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fordfixer
06-10-2010, 01:36 AM
Polamalu: Steelers must stick to old formula
Thursday, June 10, 2010
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10161/1064514-66.stm

The Steelers long have followed a winning formula that is unique and proven, but they veered off course last season and must embrace it again in 2010, according to Troy Polamalu.

"We have a pretty good formula here how to win," said Polamalu, finishing up the week of spring practices and meetings with his teammates after returning from more than a month of training in California. "That doesn't change from year to year or from decade to decade. We've had our formula here and it's been good to us."

The formula is neither secret nor difficult to understand, Polamalu said. If not followed, however, you get 9-7 and look at the playoffs from the outside. It involves an electric, smothering defense that needs its offense to turn the clock so it can rest, and for special teams to do their job and not give up large chunks of yardage or touchdowns.

It is not something usually seen in the NFL, Polamalu said.

"I think it's unique no question. Especially in today's game. People don't think that you can, for the most part, have a really smothering defense. But, with the smothering defense, you can't have a pass-happy offense. For example, you would think you could take a great defense and mesh them together, but our defense would not work well with a New England Patriots offense or Indianapolis Colts offense. They may put up a lot of points, but it takes a lot more energy to play our defense than a Tampa 2-type defense."

The Steelers' passing offense ranked seventh in the NFL in yards last season while their ground game, often in the top 10, ranked 19th. New England's passing offense ranked third and the Colts trailed the Steelers at No. 9.

Also, the Steelers' time of possession on offense last season was 4 1/2 minutes more than its opponent on average, at 32:13, fourth best in the NFL. There seems a dichotomy somewhere in the formula for those trying to interpret it because the Steelers' pass-happy offense allowed the defense to rest.

Polamalu, though, noted that the special teams did not hold up their end; they allowed four kick returns for touchdowns, and the offense also had two interceptions returned for touchdowns. And also part of that formula is for the defense to mitigate the number of big plays. That did not hold true last season when the Steelers allowed nine pass completions longer than 40 yards compared to two in their 2008 Super Bowl season.

"Whether it's offense, defense, there's a third phase there, too, and they all have to mix together," Polamalu said. "You can't give up big plays on defense, you can make people drive, you have to control the clock on offense and you just can't give up big plays. If one part of that breaks down, our whole team breaks down."

Polamalu broke down twice last season, in the opener when his MCL was sprained and later when the PCL in the same knee was sprained. He missed 11 games as did defensive end Aaron Smith.

The key, then, for the Steelers to become the type of dominant defense they were in 2008?

"Health, for one," Polamalu said.

He does not blame his two knee injuries on anything other than being in the wrong spot at the wrong time.

"Anytime I've sustained any injury, the only thing that could have stopped it is wearing a straight-leg brace."

He plans to wear no such brace in 2010 and wore none in practice Wednesday because it is too confining and does not allow him the freedom to move the way he must. He also does not agree with most everyone else that the Steelers' defense suffered without him.

"We did pretty well last year," said Polamalu, overlooking the many admitted communications mistakes and the fact that he tied for the team lead with three interceptions in just five games.

The cornerbacks combined for none until the finale.

"We were a top-five defense. We were a play here and a play there from making the playoffs and maybe getting a higher seed in the playoffs. We didn't get blownout at any time that I remember."

And they finished 9-7.
Quick hits

Rain prompted coach Mike Tomlin to move practice from Heinz Field to the team's indoor facility. He hopes to hold his final spring practice today at Heinz Field. ... Ben Roethlisberger continued to run the first-team offense at quarterback while Byron Leftwich and Dennis Dixon shared the other snaps.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10161/10 ... z0qQSdB93x (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10161/1064514-66.stm#ixzz0qQSdB93x)

Oviedo
06-10-2010, 09:34 AM
Troy needs to do his part and not get hurt because it ruins the "old formula." Seems like the other teams we played last year got some insights into what the "old formula" is all about and exploited it.

Maybe we need a "new formula." :stirpot

cruzer8
06-10-2010, 10:36 AM
it takes a lot more energy to play our defense than a Tampa 2-type defense


Which is what makes it so special and which is why a more balanced offense will make the defense better.

Got it, Brucey?

HeHateMe
06-10-2010, 11:28 AM
Troy needs to do his part and not get hurt because it ruins the "old formula." Seems like the other teams we played last year got some insights into what the "old formula" is all about and exploited it.

