade is in nickel & dime. I like the CB depth there and with this pass rush there will be alot balls up for grabs in the secondary. Having Taylor, Gay, Townsend, & Ratliff as the top 4 is solid. Lewis & Burnett are not far behind. One thing I will be watching is to see how Townsend plays FS. Townsend might have to restructure and extend to stay here and being able to play FS would help. I'm trying to fill the roster but it looks like there is one guy out. Might have to be Madison unless the carry 11 DBs. 10 would be Taylor, Gay, Townsend, Ratliff, Lewis, Burnett, Polamalu, Clark, Mundy, & Carter. Maybe Roy Lewis pushes Carter off the roster. Madison would have to be 11. Salary might come into consideration and that is why I think Townsend needs to restructure & extend.

ramblinjim
05-07-2009, 09:05 AM
FITZ is no joke . . . .
The Steelers offense wasn't helpin' our defense out much getting 1st downs and running the ball (and clock).

IF you don't do that to an underdog w/ a veteran like Warner and a playmaker like FITZ, they will eventually make a big play.


I'm with Sid, on that play it looked to me (and I've only seen it several times on hi-lights, I have watched and re-watched and re-watched it) but it looked to me that Warner's throw was perfect, FItz's catch was perfect, he was on the right spot on the field and the defenders were in the sweet spot on the field. I think if Warner's pass hadn't been perfect, that was either a good catch and good gain by the Cardinals or the Fitz got blown up in the middle of the field.

And.....I'm certainly not saying that Warner and the Cards' offense didn't play "lights out" in that 4th Quarter, they did.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
05-07-2009, 10:00 AM
Remember in the "Seattle SB" that Darrell Jackson kept toasting Ike on the short to medium routes?

Jackson finished the game with 5 catches for 50 yards. Three of those catches were on the opening drive. All five catches were in the first Q.

Special players make plays against all teams. Fitz has been in the league 5 years and has topped 1,400 yards and 10 TDs three times. There is no way that you can consider Ike his personal whipping boy, or that anyone else can exploit him based on Fitz's SB performance.

Oviedo
05-07-2009, 11:03 AM
I'm really curious to see if we see more blitz packages up the middle designed to take advantage of Timmons speed. Typically teams try to fortify the edges to stop Woodley and Harrison and create a pocket.

I think Timmons potentially adds a new dimension of blitzes, particularly delayed blitzes, up the middle that could flush QBs out of the pocket and into the arms of Wood and Silverback.

I'm excited already.

stlrz d
05-07-2009, 11:04 AM
Fitz is obviously an awesome player, but Chadman would like to point out an observation he has had way back since the SB victory over the Seahawks- Ike Taylor gives up a lot of catches on short crossing routes. If you try to beat Ike deep, or even just try to get behind him, Ike beats you. But if you play short, Ike gives up catches. Hey- maybe most CB's do? But it's just Chadman's observation.

Remember in the "Seattle SB" that Darrell Jackson kept toasting Ike on the short to medium routes?

All it would take is to have a WR that is a little bit 'special' after the catch & Ike can get into trouble.

Not saying Ike is a bad CB- just that he can be beaten on short routes.

As was already pointed out by Pennypacker (otherwise known as phillyesq) our scheme gives up those short passes, not the players. Our CBs are rarely within 10-12 yards of the LOS...and sometimes they're 15 yards away. It's a safety net in case the pass rush doesn't do it's job...if the CBs don't get beat off the line then even if the rush doesn't disrupt the play the D should only bend but not break.

SteelCzar76
05-07-2009, 11:30 AM
There are many intangibles in terms of injuries and or time catching up with exceptional starters like Potsie.

But barring those things happening i don't anticipate a huge drop off defensively this season. However i don't think we will be as dominant.

As mentioned earlier, i don't think Silverback will have the same impact this season as opposed to last year.( though he will remain one of the best in the game.) And we may be a bit softer against the run if teams decide to go after Timmons on a consistent basis. And as everyone knows, you nullify any pass rush by being able to run the ball with even average effectiveness.

Henceforth,..though we will still get after the passer more effectively than most teams,...we will not be as unusually successful as we were, thereby giving the better offenses that we play the opportunity to expose our secondary in terms of coverage against big plays. (Particularly in terms of converting 3rd downs and scoring strikes via the air)

I say that we will still finish within the top five on the defensive side of the ball,...but without them playing lights out and personally winning 3-5 games for us and bailing out our often sputtering offense,...we could be in for a very average season.

