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hawaiiansteel
06-20-2010, 10:27 PM
I would still vote for the Steel Curtain, I might vote for our current D-Line starters as the best 3-man front perhaps...


Steelers' assistant lauds defensive line

By John Harris, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, June 20, 2010


http://i49.tinypic.com/2quugc8.jpg


GRETNA, La. -- Asked about the state of his defensive line, Steelers assistant head coach John Mitchell said he has never felt better about starters Aaron Smith, Casey Hampton and Brett Keisel.

"You tell me three better guys," Mitchell said. "You ask me any three guys I can pick, those three guys I want."

Since Keisel joined Smith and Hampton as starters in 2006, the Steelers have never been ranked lower than No. 3 in rushing defense. They've led the NFL in total defense twice and were ranked No. 1 in passing defense once during that span.

Since 2000, the Steelers have led the league in total defense four times, rushing defense three times and passing defense once. The 2000 and '03 seasons were the only years when the Steelers didn't feature a top-five finish in total defense, rushing defense or passing defense.

"There's never been a better defensive front in the National Football League," said Mitchell, the Steelers' defensive line coach since 1994. "If you go back and look at the stats where the Steelers defense has finished, people would be shocked how well we've played. You're always appreciated later in life. People don't realize how great you are until later."

Speaking last week at cornerback Ike Taylor's football camp in suburban New Orleans, Mitchell said he believes the Steelers' defensive line should become even stronger this season because of a projected increase in playing time for Ziggy Hood, the team's first-round draft pick in 2009.

Hood has a better understanding of the defense entering his second season and his mechanics should allow him to remain on the field longer.

A projected increase in playing time for Hood should mean that Smith, 34, Hampton, 32 and Keisel, 31, will be fresher in fourth quarters. Last season, the Steelers' defensive line wore down late in games, and the inability to pressure the quarterback was key during the team's five-game losing streak.

Smith has recovered from a shoulder injury that required surgery and forced him to miss 11 games last season.

"Aaron didn't want the operation. He wanted to play the rest of the season," Mitchell said. "We had to be smart enough to say the wear and tear on his body's not worth him playing, where it might get worse. Aaron's got a lot of years left in that body."

Mitchell envisions a defensive line rotation including Hood, Nick Eason and Chris Hoke.

"I'm really excited about Ziggy. The transition he's made from his first year to his second year has been tremendous," Mitchell said. "He's using his hands better. Last year, Ziggy let people into his body. Right now, he's playing with better pad level, he's using his hands better and he's staying on his feet.

"Now I can rest Aaron Smith, I can rest Brett Keisel. There's not going to be a drop-off, and it's the same with Nick Eason. I can put those guys in there. We're going to have six guys this year who are going to play. We're going to rotate those guys and keep them fresh."

And focused on stopping the run.

"Aaron Smith could have been All-Pro I don't know how many years, but he doesn't get sacks; we don't ask our guys to get sacks," Mitchell said. "I'm not going to ask Brett Keisel to get sacks. I don't ask Casey to get sacks. I ask those guys to stop the run, let our outside linebackers get those suckers, our inside linebackers can get sacks.

"If we don't stop the run, the fans and the (media) are going to say the defensive line is not playing well. I want a guy who can stop the run."

Another reason why Mitchell said he is so partial to the trio of Smith, Hampton and Keisel is their consistent level of play.

Their performance varies little from game-to-game, or even season to season.

That makes it easier for Mitchell to teach his younger players. Sometimes his veterans do the teaching for him.

"That's probably the biggest thing we have over a lot of other ball clubs," Mitchell said. "When guys come here, the veterans are going to show them how to do it the 'Steeler Way.' They're going to show them how coach (Dick) LeBeau wants it done, how the position coach wants it done. That makes us a lot better than a lot of teams we're going to play.

"That's why we've been as good as we've been. We know what we're going to get."

Stopping the run

Steelers' NFL ranking in run defense under defensive line coach John Mitchell since 2000:

Year -- Rank
2009 -- 3
2008 -- 2
2007 -- 3
2006 -- 3
2005 -- 3
2004 -- 1
2003 -- 12
2002 -- 1
2001 -- 1
2000 -- 12

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_686873.html

fordfixer
06-20-2010, 10:31 PM
:tt1 :tt1 :tt1 :tt1 :tt1

birtikidis
06-21-2010, 12:47 AM
I think that 20 years from now, our current defense will be talked about in the same way as the steel curtain. all those one hit wonder defenses that were dominant one year will only be a cloudy memory.