Maybe we need a "new formula." :stirpot
I love how Polamalu gets hurt and misses alot of games for the FIRST time in his career and all of a sudden he is labled INJURY PRONE by the Steeler Nation. For the record he has played in 03- 16 games, 04- 16, 05- 16, 06- 13, 07 -11, 08- 16 and 09 -5. Hardly injury prone. Polamalu is our Best player. He is the best at his position in the NFL hands down, you can't name another SS better than him and its not like he said "I think I will get hurt today". Like he planned a 300Lb lineman landing on his knee. Come on

steelblitz
06-10-2010, 12:56 PM
Exactly, I've read much of the same. He's an insane talent, with an insane approach to his conditioning and his game.

He'll be fine as long as fat ass Alge stays off his leg.

ramblinjim
06-10-2010, 01:01 PM
You'll not hear me complain about Troy, the guy's just amazing. I'd like to see him not play up at the line of scrimmage quite as much because he's so good as that middle out-fielder but the dude is awfully disruptive when he plays up there.

And no, there isn't a safety in the game as good as #43.

Oviedo
06-10-2010, 01:36 PM
You'll not hear me complain about Troy, the guy's just amazing. I'd like to see him not play up at the line of scrimmage quite as much because he's so good as that middle out-fielder but the dude is awfully disruptive when he plays up there.

And no, there isn't a safety in the game as good as #43.

"The scheme" has to keep him back and away from the LOS. We already have a hypersonic missile called Timmons who can shoot gaps. I want Troy no where near the LOS or on kick block teams either.

flippy
06-10-2010, 03:19 PM
Should Lebeau and Arians talk? If we don't have the right offense, shouldn't Lebeau adjust his defense accordingly?

cruzer8
06-10-2010, 04:13 PM
You'll not hear me complain about Troy, the guy's just amazing. I'd like to see him not play up at the line of scrimmage quite as much because he's so good as that middle out-fielder but the dude is awfully disruptive when he plays up there.

And no, there isn't a safety in the game as good as #43.

"The scheme" has to keep him back and away from the LOS. We already have a hypersonic missile called Timmons who can shoot gaps. I want Troy no where near the LOS or on kick block teams either.

That started in 2008.

BradshawsHairdresser
06-10-2010, 05:56 PM
Troy needs to do his part and not get hurt because it ruins the "old formula." Seems like the other teams we played last year got some insights into what the "old formula" is all about and exploited it.

Maybe we need a "new formula." :stirpot
I love how Polamalu gets hurt and misses alot of games for the FIRST time in his career and all of a sudden he is labled INJURY PRONE by the Steeler Nation. For the record he has played in 03- 16 games, 04- 16, 05- 16, 06- 13, 07 -11, 08- 16 and 09 -5. Hardly injury prone. Polamalu is our Best player. He is the best at his position in the NFL hands down, you can't name another SS better than him and its not like he said "I think I will get hurt today". Like he planned a 300Lb lineman landing on his knee. Come on

In your own words, he has played only one full season out of the last four. If you are going to build your defense around one player, then that player had better be in there... if he happens to miss two or three games, or more, there goes your season.

sentinel33
06-10-2010, 06:18 PM
i think aaron smith's name is left out of the defensive formula conversation way too much. he's a pro bowler who never gets selected. the same thing happened in'07. both he and troy went down and we couldnt cope. its like losing ed reed and halolti ngata. just cant replace certain players.
this team now has two bell-cow rb's in mendenhall and dwyer. if we don't run the ball 55-57% of the time i will be surprised. people want to talk about a winning formula it's running the ball and letting ben do his thing 20-30 times a game.
I for one think that roethlisberger will have his finest yeat to date. it may not be as gaudy as last years but as far as qb rating and comp. %, he will be outstanding.
we will go 2-2 in the opening qrtr. of the season and lose two more along the way. I'm also calling 2 1000 yrd. rushers with the ball being spread all over the field in the air. no wr will have a 1000 yrds.
Smash mouth. offensively and defensively. cant wait

RuthlessBurgher
06-10-2010, 07:00 PM
i think aaron smith's name is left out of the defensive formula conversation way too much. he's a pro bowler who never gets selected. the same thing happened in'07. both he and troy went down and we couldnt cope. its like losing ed reed and halolti ngata. just cant replace certain players.
this team now has two bell-cow rb's in mendenhall and dwyer. if we don't run the ball 55-57% of the time i will be surprised. people want to talk about a winning formula it's running the ball and letting ben do his thing 20-30 times a game.
I for one think that roethlisberger will have his finest yeat to date. it may not be as gaudy as last years but as far as qb rating and comp. %, he will be outstanding.
we will go 2-2 in the opening qrtr. of the season and lose two more along the way. I'm also calling 2 1000 yrd. rushers with the ball being spread all over the field in the air. no wr will have a 1000 yrds.
Smash mouth. offensively and defensively. cant wait

I don't think we come anywhere close to running the ball 55-57% of the time.

