PDA

View Full Version : LeBeau facing critical year in 2012



hawaiiansteel
04-10-2012, 01:21 PM
LeBeau facing critical year in 2012


April 9, 2012 Posted by Marc Uhlmann



You can hardly blame anyone associated with the Pittsburgh Steelers for talking mostly about the offense during the offseason of 2012.


After all, from red zone failures to Bruce Arians’ ‘retirement’ and the eventual hiring of Todd Haley, there has been much to discuss.


I believe there is one guy in particular who has to be downright giddy over this even though he is the coordinator on the other side of the ball. Why might you ask would D!ck LeBeau be thrilled that very little attention is being paid to his version of the ‘Steel Curtain?’ Probably because LeBeau knows that anything said about the ‘D’ would not exactly be glowing with accolades right now.


Our last vision of the NFL’s top-rated defense from 2011 was that of Damaryius Thomas of the Denver Broncos stiff-arming Ike Taylor as if he were a father stiff-arming his 10-year old son. Thomas would score on that play, the first of overtime and perhaps even worse, the play would set the Tim Tebow fire into an all-out inferno as the favored Steelers’ limped off the field in defeat.


There is plenty of blame to go around for that defeat and it includes the offense which sputtered on two opening drives that started so promising and resulted in two Shaun Suisham field goals. The defense however, exhibited a pattern that some could trace back to the victory over Arizona in Super Bowl XLIII in which it blew a 20-7 second half lead before being saved by the heroics of Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes.


It was not the only time Roethlisberger and the offense bailed out LeBeau’s defense either. We’ve seen it all too often the last few years. I know it sounds like I’m bashing LeBeau and I suppose in some ways I am but to be clear, I really do like and respect ‘Coach Dad’ very, very much. He is an incredible innovator and is known for being a solid tactician on the sidelines and no assistant coach has ever had his players’ respect the way LeBeau garners it.


The problem is that being a number one defense is not what it once was. The two Super Bowl participants this past season both had defenses that ranked in the bottom half of the NFL in total defense.


The Green Bay Packers, the best team throughout much of the season, also were ranked low. I’m not suggesting that defenses become “average,” but I am suggesting that perhaps the time has come for an overhaul of the D!ck LeBeau 3-4 defense as we’ve known it.


Following the victory over New England during the 2011 regular season, many people believed that LeBeau was finally making the proper adjustments to handle a quick passing game. He had defensive backs jamming Patriots’ receivers at the line, especially in the slot. The pass rush was actually pretty good too until LaMarr Woodley went down with his hamstring injury. Keep in mind that the Steelers were #1 overall and against the pass, but their numbers against the rush dropped significantly.


LeBeau now faces a 2012 without James Farrior and without Aaron Smith. He obviously knows how to adapt with Smith out, but Farrior being gone will a major adjustment. Whether it’s Larry Foote, Stevenson Sylvester or a newcomer, that individual will not have the leadership skills and knowledge of Farrior.


William Gay, last season’s starter at the left cornerback spot is now in Pittsburgh West, otherwise known as Arizona. LeBeau will need to decide between Keenan Lewis, Cortez Allen or Curtis Brown. Many think Allen’s future is at safety, but any way you slice it, there were will be question marks at that position.


Factor in an aging and rehabilitating Casey Hampton at nose and the tenuous at best health of Troy Polamalu and James Harrison and for that matter, Woodley and LeBeau could be using duct tape and glue to keep the ‘D’ in shape. Let’s say the defense stays healthy for the most part in 2012, what does LeBeau need to do eliminate the comebacks and big plays that often nipped at this squad last season?


My first thought is pressure. We saw much less of the famed ‘X Fire’ stunt by the middle linebackers this season and when we did, it was relatively ineffective. Perhaps it is becoming too predictable? One of the other things we saw less of was corner blitzes. With Gay no longer in the slot and one of the team’s best blitzers, that part of the scheme was gone and it showed.


