PDA

View Full Version : What's wrong with the Defense? Post your thoughts here...



SanAntonioSteelerFan
10-05-2009, 06:39 AM
I'll start with the obvious - no pressure from JH and Wood. Question though is why? Is Big Snack not getting double teamed anymore?

BURGH86STEEL
10-05-2009, 07:30 AM
Let me say they are getting pressure up front. The QB's are doing a good job of releasing the football just in time. Collins, Cutler, Palmer, and Rivers are pretty good QB's.

Hampton usually never gets double teamed in pass rushing situations. He's never been a great pass rusher.

It could be a combination of things. A lack of pass rush moves? Tackles being more prepared to deal with the strength of Woodley and Harrison? Not having our best defensive player? Teams being better prepared the defense up to this point? Quality Olines/competition?

DukieBoy
10-05-2009, 07:31 AM
I'd like to see Scout.com or some experts deconstruct this for us.

JTP53609
10-05-2009, 07:39 AM
we cant tackle, that third td they got from gates was disgusting, he broke 2 sideline tackles from the 20 yd line, disgusting, they look to be satisfied with 2 super bowls.....ratliff is really bad too,

Oviedo
10-05-2009, 08:45 AM
Let me say they are getting pressure up front. The QB's are doing a good job of releasing the football just in time. Collins, Cutler, Palmer, and Rivers are pretty good QB's.

Hampton usually never gets double teamed in pass rushing situations. He's never been a great pass rusher.

It could be a combination of things. A lack of pass rush moves? Tackles being more prepared to deal with the strength of Woodley and Harrison? Not having our best defensive player? Teams being better prepared the defense up to this point? Quality Olines/competition?


A lack of pass rush moves?

IMO this is the problem. Both Woodley and Harrison are "bull rushers" and don't force the blockers to changes their angles with speed moves. Bottomline the lackluster pass rush is the #1 problem with the defense. Last year at this time we were getting QBs on their backs. Now we don't seem to be able to thereby puting too much pressure on the DBs to cover too long.

anger 82&95
10-05-2009, 08:53 AM
No Troy P.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
10-05-2009, 09:02 AM
Troy will have some impact on this D when he returns. The obvious defeciancy is pass rush / coverage when the offense spreads us out...ala 2 minute. We see how close Harrison & Wood got last night before Rivers released the ball. I have been critical the last 2 weeks about DL but I went back and watched some games. Troy playing cover 2 will give us the .1-.5 tenth needed for Harrison,Woodley, & Co. to get there. Believe me when I say it is that close and Troy just being in the secondary will make the QB hold the ball the time we need. It will turn some of those completions into sacks or throws in the dirt from being hit on the throw. We will see the underneath quick throw versus the QB holding the ball for the deep middle. When the QB plants his back foot and Troy's in coverage...Reads change. Troy isn't this whole defense but Troy really does make everyone on this defense better. Just think about last nights game and how many times a half of second would have resulted in a sack or bad throw. Also, Troy playing centerfield will get you a throw underneath more times because the QB is less likely to hold the ball on a blitz when he knows his marker pattern is on Troy's hash. You will not truely know see it until Troy returns 100% but here is what to watch for. The last 3 games...Recall how many throws were made between the hashes downfield. Watch how the number falls off when 100% Troy returns. That area is holding the ball 3+ seconds versus getting rid of it quicker. If a QB waits for that pattern and sees at the progression that Troy's got a bead on it...It's a pick or an incompletion if he throws it. If he pasts that read and goes to the next...It's Harrison or Woodley in his earhole!

anger 82&95
10-05-2009, 09:09 AM
Troy will have some impact on this D when he returns. The obvious defeciancy is pass rush / coverage when the offense spreads us out...ala 2 minute. We see how close Harrison & Wood got last night before Rivers released the ball. I have been critical the last 2 weeks about DL but I went back and watched some games. Troy playing cover 2 will give us the .1-.5 tenth needed for Harrison,Woodley, & Co. to get there. Believe me when I say it is that close and Troy just being in the secondary will make the QB hold the ball the time we need. It will turn some of those completions into sacks or throws in the dirt from being hit on the throw. We will see the underneath quick throw versus the QB holding the ball for the deep middle. When the QB plants his back foot and Troy's in coverage...Reads change. Troy isn't this whole defense but Troy really does make everyone on this defense better. Just think about last nights game and how many times a half of second would have resulted in a sack or bad throw. Also, Troy playing centerfield will get you a throw underneath more times because the QB is less likely to hold the ball on a blitz when he knows his marker pattern is on Troy's hash. You will not truely know see it until Troy returns 100% but here is what to watch for. The last 3 games...Recall how many throws were made between the hashes downfield. Watch how the number falls off when 100% Troy returns. That area is holding the ball 3+ seconds versus getting rid of it quicker. If a QB waits for that pattern and sees at the progression that Troy's got a bead on it...It's a pick or an incompletion if he throws it. If he pasts that read and goes to the next...It's Harrison or Woodley in his earhole!I agree. There’s no way every Tom, D!ck and Harry receiver will be scampering all over the Steelers when the best safety in the game returns.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
10-05-2009, 09:18 AM
[quote="JUST-PLAIN-NASTY":2kh85nkm]Troy will have some impact on this D when he returns. The obvious defeciancy is pass rush / coverage when the offense spreads us out...ala 2 minute. We see how close Harrison & Wood got last night before Rivers released the ball. I have been critical the last 2 weeks about DL but I went back and watched some games. Troy playing cover 2 will give us the .1-.5 tenth needed for Harrison,Woodley, & Co. to get there. Believe me when I say it is that close and Troy just being in the secondary will make the QB hold the ball the time we need. It will turn some of those completions into sacks or throws in the dirt from being hit on the throw. We will see the underneath quick throw versus the QB holding the ball for the deep middle. When the QB plants his back foot and Troy's in coverage...Reads change. Troy isn't this whole defense but Troy really does make everyone on this defense better. Just think about last nights game and how many times a half of second would have resulted in a sack or bad throw. Also, Troy playing centerfield will get you a throw underneath more times because the QB is less likely to hold the ball on a blitz when he knows his marker pattern is on Troy's hash. You will not truely know see it until Troy returns 100% but here is what to watch for. The last 3 games...Recall how many throws were made between the hashes downfield. Watch how the number falls off when 100% Troy returns. That area is holding the ball 3+ seconds versus getting rid of it quicker. If a QB waits for that pattern and sees at the progression that Troy's got a bead on it...It's a pick or an incompletion if he throws it. If he pasts that read and goes to the next...It's Harrison or Woodley in his earhole!I agree. There’s no way every Tom, D!ck and Harry receiver will be scampering all over the Steelers when the best safety in the game returns.[/quote:2kh85nkm]
That he is. You see what he brings when you don't have him.

