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hawaiiansteel
05-12-2010, 03:25 AM
Bryant McFadden: A Closer Look at His Lone Season in Arizona

May 11, 2010



Bryant McFadden, right, knocks the ball away that was intended for Houston Texans' Andre Johnson.

http://cdn2.sbnation.com/entry_photo_images/385613/53069_texans_cardinals_football.jpg


I think it is clear that Bryant McFadden was universally welcomed back to Pittsburgh after William Gay had quite a difficult time filling in for him last year. Thousands of fans were ecstatic that the Steelers could get him back for only a fifth round pick. Although, you have to wonder why, a player who played so well for Pittsburgh in a Superbowl campaign, was given away, after only a year, for so cheap.

Personally, I hate seeing players depart from Pittsburgh after having a good year. I do not hold it against them that they wanted to "get that money man", but I still hate seeing them leave. Generally, I will follow their progression with their new club for a few years after leaving. Over the last few years, it was difficult to see Alan Faneca tear it up with multiple Pro Bowls for the Jets, Joey Porter get double digit sacks in Miami, and Plaxico Burress help the Giants topple the undefeated Patriots in the SB. Okay, maybe that last one was not difficult to watch at all, but not having those guys playing for us was. Therefore, when McFadden was yanked away by Pittsburgh West I kept a good eye on him out there. And to put it gently, McFadden had a really awful year. So, after that type of year, why would the Steelers have any interest in Bryant? And why did he have such a horrible year?

First and foremost, lets think about the style of defense that B-Mac plays. He is not a cover corner that can just shut a player out like Darrelle Revis. So he will not be the guy who stays with a WR throughout his route or be the guy to stay inside the receiver's shoes down field. No, he is a physical corner that likes to hit. His strengths are re-routing receivers and tackling in the open field. This is quite evident when you see that the career completion percentage against him is 60.9%. Last year the league average was around 61% and I would say a good comp% is 55 and under (about 40 DBs under that mark last year). Conversely, look at his YAC/Rec, which is absurdly low at 4.5, and consider that he has only missed 6 tackles in his professional career. To put a reference on how silly both of those numbers are, contemplate that Revis's YAC/Rec was over 10 last year and consider that no other CB, that was targeted over 100 times last year, had less than 5 missed tackles to B-Mac's 3. To conclude, McFadden is a sure-tackling, physical DB who is dependent on a good pass rush to force the QB to throw sooner.

Both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals run a 3-4 defense. It is important to note that the Whiz brought the 3-4 to the desert and has attempted to model his defense after Pittsburgh's defense. However, they do not run exactly the same system, primarily because Arizona does not have Dick LeBeau's brilliant mind. Therefore, I initially presumed that B-Mac struggled so much on his new team because of a bad pass rush. In 2008, the Steelers had a God-like 51 sacks and 91 QB hits, numbers that could make any CB's job easier by keeping the QB off his game. However, when I looked up the 2009 Cardinal's numbers I found that they had 43 sacks and 77 QB hits, good for the 6th best QB pressuring team in the league. I believe we can safely conclude that it was not a lack of pass rush that hampered his game.

All statistics can be misleading if you do not consider how those numbers were accumulated. In my hypothesis, I believe that B-Mac's deficient year can be accredited to two differences between the Steelers defense and the Cardinals defense. First of all, lets take a look at who was racking up all of those sacks for both teams. In 2008, these Steelers had 2 or more sacks: James Harrison (16), LaMarr Woodley (11.5), Aaron Smith (5.5), Lawrence Timmons (5), James Farrior (3.5), and Travis Kirschke (2). In 2009, Cardinals with 2 or more sacks included Calais Campbell (7), Darnell Dockett (7), Bertrand Berry (6), Clark Haggans (5), Chike Okeafor (4.5), Kenny Iwebema (2), Will Davis (2), Alan Branch (2), and Adrian Wilson (2). If we group all of the sacks together we can see that the Steelers had 38.5 sacks from LBs (specifically 27.5 from their OLBs) and 11.5 from their defensive line. Comparatively, the Cards had 12.5 sacks from LBs and 26 sacks from their DL.

