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Chavezz
11-05-2011, 11:13 AM
I'll attach the link to the article for reference...

One thing really stood out in the Lake article. It states
Gay wanted to be up on the line, handling receivers physically. The Steelers' previous defensive backs coach, Ray Horton, now the defensive coordinator in Arizona, wanted Gay to stay back, as with all his corners. Lake cut him loose.

What, wait... What? I'm confused. What happened to the Lebeau 10 yard cushion? This quote makes it sound like it's the DB coach that is deciding what techniques the CB plays???

Can this be? Can the hate for the Lebeau cushion really be the Horton cushion??

Or is this just a throw away quote that the writer was just trying to make Lake look a little better by making it sound like it was his decision?

What say you fine folks?

Chavezz
11-05-2011, 11:14 AM
Full article here...

Kovacevic: Lake is Steelers' first-half MVP

By Dejan Kovacevic, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, November 4, 2011



Steelers defensive backs coach Carnell Lake works with William Gay in practice.

What once was an abomination now seems like an aberration.

It's hard to quantify, really, how much the Steelers have improved from that opening 35-7 loss in Baltimore to this rematch Sunday: They're contenders at 6-2, confident in all phases, deeper than anyone knew and so strategically sharp that the noted New England scholars Bill Belichick and Tom Brady just left town with swelling, itching brains.

It's a good team, one that's enjoyed a wealth of quality individual performances.

And yet, in choosing a first-half MVP, I'll go way off the board, even off the 53-man roster, and take defensive backs coach Carnell Lake.

Most of us think of Lake as the cerebral four-time Pro Bowl safety for the Steelers from 1989-98. But in his new life as a rookie NFL coach, he has dramatically transformed what was supposed to be the team's No. 1 weakness into the NFL's No. 1 pass defense, with an average of 171.6 yards allowed per game.

"Carnell's really done a great job," defensive coordinator D!ck LeBeau said Thursday on the South Side. "Our secondary has played well. All you have to do is look at our pass numbers. Somebody's doing something right there."

"Coach Lake deserves a lot of credit," safety Ryan Clark said. "He's the guy who's had us prepared physically and mentally, who's given us the game plans. We have some good men in here, but he's the one that's put it together."

Seriously, why is no one talking about this guy?

Ike Taylor was a very good corner, but he's now one of the NFL's best, and he's the Steelers' best since Lake's old teammate, Rod Woodson. He's matching up against the opponents' top receivers and held Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald to three catches each, Wes Welker to four. Overall, Taylor has the league's best burn rate how often a defensive back is targeted vs. the number of completions at 32.1 percent.

For a comparison, Bryant McFadden's burn rate last season was 67 percent, the league's fourth-worst.

And how about William Gay?

When it became clear in Latrobe that McFadden's hamstring would keep him out, all the talk-show and social-media rage was vented at Gay. And not without cause. His play ranged from clumsy to cringe-worthy, even though he took the field only in the nickel package.

This season, though, Gay has been outstanding after a rough start in Indianapolis upon taking over for McFadden. His breakthrough was the primary reason LeBeau and Lake felt comfortable with switching to man-to-man coverage against Brady and the Patriots.

This surely represents Lake's crown jewel to this point.

Lake worked with Gay, his teammates say, to study his tendencies and preferences. Gay wanted to be up on the line, handling receivers physically. The Steelers' previous defensive backs coach, Ray Horton, now the defensive coordinator in Arizona, wanted Gay to stay back, as with all his corners. Lake cut him loose.

"I'm just playin' my game, man," Gay said.

LeBeau and the Steelers' players praise Horton for his technique teaching, but they sound like they love Lake for adding that physical element. We saw it with Taylor, too, last week in chipping at Welker.

"Ray Horton was a great coach," LeBeau said. "The reason we wanted to get Carnell was that I had personal experience with him here and knew he was a man of great character. I also knew he was an aggressive player and that he'd be an aggressive coach. I knew what he'd be asking our guys to do."

There are others. Third-year man Keenan Lewis has looked so strong that he's pushing for more duty. Not far behind is Cortez Allen, the fourth-round draft pick. Only McFadden has fallen off, now relegated to special teams after his injury limited his time with Lake in Latrobe.