SteelBucks
10-05-2009, 09:18 AM
No Troy P.

:Agree

If the pass D is still porous after he returns, then I'll start hitting the panic button. Could you imagine what P. Manning would currently do to our secondary?

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
10-05-2009, 09:21 AM
No Troy P.

:Agree

If the pass D is still porous after he returns, then I'll start hitting the panic button. Could you imagine what P. Manning would currently do to our secondary?
In the 2-minute it wouldn't be pretty. Even Manning knows enough that on 3rd and long...If Troy is on the right hash and Wayne is running a post or deep cross...He's not holding the ball for that pattern. If he looks out there and sees Carter...He's holding the ball until Wayne clears Carter. Taking his shot.

SidSmythe
10-05-2009, 09:27 AM
No Troy P.

Ditto

LouSteel
10-05-2009, 09:50 AM
Football is a game of seconds and inches, and right now the pass rush is a second too slow.

Once Troy comes back, opposing QBs are going to hold the ball for a second or two longer. And that'll be long enough.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
10-05-2009, 09:53 AM
Football is a game of seconds and inches, and right now the pass rush is a second too slow.

Once Troy comes back, opposing QBs are going to hold the ball for a second or two longer. And that'll be long enough.

Exactly right! Only last night it wasn't a second or two. It was about the amount of time needed to execute a sneeze! :wink:

Tomlinator
10-05-2009, 09:56 AM
We get no pressure up the middle. Every now and again Farrior or Timmons shoots a gap, but otherwise we get no push. With JH and Woodley coming around wide, these veteran QBs just step up and throw the dump off or the short crossing route as the OLBs fight through the tackles.

And that dump off seems to always be there with the coverage we play.

pfelix73
10-05-2009, 09:59 AM
Harrison not getting the calls on holding him helps the opposing O as well.

:tt1

LouSteel
10-05-2009, 10:27 AM
We get no pressure up the middle. Every now and again Farrior or Timmons shoots a gap, but otherwise we get no push. With JH and Woodley coming around wide, these veteran QBs just step up and throw the dump off or the short crossing route as the OLBs fight through the tackles.

And that dump off seems to always be there with the coverage we play.

I'm afraid Lebeau is going to leave that dump off open all day. I just hope he puts a man there when someone like Welker is going to be making the catch.

And the lack of pressure up the middle makes me so angry! Very few QBs are like Ben -- able to move laterally and get out of the pocket -- so we should be pushing the OL back so the QB can't step up. Force them to move out and we buy JH/Wood time to get past the tackle.

I'd like to see Ziggy come in on passing downs. I know the DL's job is to eat up blockers, but I still think he'd be able to shed a block or two and bring some pressure.

ikestops85
10-05-2009, 10:50 AM
The obvious problem is no pass rush from our outside guys ( I think Woodley's name was called once last night and it was for defending a pass). The other problem is nobody is stepping up and making the "splash" play. We can't buy a turnover -- do we teach our db's how NOT to catch the ball? Yes, Troy is our big play guy and it will help when he comes back but the other guys need to step up. The defense feeds off of itself so once the big plays start happening more will follow.

feelthesteel
10-05-2009, 11:00 AM
Maybe people are getting hip to Lebeau??

BradshawsHairdresser
10-05-2009, 11:40 AM
What's wrong with the defense? The two biggest problems this season:

1) LeBeau's soft defense, especially late in games.
Here's a clue...it AIN'T WORKING. Unless you WANT to give the opponent a chance to beat you, that is. It's just a good thing BA pulled his head out of his a**, and let our offense score a lot of points, or we would have LOST this game. But while BA is finally pulling his head out, it seems LeBeau has his firmly entrenched. Tomlin needs to step in and overrule "the legend", or this will be a wasted season.

2) The anemic pass rush.
I have to wonder if Woodley is hurt or on drugs...his drop off has been so dramatic. Yes, I know that Harrison gets held a lot--whining about that is not the answer. Last night, as Chris Collingsworthless pointed out, the onus was on the interior linebackers to provide some pass pressure. They couldn't do much in that department. Farrior just looks old and slow, doesn't he?

And enough with this talk that getting Troy back will solve all our problems. He's bound to help some, but we're still going to have problems, especially against the better offenses, until we get the above two problems corrected.

steelblood
10-05-2009, 11:47 AM
Let me say they are getting pressure up front. The QB's are doing a good job of releasing the football just in time. Collins, Cutler, Palmer, and Rivers are pretty good QB's.