But who knows,....perhaps we get blessed with the good fortune of the O actually producing consistently this year thereby not only pulling their weight,..but also in turn helping compensate for any slight dropoff concerning the D ?

If this were to happen, (along with like the past two Title runs they fail to have to play Brady and the Patsies in the postseason)...a repeat would seem very likely.

MeetJoeGreene
05-07-2009, 11:32 AM
A few concerns:

- Losing Foote isn't that great of a loss, but now Timmons will have to get worn down fighting through blockers in the running game, and won't be as fresh when rushing the passer on third down.
That is a really good and astute observation. Now I have something else to worry about (see below)

- Very few injuries last year. With Farrior and the DLine advancing in age, injuries are a bit of a concern.
I agree and worry about that myself. Of course, I worry a lot.

- James Harrison -- I still think he'll have a pro-bowl year, but last year, he was out of this world. This year, we may have to settle for extremely good instead of absolutely unblockable.
BLASPHEMY!!! :lol:

stlrz d
05-07-2009, 11:33 AM
Good lord man...I know things change from year to year, but the fact is we DO have a softer schedule this season than we did last season.

The departure of Foote and McFadden don't amount to much. If there are no injuries, our D (even with that godawful Timmons at ILB :roll: ) will still be tops in the league.

Edited to add: MJG jumped in before this post was submitted...it was directed at SteelCzar.

RuthlessBurgher
05-07-2009, 12:21 PM
I think a rash of injuries would be the only thing that could stop this from being a dominant defense once again. The Ravens should be good again, but who else would challenge for the top spot? Eagles? Giants? Titans? Vikings? Pats?

SteelCzar76
05-07-2009, 12:27 PM
Good lord man...I know things change from year to year, but the fact is we DO have a softer schedule this season than we did last season.

The departure of Foote and McFadden don't amount to much. If there are no injuries, our D (even with that godawful Timmons at ILB :roll: ) will still be tops in the league.

Edited to add: MJG jumped in before this post was submitted...it was directed at SteelCzar.

I personally am not such a big proponent of 'strength of schedule' (or lack thereof) as inherently what a team accomplished or failed to accomplish in a previous season has nothing to do with the present or future. As teams make changes during the offseason concerning coaching, personnel, and or perspective and goals. Some teams remain static, some teams that were poor improve and some teams that were considered impressive can regress to varying degrees.

And concerning McFadden,..i never considered him such a great loss,.. as outside of Troy,.. no DB on our roster is an elite talent and ultimately how good our secondary looks on paper as a whole is contingent upon how well the front seven plays in terms of disruption. Henceforth the reason the organization does not make it a priority via the draft or Free agency to bring in "stud" defensive backs as opposed to the solid journeymen guys or young though not highly rated "project" cats.

Like i said,...i still feel as though we'll rank amongst the best in the league defensively,...i just do not think we will have as many magically improbable game changing and or game winning performances as we did last year in regards to the D. And in turn,...they are going to need a bit more help from the Offense imo,....

stlrz d
05-07-2009, 12:38 PM
Fair enough...but I disagree. I really don't see us dropping off (barring injury of course) and playing the NFCN instead of the NFCE is an easier task. I'm not one who puts a lot into strength of schedule before the season starts, but it's a fact that the NFCE is better than the NFCN.

And I think Timmons has demonstrated that he will not only play well, but excel.

RuthlessBurgher
05-07-2009, 01:11 PM
Fair enough...but I disagree. I really don't see us dropping off (barring injury of course) and playing the NFCN instead of the NFCE is an easier task. I'm not one who puts a lot into strength of schedule before the season starts, but it's a fact that the NFCE is better than the NFCN.

And I think Timmons has demonstrated that he will not only play well, but excel.

Plus, the AFC West is significantly weaker than the AFC South. And, our 1st place schedule has us playing Tennessee and Miami, while Baltimore's 2nd place schedule has them playing New England and Indianapolis. :mrgreen:

stlrz d
05-07-2009, 02:18 PM
Fair enough...but I disagree. I really don't see us dropping off (barring injury of course) and playing the NFCN instead of the NFCE is an easier task. I'm not one who puts a lot into strength of schedule before the season starts, but it's a fact that the NFCE is better than the NFCN.