That shows quite a difference in where each team is expecting their sacks to come from. The Steelers depend on their fast OLBs to get around the edge and hit the Quarterback as quickly as possible. On the other side, the Cardinals want their defensive line to push its way through the OL and collapse the pocket around the quarterback. How does this affect the play of a CB? Well, there is no way I can prove this, but I believe an OLB can get to the QB a lot faster than a DL. The faster the defender gets to the QB the less time the WR has to break free from the CB and get down field. Ergo, McFadden thrived when the Steelers OLBs got to the QB quickly and struggled with the more methodical pocket-collapsing Arizona defense.

My second belief is that it appears that the Cardinals do not run a zone blitz or that they do not run a zone blitz as creative as the Steelers. I saw an interview with Peyton Manning once, I believe it was right before that epic playoff game in 2005, where he stated that he hated playing the Steelers defense. He explained that when he played them he always had to take an extra second or so to read the blitz and make a throw. He explained that LeBeau hid his blitzes so well that it made his job harder. Before a play starts, a good QB can pick out parts of the field that may be open based on what the average defense is presenting. However, since a zone-blitz disguises who will blitz and who will drop back a QB really has no idea where the soft spots in the zone will be. The QB has to take that extra split second to decide post snap where those spots are, which gives a blitz more time to get there. Clearly, any CB, specifically a weaker cover-corner like McFadden, would benefit greatly from the LeBeau zone blitz.

We are happy to have McFadden back in the black and gold, and I am sure he is just as happy to be back. Here is to hoping he has a better year back in our system...or at least a better year than William Gay had.


http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/20 ... #storyjump (http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2010/5/11/1467557/bryant-mcfadden-why-did-he-have#storyjump)

steelblood
05-12-2010, 07:21 AM
At the risk of offending someone on our board who may have written this article, I think it is rubbish. All of those facts to prove a hypothesis that he admits he can't prove and has no real evidence to back up.

Oviedo
05-12-2010, 07:53 AM
The bottomline is that any DB in our defense is going to look bad if the pass rush isn't getting to the QB. Our defense is not designed for our DB to run stride for stride with WRs. It is designed to get pressure on the QB and force them to throw the ball before routes develop and dump it to receivers running short hot routes with our DB keeping the ball in front of them and making tackles for short gains. In our defense, the front seven is more important than the back four. If the former doesn't do their job, the latter look very bad like last year.

What happened last year in our losses was that we weren't getting to the QB therefore the Wrs had time to get separation in the secondary. That is why we drafted two young OLBs in rounds 2 and 4 versus everybody's wish for DBs. The coaches and the FO know what makes this defense work.

frankthetank1
05-12-2010, 08:51 AM
The bottomline is that any DB in our defense is going to look bad if the pass rush isn't getting to the QB. Our defense is not designed for our DB to run stride for stride with WRs. It is designed to get pressure on the QB and force them to throw the ball before routes develop and dump it to receivers running short hot routes with our DB keeping the ball in front of them and making tackles for short gains. In our defense, the front seven is more important than the back four. If the former doesn't do their job, the latter look very bad like last year.

What happened last year in our losses was that we weren't getting to the QB therefore the Wrs had time to get separation in the secondary. That is why we drafted two young OLBs in rounds 2 and 4 versus everybody's wish for DBs. The coaches and the FO know what makes this defense work.

$$$$ i agree 100%. the zone blitz isnt an ideal system for a cb in the sense that they rely on the pass rush to make them look good. i love the zone blitz but when there is no qb pressure it hangs the cb's out to dry.