Hampton usually never gets double teamed in pass rushing situations. He's never been a great pass rusher.

It could be a combination of things. A lack of pass rush moves? Tackles being more prepared to deal with the strength of Woodley and Harrison? Not having our best defensive player? Teams being better prepared the defense up to this point? Quality Olines/competition?


A lack of pass rush moves?

IMO this is the problem. Both Woodley and Harrison are "bull rushers" and don't force the blockers to changes their angles with speed moves. Bottomline the lackluster pass rush is the #1 problem with the defense. Last year at this time we were getting QBs on their backs. Now we don't seem to be able to thereby puting too much pressure on the DBs to cover too long.

I agree that Woodley is essentially a bull rusher. I disagree that harrison is a bull rusher only. He is also (or mostly) a leverage/quickness rusher who uses body lean and very quick feet work around tackles (not just through them). Also, Harrison's lack of effectiveness has been greatly exaggerated. There were games last year in which Harrison was neutralized as a pass rusher. It has happened a few times this year, but generally he has been good. He has pressured the QB a number of times, has three sacks, and three forced fumbles. He has been solid though not spectacular. He has also been held quite a bit (despite the NFLs claim that it would be called this year). Woodley, on the other hand, has been one dimensional and his punch is now widely known and well-anticipated by RTs.

frankthetank1
10-05-2009, 11:49 AM
why the change in strategy this season? with a lead late in a game last year they didnt stop blitzing or play a soft zone, but this season it seems like they are doing the opposite

feltdizz
10-05-2009, 11:51 AM
Tv ratings. Has to be the reason our D let Gates catch 12 straight passes. Lol
No way we dominate a half, make a team one dimensional and then implode. We go from blanket coverage to 3 blind mice?

ikestops85
10-05-2009, 12:03 PM
why the change in strategy this season? with a lead late in a game last year they didnt stop blitzing or play a soft zone, but this season it seems like they are doing the opposite

I don't think we changed strategy late in this game. We were coming with all sorts of blitzes but as much as I hate to I have to give Rivers credit. He did a good job hanging in the pocket and making good throws. I'm not sure why it took them so long to figure out we couldn't cover Gates. That guy just killed us without Troy in the game.

JTP53609
10-05-2009, 12:33 PM
i would think that maybe with the defense being embarassed like this that they would put it all together and shut us up by beating down an opponent, well the next two weeks i think it will happen but the lions and browns are like temple and akron to penn state, i want them to put it together for the vikings that will be a big game

frankthetank1
10-05-2009, 12:36 PM
why the change in strategy this season? with a lead late in a game last year they didnt stop blitzing or play a soft zone, but this season it seems like they are doing the opposite

I don't think we changed strategy late in this game. We were coming with all sorts of blitzes but as much as I hate to I have to give Rivers credit. He did a good job hanging in the pocket and making good throws. I'm not sure why it took them so long to figure out we couldn't cover Gates. That guy just killed us without Troy in the game.

maybe not so much in this game but more so every other game this season. it just seems like they play "turtle" defense with a lead late in games. that or they just are not getting to the qb which i hope isnt the case the majority of the time.

RussBII
10-05-2009, 12:38 PM
It seems we start to flag in the 2nd half... Could it be a conditioning thing?

ikestops85
10-05-2009, 12:41 PM
It seems we start to flag in the 2nd half... Could it be a conditioning thing?

Camp Cupcake??

feltdizz
10-05-2009, 12:49 PM
Tv ratings. Has to be the reason our D let Gates catch 12 straight passes. Lol
No way we dominate a half, make a team one dimensional and then implode. We go from blanket coverage to 3 blind mice?

JTP53609
10-05-2009, 12:52 PM
Tv ratings. Has to be the reason our D let Gates catch 12 straight passes. Lol
No way we dominate a half, make a team one dimensional and then implode. We go from blanket coverage to 3 blind mice?


i agree, i just dont get it, this is 3 straight weeks where we look awesome in one half than bad in the second, ...actually we held tennesses scoreless than with 2 minutes left in the first half they scored and in the second half they were running up and down on us....

NorthCoast
10-05-2009, 01:02 PM
Despite what you think you may have seen, the defense actually did a pretty decent job last night. How so? Rivers was averaging more than 9 yds/att until last nite. Our D forced him into much shorter throws to the point he averaged about 7 yd/att. The other thing that is at work here is a secondary with a bunch of new faces. Ratliff was on the field quite a bit and Townsend as well. Remember these guys are playing in new positions so there could have been plenty of mistakes made. The unit will get better, it will just take some time. I thought Gay had a pretty strong game and Ike was Ike (missed a couple of opportunities for the INT). I thought Timmons had a pretty rough outing. Yes he broke up a few passes but he wiffed on at least two tackles.

Others are right, the pass rush was missing by 1/2 step on a lot of rushes. I am surprised LeBeau isn't calling more stunts with Woodley and Harrison. Seems this would be one way to get them off the big tackles. Make no mistake though, Gates is a beast. He is a match-up problem for all but the best corners in the league.

drprwnap
10-05-2009, 01:03 PM
What's wrong with the defense? The two biggest problems this season:

1) LeBeau's soft defense, especially late in games.
Here's a clue...it AIN'T WORKING. Unless you WANT to give the opponent a chance to beat you, that is. It's just a good thing BA pulled his head out of his a**, and let our offense score a lot of points, or we would have LOST this game. But while BA is finally pulling his head out, it seems LeBeau has his firmly entrenched. Tomlin needs to step in and overrule "the legend", or this will be a wasted season.