Djfan
06-21-2010, 01:19 AM
Anyone remember what happened in 2000 and 2003 that made it so low? Injuries?


Steelers' NFL ranking in run defense under defensive line coach John Mitchell since 2000:

Year -- Rank
2009 -- 3
2008 -- 2
2007 -- 3
2006 -- 3
2005 -- 3
2004 -- 1
2003 -- 12
2002 -- 1
2001 -- 1
2000 -- 12

jj28west
06-21-2010, 05:43 AM
Does anyone remember the Browns game last year where the Brown RB's were actually able to turn the corner. I take this for granted but its a big no no to run sideline to sideline on the defense because how well the linebackers shoot & pursue the gaps, play disciplined, and how the cornerbacks are above average tacklers (I thought Gay was solid the year before).

Anyways, you have to wonder if Silverback & Farrior were injured in that game instead of being out of position as they claimed.

Steelers>NFL
06-21-2010, 07:56 AM
The Viqueens defense with the Williams is not bad against the run as well.

phillyesq
06-21-2010, 09:41 AM
I like this defensive group a lot, but I think I liked the Steelers D line even better when it was Smith, Hampton and Kimo. Smith and Hampton were younger, and I liked Kimo a bit more as a starter than Kiesel. And Kiesel was a great backup/rotation guy.

flippy
06-21-2010, 09:47 AM
Looks like Mitchy's been drinkin the Flippy-aide.

Oviedo
06-21-2010, 10:06 AM
Sounds like Mitchell is a Eason fan.


Mitchell envisions a defensive line rotation including Hood, Nick Eason and Chris Hoke.


Wonder where that leaves Harris and Worthington ay DE. I would rather have the roster spot invested in a young player who can get better versus one, while he has improved, has probably plateaued as far as how good he will ever be.

Captain Lemming
06-21-2010, 11:46 AM
I think that 20 years from now, our current defense will be talked about in the same way as the steel curtain. all those one hit wonder defenses that were dominant one year will only be a cloudy memory.

The coach's contention is ridiculous.

There has never BEEN SUCH A RIDICULOUS STATEMENT ever about a defensive line.

Until you.

Amazingly, by saying this dline will be remembered like the Steel Curtain you sir have surpassed him and taken homerism to a whole new level.

The Steel Curtain had A player who was a 10 time pro bowler and 5 time all pro. But I am not going to compare Joe Greene to this line. Too easy.

LC was a 6-time Pro Bowler & 2-time First-Team All-Pro, and by himself has as many pro bowls as this entire line and nobody on this line has ever been an all pro.

I know pro bowls and all pro does not mean everything. But whew it comes to "how you are remembered" it means a great deal.

ESPN has a show ranking defensive lines of all time. The Steel Curtain is number one. they are number one because they created havoc in a visible way, they dominated games.

The first two SBs the Steel Curtan was visibly dominant. Sacks, tackles behind the line etc. Dominating on the biggest stage is how reputations are built.

Spare me the "education" about how in a 3/4 great play doesnt show up in the stats. Yeah, 20 years from now nobody is gonna remember how great our Dline was at "occupying blockers".
Whenever you have to "explain" what makes a defensive unit great because it is largely invisible to a casual observer, its reputation isnt just going to explode years later.

The most "consistently GOOD" of the era dline, sure. Underrated? I can go with that.

I cannot however, imagine in 2030 we will hear about all time great DLines:

Steel Curtain
Fearsome foursome
And those three Steeler guys who were so great at allowing the LBers make all the plays by tying up blockers :lol:

I just dont think it is very likely dude.

Captain Lemming
06-21-2010, 11:51 AM
I think I liked the Steelers D line even better when it was Smith, Hampton and Kimo. Smith and Hampton were younger, and I liked Kimo a bit more as a starter than Kiesel. And Kiesel was a great backup/rotation guy.

True

Captain Lemming
06-21-2010, 12:02 PM
Looks like Mitchy's been drinkin the Flippy-aide.

Never heard of Flippy-aide but that stuff MUST be illegal. Clearly it creates unrealistic levels of euphoria :lol:
(btw how might one acquire this intriguing beverage?)

flippy
06-21-2010, 12:03 PM
I think that 20 years from now, our current defense will be talked about in the same way as the steel curtain. all those one hit wonder defenses that were dominant one year will only be a cloudy memory.

The coach's contention is ridiculous.