Lake, 44, has been a quick study. He left the private business world in 2010 to join Green Bay as a coaching intern, then accepted the Steelers' offer in March. He has preferred to lay low, which is why he declined an interview request for this column. He told me during the preseason he wanted the focus on his players, and he's obviously achieved that for all the right reasons.

Next challenge for Lake's secondary, especially Taylor, will be the Ravens' Anquan Boldin, fresh off a 145-yard gem against Arizona.

Anyone still worried?

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1cnIWeVXW

SanAntonioSteelerFan
11-05-2011, 11:34 AM
This does raise interesting questions about actual ownership of the " ... Cushion". This article opens the window of possibility to a huge degree ... was it really the "Horton Cushion"? As you may remember, Horton dated Whoopi Goldberg for a period of time a few years ago. Should it properly be called "The Whoopi Cushion"? We may never know ...

:tt1 :tt2

Chavezz
11-05-2011, 11:36 AM
This does raise interesting questions about actual ownership of the " ... Cushion". This article opens the window of possibility to a huge degree ... was it really the "Horton Cushion"? As you may remember, Horton dated Whoopi Goldberg for a period of time a few years ago. Should it properly be called "The Whoopi Cushion"? We may never know ...

:tt1 :tt2

I thought Whoopi was a lesbian?

RuthlessBurgher
11-05-2011, 11:39 AM
This does raise interesting questions about actual ownership of the " ... Cushion". This article opens the window of possibility to a huge degree ... was it really the "Horton Cushion"? As you may remember, Horton dated Whoopi Goldberg for a period of time a few years ago. Should it properly be called "The Whoopi Cushion"? We may never know ...

:tt1 :tt2

I thought Whoopi was a lesbian?

She dated Ted Danson a while back, but then he went blackface at a Friar's Club roast...

http://www.paunchstevenson.com/photos/ted-danson-blackface-1a.jpg

Mister Pittsburgh
11-05-2011, 11:39 AM
great article but something still seems odd. this places far too much blame on Horton. Not in the sense that he had them playing soft & Lake phisical but in the sence that Lebeau is the dang DC...if playing soft isn't working its up to him to say he wants them on the line physical and Horton/Lake to coach them up that way.

I always found it curious that Tomlin was a former DB coach and DC, Lebeau a former hall of fame caliber CB and DC, and yet our DB's other than Troy were rather mediocre....Ike was solid but nothing like this years Ike. And we missed on so many dang DB draft picks. Seemed like we had issues evaluating prospects in the draft, and then coaching up the guys we did pick.

So Lake is all the difference? If so, something is odd.

Chavezz
11-05-2011, 11:47 AM
Assistant coach for 7 years with us, 4 years as DB coach as per a wiki page.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
11-05-2011, 11:47 AM
great article but something still seems odd. this places far too much blame on Horton. Not in the sense that he had them playing soft & Lake phisical but in the sence that Lebeau is the dang DC...if playing soft isn't working its up to him to say he wants them on the line physical and Horton/Lake to coach them up that way.

I always found it curious that Tomlin was a former DB coach and DC, Lebeau a former hall of fame caliber CB and DC, and yet our DB's other than Troy were rather mediocre....Ike was solid but nothing like this years Ike. And we missed on so many dang DB draft picks. Seemed like we had issues evaluating prospects in the draft, and then coaching up the guys we did pick.

So Lake is all the difference? If so, something is odd.

I always thought that we had less-than-stellar DBs because the BPA was always someone else. Kind of the same situation like our OL.

RuthlessBurgher
11-05-2011, 11:56 AM
great article but something still seems odd. this places far too much blame on Horton. Not in the sense that he had them playing soft & Lake phisical but in the sence that Lebeau is the dang DC...if playing soft isn't working its up to him to say he wants them on the line physical and Horton/Lake to coach them up that way.

I always found it curious that Tomlin was a former DB coach and DC, Lebeau a former hall of fame caliber CB and DC, and yet our DB's other than Troy were rather mediocre....Ike was solid but nothing like this years Ike. And we missed on so many dang DB draft picks. Seemed like we had issues evaluating prospects in the draft, and then coaching up the guys we did pick.