2) The anemic pass rush.
I have to wonder if Woodley is hurt or on drugs...his drop off has been so dramatic. Yes, I know that Harrison gets held a lot--whining about that is not the answer. Last night, as Chris Collingsworthless pointed out, the onus was on the interior linebackers to provide some pass pressure. They couldn't do much in that department. Farrior just looks old and slow, doesn't he?

And enough with this talk that getting Troy back will solve all our problems. He's bound to help some, but we're still going to have problems, especially against the better offenses, until we get the above two problems corrected.

:Agree
That nails it in my book.

ramblinjim
10-05-2009, 01:12 PM
I agree all around but it seemed like the D played great for three quarters and then just stopped playing. Rivers got hot and his receivers were catching everything but it seemed like it didn't matter what we did there for about four drives, they were simply going to score.

Some things will help when Troy gets back but our D played well in the first half against a pretty darn good offense and then in the 4th quarter just seemed to phone it in.

MaxAMillion
10-05-2009, 01:42 PM
What's wrong with the defense? The two biggest problems this season:

1) LeBeau's soft defense, especially late in games.
Here's a clue...it AIN'T WORKING. Unless you WANT to give the opponent a chance to beat you, that is. It's just a good thing BA pulled his head out of his a**, and let our offense score a lot of points, or we would have LOST this game. But while BA is finally pulling his head out, it seems LeBeau has his firmly entrenched. Tomlin needs to step in and overrule "the legend", or this will be a wasted season.

2) The anemic pass rush.
I have to wonder if Woodley is hurt or on drugs...his drop off has been so dramatic. Yes, I know that Harrison gets held a lot--whining about that is not the answer. Last night, as Chris Collingsworthless pointed out, the onus was on the interior linebackers to provide some pass pressure. They couldn't do much in that department. Farrior just looks old and slow, doesn't he?

And enough with this talk that getting Troy back will solve all our problems. He's bound to help some, but we're still going to have problems, especially against the better offenses, until we get the above two problems corrected.

:Agree


That nails it in my book.

The calls were not soft in the 4th quarter. Especially the one drive that made it 35-21. Lebeau was blitzing a lot in that drive and it wasn't working. The long pass interference against Gates was a blitz.

The problem is with the players. First, The pass rush is not getting there from the front four like last year (Woodley still doesn't have a sack). Second, Timmons looks slow, whether it is from the ankly injury or the additional weight. He is not the same player and it hurts the defense a lot. Third, the secondary is questionable with Ratliff at safety. He and Townshend seem unsure right now. Hopefully they will get better as the season goes on.

The good news is that there is room for growth on both sides of the ball. I would like to see Hood play more as a pass rusher in long yardage situations. I think that would take some plays away from Smith (which he needs at his age).

This defense will look a lot better if the pass rush from the front four gets better.

Oviedo
10-05-2009, 01:53 PM
What's wrong with the defense? The two biggest problems this season:

1) LeBeau's soft defense, especially late in games.
Here's a clue...it AIN'T WORKING. Unless you WANT to give the opponent a chance to beat you, that is. It's just a good thing BA pulled his head out of his a**, and let our offense score a lot of points, or we would have LOST this game. But while BA is finally pulling his head out, it seems LeBeau has his firmly entrenched. Tomlin needs to step in and overrule "the legend", or this will be a wasted season.

2) The anemic pass rush.
I have to wonder if Woodley is hurt or on drugs...his drop off has been so dramatic. Yes, I know that Harrison gets held a lot--whining about that is not the answer. Last night, as Chris Collingsworthless pointed out, the onus was on the interior linebackers to provide some pass pressure. They couldn't do much in that department. Farrior just looks old and slow, doesn't he?

And enough with this talk that getting Troy back will solve all our problems. He's bound to help some, but we're still going to have problems, especially against the better offenses, until we get the above two problems corrected.

:Agree


That nails it in my book.

The calls were not soft in the 4th quarter. Especially the one drive that made it 35-21. Lebeau was blitzing a lot in that drive and it wasn't working. The long pass interference against Gates was a blitz.

The problem is with the players. First, The pass rush is not getting there from the front four like last year (Woodley still doesn't have a sack). Second, Timmons looks slow, whether it is from the ankly injury or the additional weight. He is not the same player and it hurts the defense a lot. Third, the secondary is questionable with Ratliff at safety. He and Townshend seem unsure right now. Hopefully they will get better as the season goes on.

The good news is that there is room for growth on both sides of the ball. I would like to see Hood play more as a pass rusher in long yardage situations. I think that would take some plays away from Smith (which he needs at his age).

This defense will look a lot better if the pass rush from the front four gets better.

I haven't seen Timmons look slow at all. If anything he is playing with more speed than any other LB out there. If any LB has taken a step backwards it is Woodley. But that can be expected since he is a natural 4-3 DE playing LB. :stirpot

Djfan
10-05-2009, 02:28 PM
My guess is that the pass defense is based on a good rush. Our rush is a bit soft. Fix that and the pass D gets better.

feltdizz
10-05-2009, 02:29 PM
The only thing wrong with the D last night is they were deciding which club to go to instead of stopping Gates from catching passes running the same damn play.

I'm a conspiracy type of guy and I will repeat. There was no way we shut a team down and make them one dimensional and then run around like we have no idea what a pass play the the fattest TE in football looks like after 6 passes in a row to him. NBC asked us to make a game of it because the commercial spots would be free if we blew them out.

I'm kidding but damn... 28-0.. then poof.. Rivers turns into Marino and Gates turns into Mark Bavarro...

SteelBucks
10-05-2009, 02:39 PM
My guess is that the pass defense is based on a good rush. Our rush is a bit soft. Fix that and the pass D gets better.