Last year, out of 1014 snaps, we ran the ball 428 times (averaged 4.2 yards per rush) and passed the ball 536 times (averaged 8.4 yards per pass), plus 50 sacks (which of course, were originally intended to be pass plays). I don't see any way this team does a complete about-face going from 42% runs to 55-57% runs. That just doesn't happen.

The number of teams that run more than pass these days can be counted on one hand (they are typically teams with rookie QB's, like the Jets last year). I suspect that we may be closer to 50-50 balance since we will be without our franchise QB for a quarter for the season, but overall, I see maybe a 54-46 ratio in favor of the pass this year.

feltdizz
06-10-2010, 08:47 PM
Troy needs to do his part and not get hurt because it ruins the "old formula." Seems like the other teams we played last year got some insights into what the "old formula" is all about and exploited it.

Maybe we need a "new formula." :stirpot
I love how Polamalu gets hurt and misses alot of games for the FIRST time in his career and all of a sudden he is labled INJURY PRONE by the Steeler Nation. For the record he has played in 03- 16 games, 04- 16, 05- 16, 06- 13, 07 -11, 08- 16 and 09 -5. Hardly injury prone. Polamalu is our Best player. He is the best at his position in the NFL hands down, you can't name another SS better than him and its not like he said "I think I will get hurt today". Like he planned a 300Lb lineman landing on his knee. Come on

In your own words, he has played only one full season out of the last four. If you are going to build your defense around one player, then that player had better be in there... if he happens to miss two or three games, or more, there goes your season.

Our whole D isn't built around Troy... Troy is just so damn good it looks like it is. It's not like we call Troy's number all game.. he just flies all over the field and makes it happen.

Ben is our leader on offense and he hasn't played a full 16 yet, I think...

Our D is built around the LB's... always has been.

feltdizz
06-10-2010, 08:51 PM
i think aaron smith's name is left out of the defensive formula conversation way too much. he's a pro bowler who never gets selected. the same thing happened in'07. both he and troy went down and we couldnt cope. its like losing ed reed and halolti ngata. just cant replace certain players.
this team now has two bell-cow rb's in mendenhall and dwyer. if we don't run the ball 55-57% of the time i will be surprised. people want to talk about a winning formula it's running the ball and letting ben do his thing 20-30 times a game.
I for one think that roethlisberger will have his finest yeat to date. it may not be as gaudy as last years but as far as qb rating and comp. %, he will be outstanding.
we will go 2-2 in the opening qrtr. of the season and lose two more along the way. I'm also calling 2 1000 yrd. rushers with the ball being spread all over the field in the air. no wr will have a 1000 yrds.
Smash mouth. offensively and defensively. cant wait

in 2007 A. Smith went down and the D struggled some but we didn't collapse. We lost a very winnable game against the Jags and we had 3 TO's in the first half.

A.Smith is good but he is not pro bowl material... he is great in our system but he isn't elite like some say he is. A very solid vet but ummmm.... maybe we need to talk about A.Smith's durability instead of Troy's freak injury last year. :wink:

HeHateMe
06-11-2010, 07:01 AM
Troy needs to do his part and not get hurt because it ruins the "old formula." Seems like the other teams we played last year got some insights into what the "old formula" is all about and exploited it.

Maybe we need a "new formula." :stirpot
I love how Polamalu gets hurt and misses alot of games for the FIRST time in his career and all of a sudden he is labled INJURY PRONE by the Steeler Nation. For the record he has played in 03- 16 games, 04- 16, 05- 16, 06- 13, 07 -11, 08- 16 and 09 -5. Hardly injury prone. Polamalu is our Best player. He is the best at his position in the NFL hands down, you can't name another SS better than him and its not like he said "I think I will get hurt today". Like he planned a 300Lb lineman landing on his knee. Come on

In your own words, he has played only one full season out of the last four. If you are going to build your defense around one player, then that player had better be in there... if he happens to miss two or three games, or more, there goes your season.
My point is and was- that he is NOT injury proned. MOST SS miss games. It is a VIOLENT position. Ronnie Lott the best SS of all time fell short of YOUR standard in 6 of his 14 seasons. I can do the same thing. Polamalu played in EVERY game 4 seasons out of his first 6. Ben only played in 12 games when we won it in 05 so I guess your "There goes your season" proclamation is flawed.