BradshawsHairdresser
05-12-2010, 09:17 AM
In other words, we'd better hope that Worlids and Gibson are just what the doctor ordered to fix the ailing pass rush? Because they are the only players added to really address that need. I wonder how much either of them will actually see the field this season?

frankthetank1
05-12-2010, 09:22 AM
In other words, we'd better hope that Worlids and Gibson are just what the doctor ordered to fix the ailing pass rush? Because they are the only players added to really address that need. I wonder how much either of them will actually see the field this season?

a healthy A.smith will help out the pass rush a lot and hopefully a better season from james harrison and timmons wouldnt hurt either. i wouldnt count on any of the rookies making a big impact this season. i dont know if gibson can play st's but i think worlids will do very well on st's

flippy
05-12-2010, 09:23 AM
McFadden is a solid tackler and that's Gay's weakness.

This defense needs CBs that can prevent the big play and McFadden fits the Steelers CB mold perfectly. Glad he's back.

Djfan
05-12-2010, 09:40 AM
McFadden is a solid tackler and that's Gay's weakness.

This defense needs CBs that can prevent the big play and McFadden fits the Steelers CB mold perfectly. Glad he's back.


$

Oviedo
05-12-2010, 09:54 AM
In other words, we'd better hope that Worlids and Gibson are just what the doctor ordered to fix the ailing pass rush? Because they are the only players added to really address that need. I wonder how much either of them will actually see the field this season?

a healthy A.smith will help out the pass rush a lot and hopefully a better season from james harrison and timmons wouldnt hurt either. i wouldnt count on any of the rookies making a big impact this season. i dont know if gibson can play st's but i think worlids will do very well on st's

A better season from Harrison would absolutley help. Two sacks in the final eight games is not what he needs to deliver.

Timmons was not the problem. If anything he greatly improved the ability to get to the QB by adding the dimension of the inside blitz. Timmons had 7 sacks and 4 forced fumbles from the ILB position last season as a 22 year old first year full-time starter. And that was missing 2 games due to injury and playing hurt in a couple others.

The best totals that James Farrior ever had in his career were 6.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles (not in same season). The best totals larry Foote ever had were 4 sacks and 3 forced fumbles.

Yet we continue to hear that Timmons needs to get better. The argument gets more ridiculous every time it is stated.

flippy
05-12-2010, 10:12 AM
In other words, we'd better hope that Worlids and Gibson are just what the doctor ordered to fix the ailing pass rush? Because they are the only players added to really address that need. I wonder how much either of them will actually see the field this season?

a healthy A.smith will help out the pass rush a lot and hopefully a better season from james harrison and timmons wouldnt hurt either. i wouldnt count on any of the rookies making a big impact this season. i dont know if gibson can play st's but i think worlids will do very well on st's

A better season from Harrison would absolutley help. Two sacks in the final eight games is not what he needs to deliver.

Timmons was not the problem. If anything he greatly improved the ability to get to the QB by adding the dimension of the inside blitz. Timmons had 7 sacks and 4 forced fumbles from the ILB position last season as a 22 year old first year full-time starter. And that was missing 2 games due to injury and playing hurt in a couple others.

The best totals that James Farrior ever had in his career were 6.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles (not in same season). The best totals larry Foote ever had were 4 sacks and 3 forced fumbles.

Yet we continue to hear that Timmons needs to get better. The argument gets more ridiculous every time it is stated.

Totally agree on Timmons. I think Keisel and Timmons are the unsung heroes of this defense. And I think both had super high expectations in their first full seasons because they were spectacular in backup roles.

No one has Timmons burst. And no other big 3-4 DE has Brett Keisel's speed/athleticism.

In fairness to Harrison, he was injured and playing with one arm at the end of last season. There were several times he couldn't wrap someone up and you could really see that he was hurting.

frankthetank1
05-12-2010, 10:32 AM
In other words, we'd better hope that Worlids and Gibson are just what the doctor ordered to fix the ailing pass rush? Because they are the only players added to really address that need. I wonder how much either of them will actually see the field this season?

a healthy A.smith will help out the pass rush a lot and hopefully a better season from james harrison and timmons wouldnt hurt either. i wouldnt count on any of the rookies making a big impact this season. i dont know if gibson can play st's but i think worlids will do very well on st's

A better season from Harrison would absolutley help. Two sacks in the final eight games is not what he needs to deliver.