Totally agree. IMO, the problems start and end up front. A consistent pass rush will make the secondary look like All-Pro's. Right now, QB's are a little too comfortable in the pocket and, in this league, any QB can pick apart a defense when they have time.

Ghost
10-05-2009, 02:52 PM
Having Troy back there allows Clark to be a much better safety. Getting Troy back will be like adding 2 impact players.

NWNewell
10-05-2009, 03:22 PM
Troy

I really do think the absence of Troy is the biggest contributor. That's because when we get a two possession lead (true for the three past games), we start playing the Tampa 2 prevent defense. And missing an all-world safety is obviously going to have a huge effect on that kind of defensive scheme. I think that why we seem to play solidly without Troy in the first half or so, but then seem to play worse near the end of the game when we change our game plan. We are going to a game plan that exposes a drop off in safety play much more than the early game plan.

I also think that is why when we didn't have Troy in the second half of the Titan game, our defense didn't look too bad. We didn't have the opportunity to play the prevent Tampa 2 defense.

I really think it is a coaching scheming issue much more so than it is a personal and player performance issue. It seems like DL and MT are just trying to play through Troy's injury instead of trying to addressing the game plan to make up for the drop off at the Safety position. Which may be for the best in the long run, trying to keep things as consistent as possible for all the other players. Trying to get them to gel and prepare for another playoff run. I don't know. Just some random thoughts that may be way off the mark.

NWNewell
10-05-2009, 04:03 PM
My guess is that the pass defense is based on a good rush. Our rush is a bit soft. Fix that and the pass D gets better.

It's both. Ying and Yang. Can't have one without the other.

Holes in the secondary and no pass rush is good enough to get to the QB.
Without pressure, no secondary can keep everyone covered.

I hate to beat a dead horse, but having Troy back will help both. He creates confusion in the blocking schemes up front because he might be blitzing. And obviously he's got uncanny skills and instincts in the secondary.

In this defense, losing Troy is like losing your star QB. It changes everything. Sure, there are other issues. Sure, we could be playing better and it would go a long way in making up for Troy being out. And, I agree that getting Troy back would not be "the answer to our prayers". Other aspects have got to get better. But make no mistake about Troy being out is the single biggest influence in the defensive production.

We could probably also make up for it by changing up some of the schemes and the way they do things on defense, but I doubt DL and MT want to do that. I think they are trying to play through Troy's injury, hoping maintaining consistency in the schemes will be better in the long run.

But maybe I'm all wet. :?

steelsnis
10-05-2009, 04:21 PM
And enough with this talk that getting Troy back will solve all our problems. He's bound to help some, but we're still going to have problems, especially against the better offenses, until we get the above two problems corrected.

I think you're underestimating what Troy P. brings to the Defense. Where are we getting beat on D these past few games??? We've been getting beat by TE's and WR's right in that middle area of the field that Troy patrols so well. Him being back there will cause a bit of hesitation from the QB's we're facing, allowing the LB's some more time to get there.

Not to mention some of LeBeau's more exotic blitz packages have Troy P flying in from all angles. Much of this has been removed w/o him back there.

mshifko
10-05-2009, 04:27 PM
we're not getting pressure sending only 4 like we were so often last season...hard to put a finger on why though.

also, i'm not a huge fan of kiewan ratliff at all...the guys looks lost out there, takes terrible angles...i think keenan lewis/joe burnett would be an upgrade.

NC Steeler Fan
10-05-2009, 05:12 PM
It seems we start to flag in the 2nd half... Could it be a conditioning thing?

Not with out time of possession in the first half being so high! Our D should still be nice
and fresh in the 2nd half....

papillon
10-05-2009, 10:27 PM
In the 4th quarter last night Harrison and Woodley were a 1/2 step to a step away from sacking Rivers and he was able to deliver some balls in the middle of the field. I have to believe that with Troy back there some of the completions don't happen or Rivers gets sacked because Troy has coverage.

The sacks and pressure will come when Troy is back healthy and playing SS for the Steelers.

Pappy

Chadman
10-05-2009, 11:19 PM
Ok, so this post got Chadman thinking- what really IS wrong with the defense?

Is it that Harrison & Woodley can't get any pressure anymore?

Is the DL washed up?

Is it simply Troy being out?

Well, Chadman did what he thought would be a pointless, but interesting exercise & went over the 'play by play' on NFL.com for each Steeler game, paying attention to the opposition's possesions.

Want to know what Chadman read most often?

Kerry Collins passes "SHORT LEFT" to (unnamed WR)- complete for...so & so yards.
Kerry Collins passes "SHORT RIGHT" to (Unnamed WR)- complete for....so & so yards.
Jay Cutler passes "SHORT LEFT" to (Unnamed WR)- complete for...so & so yards.
Jay Cutler passes "SHORT RIGHT" to (Unnamed WR)- complete for...so & so yards.
Carson Palmer passes (you guessed it) "SHORT LEFT" to (Unnamed WR)- complete for... so & so yards.
Carson Palmer passes (this is getting repetitive) "SHORT RIGHT" to (Unnamed WR)- complete for...so & so yards.
Phillip Rivers passes...you get the picture.

The one thing Chadman RARELY saw was any "DEEP LEFT" or "DEEP RIGHT" pass completions. In fact, most of the deep passes were incomplete.

The Steelers D is getting picked apart in the short zones because the CB's are not skilled enough to play ON their WR, they have to play 10 yards OFF. this allows QB's the opportunity to dunk the ball to the WR quickly- not giving Harrison & Woodley time to get to the QB.

Until the Steelers D starts to challange the WR's in these short zones, the opposition will continue to be able to slowly, methodically, pick us apart.

