View Full Version : Steelers running behind on forcing turnovers

09-23-2011, 12:08 AM
Steelers running behind on forcing turnovers

Friday, September 23, 2011

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 58300.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_758300.html)

Troy Polamalu read the play perfectly, and when Seattle quarterback Tarvaris Jackson threw a short pass to tight end Anthony McCoy, the All-Pro safety looked like he had a sure interception.

Polamalu couldn't hang on, missing out on his 28th career pick and an easy touchdown.

It didn't matter much, considering the Steelers led the overmatched Seahawks, 24-0. The play, though, may have significance.

After two games, the Steelers still are looking for their first takeaway. That, coupled with their seven giveaways in the season-opener at Baltimore, leaves them tied for last in the NFL in turnover ratio (minus 7) with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs are 0-2 and may be the early leaders in the lottery for Stanford standout quarterback Andrew Luck. The Steelers, in contrast, are eyeing another Super Bowl run.

They've been on the minus side of turnover ratio just four times since 1992. Not coincidentally, the Steelers have been one the NFL's most successful franchises during that span.

"The team that gets the most turnovers usually has a pretty good success in terms of wins/losses, so turnovers are always important," Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said.

Recent history shows that.

The Steelers ranked second in turnover ratio (plus 17) last season, ranking behind only the New England Patriots (plus 28), who finished with the best regular-season record in the NFL. The Steelers were two spots ahead of the Green Bay Packers (plus 10), who beat them in Super Bowl XLV.

"We've only played two games," LeBeau said. "Turnovers are like sacks. If you get good, constant pressure, the sacks will come. If you're in good position, seeing what you're supposed to be seeing, you're going to get interceptions, (and) we're going to get our share of fumble recoveries."

LeBeau said the Steelers' goal is to get "at least" one of each every game.

"I think they'll come," Steelers inside linebacker James Farrior said. "I've been in the league a long time, and when you don't have turnovers for a while, then I think they tend to come in bunches when you do start getting them."

Some teams try to force the issue by emphasizing stripping the ball, particularly when their players are gang tackling. Some defensive backs are taught to go for the strip as much as the tackle.

"I don't think we do it enough," Steelers free safety Ryan Clark said, "but that's because tackling is at such a high premium. It's about the fact that I want to tackle you right there and not allow you to get any yards after the catch."

Sure tackling doesn't preclude the Steelers from creating turnovers, as their history shows.

"It's about getting the ball and stopping them from getting the ball into the end zone," Polamalu said. "From my experience, turnovers always come in bunches."

Read more: Steelers running behind on forcing turnovers - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1YkGMTQIr (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_758300.html#ixzz1YkGMTQIr)

09-23-2011, 01:03 AM
I'll say we're running behind, our next takeaway will be our first one.

hopefully Kerry Collins can help us out with that stat this Sunday... :tt2

09-23-2011, 01:42 AM
Both Flacco and Jackson seemed to be throwing mostly short passes, screens, and sideline bullets (not to mention the Ravens were able to run the ball very well). Its hard to get too many turnovers in those scenarios.

I'd rather see them focus on minimizing those short passes that turn into first downs, since they seem to be dropping back more than applying pressure early.