Timmons was not the problem. If anything he greatly improved the ability to get to the QB by adding the dimension of the inside blitz. Timmons had 7 sacks and 4 forced fumbles from the ILB position last season as a 22 year old first year full-time starter. And that was missing 2 games due to injury and playing hurt in a couple others.

The best totals that James Farrior ever had in his career were 6.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles (not in same season). The best totals larry Foote ever had were 4 sacks and 3 forced fumbles.

Yet we continue to hear that Timmons needs to get better. The argument gets more ridiculous every time it is stated.

thats a good point i guess what timmons could improve on is his run support not rushing the qb. i still think timmons is better suited to play OLB because of his speed and ability to rush the qb. he was hurt a good part of the first half of last season. maybe i just expect to much out of him. his coverage skills are excellent though which has to be the main reason he plays ILB. i didnt think timmons had a bad year i just expected a little more since he put big numbers the previous year when he was sharing time with foote

Shawn
05-12-2010, 10:45 AM
McFadden is a solid tackler and that's Gay's weakness.

This defense needs CBs that can prevent the big play and McFadden fits the Steelers CB mold perfectly. Glad he's back.


$$$

NW Steeler
05-12-2010, 01:16 PM
In other words, we'd better hope that Worlids and Gibson are just what the doctor ordered to fix the ailing pass rush? Because they are the only players added to really address that need. I wonder how much either of them will actually see the field this season?

a healthy A.smith will help out the pass rush a lot and hopefully a better season from james harrison and timmons wouldnt hurt either. i wouldnt count on any of the rookies making a big impact this season. i dont know if gibson can play st's but i think worlids will do very well on st's

A better season from Harrison would absolutley help. Two sacks in the final eight games is not what he needs to deliver.

Timmons was not the problem. If anything he greatly improved the ability to get to the QB by adding the dimension of the inside blitz. Timmons had 7 sacks and 4 forced fumbles from the ILB position last season as a 22 year old first year full-time starter. And that was missing 2 games due to injury and playing hurt in a couple others.

The best totals that James Farrior ever had in his career were 6.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles (not in same season). The best totals larry Foote ever had were 4 sacks and 3 forced fumbles.

Yet we continue to hear that Timmons needs to get better. The argument gets more ridiculous every time it is stated.

Totally agree on Timmons. I think Keisel and Timmons are the unsung heroes of this defense. And I think both had super high expectations in their first full seasons because they were spectacular in backup roles.

No one has Timmons burst. And no other big 3-4 DE has Brett Keisel's speed/athleticism.

In fairness to Harrison, he was injured and playing with one arm at the end of last season. There were several times he couldn't wrap someone up and you could really see that he was hurting.

But Timmons can and will get better! He sometimes takes bad angles to the ball and throws his body at tacklers instead of wrapping up. Those are things he will improve on. I also feel that he will make more and more big plays as he progresses. The play that I will remember from last year that shows how explosive Timmons is was the last game against Miami when he shot up the middle like a torpedo and leveled the Miami QB. I've never seen a LB shoot thru a gap like that. I see why Tomlin likes those "fast twitch" guys. Timmons could become a very special player if he puts it all together.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
05-12-2010, 02:00 PM
McFadden is a solid tackler and that's Gay's weakness.

This defense needs CBs that can prevent the big play and McFadden fits the Steelers CB mold perfectly. Glad he's back.

http://steelerstoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/gay-run-over.jpg

Flippy hereby nominated for understated poster of the year!! :Boobs :Boobs

NW Steeler
05-12-2010, 02:38 PM
The only thing that would make that photo better is if Peterson's foot was planted in the middle of Gay's chest!

cruzer8
05-12-2010, 03:15 PM
McFadden is a solid tackler and that's Gay's weakness.