Chadman used to blame Cowher for this sort of CB play- but now it looks like it might have been LeBeau's idea all along.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
10-05-2009, 11:26 PM
^^^^

That is what I think of as the dreaded LeBeau cushion. Somewhow we were the best D in the league last year despite that glaring obvious deficit. We've been burned so often before though, I can think of Marcia just eating our lunch so many friggin' times with those short passes. Of course it's easier with illegal game film, but you get the point.

BradshawsHairdresser
10-06-2009, 12:05 AM
The calls were not soft in the 4th quarter.

Where are all the stunts? There are blitzes, and there are blitzes. Why does the cushion in coverage get bigger in the 4th quarter? Why is James Harrison 30 yards downfield trying to cover a receiver?


The problem is with the players. First, The pass rush is not getting there from the front four like last year (Woodley still doesn't have a sack).

Points I've made.


Second, Timmons looks slow, whether it is from the ankly injury or the additional weight. He is not the same player and it hurts the defense a lot.
I thought Timmons looked fast, and played much better than he did against the Bengals last week.


Third, the secondary is questionable with Ratliff at safety. He and Townshend seem unsure right now. Hopefully they will get better as the season goes on.
Dial up the pass rush and the secondary looks a lot better right now. The success of this defense is predicated, more than anything, on pressuring the passer, especially from the linebacker position.



This defense will look a lot better if the pass rush from the front four gets better.
Agree about the need for the pass rush, but not sure if we can expect a lot more out of our DL under this 3-4 system. I agree with you about situational use of Ziggy.

BradshawsHairdresser
10-06-2009, 12:25 AM
The Steelers D is getting picked apart in the short zones because the CB's are not skilled enough to play ON their WR, they have to play 10 yards OFF. this allows QB's the opportunity to dunk the ball to the WR quickly- not giving Harrison & Woodley time to get to the QB.



I agree that the opposing QBs can pick apart our D because the CBs are 10 yards off their receiver. But I don't agree that it's because the CBs are not skilled enough to play on their WR. Ike Taylor, especially, has been fantastic in those limited instances in which he has been in man-on-man coverage this season. No, I think our CBs give that 10-yard cushion because of LeBeau's softee zone philosophy--basically a kind of "prevent" mentality--that says, "We're going to deny you the deep stuff and give you the underneath stuff."



Until the Steelers D starts to challange the WR's in these short zones, the opposition will continue to be able to slowly, methodically, pick us apart.
Yep. The only way they DON'T keep picking us apart under that scenario is if we get consistent, fantastic pressure on the QB somehow. So unless LeBeau finds a way to really dial up the pass pressure, he needs to deflate his coverage cushion.

jj28west
10-06-2009, 05:23 AM
Troy will have some impact on this D when he returns. The obvious defeciancy is pass rush / coverage when the offense spreads us out...ala 2 minute. We see how close Harrison & Wood got last night before Rivers released the ball. I have been critical the last 2 weeks about DL but I went back and watched some games. Troy playing cover 2 will give us the .1-.5 tenth needed for Harrison,Woodley, & Co. to get there. Believe me when I say it is that close and Troy just being in the secondary will make the QB hold the ball the time we need. It will turn some of those completions into sacks or throws in the dirt from being hit on the throw. We will see the underneath quick throw versus the QB holding the ball for the deep middle. When the QB plants his back foot and Troy's in coverage...Reads change. Troy isn't this whole defense but Troy really does make everyone on this defense better. Just think about last nights game and how many times a half of second would have resulted in a sack or bad throw. Also, Troy playing centerfield will get you a throw underneath more times because the QB is less likely to hold the ball on a blitz when he knows his marker pattern is on Troy's hash. You will not truely know see it until Troy returns 100% but here is what to watch for. The last 3 games...Recall how many throws were made between the hashes downfield. Watch how the number falls off when 100% Troy returns. That area is holding the ball 3+ seconds versus getting rid of it quicker. If a QB waits for that pattern and sees at the progression that Troy's got a bead on it...It's a pick or an incompletion if he throws it. If he pasts that read and goes to the next...It's Harrison or Woodley in his earhole!
Nice Post,
really makes sense...

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
10-06-2009, 08:39 AM
Playing 10 yards off a WR has nothing to do with a skill of a DB. It is a scheme. 10 Yards off takes away certain routes and invites a QB to throw the ball quickly in the face of a blitz. You analysis of "Short Left" Chadman is evidence to the fact. The idea is to give up the short completion, make the tackle short of marker, and get off the field. Playing bump in run in a blitz opens up the quick slant, out, fade and when you have 1 deep safety your are asking for a big play. When a CB plays 10 yards off and the D shows blitz, the QB has to make his pre-snap bailout read. You won't throw the fade route when the CB is 10 yards. That is a bailout route in the face of a blitz. You will have to go to an intermediate hot route. Pre-snap spacing and alignment has more to do with scheme and playcall. If they couldn't play CB on this level they wouldn't be on the team. This D is designed to give up underneath and make the tackle. They dare you to hold the ball for a vertical route or deep between the hashes. Holding the ball for those routes could give the pass rush the time needed to get there. The difference right now is we are still running the same scheme and the QBs are throwing those routes without hesitation. Troy covers more ground and reacts better than any safety in this league when he can "eye" the QB. The hesitation he causes or making the QB go to his next read is the difference between Harrison & Woodley getting there for the sack or the completion. We will see when a 100% Troy is on the field again. If not...Then we have a problem.