And I think Timmons has demonstrated that he will not only play well, but excel.

Plus, the AFC West is significantly weaker than the AFC South. And, our 1st place schedule has us playing Tennessee and Miami, while Baltimore's 2nd place schedule has them playing New England and Indianapolis. :mrgreen:

That too.

SteelCzar76
05-07-2009, 02:46 PM
Fair enough...but I disagree. I really don't see us dropping off (barring injury of course) and playing the NFCN instead of the NFCE is an easier task. I'm not one who puts a lot into strength of schedule before the season starts, but it's a fact that the NFCE is better than the NFCN.

Good call, as that's true Stlrz, (NFCE vs NFCN) ...but i don't think that the Vikes, Bears or even the Pack are going to lay down for us. And in fact could give us quite a run or even upset us if our Offense is anemic and they can get some reasonable blocking against and or be able to run on our front seven. ( Quite a task i know,....but not impossible)

For me,...i'm not sleeping on anyone this season and feel as though we need to go hard on both sides of the ball all season against whomever we play. So that come playoff time,..we are truly prepared to win by outplaying teams as opposed to outlasting them and or hoping someone pulls a play out of thin air at the end of game to squeak by.

As unfortunately for us,...as our recent history proves,...playing simply "solid" and or mediocre football fails us miserably against the Patsies in the playoffs.

stlrz d
05-07-2009, 03:11 PM
Fair enough...but I disagree. I really don't see us dropping off (barring injury of course) and playing the NFCN instead of the NFCE is an easier task. I'm not one who puts a lot into strength of schedule before the season starts, but it's a fact that the NFCE is better than the NFCN.

Good call, as that's true Stlrz, (NFCE vs NFCN) ...but i don't think that the Vikes, Bears or even the Pack are going to lay down for us. And in fact could give us quite a run or even upset us if our Offense is anemic and they can get some reasonable blocking against and or be able to run on our front seven. ( Quite a task i know,....but not impossible)

For me,...i'm not sleeping on anyone this season and feel as though we need to go hard on both sides of the ball all season against whomever we play. So that come playoff time,..we are truly prepared to win by outplaying teams as opposed to outlasting them and or hoping someone pulls a play out of thin air at the end of game to squeak by.

As unfortunately for us,...as our recent history proves,...playing simply "solid" and or mediocre football fails us miserably against the Patsies in the playoffs.

The Vikes will be our toughest challenge. The Packers D gave up a whopping 89 more points in 2008 than they did in 2007...AND they are transitioning to a 3-4 this season. It will get worse for them before it gets better.

The Bears D wasn't all that great last year either and, imo, won't be all that great this season.

Both offenses could give us problems but with no drop off to our D (which should be the case) I don't think they really will. And we should be able to score on both of them with relative ease.

SteelCzar76
05-07-2009, 03:36 PM
[quote="stlrz d":3p7s4bcd]Fair enough...but I disagree. I really don't see us dropping off (barring injury of course) and playing the NFCN instead of the NFCE is an easier task. I'm not one who puts a lot into strength of schedule before the season starts, but it's a fact that the NFCE is better than the NFCN.

Good call, as that's true Stlrz, (NFCE vs NFCN) ...but i don't think that the Vikes, Bears or even the Pack are going to lay down for us. And in fact could give us quite a run or even upset us if our Offense is anemic and they can get some reasonable blocking against and or be able to run on our front seven. ( Quite a task i know,....but not impossible)

For me,...i'm not sleeping on anyone this season and feel as though we need to go hard on both sides of the ball all season against whomever we play. So that come playoff time,..we are truly prepared to win by outplaying teams as opposed to outlasting them and or hoping someone pulls a play out of thin air at the end of game to squeak by.

As unfortunately for us,...as our recent history proves,...playing simply "solid" and or mediocre football fails us miserably against the Patsies in the playoffs.

The Vikes will be our toughest challenge. The Packers D gave up a whopping 89 more points in 2008 than they did in 2007...AND they are transitioning to a 3-4 this season. It will get worse for them before it gets better.

The Bears D wasn't all that great last year either and, imo, won't be all that great this season.

Both offenses could give us problems but with no drop off to our D (which should be the case) I don't think they really will. And we should be able to score on both of them with relative ease.[/quote:3p7s4bcd]




Again,.. good points Stlrz. But the "rub" may lie within whether or not we are able to score with such relative ease ? The Vikings are one of the best in the league in terms of running the ball ,.allowing them to limit the opposing offensive units' opportunities and as such making nearly every drive count for them.