There has never BEEN SUCH A RIDICULOUS STATEMENT ever about a defensive line.

Until you.

Amazingly, by saying this dline will be remembered like the Steel Curtain you sir have surpassed him and taken homerism to a whole new level.

The Steel Curtain had A player who was a 10 time pro bowler and 5 time all pro. But I am not going to compare Joe Greene to this line. Too easy.

LC was a 6-time Pro Bowler & 2-time First-Team All-Pro, and by himself has as many pro bowls as this entire line and nobody on this line has ever been an all pro.

I know pro bowls and all pro does not mean everything. But whew it comes to "how you are remembered" it means a great deal.

ESPN has a show ranking defensive lines of all time. The Steel Curtain is number one. they are number one because they created havoc in a visible way, they dominated games.

The first two SBs the Steel Curtan was visibly dominant. Sacks, tackles behind the line etc. Dominating on the biggest stage is how reputations are built.

Spare me the "education" about how in a 3/4 great play doesnt show up in the stats. Yeah, 20 years from now nobody is gonna remember how great our Dline was at "occupying blockers".
Whenever you have to "explain" what makes a defensive unit great because it is largely invisible to a casual observer, its reputation isnt just going to explode years later.

The most "consistently GOOD" of the era dline, sure. Underrated? I can go with that.

I cannot however, imagine in 2030 we will hear about all time great DLines:

Steel Curtain
Fearsome foursome
And those three Steeler guys who were so great at allowing the LBers make all the plays by tying up blockers :lol:

I just dont think it is very likely dude.

In the 70s the rules favored the D. Now they favor the O.

The current line was the Dline on the best D of all time - statistically.

In an era of offense and scoring.

Aaron Smith might be every bit as important to this team as Mean Joe ever was to his. And the only reason he doesn't have the ProBowls and AllPro's to show for it is because the league predominantly plays a different system than the Steelers.

Look how bad the Steelers have played without Smitty. And how good they've been with him.

And if you want to argue that the biggest moments in the playoffs are what matters, go back and watch Casey Hampton on the XL run. That was the most dominating defender in the payoffs that I've ever seen. Casey practically won those games for us. Simply dominant. But no major stats showed up.

MeetJoeGreene
06-21-2010, 12:20 PM
I think I liked the Steelers D line even better when it was Smith, Hampton and Kimo. Smith and Hampton were younger, and I liked Kimo a bit more as a starter than Kiesel. And Kiesel was a great backup/rotation guy.

True
:Agree

ramblinjim
06-21-2010, 12:55 PM
I'm a nostalgia nut so I'll stick with the guys from the 70's.

However, I have to say if you have to give me four linebackers to play in today's NFl I'll take Deebo, Foote, Timmons and Woodley any day and be awfully happy with it.

StarSpangledSteeler
06-21-2010, 02:11 PM
Sounds like Mitchell is a Eason fan.


Mitchell envisions a defensive line rotation including Hood, Nick Eason and Chris Hoke.


Wonder where that leaves Harris and Worthington ay DE. I would rather have the roster spot invested in a young player who can get better versus one, while he has improved, has probably plateaued as far as how good he will ever be.

I was thinking the same exact thing. It may have to take Tomlin stepping in to over-ride him.

Captain Lemming
06-21-2010, 02:16 PM
In the 70s the rules favored the D. Now they favor the O.
True.


The current line was the Dline on the best D of all time - statistically.

In an era of offense and scoring.

Is your statement "Of all time" limited to "In an era of offense and scoring." Interesting.

Nevertheless, with your current argument one can make the case that our cornerbacks were great.


Aaron Smith might be every bit as important to this team as Mean Joe ever was to his. And the only reason he doesn't have the ProBowls and AllPro's to show for it is because the league predominantly plays a different system than the Steelers.

No Smitty doesnt get accolades because he is not the dominant defensive beast that Greene was. Smith is "solid" Greene was was so elite he has a peer group of ONE (Reggie White).


Look how bad the Steelers have played without Smitty. And how good they've been with him.

If we rate a player or unit strictly on team statistics and records Woodson as a Steeler was never better than hold a candle to Mcfadden in 08.

McFadden has two rings and was on a better statistical defense than Woodson was ever on as a Steeler. McFadden was on the number ONE PASS DEFENSE, Woodsons teams never were number one statistically in pass defense.

Woodson NEVER helped get us to a SB much less win one. The one season HE GOT HURT we finally got to the SB and lost the only game he played in. Based on your logic not only was McFadden better than Woodson, Woodsonhad little value at all.

