View Full Version : Defense not getting turnovers

09-29-2009, 02:06 AM
On the Steelers: Defense not getting turnovers
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Ryan Clark and James Farrior took turns accepting blame in the locker room shortly after the Steelers' defense allowed two long fourth-quarter drives to let another victory slip away Sunday.

Clark, a thinking-man's free safety, began talking about all the points they allowed Sunday to Cincinnati when it was pointed out to him that the offense allowed a touchdown on a 30-yard interception return.

He was having none of that.

"That's part of the game," he explained. "Even looking at that, I got my hand on the ball and dropped it, Ike [Taylor] had some opportunities at interceptions and didn't catch it. That's them making plays and us not, you know what I mean? You want to say, yeah, they scored on defense, but we had our opportunities also and didn't do that and that's what it's all about."

Point made. It's not just the fourth-quarter drives that quickly are becoming a trademark of the 2009 Steelers defense, it is the dearth of big plays.

The Steelers' defense has gathered up a grand total of two turnovers, one by Troy Polamalu and a fumble recovery by Keyaron Fox, both in the opener, coincidentally their only victory. Their opponents have six.

Last season the Steelers had 29 turnovers -- 20 interceptions and nine fumble recoveries. They scored twice on interceptions and once on a fumble recovery. LaMarr Woodley's fumble return for a score helped the Steelers beat Baltimore in the fourth game, eventually won in overtime. Deshea Townsend's 25-yard interception return for a touchdown with 1:40 left beat Dallas.

Add Troy Polamalu's game-clinching interception return for a touchdown in the AFC championship against Baltimore and James Harrison's 100-yard interception return that helped win a Super Bowl, and those big plays helped put a sixth Lombardi Trophy in their case.

"We need turnovers," said Farrior, a captain of that defense. "We know we need turnovers to help our chance to win the game. The ball just hasn't been bouncing our way. We had opportunities out there [in Cincinnati], we just couldn't get to it.

"We definitely need turnovers. That's the key to the success of this team and the defense."

Add sacks among the lack of big plays. The Steelers, who led the AFC with 51 last season, have five in three games. That's an average of just less than 27 sacks for the season. Nobody has more than one, which means James Harrison again is leading the team which is one more than Woodley.

"It's something we got to rectify if we want to be the great team we strive to be," end Brett Keisel said, noting the lack of big plays by his defense.
Next up, San Diego

The Steelers have beaten the Chargers five consecutive times in Pittsburgh and they'll have to do it again if they do not want the AFC North Division race to get out of hand a fourth of the way through the season.

At 1-2, they already trail undefeated Baltimore by two games.

The Ravens have one of their most difficult games this weekend when they play at New England.

This could either get away from the Steelers quickly or they could be right back in it this time next week.

"At the end of the day, it's all about wins and losses," Hines Ward said. "Right now we're 1-2 and it's not where we wanted to be. It's encouraging because we haven't played our best ball. Even though we're 1-2 we had a chance to win those last two games. We have to look at it, evaluate it, move on and get ready for San Diego Sunday night.

"No question it's disappointing to start the season off 1-2, but there's nothing we can do about it; we can't rewind and go back and play those games."
No horseshoes for being close

The Steelers were 7-2 in games through the Super Bowl decided by less than a touchdown last season and they're 1-2 in three similar games already, all decided by three points, one in overtime.

Is the law of averages catching up to them?

"I hope not," Farrior said. "A lot of our games were close last year and we won a lot of them, a lot more than we lost.

"Every game could be like this. This is the NFL and every team comes to play. You have to be prepared for every game to come down to the end, come down to the last play. Mike Tomlin preaches it every day, situational football."

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09272/10 ... z0STOJvXHr (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09272/1001614-66.stm#ixzz0STOJvXHr)

09-29-2009, 09:17 AM
bingo....lose the tunover battle, bad things happen