Cam Heyward showed some great promise at times as a rookie in 2011, but he’ll be depended on for more consistency in both the rush and allowing the outside backers to be more successful as well. Ziggy Hood is in a similar boat in terms of finding consistency.


Strategically, LeBeau must improve this team on 3rd downs. The Steelers gave up way too many conversions especially in 3rd and long situations. For a defense that is going to again be one of the older ones, this area has to improve.


I realize that in some ways it could be a lot worse. We could have a defense that resembles a complete and total failure like so many other teams in the league. We still have a solid core and I trust that LeBeau recognizes the deficiencies of his defense and will make the necessary adjustments. Unfortunately, LeBeau has some physical and just as importantly, some mental rehab to do on this defense. There is no question that the loss in Denver was bad, but how it lost is what triggers the most mentally unstable episodes for fans and players.


What we need to see is the fire and relentless nature of the Steelers’ defense for four quarters, not just when ‘Renegade’ plays at Heinz Field. We need to see stops on third downs and more creativity in blitz packages. Being the number one defense doesn’t mean anything if you are exiting the playoffs in the Wild-Card Round.


This past off-season, Bruce Arians was the easy and for the most part, well-deserved target of the Steeler Nation’s rage over the early post-season departure. While D!ck LeBeau is well-respected and well-liked, even the ‘Nation has limits to how much it can handle. Coach LeBeau needs to get this defense back to being unpredictable, frenzied and violent or more big plays and blown leads could lead to his ‘retirement’ in 2013.


http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/article_external/lebeau_facing_critical_year_in_2012/10518050

Oviedo
04-10-2012, 02:10 PM
Wow, much of this sounds familiar. "More pressure from middle LBs." "More blitzes." "Being the number one defense is not what it use to be." Where have I heard or read this?

However why bother recognizing any of this because anyone who does is just a "hater" of "Coach Dad."

birtikidis
04-10-2012, 02:25 PM
Wow, much of this sounds familiar. "More pressure from middle LBs." "More blitzes." "Being the number one defense is not what it use to be." Where have I heard or read this?

However why bother recognizing any of this because anyone who does is just a "hater" of "Coach Dad."
I didn't read the entire article. As soon as it started talking about the Denver game I knew it was going to be a shortsighted article. That game left a bad taste in everyones mouth, but it definitely does not represent the way our defense played all season. It doesn't take into account the orbital eye injury and issues with Harrison. It doesn't address the hamstring issue with Woodley. It doesn't address Timmons playing out of position much of the season. Hell it doesn't even address the torn groin Keisel had in the bronco game. Or the Torn ACL Hampton suffered. Or the fact Clark didn't play. That's three guys righ there that were important in that one game that missed most of it. Considering the difficulties the defense faced all season, I have very little complaint in Lebeau's defense. on the other hand, I can say that our defense has been consistently great year in and year out. while on offense the only thing that's consistent is the inconsistency. be it O-line play, injuries, or play calling.

Shoe
04-10-2012, 02:37 PM
I didn't read the entire article. As soon as it started talking about the Denver game I knew it was going to be a shortsighted article. That game left a bad taste in everyones mouth, but it definitely does not represent the way our defense played all season. It doesn't take into account the orbital eye injury and issues with Harrison. It doesn't address the hamstring issue with Woodley. It doesn't address Timmons playing out of position much of the season. Hell it doesn't even address the torn groin Keisel had in the bronco game. Or the Torn ACL Hampton suffered. Or the fact Clark didn't play. That's three guys righ there that were important in that one game that missed most of it. Considering the difficulties the defense faced all season, I have very little complaint in Lebeau's defense. on the other hand, I can say that our defense has been consistently great year in and year out. while on offense the only thing that's consistent is the inconsistency. be it O-line play, injuries, or play calling.

But it's not to say our D is anywhere near what we'd like...