Unlike the the inconsequential loss of Woodson, the loss of McFadden DEVASTATED the Steelers, who went from SB champion to MISSING THE PLAYOFFS. Clearly the loss of McFadden was crucial because we fell into a freefall from number one in pass defense to FOURTEENTH.

Why? Largely because Gay is NOT starter material. Gay gave up big plays that contributed directly to loses. Perhaps if we had a different corner the defense would be better? Gay was our worst defensive starter, worse than Smiths backups. Our pass defense "specifically" declined, largely due to Gay. Gay was there because McFadden was gone. Troys loss was the biggest of all.

Do I believe McFadden is better than Woodson? That is ridiculous. But it has MORE merit than your contention at least I limit my points to direct contibutions, not a vague, "we are better when he plays" argument acting like Smitty is the only factor for the entire defense.

Until Smitty covers receivers deep, covers kickoffs, and can replace Troy who YOU SAY is our best defender, acting like Smitty was the core issue is weak.

McFadden is much better than Woodson using that flawed logic.


And if you want to argue that the biggest moments in the playoffs are what matters, go back and watch Casey Hampton on the XL run. That was the most dominating defender in the payoffs that I've ever seen. Casey practically won those games for us. Simply dominant. But no major stats showed up.

Funny how your core argument for Smitty does NOT apply at all to Casey. We lost little when he got hurt in the past.

Actually, I said SB. I was talking about how the player is "remembered". Take away ONE GAME and Lynn Swann is not in the HOF. Ditto for John Stallworth. Those are SBs, not playoff games.

John Stallworth is along with Rice one of the top playoff receiver EVER without the SB versus the Rams, but without THAT GAME he doesnt get in.

Nevertheless, lets talk just Playoffs and Casey.

And ask 9 out of 10 people who was the best defensive player through that run and you will get "Joey Porter" and you know it. Joey gets the "splash plays" and people remember those.

20 years wont change that.

Back to my original point. Do you really believe that people will put this line and the Steel Curtain in the same conversation in 20 years?

That is my point.

You are drinkin your own brew buddy if you believe that one.

Captain Lemming
06-21-2010, 02:50 PM
Looks like Mitchy's been drinkin the Flippy-aide.

I've seen the light!!!!
Smitty is like Greene and Reggie White rolled up into one devastating package!!!!

And fat Casey is better than him!!!!


I dont drink often, but when I do, I prefer the Flippy-aide.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_9SCNcz-TpZw/Sgh2dM6CFPI/AAAAAAAABI4/AJx8r9hDCww/s1600/THEMOSTINTERESTINGMANINTHEWORLD.jpg

flippy
06-21-2010, 03:17 PM
I dont drink often, but when I do, I prefer the Flippy-aide.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_9SCNcz-TpZw/Sgh2dM6CFPI/AAAAAAAABI4/AJx8r9hDCww/s1600/THEMOSTINTERESTINGMANINTHEWORLD.jpg

Good one :lol

re: your previous post, i really don't see a fair way to compare the 3-4 and 4-3. and looking back in 20 years we'll be saying the 70s Steelers had the best 4-3 Dline and the 00s/10s Steelers had the best 3-4 Dline. not only do they line up differently, but they have completely different roles.

probably no one outside of Steelers Nation will agree with our view of the current Steelers Dline because of stats. but those guys are every bit as dominant (smitty and hampton especially). we get to watch them every week. and re: Smitty, Lebeau has said he's never seen him blocked more than 5 times in his entire career and he watches game tape every week.

woodsen vs mcfadden is completely different. i see aaron smith as all time greats at their respective positions. and in the modern era, i only see richard seymore as aaron smith's peer. not fair to bring in mcfadden into a discussion of greats of the game.

and yes, i see troy as greatest defender of all time when he's healthy. he makes plays no one else ever has and likely never will. but i also see smitty as his 1b on the current roster. closely followed by harrison at 1c who's the other freak at his respective position.

of those 3 you could argue harrison has the most quantifiable stats, but I'm not sure that makes him the better player.

same in the 70s. lambert was the guy in the middle of the D that was set up to make plays all over the field. but i sometimes think of ham, greene, and blount as better overall players.

i guess what I'm trying to say is you can use stats or you can use what you see on the field to guage how good players are. and it's always gonna be fuzzy.

i also think the current team can win more superbowls and that will have an impact on the history books in the future.