This defense needs CBs that can prevent the big play and McFadden fits the Steelers CB mold perfectly. Glad he's back.

http://steelerstoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/gay-run-over.jpg

Flippy hereby nominated for understated poster of the year!! :Boobs :Boobs

You'd be hard pressed to find any corner in the NFL who could take on AP head on and win that battle.

At least he took him on unlike that corner for the Chargers who's now with the Jets. Dude totally shied away from the running back when he had a clear shot at him. And it was from the side, not head on.

RuthlessBurgher
05-12-2010, 03:34 PM
It's odd that McFadden left one former Steeler reunion (Porter, Haggans, Faneca, etc.) in order to join another former Steeler reunion (Randle El, Foote, Leftwich, etc.).

SteelAbility
05-12-2010, 03:39 PM
In other words, we'd better hope that Worlids and Gibson are just what the doctor ordered to fix the ailing pass rush? Because they are the only players added to really address that need. I wonder how much either of them will actually see the field this season?

a healthy A.smith will help out the pass rush a lot and hopefully a better season from james harrison and timmons wouldnt hurt either. i wouldnt count on any of the rookies making a big impact this season. i dont know if gibson can play st's but i think worlids will do very well on st's

A better season from Harrison would absolutley help. Two sacks in the final eight games is not what he needs to deliver.

Timmons was not the problem. If anything he greatly improved the ability to get to the QB by adding the dimension of the inside blitz. Timmons had 7 sacks and 4 forced fumbles from the ILB position last season as a 22 year old first year full-time starter. And that was missing 2 games due to injury and playing hurt in a couple others.

The best totals that James Farrior ever had in his career were 6.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles (not in same season). The best totals larry Foote ever had were 4 sacks and 3 forced fumbles.

Yet we continue to hear that Timmons needs to get better. The argument gets more ridiculous every time it is stated.

At defending the run, yes, he does. No argument on pass-rush.

hawaiiansteel
05-12-2010, 03:42 PM
It's odd that McFadden left one former Steeler reunion (Porter, Haggans, Faneca, etc.) in order to join another former Steeler reunion (Randle El, Foote, Leftwich, etc.).



McFadden was asked to leave...

SteelAbility
05-12-2010, 03:43 PM
McFadden is a solid tackler and that's Gay's weakness.

This defense needs CBs that can prevent the big play and McFadden fits the Steelers CB mold perfectly. Glad he's back.

http://steelerstoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/gay-run-over.jpg

Flippy hereby nominated for understated poster of the year!! :Boobs :Boobs

You'd be hard pressed to find any corner in the NFL who could take on AP head on and win that battle.

At least he took him on unlike that corner for the Chargers who's now with the Jets. Dude totally shied away from the running back when he had a clear shot at him. And it was from the side, not head on.

I think that was Antonio Cromartie. Some good all that athleticism does if you aren't willing to employ it. :roll: On a positive note, not tackling there allowed him to set a personal record for bicep curls on his first workout following the game. :roll:

costanza2k1
05-12-2010, 04:35 PM
This story has gotten me pumped up for the season. Let's do this Steelers!

NJ-STEELER
05-12-2010, 04:45 PM
if i recall the play corrctly

Gay had a good shot of drilling AP just as the ball arrived possibly causing an INC. but he delayed, let AP catch and turn and was caught flatfooted and was promptly driven to the ground.



possibly more discouraging then just being "a bad tackler"

SanAntonioSteelerFan
05-12-2010, 10:51 PM
This is why BMac will always be one of the biggest SUPERHEROS OF ALL TIME in my book till the day they put me in a pine box (or freeze my head next to Ted's):

http://www.mkrob.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/mcfadden_defends.jpg

One one-hundredth of a step slower and we'd all be living in some weird alternate universe where we never won XL, etc., etc.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
05-12-2010, 11:34 PM
In other words, we'd better hope that Worlids and Gibson are just what the doctor ordered to fix the ailing pass rush? Because they are the only players added to really address that need. I wonder how much either of them will actually see the field this season?

a healthy A.smith will help out the pass rush a lot and hopefully a better season from james harrison and timmons wouldnt hurt either. i wouldnt count on any of the rookies making a big impact this season. i dont know if gibson can play st's but i think worlids will do very well on st's

This defense is like an engine....there are several components that can break and cause it to not operate effectively.