The stats (i.e. rankings) say we are a great defense. We know the truth... or we should. You're right: that DEN game was an abomination. The telling game was that Texans game, early in the season. In that game, we had Hampton; we had Farrior; we had Harrison (who I think got hurt in that game, but tried to play still--what a warrior!); I can't remember if we had Woodley (probably nursing his hammy again)... but anyway, our D was basically intact. And we got dominated. Not only dominated--dominated by having the ball crammed down our throats... to the tune of 5+ yards per carrry I'm guessing.

That game told us what we needed to know. That's why people are overreacting to that debacle of a game and effort against Denver. (I still haven't forgiven Ike Taylor. Horrible. He should shut his mouth from now til he retires, when he claims to be underappreciated in this league.) If not for that Texan game, people wouldn't be so much on the warpath for results.

I agree that it's a show-me year for LeBeau. Every year is a show-me year when you are 70+, because it could go at any time (mentally and physically... after all, we know what a grind NFL coaches go through. I can't imagine a 70-year old man having the stamina of long days, of a 40-year old).

Sugar
04-10-2012, 03:02 PM
The Texans game was earlier in the season. We adjusted and moved on. IMO, you have to take the year as a whole and not get overly excited about the best or worst but see where you really stand. The statistics by and large speak the truth: the 2011 Steelers D was one of the best in the NFL.

Remember, at one point we were a game away from being a top seed. Had Baltimore not put that almost unthinkable last second TD on us, we probably would have had a bye and some time to heal a little. In other words, this team wasn't far off from another SB.

birtikidis
04-10-2012, 03:19 PM
Granted it wasn't our best season on defense. But to dog on them given that Timmons and Worilds were our starting OLB for several games and just the fact that age had caught up to Farrior provides a pretty good explanation why you didn't see some things. Also, putting gay at the #2 corner and putting rookies in as the 3/4 spot is going to limit some of what you can do.

Sugar
04-10-2012, 03:43 PM
Granted it wasn't our best season on defense. But to dog on them given that Timmons and Worilds were our starting OLB for several games and just the fact that age had caught up to Farrior provides a pretty good explanation why you didn't see some things. Also, putting gay at the #2 corner and putting rookies in as the 3/4 spot is going to limit some of what you can do.

And there's that...

Overcoming injuries can be very difficult. We had to do it a lot on the OL and the LB corps. At 12-4, I would say that they performed admirably.

One thing I like about fellow Steelers fans is that while we all know that we can't win the SB every year, we still expect to. It has it's pitfalls, but I'll take it over the mindset I see from the Bengals/Browns/Colts fans that surround me.

squidkid
04-10-2012, 04:51 PM
I'll start blaming losses on the defense when the offense decides to be #1 overall a couple years with top 5 finishes sprinkled in the other years.

grotonsteel
04-10-2012, 04:55 PM
I'll start blaming losses on the defense when the offense decides to be #1 overall a couple years with top 5 finishes sprinkled in the other years.

Let Steelers FO start spending money on Offense till then i will give Steelers offense a pass.

A team without LT and RT for past 2 years..nuff said.

birtikidis
04-10-2012, 05:01 PM
I'd love to see us use premium picks on the OL from now on. But think about it like this... How many pro-bowlers did we lose at various times the last 2 years on defense? Troy, Hampton, Deebo, Woodley, Smith (I know, not a pro-bowler but maybe the best 3-4 end ever). How many pro-bowlers did we lose on offense? Pouncey. I wouldn't say losing Colon was a big deal. he's not a big deal. he's adequate. Max played admirably last year, but not at a pro bowl level. I'd have no complaints if we went OG and then OT in this draft (actually I'd prefer it and NT in the third).

feltdizz
04-10-2012, 05:06 PM
Unthinkable late TD by Baltimore? That's the second year in a row Baltimore has won with a late drive on our D. I think those drives are a primary example of how predictable we've become on D.

The worst part was McFadden starting that first game after showing nothing in preseason. It was another case of a guy starting just because he "knows" our D even though he sucked and was coming off of injury.