stlrz d
10-06-2009, 12:49 PM
Troy will have some impact on this D when he returns. The obvious defeciancy is pass rush / coverage when the offense spreads us out...ala 2 minute. We see how close Harrison & Wood got last night before Rivers released the ball. I have been critical the last 2 weeks about DL but I went back and watched some games. Troy playing cover 2 will give us the .1-.5 tenth needed for Harrison,Woodley, & Co. to get there. Believe me when I say it is that close and Troy just being in the secondary will make the QB hold the ball the time we need. It will turn some of those completions into sacks or throws in the dirt from being hit on the throw. We will see the underneath quick throw versus the QB holding the ball for the deep middle. When the QB plants his back foot and Troy's in coverage...Reads change. Troy isn't this whole defense but Troy really does make everyone on this defense better. Just think about last nights game and how many times a half of second would have resulted in a sack or bad throw. Also, Troy playing centerfield will get you a throw underneath more times because the QB is less likely to hold the ball on a blitz when he knows his marker pattern is on Troy's hash. You will not truely know see it until Troy returns 100% but here is what to watch for. The last 3 games...Recall how many throws were made between the hashes downfield. Watch how the number falls off when 100% Troy returns. That area is holding the ball 3+ seconds versus getting rid of it quicker. If a QB waits for that pattern and sees at the progression that Troy's got a bead on it...It's a pick or an incompletion if he throws it. If he pasts that read and goes to the next...It's Harrison or Woodley in his earhole!

Thank you...this is exactly it. Not only did you save me a lot of typing, but you also saved me from having to read 3 1/2 pages more! :D

NWNewell
10-06-2009, 03:32 PM
Ok, so this post got Chadman thinking- what really IS wrong with the defense?

Is it that Harrison & Woodley can't get any pressure anymore?

Is the DL washed up?

Is it simply Troy being out?

Well, Chadman did what he thought would be a pointless, but interesting exercise & went over the 'play by play' on NFL.com for each Steeler game, paying attention to the opposition's possesions.

Want to know what Chadman read most often?

Kerry Collins passes "SHORT LEFT" to (unnamed WR)- complete for...so & so yards.
Kerry Collins passes "SHORT RIGHT" to (Unnamed WR)- complete for....so & so yards.
Jay Cutler passes "SHORT LEFT" to (Unnamed WR)- complete for...so & so yards.
Jay Cutler passes "SHORT RIGHT" to (Unnamed WR)- complete for...so & so yards.
Carson Palmer passes (you guessed it) "SHORT LEFT" to (Unnamed WR)- complete for... so & so yards.
Carson Palmer passes (this is getting repetitive) "SHORT RIGHT" to (Unnamed WR)- complete for...so & so yards.
Phillip Rivers passes...you get the picture.

The one thing Chadman RARELY saw was any "DEEP LEFT" or "DEEP RIGHT" pass completions. In fact, most of the deep passes were incomplete.

The Steelers D is getting picked apart in the short zones because the CB's are not skilled enough to play ON their WR, they have to play 10 yards OFF. this allows QB's the opportunity to dunk the ball to the WR quickly- not giving Harrison & Woodley time to get to the QB.

Until the Steelers D starts to challange the WR's in these short zones, the opposition will continue to be able to slowly, methodically, pick us apart.

Chadman used to blame Cowher for this sort of CB play- but now it looks like it might have been LeBeau's idea all along.

I disagree.

Two of the Chargers three TD's were not dink and dunk drives. They were 4 play drives. That's not dinking and dunking. Yes, you will see a lot of completed dink and dunks. But it takes a WHOLE LOT of those to put up a lot of points. There are not many dink and dunk drives that result in scores. Those drives usually stall before they put many points on the board. And that exactly what DL's defense tries to force you to do. Typically, when teams score on us, it is because there were a couple blown assignments or poor pressure that let them get 20yd chunk plays.

If you remember, a lot of the late game drives were because the got big plays.

Chargers:
4Q/5:57 TD: Two deep passes to Gates (4 play drive. 67yds)
4Q/4:39 TD: 26yd pass interference penalty (4 play drive, 54yds)
Only 1 TD was the result of sustained dink and dunking.

Chicago had a couple of relatively sustained drives, but of the three scoring drives, the two TDs did benefit from at least one pass of over 25 yds on each. But in the end, they still only managed 17 points. Not a terrible defensive showing.

In Cincinnati, they only had one sustained drive that resulted in a TD.

In the end, you take away the two TD's that our offense gave Cincy and special teams gave San Deigo, and the fast big play drives, and we would probably be averaging about 14-15 points per game. Which is damn good.

And DL's "soft" corner cushion that gets shredded by the "dink and dunk" plays has averaged 13.9 ('08) ppg and 16.8 ('07) ppg over the past two years with roughly the same personal. Oh, and by the way... it carried us to a 12-4 regular season record last year with an anemic offense against the toughest schedule in the league.

Giving up the dink and dunk stuff is NOT the problem.

stlrz d
10-06-2009, 03:38 PM
NW - re: the Chargers game...are you looking at the result of the play or are you looking at where the passes were caught? Because it's possible to turn a short pass into a "long" pass with YAC, which is something Gates does quite well.

And I have to disagree a tad with Chadman...the issue doesn't seem to be so much the corners as it is LeBeau's scheme. He does NOT want to give up the big play so he plays them off the LOS. Always has...I've been griping about it for years.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
10-06-2009, 03:48 PM
NW - re: the Chargers game...are you looking at the result of the play or are you looking at where the passes were caught? Because it's possible to turn a short pass into a "long" pass with YAC, which is something Gates does quite well.

And I have to disagree a tad with Chadman...the issue doesn't seem to be so much the corners as it is LeBeau's scheme. He does NOT want to give up the big play so he plays them off the LOS. Always has...I've been griping about it for years.