So Lake is all the difference? If so, something is odd.

I always thought that we had less-than-stellar DBs because the BPA was always someone else. Kind of the same situation like our OL.

Which makes the hirings of Sean Kugler and Carnell Lake in back-to-back seasons all the more remarkable. They each too below-the-line talent at those positions, and turned them into above-the-line players. That's what top-notch coaches do. Anyone miss Larry Zeirlein or Ray Horton? That's what I thought.

Discipline of Steel
11-05-2011, 01:44 PM
Lets give credit for the Steelers secondary improvement to a confluence of factors.
(like that one :D )
The arrival of Lake, the maturation of recent draft picks, and the ability of teams to run the ball against us this year. Lets face it, last year teams didnt even bother to try to run, rather deciding to pick on the youngsters. Now the youngsters are monsters, look at them all.

costanza2k1
11-05-2011, 02:50 PM
If it was the Lebeau cushion why didn't he use it with Woodson and Lake in the early 90s when he was the DB coach?

pittpete
11-05-2011, 03:01 PM
ARIZONA Pass Def. 277.6 (30th)
Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmmmm.... :wft

Mister Pittsburgh
11-05-2011, 03:59 PM
great article but something still seems odd. this places far too much blame on Horton. Not in the sense that he had them playing soft & Lake phisical but in the sence that Lebeau is the dang DC...if playing soft isn't working its up to him to say he wants them on the line physical and Horton/Lake to coach them up that way.

I always found it curious that Tomlin was a former DB coach and DC, Lebeau a former hall of fame caliber CB and DC, and yet our DB's other than Troy were rather mediocre....Ike was solid but nothing like this years Ike. And we missed on so many dang DB draft picks. Seemed like we had issues evaluating prospects in the draft, and then coaching up the guys we did pick.

So Lake is all the difference? If so, something is odd.

I always thought that we had less-than-stellar DBs because the BPA was always someone else. Kind of the same situation like our OL.

2011 - Pittsburgh Steelers
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
3 95 Curtis Brown DB Texas
4 128 Cortez Allen DB The Citadel

2010 - Pittsburgh Steelers
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
5 164 Crezdon Butler DB Clemson

2009 - Pittsburgh Steelers
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
3 96 Keenan Lewis DB Oregon State
5 168 Joe Burnett DB Central Florida

2008 - Pittsburgh Steelers
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
6 194 Ryan Mundy FS West Virginia

2007 - Pittsburgh Steelers
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
5 170 William Gay CB Louisville

2006 - Pittsburgh Steelers
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
3 83 Anthony Smith DB Syracuse

2005 - Pittsburgh Steelers
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
2 62 Bryant McFadden DB Florida State

2004 - Pittsburgh Steelers
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
2 38 Ricardo Colclough CB Tusculum (pretty sure we traded a 4th to move up as well)

2003 - Pittsburgh Steelers
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
1 16 Troy Polamalu DB USC
4 125 Ike Taylor CB Louisiana-Lafayette

2002 - Pittsburgh Steelers
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
3 94 Chris Hope DB Florida State
7 212 LaVar Glover CB Cincinnati

2000 - Pittsburgh Steelers
RD SEL # PLAYER POSITION SCHOOL
3 77 Hank Poteat CB Pittsburgh

Dating back to 2000 it seems we have used a few high picks on some guys that were total bums in the secondary. Colclough, Anthony 'Killswitch LOL' Smith....so I wouldn't necessarily say we didn't try or passed up the position due to BPA. This of course dates back to when Lebeau was not here and Tomlin was a mere zygote on the NFL landscape....I hope Carnell has a keen eye for talent and can land us a SS & FS to groom for the future. Mundy blows and it sure would be nice to have that guy that we have waiting to take over for Troy as he is such an integral part of our D. Troy is one of those players that is once a generation at SS though. Tough to find someone able to do what he does.

steelblood
11-05-2011, 05:47 PM
I have always criticized Ray Horton for not getting his players to improve over the long haul. Outside of Ike (whom he may have helped), he was developing no one. Gay and McFadden actually got worse the more he coached them (they both looked good as rookies). Thank God Ray Horton is gone. The Kugler and Lake hires were excellent. Unfortunately, we probably held on to coach Porno and Horton Hears a Who too long. But, at least it is fixed now.