i also acknowledge I've had a contrarian view on this for some time. and i'm glad some people are starting to think this way on our current line. i see that momentum continuing after all is said and done.

birtikidis
06-21-2010, 04:45 PM
Thank you captain lemming. comming from you that is a serious ego boost.
maybe if Ike and Gay were allowed to tackle the WR at the line of scrimmage, our pass d would have been better.
I love the steel curtain. amazing defense. in fact 3 of my favorite steelers of all time come from that front 7.
i didn't say they would be as good as the steel curtain, I said they would be talked about in the same way... similar to how the ravens d is or the bears d was.
i do NOT think that our secondary is as good, Troy is the only guy that could play on that D.

SteelCrazy
06-21-2010, 08:53 PM
I have to agree with the Cappen, when the story books are written there may be mention of the 2000's Steelers but there is no way they get compared to the Curtain. Stats happen too matter in this instance.........too bad really

Oviedo
06-22-2010, 07:45 AM
[quote=flippy]
In the 70s the rules favored the D. Now they favor the O.
True.


The current line was the Dline on the best D of all time - statistically.

In an era of offense and scoring.

Is your statement "Of all time" limited to "In an era of offense and scoring." Interesting.

Nevertheless, with your current argument one can make the case that our cornerbacks were great.


Aaron Smith might be every bit as important to this team as Mean Joe ever was to his. And the only reason he doesn't have the ProBowls and AllPro's to show for it is because the league predominantly plays a different system than the Steelers.

No Smitty doesnt get accolades because he is not the dominant defensive beast that Greene was. Smith is "solid" Greene was was so elite he has a peer group of ONE (Reggie White).


Look how bad the Steelers have played without Smitty. And how good they've been with him.

If we rate a player or unit strictly on team statistics and records Woodson as a Steeler was never better than hold a candle to Mcfadden in 08.

McFadden has two rings and was on a better statistical defense than Woodson was ever on as a Steeler. McFadden was on the number ONE PASS DEFENSE, Woodsons teams never were number one statistically in pass defense.

Woodson NEVER helped get us to a SB much less win one. The one season HE GOT HURT we finally got to the SB and lost the only game he played in. Based on your logic not only was McFadden better than Woodson, Woodsonhad little value at all.

Unlike the the inconsequential loss of Woodson, the loss of McFadden DEVASTATED the Steelers, who went from SB champion to MISSING THE PLAYOFFS. Clearly the loss of McFadden was crucial because we fell into a freefall from number one in pass defense to FOURTEENTH.

Why? Largely because Gay is NOT starter material. Gay gave up big plays that contributed directly to loses. Perhaps if we had a different corner the defense would be better? Gay was our worst defensive starter, worse than Smiths backups. Our pass defense "specifically" declined, largely due to Gay. Gay was there because McFadden was gone. Troys loss was the biggest of all.

Do I believe McFadden is better than Woodson? That is ridiculous. But it has MORE merit than your contention at least I limit my points to direct contibutions, not a vague, "we are better when he plays" argument acting like Smitty is the only factor for the entire defense.

Until Smitty covers receivers deep, covers kickoffs, and can replace Troy who YOU SAY is our best defender, acting like Smitty was the core issue is weak.

McFadden is much better than Woodson using that flawed logic.


And if you want to argue that the biggest moments in the playoffs are what matters, go back and watch Casey Hampton on the XL run. That was the most dominating defender in the payoffs that I've ever seen. Casey practically won those games for us. Simply dominant. But no major stats showed up.

Funny how your core argument for Smitty does NOT apply at all to Casey. We lost little when he got hurt in the past.

Actually, I said SB. I was talking about how the player is "remembered". Take away ONE GAME and Lynn Swann is not in the HOF. Ditto for John Stallworth. Those are SBs, not playoff games.

John Stallworth is along with Rice one of the top playoff receiver EVER without the SB versus the Rams, but without THAT GAME he doesnt get in.

Nevertheless, lets talk just Playoffs and Casey.

And ask 9 out of 10 people who was the best defensive player through that run and you will get "Joey Porter" and you know it. Joey gets the "splash plays" and people remember those.

20 years wont change that.

Back to my original point. Do you really believe that people will put this line and the Steel Curtain in the same conversation in 20 years?

That is my point.

You are drinkin your own brew buddy if you believe that one.[/quote:167jcswg]

Joey Porter had the big mouth that people don't forget but I don't miss.