Troy is obviously one of those components, and A. Smith is another. They both do so much for this D and were missed terribly last year as they were in 2006. Their return makes our pass rush work better which makes the job of our corners much easier. A. Smith may be the most underrated Steeler of the 21st century!!

hawaiiansteel
05-13-2010, 02:53 AM
This is why BMac will always be one of the biggest SUPERHEROS OF ALL TIME in my book till the day they put me in a pine box (or freeze my head next to Ted's):

http://www.mkrob.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/mcfadden_defends.jpg

One one-hundredth of a step slower and we'd all be living in some weird alternate universe where we never won XL, etc., etc.



you are absolutely correct, without this outstanding defensive play we don't win the Super Bowl that year!

:Clap :tt2

SanAntonioSteelerFan
05-13-2010, 08:47 AM
And, if memory serves correctly, he was a ROOK at the time.

Gasp ... a rookie contributing to Bad Word LeBeau's defense????!!!!

Oviedo
05-13-2010, 09:31 AM
In other words, we'd better hope that Worlids and Gibson are just what the doctor ordered to fix the ailing pass rush? Because they are the only players added to really address that need. I wonder how much either of them will actually see the field this season?

a healthy A.smith will help out the pass rush a lot and hopefully a better season from james harrison and timmons wouldnt hurt either. i wouldnt count on any of the rookies making a big impact this season. i dont know if gibson can play st's but i think worlids will do very well on st's

This defense is like an engine....there are several components that can break and cause it to not operate effectively.

Troy is obviously one of those components, and A. Smith is another. They both do so much for this D and were missed terribly last year as they were in 2006. Their return makes our pass rush work better which makes the job of our corners much easier. A. Smith may be the most underrated Steeler of the 21st century!!

That is a very insightful comment. :Agree

Say the same thing about the OL. It's about performance as a unit not individuals.

Slapstick
05-13-2010, 12:35 PM
Even if the CB is small, he needs to be heady if he misses a tackle...

In 2005, DeShea Townsend totally got trucked by Jamal Lewis in a game vs. Baltimore...

On the way down, DeShea stripped the ball from Lewis, forcing a fumble deep inside Baltimore territory...

Plays like that are why I miss DeShea...

hawaiiansteel
05-17-2010, 09:58 PM
Scouts Inc. on Bryant McFadden

May, 17, 2010
By James Walker

Cornerback Bryant McFadden is back with the Pittsburgh Steelers after a one-year hiatus, and based on the team's recent minicamp, he is the favorite to be the starter in 2010.

McFadden took more money last season to sign a free-agent deal with the Arizona Cardinals, only to be traded back to Pittsburgh on draft day. The AFC North blog checked in with Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson to get a recap on McFadden last season and to look ahead.

Williamson: "I thought McFadden was mildly disappointing in Arizona. The expectations may have been a little too high, and I don’t think his supporting cast helped him as much as it did in Pittsburgh -- the pass rush wasn’t as strong. They asked McFadden to do a little more man [coverage] than he would’ve liked. He is ideally suited to be a little ways off the line, letting things develop in front of him, and attack things vigorously downhill to try and break the play up. He does that really well, and I think that's generally what the Steelers ask out of their corners. Not to mention, with all the off-the-field things that have gone on in Pittsburgh, I don't think it's a coincidence they've brought back several strong locker room guys from the Super Bowl teams."

http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/pos...ryant-mcfadden

MaxAMillion
05-18-2010, 10:28 AM
McFadden is a good tackling corner with average coverage skills. Labeau will be able to take advantage of those skills just like he did in 2008.

I am as excited about McFadden's return as I am disappointed in Holmes's being traded to the Jets.