And if Cutler can lead the Bears to quick scores via the passing game and therefore put our offense in "vertical" catch up mode (which hasn't exactly ever really been our strength),..it could be more than the D can overcome if they are not playing at least as well as last season. Which i think may be a tall task,..as usually it's difficult for any team to repeat such single season excellence as we just experienced.

Slapstick
05-07-2009, 03:44 PM
As unfortunately for us,...as our recent history proves,...playing simply "solid" and or mediocre football fails us miserably against the Patsies in the playoffs.

It is far from a foregone conclusion that the *s even MAKE the playoffs this season...

Tom Brady could easily suffer from "Carson Palmer syndrome"...

While they not win as many games this year, I believe that Miami will be an improved team...the Jets with Rex Ryan's D will be improved and TO in Buffalo couls spell trouble for them (you can double cover both TO and Lee Evans)...

The *s play the AFC South this year as well as the NFC South...they also have to play Baltimore...

The *s road to the playoffs isn't any easier that the Steelers'...

stlrz d
05-07-2009, 04:02 PM
That's why I used the term "relative ease". And also why I said the Vikes would definitely be the biggest challenge. :)

Cutler could do some damage, but the Bears O line wasn't exactly stellar either. They allowed 29 sacks, which isn't a lot when compared to our O line, but overall it puts them just in the top half of the league. If our pass rush can do it's thing then Cutler will be forced to rush throws and make bad decisions.

The Broncos were tops in the league last season in terms of fewest sacks allowed. Obviously that's a combination of the line and Cutler, but I don't think Cutler is enough to bring their sack total from 29 to 12 (what the Broncos allowed). Heck, most of Orton's passing offense consisted of dumping off short passes and he still was sacked 27 times.

Basically I see us beating the Lions and Packers easily. The Bears...we should win but it's one that could slip away if we don't score. The Vikes will be a tough game. A lot will depend on how we stop the run. If we stop the run I don't see Sage Rosenfels beating us.

4-0 vs the NFCN at best...3-1 at worst...imo.

RuthlessBurgher
05-07-2009, 04:19 PM
That's why I used the term "relative ease". And also why I said the Vikes would definitely be the biggest challenge. :)

Cutler could do some damage, but the Bears O line wasn't exactly stellar either. They allowed 29 sacks, which isn't a lot when compared to our O line, but overall it puts them just in the top half of the league. If our pass rush can do it's thing then Cutler will be forced to rush throws and make bad decisions.

The Broncos were tops in the league last season in terms of fewest sacks allowed. Obviously that's a combination of the line and Cutler, but I don't think Cutler is enough to bring their sack total from 29 to 12 (what the Broncos allowed). Heck, most of Orton's passing offense consisted of dumping off short passes and he still was sacked 27 times.

Basically I see us beating the Lions and Packers easily. The Bears...we should win but it's one that could slip away if we don't score. The Vikes will be a tough game. A lot will depend on how we stop the run. If we stop the run I don't see Brett Favre beating us.

4-0 vs the NFCN at best...3-1 at worst...imo.

Fixed that for you. :roll:

SteelCzar76
05-07-2009, 04:39 PM
As unfortunately for us,...as our recent history proves,...playing simply "solid" and or mediocre football fails us miserably against the Patsies in the playoffs.

It is far from a foregone conclusion that the *s even MAKE the playoffs this season...

Tom Brady could easily suffer from "Carson Palmer syndrome"...

While they not win as many games this year, I believe that Miami will be an improved team...the Jets with Rex Ryan's D will be improved and TO in Buffalo couls spell trouble for them (you can double cover both TO and Lee Evans)...

The *s play the AFC South this year as well as the NFC South...they also have to play Baltimore...

The *s road to the playoffs isn't any easier that the Steelers'...


Dude,..the Patsies turn my stomach more than most and as discussed each new season brings entirely new opportunities for poor, exceptional or mediocre play,...but do you honestly believe that a Patsie unit that finished 11-5 without Brady and will return nearly all of it's starters is going to miss the Playoffs ?