As far as blaming Horton for the cushion, I don't buy it. Sure that may have been his opinion, but LeBeau makes the ultimate decision and bears the final responsibility for setting schemes.

winwithd
11-05-2011, 07:26 PM
Since someone brought up Kugler, I been wondering if we have always had so many injuries to the OL? It seems to me like the injury bug came along with Kugler. Is it something in the technique he teaches or is it just a coincident? Or have we always had so many OL injuries? Its as if at least one guy gets hurt every game.

grotonsteel
11-05-2011, 07:33 PM
Since someone brought up Kugler, I been wondering if we have always had so many injuries to the OL? It seems to me like the injury bug came along with Kugler. Is it something in the technique he teaches or is it just a coincident? Or have we always had so many OL injuries? Its as if at least one guy gets hurt every game.


+1

I find it hard to believe that it is just coincidence. Bills and now Steelers.

But O-line is looking far better than what it was in first 4 games.There are some bright young stars in Pouncey, Gilbert and Foster on this O-line.

Steelers should stick to SEC O-linemen in future.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
11-05-2011, 09:52 PM
Since someone brought up Kugler, I been wondering if we have always had so many injuries to the OL? It seems to me like the injury bug came along with Kugler. Is it something in the technique he teaches or is it just a coincident? Or have we always had so many OL injuries? Its as if at least one guy gets hurt every game.

As opposed to cause and effect (Kugler comes on board >> OL players get injured), or coincidence, it may be that they are related in a different way:

1) OL has poor athletes.
2) Kugler comes on board and gets every last bit of performance from these players, and the OL looks loads better than before he came on board.
3) Because these are not top quality athletes, they are more easily injured when pushed to their limits.

The answer is obvious - draft better O line players!

(But it's not so easy ... if we had done that over the years, what other players would we not have been able to draft ... would we have looked like the Pats* - great QB, great O line ... but that's it?)

Steelerphile
11-06-2011, 05:51 AM
If you sometimes check message boards from other NFL teams, the most common complaints, are OL and offensive coordinators. I think it is very difficult for either one of those entities to be acceptable to many fans.

costanza2k1
11-07-2011, 12:12 PM
I wish we would've used that 'cushion' last night during the last drive and protected the sidelines...It sure would've been better than man defense they were playing to burn clock and the last timeout.

snarky
11-07-2011, 12:21 PM
Not too loud...NFL Pro shop might start selling Lebeau Cushions in its Home Accessories department.

Dee Dub
11-07-2011, 12:27 PM
I'll attach the link to the article for reference...

One thing really stood out in the Lake article. It states
Gay wanted to be up on the line, handling receivers physically. The Steelers' previous defensive backs coach, Ray Horton, now the defensive coordinator in Arizona, wanted Gay to stay back, as with all his corners. Lake cut him loose.

What, wait... What? I'm confused. What happened to the Lebeau 10 yard cushion? This quote makes it sound like it's the DB coach that is deciding what techniques the CB plays???

Can this be? Can the hate for the Lebeau cushion really be the Horton cushion??

Or is this just a throw away quote that the writer was just trying to make Lake look a little better by making it sound like it was his decision?

What say you fine folks?

If you really want to know the truth Chavezz, it should actually be called the "Ryan Clark Cushion". If you dont have a free safety who can cover and your game plan is to stop Ray Rice running the ball, you are then going use your premier strong safety at or near the box/LOS which now forces you to play off of your receiver at the corner. They have to.

There is a reason why LeBeau is forced to continue to run this same scheme over and over and over.

Dee Dub
11-07-2011, 12:31 PM
If it was the Lebeau cushion why didn't he use it with Woodson and Lake in the early 90s when he was the DB coach?

Cha-ching! It's personnel not scheme.

Troy Polamalu and how he is used leaves Ryan Clark deep. Think about it.

ikestops85
11-07-2011, 02:53 PM
I'll attach the link to the article for reference...