I would not say Smith is as importnat as Joe Greene was. IMO if you had to pick one player on the DL that would be Hampton. The DL play and the play of the LB is totally schemed off of the NT and him being able to occupy two blocker in the middle. Without a dominant NT, LeBeau's scheme isn't effective.

IMO I'd say that Smith is more analogous to the role that LC Greenwood played in the Steel Curtain because he can freelance a little more.

Captain Lemming
06-23-2010, 02:04 AM
Aaron Smith might be every bit as important to this team as Mean Joe ever was to his. And the only reason he doesn't have the ProBowls and AllPro's to show for it is because the league predominantly plays a different system than the Steelers.

Flippy, trying to compare Smith to Greene is a joke. I truly cannot believe you think it is close.

Regardless the "style" of play. Greene DOMINATED particularly in the early 70s. He was the best defensive player in the entire league for a time. And he got gaudy numbers as a tackle, not an end. A 3/4 end is not too different than a 4/3 tackle when it comes to opportunities to make plays.

Playing tackle, Greene was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1969 when he received the first of his 10 Pro Bowl invitations. He was named All-NFL five times, and earned all-conference recognition 11 straight years from 1969 to 1979.

Valuable?
In both 1972 (first playoff year) and 1974 (first SB year), Greene was selected as the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. The teams early success was tied DIRECTLY to Joe Greene's most dominating seasons.

For example:
He had 11 sacks in 1972 (as an interior lineman in a 14 game season) when Pittsburgh reached the playoffs for the first time ever. In a must-win game against Houston, Greene recorded five sacks and a fumble recovery that assured victory for the injury-riddled Steelers.

In 1974, Pittsburgh won its first AFC championship and Super Bowl IX. That year, against both Oakland in the AFC title game and Minnesota in Super Bowl IX, Greene was virtually unstoppable. Joe's pass interception and a critical fumble recovery at the Pittsburgh 5-yard-line were major factors in the demise of the Vikings.

Greene has a rare combination of speed, quickness, strength and great determination and, at the peak of his career, could dominate a game almost single-handedly.

In the early 70s Greene was a singular talent with no equal. The truth is that among his peers Smith is not a rare talent. He is very good but not great. In a 4/3 he could be a tackle. Do you really think he could dominate games like a young Joe Greene as a 4/3 tackle?

Smith's best quality is "consistency". He has been an excellent player for a decade. But he has never been "elite".

Captain Lemming
06-23-2010, 02:35 AM
BTW the Vikings have a MUCH better Dline than ours.

On the topic of 3/4 versus 4/3 I will make another point. The more talented dlinemen are coveted more by 4/3 teams, thus they tend to be better. Especially defensive ends. Before this past draft when has the Steelers spent a premium pick on a defensive end? Not just top pick, top three pick. Smith went in the fourth which is high for us.

Premium college DE are drafted high by us and made into LBers. We take defensive ends or tackles that are not particularly coveted in the mid to late rounds for use as defensive ends.

I dont know how we picked a DE first last year. I think Tomlin was having a Tampa 2 flashback during the draft. :lol:

The truth is the "role" of a 3/4 DE does not require elite talent. Mario Williams is big enough to be a defensive end for us. Do you think we would ever trade up for that kind of talent? Sure we would love to have him but NOT as much as a 4/3 team that really needs him and will better utilize his talent.

Yeah, we draft a new "jabba the hut" every 8 or nine years pretty early to clog the middle true.

But we spend as many premium picks for our LBers in a single draft as we do in lineman in a decade.

flippy
06-23-2010, 06:28 AM
I have no stats to back it up. And I'm also not saying Mean Joe wasn't one of the best players in the game ever.

But even Joe Greene's game was about consistency over a long period. You could argue Ernie Holmes was every bit of the DT that Mean Joe was but Ernie wasn't consistent over a long period of time like Joe.

It also hard to compare across eras. Joe played when teams didn't have proficient passing games. WRs could get murdered in the secondary and the passing games were nothing compared to the modern game.

And the positions are completely different. Joe assignment wasn't to take up blockers. It was to make plays. Completely different responsibilities.

The only thing I can do is look for contemporaries to Aaron Smith. And the only one I see that can be compared since the 3-4 was created is Richard Seymore. I don't have as much history with a 3-4 D, but Aaron has one other player that I can find in the history of the game that equals his calibre of play.

And re: being a 4th round draft pick, Aaron did go to a DII school. And a 4th round pick is a very high pick considering the college.