I would love to see our O ranked #1 but let's be realistic. You have to draft O early and often if you want to get the O where the D is...

birtikidis
04-10-2012, 05:15 PM
I honestly think that outside of 2 spots on offense our problems on Offense have always been schematic (think bubble screen or reverse on 4th and long). And anyone on here can tell you that DJ is not an adequate lead blocker.

squidkid
04-10-2012, 05:16 PM
Let Steelers FO start spending money on Offense till then i will give Steelers offense a pass.

A team without LT and RT for past 2 years..nuff said.


actually, using the salaries from 2011, the top 20 salaries paid to steeler players last season ........11 were on defense, 9 on offense. when totalled up, the offense and defense were only a million or so apart...........hmmmmm

grotonsteel
04-10-2012, 05:20 PM
I'd love to see us use premium picks on the OL from now on. But think about it like this... How many pro-bowlers did we lose at various times the last 2 years on defense? Troy, Hampton, Deebo, Woodley, Smith (I know, not a pro-bowler but maybe the best 3-4 end ever). How many pro-bowlers did we lose on offense? Pouncey. I wouldn't say losing Colon was a big deal. he's not a big deal. he's adequate. Max played admirably last year, but not at a pro bowl level. I'd have no complaints if we went OG and then OT in this draft (actually I'd prefer it and NT in the third).

Injuries played a big part no doubt about it. If Kiesel and Hampton were not injured against Dnever i have no doubt Steelers would have won that game easily. But the thing is Steeler Nation treat Offense like a step child. Injuries on offensive side of the ball are always neglected.

Your OC and best O-lineman is injured or playing injured. QB is playing injured. Starting RB is injured. Your O-line keeping changing almost every week.

grotonsteel
04-10-2012, 05:24 PM
actually, using the salaries from 2011, the top 20 salaries paid to steeler players last season ........11 were on defense, 9 on offense. when totalled up, the offense and defense were only a million or so apart...........hmmmmm

What were the Top-10 players salary on Steelers team?

Steelers FO made some poor desicion on J Scott and Kemo. Waste of money.

squidkid
04-10-2012, 05:33 PM
What were the Top-10 players salary on Steelers team?

Steelers FO made some poor desicion on J Scott and Kemo. Waste of money.

well, what do you know. using the exact same site the top 10 salaries of the 2011 season went to 5 offensive players and 5 defensive players with the OFFENSIVE players making roughly 3 million than the defense.

birtikidis
04-10-2012, 05:38 PM
Injuries played a big part no doubt about it. If Kiesel and Hampton were not injured against Dnever i have no doubt Steelers would have won that game easily. But the thing is Steeler Nation treat Offense like a step child. Injuries on offensive side of the ball are always neglected.

Your OC and best O-lineman is injured or playing injured. QB is playing injured. Starting RB is injured. Your O-line keeping changing almost every week.

ahhh if only or OC HAD been injured.

RuthlessBurgher
04-10-2012, 06:37 PM
I would love to see our O ranked #1 but let's be realistic. You have to draft O early and often if you want to get the O where the D is...

First round picks under Colbert: Seven on offense (Burress, Simmons, Roethlisberger, Miller, Holmes, Mendenhall, Pouncey) and five on defense (Hampton, Polamalu, Timmons, Hood, Heyward).

Second round picks under Colbert: Four on offense (Smith, Randle El, Sweed, Gilbert) and six on defense (Bell, Jackson, Colclough, McFadden, Woodley, Worilds).

Third round picks under Colbert: Seven on offense (Starks, Essex, Reid, Spaeth, Urbik, Wallace, Sanders) and seven on defense (Clancy, Poteat, Hope, Smith, Davis, Lewis, Brown).

My math skills may not be top notch, but that would appear to be exactly 18 picks on offense and 18 picks on defense in the top three premium rounds of the draft.

Crash
04-10-2012, 06:49 PM
This writer better be careful or he may be flogged.

Oviedo
04-10-2012, 08:56 PM
Unthinkable late TD by Baltimore? That's the second year in a row Baltimore has won with a late drive on our D. I think those drives are a primary example of how predictable we've become on D.

