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fordfixer
08-28-2011, 10:17 PM
Starkey: Steelers' great advantage
By Joe Starkey, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, August 28, 2011
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 53882.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_753882.html)

In Cleveland, new head coach/offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur is busy teaching his offense to second-year quarterback Colt McCoy.

In Cincinnati, new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden started from scratch about a month ago with rookie quarterback Andy Dalton.

Similar scenes unfold all over the post-lockout NFL, where the work stoppage killed formalized offseason workouts. Half the league is on training wheels.

It's different here.

Here, all the lockout did was give a predominantly veteran team some much-needed rest.

Here, the Steelers' starters looked downright dangerous at times Saturday night, rolling up a 24-16 halftime lead on a very good Atlanta Falcons team.

Here, veteran offensive coordinator Bruce Arians has reached the point where he believes eighth-year quarterback Ben Roethlisberger who connected with Antonio Brown on touchdowns of 77 and 44 yards in the second quarter could run the offense without him.

"I would feel comfortable with him going out and calling the plays in all phases, not just the spread offense," Arians said. "The only question is how he would substitute players without signals.

"Yeah, he could take a game plan and execute it perfectly right now."

Do you see the Steelers' gargantuan advantage, not just over Cleveland and Cincinnati but much of NFL?

The stability that has defined this franchise for some 40 years has always provided an edge. It's almost an unfair one this year. With much of the rest of the league in scramble mode, the Steelers simply stay the course.

You might have heard Green Bay Packers coaches and former Steelers' stalwarts Kevin Greene and Darren Perry talking before last year's Super Bowl. They said they could probably step into Dick LeBeau's defense and execute it that day because the Steelers' scheme hadn't changed that much since their playing careers (not to mention Perry's coaching days here).

Think about that compared to what's happening in, say, Cleveland, where the Browns are shifting to a 4-3 defense after years in the 3-4.

Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith thrives on the constancy.

"We always joke that you can come back 20 years from now and they'll still doing the same thing, on the same day, in the same place," Smith said. "It has some comfort to it. You just kind of come back each year and get right back into the groove."

That's a huge benefit any year. But I asked veteran nose tackle Casey Hampton if he believes the Steelers' "program" could be particularly beneficial this season.

"That's definitely the case," he said. "You have a lot of veteran guys who've been in same system for years. We've run pretty much the same defense since I've been here. Eleven years. Really nothing different. Yeah, you don't really need the offseason like some other teams would."

Look at the Steelers' schedule. A full 25 percent of it features teams with new head coaches (Cleveland twice, Tennessee, San Francisco), and 13 of the 16 opponents have at least one new coordinator.

So while Gruden is tutoring Dalton through football kindergarten, Roethlisberger is working on his Ph.D. -- and even picking Professor LeBeau's brain on how opponents might attack him this season.

"We draw on each other's experience," LeBeau said. "I don't coach him. I'm not in the meeting rooms with him. But we're probably as close as I've been with any quarterback since I've been here."

There you have it. Other teams' offensive coordinators are still getting to know their players on a first-name basis, and this team's defensive coordinator trades ideas with the quarterback in a relationship that goes back to 2004.

Stability is a wonderful thing.

Especially this year.

Read more: Starkey: Steelers' great advantage - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1WNdbYJ69 (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_753882.html#ixzz1WNdbYJ69)

Eich
08-29-2011, 09:01 AM
That's a huge benefit any year. But I asked veteran nose tackle Casey Hampton if he believes the Steelers' "program" could be particularly beneficial this season.

"That's definitely the case," he said. "You have a lot of veteran guys who've been in same system for years. We've run pretty much the same defense since I've been here. Eleven years. Really nothing different. Yeah, you don't really need the offseason like some other teams would."


Well, there it is. Eleven years, nothing different. Most of the time, that's good enough. But don't we need something a little different against the top passing teams?

Oviedo
08-29-2011, 11:12 AM
That's a huge benefit any year. But I asked veteran nose tackle Casey Hampton if he believes the Steelers' "program" could be particularly beneficial this season.

"That's definitely the case," he said. "You have a lot of veteran guys who've been in same system for years. We've run pretty much the same defense since I've been here. Eleven years. Really nothing different. Yeah, you don't really need the offseason like some other teams would."


Well, there it is. Eleven years, nothing different. Most of the time, that's good enough. But don't we need something a little different against the top passing teams?

I trade off giving a little against the run to be more stout against the pass. The best teams and play off teams are the best passing teams. We need to figure out how to stop them.

feltdizz
08-29-2011, 11:49 AM
That's a huge benefit any year. But I asked veteran nose tackle Casey Hampton if he believes the Steelers' "program" could be particularly beneficial this season.

"That's definitely the case," he said. "You have a lot of veteran guys who've been in same system for years. We've run pretty much the same defense since I've been here. Eleven years. Really nothing different. Yeah, you don't really need the offseason like some other teams would."


Well, there it is. Eleven years, nothing different. Most of the time, that's good enough. But don't we need something a little different against the top passing teams?

and we wonder why Brady carves us up everytime we play him. Thank goodness there aren't too many of those types of passing attacks in this league.