The guy just does what is asked of him and even his coach says he never gets blocked.

He's as dominant as anyone could be at his respective position. If he wasn't so dominant, he wouldn't get double teamed on nearly every snap that he takes.

I think with Smiity and Hampton you have a line that is Steel Curtain like in it's dominance. And now you have Keisel coming into his own now.

It's no coincidence that this was the best defense in football just 2 years ago. I'm looking for an encore performance if Smitty and Troy stay healthy again.

Give it a couple more SuperBowls and we'll see if more start leaning my way on this thinking.

ikestops85
06-23-2010, 12:56 PM
It is impossible to compare Joe Greene's position to Aaron Smith's. Greene was charged with penetrating then seek and destroy. He was definitely one of the best in the history of the league. Smith's job is to take blockers with him and if he is able to penetrate that is a bonus.

While I love Aaron Smith, his fantastic work ethic and his value to the team I don't think he is on the level that Mean Joe is on. His ability to penetrate and disrupt plays was the foundation that the steel curtain was built on.

Oviedo
06-23-2010, 02:59 PM
It is impossible to compare Joe Greene's position to Aaron Smith's. Greene was charged with penetrating then seek and destroy. He was definitely one of the best in the history of the league. Smith's job is to take blockers with him and if he is able to penetrate that is a bonus.

While I love Aaron Smith, his fantastic work ethic and his value to the team I don't think he is on the level that Mean Joe is on. His ability to penetrate and disrupt plays was the foundation that the steel curtain was built on.

:Agree the entire defense was built around Mean Joe and teams had to account for him every play and schemed to stay away from him. There were games that he literally took over. Aaron for as good as he is never did that.

IMO the DL most like Mean Joe in playing style is probably Ziggy Hood. Both were/are attacking penetrating DTs.

birtikidis
06-23-2010, 03:30 PM
Our D-line isn't supposed to be racking up sacks. You can't compare Joe and Aaron. Joe was the best DT ever.. Aaron is arguably the best 34 D End ever. but he will NEVER get the stats because in a 34 the playmakers are the Lb'ers. If you want to compare palyers statistically you'd have to do a Harrison vs. Greene comparison. playmaker vs playmaker.

Slapstick
06-23-2010, 03:31 PM
BTW the Vikings have a MUCH better Dline than ours.

On the topic of 3/4 versus 4/3 I will make another point. The more talented dlinemen are coveted more by 4/3 teams, thus they tend to be better. Especially defensive ends. Before this past draft when has the Steelers spent a premium pick on a defensive end? Not just top pick, top three pick. Smith went in the fourth which is high for us.

Premium college DE are drafted high by us and made into LBers. We take defensive ends or tackles that are not particularly coveted in the mid to late rounds for use as defensive ends.

I dont know how we picked a DE first last year. I think Tomlin was having a Tampa 2 flashback during the draft. :lol:

The truth is the "role" of a 3/4 DE does not require elite talent. Mario Williams is big enough to be a defensive end for us. Do you think we would ever trade up for that kind of talent? Sure we would love to have him but NOT as much as a 4/3 team that really needs him and will better utilize his talent.

Yeah, we draft a new "jabba the hut" every 8 or nine years pretty early to clog the middle true.

But we spend as many premium picks for our LBers in a single draft as we do in lineman in a decade.

Sure the Vikes have a better D-Line...because you are figuring Jared Allen into the equation...again, apples to oranges...

Also, I have to disagree with your implication in this post that "top pick" = "elite talent"...it does not...

Captain Lemming
06-24-2010, 09:45 AM
Sure the Vikes have a better D-Line...because you are figuring Jared Allen into the equation...again, apples to oranges...

Hey Slappy. Viking fan tells you they have better LBers than the Steelers. HONESTLY, do you agree because they play a 4/3 and it is unfair?

Jared Allen is a HUGE talent werever he plays. Vikings go 3/4 and guess what? All of a sudden the best talent on their front seven is a LBer. Their LBer crew would be MUCH better and their Dline would have a loss of talent.

The idea that lineman "make" great 3/4 linebacker look good is a myth. Great pass rushers with size and speed are star LBers in our offense and star DEs on the Colts. These are more coveted than 3/4 DEs.b


Also, I have to disagree with your implication in this post that "top pick" = "elite talent"...it does not...
You miss my point. You can get a great talent late. However, the fact that we rarely use top picks on DEs says how much value we put on the position in general. We dont pursue elite DE talent very often. Before the Ziggy pick we did not have a high pick at DE on th entire team for years.