The worst part was McFadden starting that first game after showing nothing in preseason. It was another case of a guy starting just because he "knows" our D even though he sucked and was coming off of injury.

I would love to see our O ranked #1 but let's be realistic. You have to draft O early and often if you want to get the O where the D is...

The predictability is the problem. Be honest. Those of us who watch ecvery game can't watch and know with an 80% accuracy when Woodley and/or Harrison are going to blitz. You don't think the opponents know too and that is why we have been susceptible to the short passes that eat us up year after year. Quote stats but how did we do against play off teams versus padding our stats against non-playoffs teams?

The problem is exactly as the article pointed out. We quit using inside blitzes from the ILBs so the oppoents know it is coming from the outside and they adjust their blocking scheemes. CB blitzes are forgotten way too often. The 3-4 depends on pressure and we don't get enough when it is just Woodley and Harrison over and over with the three DL "occupying" the OL.

Crash
04-10-2012, 09:16 PM
actually, using the salaries from 2011, the top 20 salaries paid to steeler players last season ........11 were on defense, 9 on offense. when totalled up, the offense and defense were only a million or so apart...........hmmmmm

List the top 10.

Shoe
04-11-2012, 12:27 AM
The Texans game was earlier in the season. We adjusted and moved on. IMO, you have to take the year as a whole and not get overly excited about the best or worst but see where you really stand. The statistics by and large speak the truth: the 2011 Steelers D was one of the best in the NFL.

Remember, at one point we were a game away from being a top seed. Had Baltimore not put that almost unthinkable last second TD on us, we probably would have had a bye and some time to heal a little. In other words, this team wasn't far off from another SB.

I am taking the year as a whole, and the Texans game highlighted it.
Remember--we were (as I remember) on a historic pace when it came to creating turnovers. Or should I say, NOT creating turnovers. Our takeaway total was morbidly low, especially considering our lofty defensive ranking. That's what we've always had, and it would bail us out of jams.

Against the Texans, they'd march up and down the field. And without the takeaways, we were powerless against them. It's not just "one game"... that game highlighted our deficiencies.

squidkid
04-11-2012, 10:25 AM
List the top 10.

what difference does it make?

Sugar
04-11-2012, 10:33 AM
I am taking the year as a whole, and the Texans game highlighted it.
Remember--we were (as I remember) on a historic pace when it came to creating turnovers. Or should I say, NOT creating turnovers. Our takeaway total was morbidly low, especially considering our lofty defensive ranking. That's what we've always had, and it would bail us out of jams.

Against the Texans, they'd march up and down the field. And without the takeaways, we were powerless against them. It's not just "one game"... that game highlighted our deficiencies.

I have to disagree, it was indeed just one game. Sure, we didn't get the takeaways we normally do. However, we played much of the year with the LB corps in disarray. Didn't Timmons play four different positions in four weeks? In fact, I think there may have been a game where he played three out of the four in the same game. Ostensibly, injuries aren't controllable so I can't get too upset about that.

Shoe
04-11-2012, 11:37 AM
I have to disagree, it was indeed just one game. Sure, we didn't get the takeaways we normally do. However, we played much of the year with the LB corps in disarray. Didn't Timmons play four different positions in four weeks? In fact, I think there may have been a game where he played three out of the four in the same game. Ostensibly, injuries aren't controllable so I can't get too upset about that.

Sure, we had injuries (like every other team does BTW). But I think using that as the reason is a scapegoat, and it hides our real defensive deficencies. In other words, put our best 11 out there today (and assuming good health), I suspect that we will see a similarly flawed defense--as opposed to the dominant unit we all would like to see (e.g. 2008 team).

Smith went down--we replaced him with a first-round pick (Hood).
Woodley went down--we replaced him with a second-round pick (Worilds).
Harrison went down--we replaced him with a first-round pick (Timmons).
To fill Timmons' slot, we plugged in a well-versed vet (Foote).