SteelCzar76
05-07-2009, 04:47 PM
That's why I used the term "relative ease". And also why I said the Vikes would definitely be the biggest challenge. :)

Cutler could do some damage, but the Bears O line wasn't exactly stellar either. They allowed 29 sacks, which isn't a lot when compared to our O line, but overall it puts them just in the top half of the league. If our pass rush can do it's thing then Cutler will be forced to rush throws and make bad decisions.

The Broncos were tops in the league last season in terms of fewest sacks allowed. Obviously that's a combination of the line and Cutler, but I don't think Cutler is enough to bring their sack total from 29 to 12 (what the Broncos allowed). Heck, most of Orton's passing offense consisted of dumping off short passes and he still was sacked 27 times.

Basically I see us beating the Lions and Packers easily. The Bears...we should win but it's one that could slip away if we don't score. The Vikes will be a tough game. A lot will depend on how we stop the run. If we stop the run I don't see Sage Rosenfels beating us.

4-0 vs the NFCN at best...3-1 at worst...imo.

Well said Stlrz and i agree for the most part. However i'm personally thinking 3-1 at best and 2-2 at worst. As i'm just hard pressed to believe that we will be very much better offensively this year and as potent up front on defense (especially against the run) until i actually see otherwise. As i've said before,..i don't think we have done much to improve this offseason, though we have not exactly taken any great steps backward.

I sincerely hope that i'm wrong though,... and we become a dominant team as a whole.

frankthetank1
05-07-2009, 04:54 PM
As unfortunately for us,...as our recent history proves,...playing simply "solid" and or mediocre football fails us miserably against the Patsies in the playoffs.

It is far from a foregone conclusion that the *s even MAKE the playoffs this season...

Tom Brady could easily suffer from "Carson Palmer syndrome"...

While they not win as many games this year, I believe that Miami will be an improved team...the Jets with Rex Ryan's D will be improved and TO in Buffalo couls spell trouble for them (you can double cover both TO and Lee Evans)...

The *s play the AFC South this year as well as the NFC South...they also have to play Baltimore...

The *s road to the playoffs isn't any easier that the Steelers'...


Dude,..the Patsies turn my stomach more than most and as discussed each new season brings entirely new opportunities for poor, exceptional or mediocre play,...but do you honestly believe that a Patsie unit that finished 11-5 without Brady and will return nearly of it's starters is going to miss the Playoffs ?

i agree with some of your points about next season. i could definetly see injuries to some key guys like farrior or smith who are up there in age. we were kind of lucky in that aspect last season. the offense needs to improve next season. its so hard for a team to repeat these days. it rarely happens for one reason or another. no way do i think the pats will be a force in the afc. they traded their best cb in ellis hobbs who was also their best return man. their starting cb's look to be shawn springs haha and leigh bodden. also is teddy bruschi going to play another season? that guy is older than dirt just like most of their team. they dont have cassell any more so what if brady gets hurt? they added galloway and fred taylor two old vets who will be lucky if they can stay healthy for more than a half of a season. the afc east is also a lot more competative than it has been for a long time. the titans worry me the most in the afc. they lost haynesworth but thats not a big deal. they have that rookie nt last season who was very impressive especially in the game against the steelers.

ikestops85
05-07-2009, 05:25 PM
And if Cutler can lead the Bears to quick scores via the passing game and therefore put our offense in "vertical" catch up mode (which hasn't exactly ever really been our strength),..it could be more than the D can overcome if they are not playing at least as well as last season. Which i think may be a tall task,..as usually it's difficult for any team to repeat such single season excellence as we just experienced.

I have to disagree with you SC76 about our catch up ability. Starting with the playoffs in '07 against Jax it seems the offense tends to shine when we get behind. I know this isn't traditionally a steeler strong point but the times they are a changin'. We tend to struggle more when we get in the ball control mode. It seems every drive has that one killer mistake (i.e. holding penalty, dropped pass or missed blocking assignment that leads to a sack or a tackle for a loss on 3rd and short). Then, when the situation starts to get urgent, they put it all together and function as a well oiled machine. If I recall correctly almost half of their wins last year were of the 4th quarter come from behind variety.

I know the tough schedule last year made them more prepared for the SB run come playoff time. If the offense shows some consistency and with the easier schedule this year I firmly believe this team could be as dominant as the '07 *s. If that happens I hope they don't follow the *s lead and blow it at the end.

feltdizz
05-07-2009, 10:34 PM
regarding the 4th quarter Fitz TD....

when do our DB's ever press or play bump and run?

our D will be fine in 09.