The very highest picks at Dline are almost never DEs on 3/4 teams.

This is because you dont need elite talent to fill those roles well. You donrt NEED great defensive ends. Look at the quote below:

"The thinking is that the 3-4 defensive end is easier to identify and find when it comes to scouting and acquiring personnel. Pass rushers like Peppers and the Colts Dwight Freeney are rare and hard to find and therefore very expensive to keep. There is no question that speed pass rushers are very much an impact position on the football field and their cap numbers reflect that. On the other hand, 3-4 defensive ends can be found easier and are much less expensive when it comes to "cap dollars".
-- Randy Mueller"

When you qualify the statement best Dlineman" on a 3/4 team" you are comparing a guy like Smith or Seymore (who was drafted early) as head of a mostly lesser class of players.

My point is that the best Dline will NEVER be a 3/4 Dline because of the quote above.

steelblood
06-24-2010, 10:07 AM
I'd like to hear Mitchell talk about developing Worthington or Harris. He leans on the vets too much. It has been a while since he developed any young talent form middle or later rounds. Good coaches do this.

RuthlessBurgher
06-24-2010, 12:24 PM
I'd like to hear Mitchell talk about developing Worthington or Harris. He leans on the vets too much. It has been a while since he developed any young talent form middle or later rounds. Good coaches do this.

He's the one who developed 4th rounder Aaron Smith and 7th rounder Brett Keisel from mid-to-late round rookies to where they are today, though. John Mitchell is a very good coach.

fordfixer
06-24-2010, 10:39 PM
I'd like to hear Mitchell talk about developing Worthington or Harris. He leans on the vets too much. It has been a while since he developed any young talent form middle or later rounds. Good coaches do this.

He's the one who developed 4th rounder Aaron Smith and 7th rounder Brett Keisel from mid-to-late round rookies to where they are today, though. John Mitchell is a very good coach.


Thats good to hear

hawaiiansteel
06-25-2010, 12:56 AM
I'd like to hear Mitchell talk about developing Worthington or Harris. He leans on the vets too much. It has been a while since he developed any young talent form middle or later rounds. Good coaches do this.

He's the one who developed 4th rounder Aaron Smith and 7th rounder Brett Keisel from mid-to-late round rookies to where they are today, though.



don't forget Shaun Nua, Orien Harris and Ryan McBean...although I do agree that John Mitchell is a very good DL coach.

RuthlessBurgher
06-25-2010, 01:50 AM
I never hear anyone blaming the failures of Alonzo Jackson, Nathaniel Adibi, Rian Wallace, and Mike Humpal on Keith Butler, though. You just hear about the great job he's done with the likes of Harrison, Farrior, Foote, Timmons, Woodley, etc.

Similarly, Mitchell has done an excellent job with the likes of Smith, Hampton, and Keisel, even though there is an occasional bust in there like Nua, Harris, and McBean. You simply can't nail 'em all.

steelblood
06-25-2010, 09:17 AM
I'd like to hear Mitchell talk about developing Worthington or Harris. He leans on the vets too much. It has been a while since he developed any young talent form middle or later rounds. Good coaches do this.

He's the one who developed 4th rounder Aaron Smith and 7th rounder Brett Keisel from mid-to-late round rookies to where they are today, though. John Mitchell is a very good coach.

Outside of first round picks Casey Hampton and potentially Ziggy Hood, Mitchell has developed just one defensive linemen that we've drafted in the last 10 years. It helps that Smith has been here for 11 years.

I actually agree that he is a good coach. I just think his player development has been becoming a weak spot. I'm not talking about misses. Players flame out all of the time. I'm talking more about the makeup of our D-line. Even with Hood, it sounds like we'll have a very old D-line group with Hoke and Eason as the backups penciled in. Hopefully, Worthington and Harris will impress in camp and one will make the roster.

ikestops85
06-25-2010, 01:11 PM
I never hear anyone blaming the failures of Alonzo Jackson, Nathaniel Adibi, Rian Wallace, and Mike Humpal on Keith Butler, though. You just hear about the great job he's done with the likes of Harrison, Farrior, Foote, Timmons, Woodley, etc.

Similarly, Mitchell has done an excellent job with the likes of Smith, Hampton, and Keisel, even though there is an occasional bust in there like Nua, Harris, and McBean. You simply can't nail 'em all.

Try telling that to Ben ... He is giving it his best shot. :Boobs