Me too. I know it's absurd to bitch about a defensive scheme that has been as successful as LeBeau's, I know I should be TOBASH'd for even thinking of complaining ("Take him out back and shoot him"), but as successful as it has been, it has also kept us out of the Superbowl at least once I believe - Brady burning us with those immediate throws to the wideout to get 4 yards when it's 3rd and 3, and our defender is 10 yards back ...

And it almost killed us in last year's Superbowl. And how much did the cushion hurt us in the last few games?

OK, I'm going out back now ...

NWNewell
10-06-2009, 04:01 PM
NW - re: the Chargers game...are you looking at the result of the play or are you looking at where the passes were caught? Because it's possible to turn a short pass into a "long" pass with YAC, which is something Gates does quite well.

And I have to disagree a tad with Chadman...the issue doesn't seem to be so much the corners as it is LeBeau's scheme. He does NOT want to give up the big play so he plays them off the LOS. Always has...I've been griping about it for years.

I was looking at passes labeled "deep".

But I'm actually talking about both.... If the guy catches underneath, and there was no one around to tackle him for 15-20 yards, then it's a blown assignment (or tackle). They are still suppose to be covered (sort of). The defense is suppose to keep him in front and encourage them to catch the underneath stuff and make a quick tackle. And a lot of those deep passes are to a TE's or in the middle of the field, were Troy would likely be covering.

The problem is, right now our secondary is a little more susceptible than normal (Troy) and the QB's are able to find people open in that 15-20yd range before our pass rush, which might be half a second slow, can get there (also possibly because of Troy, because when he starts out near the line, he adds an extra level of confusion to the O-line because the don't know if he is going to blitz or not... allowing the others to possibly gain an edge). However, keep in mind, our defense has only given up 16 ppg and is still ranked 6th overall. It's not MUCH of a problem. We are just a little off. It's just not what we have gotten use to expecting from this group.

I think you will see a lot of things come together with a healthy Troy back on the field. A lot of those middle/deep TE and over middle plays won't be there and the QB's will likely be holding onto the ball that half second longer resulting in a sack. We are only a few plays away from getting back to Elite Defense Status.

NWNewell
10-06-2009, 04:04 PM
Me too. I know it's absurd to bitch about a defensive scheme that has been as successful as LeBeau's, I know I should be TOBASH'd for even thinking of complaining ("Take him out back and shoot him"), but as successful as it has been, it has also kept us out of the Superbowl at least once I believe

Kept us out of the Super Bowl once? Ok, I'll coincide that to you if you give me "it got us to 3 AFC Championship Games, and 2 Super Bowls."

I'll take those results any day of the week!!


Granted it is a "weekness" in the scheme. Nothing is perfect. But you pretty much have to pick your poison. I'll take forcing them to string together 12 play drives without false starts or holding penalties anytime over getting burnt deep and getting the ball run down our throats. Seeing all these short completions and stringing together of some 1st down conversions can drive you crazy, but is proven to consistently keep the score low. Can't argue with that. And Brady is a great QB. So is Warner. And they've got some great receivers. Sometimes it's not the coaching. Some days the other team just as more talent or executes better than you do. You can pick out this occation or that, but overall... more often than not, Dicky's Defense is performing better and more consistently than any other over the past few years.

papillon
10-06-2009, 04:14 PM
I like the way the Steelers play defense and force the offense into doing certain things. The Steelers, as JPN identified, dare you to hold it for a big play down the middle or even outside. The other thing they are telling you is that you aren't going to consistently manufacture 10+ play drives for an entire game without making a mistake. So far this year the opposing offenses have been able to do just that in the 4th quarter. Had the Steelers' offense converted FGs into TDs the Bears and the Bengals would have had too much ground to make up and would have failed.

Not causing mistakes by the opponents offense is creating a bit of a problem as well. We'll see, Troy will certainly make a difference as evidenced by the Titans game.

Weather the storm guys and gals it's a marathon not a sprint.

Pappy

feltdizz
10-06-2009, 07:05 PM
NW - re: the Chargers game...are you looking at the result of the play or are you looking at where the passes were caught? Because it's possible to turn a short pass into a "long" pass with YAC, which is something Gates does quite well.

And I have to disagree a tad with Chadman...the issue doesn't seem to be so much the corners as it is LeBeau's scheme. He does NOT want to give up the big play so he plays them off the LOS. Always has...I've been griping about it for years.

we tried to press in the SB and it cost us... i hate it on 4th and 1 but it's worked for years.

costanza2k1
10-06-2009, 09:29 PM
This has been mentioned in the thread already but I needed to say it again. Lamar Haggans is wrong with this D. Our ability to bring the rush last year made our secondary look that much better, that's how this D works. Maybe having Troy back will make QBs hold the ball longer and we can get our sacks again. As it stands right now Lamar Haggans doesn't look like the same player as last year. I don't have anything to back that up with but the guy looks like a blob to me.

Chadman
10-06-2009, 10:16 PM
This has been mentioned in the thread already but I needed to say it again. Lamar Haggans is wrong with this D. Our ability to bring the rush last year made our secondary look that much better, that's how this D works. Maybe having Troy back will make QBs hold the ball longer and we can get our sacks again. As it stands right now Lamar Haggans doesn't look like the same player as last year. I don't have anything to back that up with but the guy looks like a blob to me.


LaMarr Haggans... (hehe)...is being taken out of the game, as is James Harrison, by the opposition targetting the short zones. They simply don't have the time needed to get to the QB. How many times have they been close?

It was noted that the passes to Gates were 'deep', and fair enough- that's kinda true. But at that point, the Steelers had scrapped trying to get pressure & had gone to really soft zone.

Can't believe so many of you disagree with Chadman- that's a lot of deathwishes right there...