In other words, there was a reasonable expectation that our D produce. It was a chance for those (young) players to SHINE. And for the most part, they didn't. Hood did nothing to distinguish himself. Worilds proved himself capable, but not much else. Timmons went to a spot that a lot of us thought he'd actually thrive, and he turned out to just be serviceable. These are the things I'm talking about.

Citing injuries (again, that every NFL team faces) is a cop-out, to a degree. Especially considering that we had (what we thought or think) good prospect in the wings. It didn't work out that way.

steelz09
04-11-2012, 11:38 AM
Our D ranked well but if you watch certain games you can't help but see a few glaring holes.

The Steelers had to sell out to stop Ray Rice in several situations. That opened up play action and unibrow burned us.

The Steelers had to sell out to stop the Broncos running attack and we all know how that went.

The Steelers had a hard time stopping the Texans and I wasn't happy w/ the way the D played against the Rams. There are others as well.

I can't remember the last time this team had to sell out to stop the run. I also can't remember the last time the Steelers had to send the entire house to get pressure on the QB. That tells me that this team isn't winning one-on-one battles.

And every time the Steelers need a big play, our only hope is Polamalu. Harrison is second. This team is WAAYY too dependent on Polamalu's play. Granted Harrison and Woodley sometimes come up w/ the big play but they need to be more consistent. I'm still waiting for those "splash" plays from Timmons that Tomlin referenced when we drafted him.

BURGH86STEEL
04-11-2012, 11:47 AM
I don't believe this is a critical year for Lebeau. The defense generally played well last season. Lebeau may decide to retire after this season regardless of what happens.

feltdizz
04-11-2012, 12:52 PM
I don't think we had to sell out to stop the Bronco's... that was more of an spread-option problem and we weren't ready for it. Harrison was abused on a few plays and they didn't even block him.

I think the real issue is depending on Troy anytime we need a TO.

..and Ike Taylor SUCKS at locating the ball

ikestops85
04-11-2012, 01:22 PM
Granted we do not have a perfect defense and in this day and age where everything favors the offense we never will. I'm still waiting for someone to tell me who has had a better defense over the last 5 years. Please!! Anybody?

We can sit here and b!tch and moan all day about the flaws our defense has but when you arguably have the best in the league you just sound like a bunch of whiners. Last year many here were telling us how great Green Bays defense is and why can't LeBeau use rookies like Capers has done. What a crock of crap that turned out to be. Now I'm starting to here how great the Giants defense is and how we should go to the 4-3 just like them. Do you know how bad they played the first 3/4s of the year? How many times did Manning have to lead them back in the 4th qtr because the Giant defense had gotten them into such a deep hole? They got hot at the end of the season just like we did in 2005.

Some of the criticism of LeBeau is just crazy. We didn't send the inside backers often enough on a blitz ... Huh? Do ya think there might be a reason for that? Maybe the other team (yes, they have players also) kept a back and a tight end in to watch for that. Maybe it was because we didn't have the correct personnel on the field to make it work. Timmons and Farrior are great at that blitz package but Timmons played half the season on the outside and Farrior only played about half of his normal plays and he has lost a step.

Then I hear stuff like he shouldn't have his defense depend so much on Troy. WTF? You have one of the greatest defensive players in the league on your team but we shouldn't use him to his maximum ability. Are you folks crazy? I guess Baltimore should start playing Ed Reed up at the line of scrimmage so they don't get so used to him playing center field and making interceptions. Yes, when Troy is out it hurts our defense. The same as it hurts San Frans defense when Willis is out or Detroits defense isn't so good with Suh suspended. To not use every bit of Troy's smarts and athletic ability is ludicrous and I can't believe anyone would even suggest it.

Rant over.

Shoe
04-11-2012, 02:05 PM
You're missing the point on Polamalu.

No one is saying we shouldn't let him do what he does best. People are just saying that he is seemingly our only chance at creating a big-play on D. Completely different argument.