One thing really stood out in the Lake article. It states
Gay wanted to be up on the line, handling receivers physically. The Steelers' previous defensive backs coach, Ray Horton, now the defensive coordinator in Arizona, wanted Gay to stay back, as with all his corners. Lake cut him loose.

What, wait... What? I'm confused. What happened to the Lebeau 10 yard cushion? This quote makes it sound like it's the DB coach that is deciding what techniques the CB plays???

Can this be? Can the hate for the Lebeau cushion really be the Horton cushion??

Or is this just a throw away quote that the writer was just trying to make Lake look a little better by making it sound like it was his decision?

What say you fine folks?

If you really want to know the truth Chavezz, it should actually be called the "Ryan Clark Cushion". If you dont have a free safety who can cover and your game plan is to stop Ray Rice running the ball, you are then going use your premier strong safety at or near the box/LOS which now forces you to play off of your receiver at the corner. They have to.

There is a reason why LeBeau is forced to continue to run this same scheme over and over and over.

I seem to recall us running the same defense with Chris Hope as the FS ... just sayin' :wink:

steelz09
11-07-2011, 03:16 PM
If it was the Lebeau cushion why didn't he use it with Woodson and Lake in the early 90s when he was the DB coach?

Cha-ching! It's personnel not scheme.

Troy Polamalu and how he is used leaves Ryan Clark deep. Think about it.

One thing that makes you go hmmmmm.....

Ryan Clark plays "deep". Ryan Clark plays FS....

Ryan Clark is leading the team in tackles. What is our FS doing leading the team in tackles? Why is he having to come up and make all of those tackles? That's a problem if you ask me.

Dee Dub
11-07-2011, 05:12 PM
If it was the Lebeau cushion why didn't he use it with Woodson and Lake in the early 90s when he was the DB coach?

Cha-ching! It's personnel not scheme.

Troy Polamalu and how he is used leaves Ryan Clark deep. Think about it.

One thing that makes you go hmmmmm.....

Ryan Clark plays "deep". Ryan Clark plays FS....

Ryan Clark is leading the team in tackles. What is our FS doing leading the team in tackles? Why is he having to come up and make all of those tackles? That's a problem if you ask me.


When you give up a lot of receptions in your zone there are going to be a lot of tackle opportunities.

pittpete
11-07-2011, 05:41 PM
When you give up a lot of receptions in your zone there are going to be a lot of tackle opportunities.

True dat :Clap

steelz09
11-07-2011, 06:18 PM
That and I see him in on a lot of run plays.

ikestops85
11-08-2011, 01:47 PM
If it was the Lebeau cushion why didn't he use it with Woodson and Lake in the early 90s when he was the DB coach?

Cha-ching! It's personnel not scheme.

Troy Polamalu and how he is used leaves Ryan Clark deep. Think about it.

One thing that makes you go hmmmmm.....

Ryan Clark plays "deep". Ryan Clark plays FS....

Ryan Clark is leading the team in tackles. What is our FS doing leading the team in tackles? Why is he having to come up and make all of those tackles? That's a problem if you ask me.

That has to make you wonder. I've been saying for a while that Clark is a good player for our system. He is great at cleaning up the mess that the front 7 sometimes leaves. Is he a great cover guy? No, but he is the reason teams don't break off long runs against us very often.

While you can criticize his coverage ability you have to give him credit for his other attributes. Anyone know why Boldin dropped that pass over the middle late in the game? Could it be he was thinking of Clark flying at him? Just some food for thought.

Dee Dub
11-08-2011, 03:34 PM
That has to make you wonder. I've been saying for a while that Clark is a good player for our system. He is great at cleaning up the mess that the front 7 sometimes leaves. Is he a great cover guy? No, but he is the reason teams don't break off long runs against us very often.

While you can criticize his coverage ability you have to give him credit for his other attributes. Anyone know why Boldin dropped that pass over the middle late in the game? Could it be he was thinking of Clark flying at him? Just some food for thought.

I agree with you ike about his contributions versus the run but keep in mind how often Troy Polamalu is used at or near the box or LOS. It's quite a bit during the course of a game. That leaves Clark deep with a ton of real state to be responsible for. If the Steelers ran a ton of cover two, Clark's flaws could be masked some. But this team doesnt.