You also made a point about unrealistic expectations (about "dominant" defenses being antiquated notion). 2008 wasn't that long ago, and that defense was dominant. The 49ers were close to that level last year. There's still a solid place for defenses to excel in the NFL.

And for the record, I'm not one of those who always bemoans LeBeau's "10-yard cushions" or other stuff. I respect the coach completely. But this is a big year for a 70-something year old coach, coming off a lackluster (for him) season. Another year like that or worse (which is actually quite likely, if you consider defensive ranking), and you know people will be saying the game has passed him by.

feltdizz
04-11-2012, 02:17 PM
Sorry Ike but I disagree.. Willis was out a few games and the 49ers D was pretty impressive without him. Ed Reed doesn't play on the LOS because he doesn't have to..

The real issue is Troy in 2009 I believe... missed 3/4 of the season with an injury and we didn't have an INT until he returned. Our D can't create TO's... and we are pretty horrible on 3rd and take your pick.

I feel better when it's 3rd and 3 then when it's 3rd and 9. Just feels like our D isn't doing what we are used to... it happens but it's Pittsburgh. Our D should always be dominant IMO.

BURGH86STEEL
04-11-2012, 03:24 PM
The Steelers defense gave up less points then any team in the league last season. Out side of creating more turnovers, I don't know how it can get any better then being number 1 in ppg. I believe the pressure, sack numbers, and turnovers would had been better if Harrison and Woodley didn't miss several games. I believe if those two players can perform up to the level of expectation, those numbers will increase this season.

Sugar
04-11-2012, 04:53 PM
The Steelers defense gave up less points then any team in the league last season. Out side of creating more turnovers, I don't know how it can get any better then being number 1 in ppg. I believe the pressure, sack numbers, and turnovers would had been better if Harrison and Woodley didn't miss several games. I believe if those two players can perform up to the level of expectation, those numbers will increase this season.

Isn't that of first importance for any Defense- keep the other team from scoring?? Field position, splash plays, turnovers, etc are all cherries on the sundae (maybe chocolate syrup and whipped cream too). Let's not forget the #1 thing a D needs to do.

Man, are we spoiled...

ikestops85
04-11-2012, 05:07 PM
Sorry Ike but I disagree.. Willis was out a few games and the 49ers D was pretty impressive without him. Ed Reed doesn't play on the LOS because he doesn't have to..

The real issue is Troy in 2009 I believe... missed 3/4 of the season with an injury and we didn't have an INT until he returned. Our D can't create TO's... and we are pretty horrible on 3rd and take your pick.

I feel better when it's 3rd and 3 then when it's 3rd and 9. Just feels like our D isn't doing what we are used to... it happens but it's Pittsburgh. Our D should always be dominant IMO.

So I think what you are saying is aside from Troy we don't have very good players on D. I'm just wondering how that is DL's fault. Face it, our defense is good when we consistently put a lot of pressure on the QB. When we do that QBs make mistakes and we get the splash plays. We don't have DBs who step in front of receivers and intercept the ball. We have guys who sit in the zone and pick off errant passes the QB makes. No pressure, no errant passes, therefore no turnovers.

The reason we didn't get the pressure on the QBs last year I believe is because we started out the year with Harrison hurt and then midway through the year Woodley got hurt. Those 2 guys are the ones who get after the QB. With those 2 guys healthy, Timmons playing his natural position and Heyward getting more playing time should help us in this regard. We will recover nicely on the turnover situation next year.

Who knows ... maybe the offense will even be good. :stirpot

Crash
04-11-2012, 05:17 PM
We don't really blitz anymore. It makes me laugh when I hear players and media say "I wonder what defenses Dick LeBeau will dial up next".

If anything, much like our offense, our defensive scheme is predictable and stale. The only blitz we really do is anymore is Timmons or Farrior up the middle.

Unless it's a 1st down play in the red zone we rarely send a corner or Clark. Troy pretty much has free reign to do what he wants when healthy. That's the only real issue teams have to game plan against: Where is Troy?