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Djfan
09-03-2012, 11:06 PM
Concerns: O line and Dbacks. Even though we have improved there, it doesn't make me brag to other teams.

Strengths: Passing game and D line. They just look good and deep.

hawaiiansteel
09-03-2012, 11:19 PM
Strengths: Passing game and D line. They just look good and deep.

Source: Depth Along Steelers Defensive Line is a Concern

by Neal Coolong on Aug 23, 2012

http://cdn0.sbnation.com/entry_photo_images/5141904/130154189_extra_large.jpg

Probably the most underrated positional unit the Pittsburgh Steelers have had in their run of success over the last decade has been their defensive line.

DEs Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel flanked NT Casey Hampton and back-up NT Chris Hoke, and all of them contributed extensively to a run of run-stopping dominance in that time.

Smith and Hoke are retired, Hampton is probably on his last leg (pun intended), and while Keisel still plays at a high level, the jury is still out on DE Ziggy Hood. The spotlight will be on him this season, heading into the critical fourth year of his five-year rookie contract.

Cameron Heyward, the back-up at both defensive end spots, is more of a concern. With Keisel's age and contract next season, the Steelers drafted Heyward to eventually be groomed into a starter, but thus far in 2012, he hasn't showed he's capable of playing extensive snaps, let alone start.

I spoke with a well-placed source who said the Steelers are disappointed in Heyward's development to this point, and his propensity to fight. Heyward got in three altercations during training camp, two against rookie OL Kelvin Beachum and one against LG Willie Colon.

Heyward, through two preseason games, hasn't played with the starting group, and hasn't really flashed anything going against the 2s, either. Heyward is gifted athletically, and his strength and quickness are apparent, but he looks slow to react to the play after the snap. HIs athleticism doesn't help much if he isn't anticipating what the offense is doing.

While he is young, the Steelers' alleged disappointment in the second-year player is understandable. Keisel has been injured multiple times the last two seasons, and defensive line coach Johnny MItchell rotates the linemen as often as the depth of the team lets them.

By this account, it doesn't seem like depth within the defensive line is an advantage the Steelers currently enjoy.

Another point of frustration the source noted was with rookie NT Alameda Ta'amu, of whom the source said "doesn't get it." That's not necessarily a bad thing, but Hampton is not only just returning from a torn ACL, he's hinting at having had elbow surgery as well. NT Steve McLendon has proved to be at worst a serviceable back-up to Hampton, but between a second-year defensive end who's frustrating coaches on his lack of progress and a rookie who, by the source's account, isn't ready to see the field, one injury could create a problem within a unit that once prided itself on being one of the best in the NFL.

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/8/23/3262338/steelers-preseason-depth-chart-defensive-line-cameron-heyward-alameda-taamu

Djfan
09-03-2012, 11:29 PM
Are you going to believe one "Mr. Neal Coolong" or me?!?!?

NJ-STEELER
09-04-2012, 12:53 AM
Source: Depth Along Steelers Defensive Line is a Concern

by Neal Coolong on Aug 23, 2012

http://cdn0.sbnation.com/entry_photo_images/5141904/130154189_extra_large.jpg

Probably the most underrated positional unit the Pittsburgh Steelers have had in their run of success over the last decade has been their defensive line.

DEs Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel flanked NT Casey Hampton and back-up NT Chris Hoke, and all of them contributed extensively to a run of run-stopping dominance in that time.

Smith and Hoke are retired, Hampton is probably on his last leg (pun intended), and while Keisel still plays at a high level, the jury is still out on DE Ziggy Hood. The spotlight will be on him this season, heading into the critical fourth year of his five-year rookie contract.

Cameron Heyward, the back-up at both defensive end spots, is more of a concern. With Keisel's age and contract next season, the Steelers drafted Heyward to eventually be groomed into a starter, but thus far in 2012, he hasn't showed he's capable of playing extensive snaps, let alone start.

I spoke with a well-placed source who said the Steelers are disappointed in Heyward's development to this point, and his propensity to fight. Heyward got in three altercations during training camp, two against rookie OL Kelvin Beachum and one against LG Willie Colon.

Heyward, through two preseason games, hasn't played with the starting group, and hasn't really flashed anything going against the 2s, either. Heyward is gifted athletically, and his strength and quickness are apparent, but he looks slow to react to the play after the snap. HIs athleticism doesn't help much if he isn't anticipating what the offense is doing.

While he is young, the Steelers' alleged disappointment in the second-year player is understandable. Keisel has been injured multiple times the last two seasons, and defensive line coach Johnny MItchell rotates the linemen as often as the depth of the team lets them.

By this account, it doesn't seem like depth within the defensive line is an advantage the Steelers currently enjoy.

Another point of frustration the source noted was with rookie NT Alameda Ta'amu, of whom the source said "doesn't get it." That's not necessarily a bad thing, but Hampton is not only just returning from a torn ACL, he's hinting at having had elbow surgery as well. NT Steve McLendon has proved to be at worst a serviceable back-up to Hampton, but between a second-year defensive end who's frustrating coaches on his lack of progress and a rookie who, by the source's account, isn't ready to see the field, one injury could create a problem within a unit that once prided itself on being one of the best in the NFL.

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/8/23/3262338/steelers-preseason-depth-chart-defensive-line-cameron-heyward-alameda-taamu

thats not too encouraging being that we spent 2 #1 picks in 3 years to shore that area up

could the reason they are 'not getting it' be cause they come from an attacking college defense and come here and have to learn how to play 2 gap and take up space for the LBs ?

so, why are we spending high picks (higher pedigree) to only hold OL up?

fordfixer
09-04-2012, 12:54 AM
What are My concerns?
how am I going to afford to get to New Orleans to watch the Steelers win #7 ?????????????????

Discipline of Steel
09-04-2012, 07:05 AM
I am concerned the replacement refs will manage the games unfairly and make too many retarded calls against players playing too hard. I am also concerend Herr Goodell will continue his crusade against the Steelers and pussify the sport beyond watchability.

steelblood
09-04-2012, 07:14 AM
#1. Injuries
A. Ben
B. Harrison
C. Troy

DukieBoy
09-04-2012, 07:19 AM
concern - injuries. Strength - no glaring weakness, offense by haley and ben.

Oviedo
09-04-2012, 07:19 AM
Strengths:

1. The offense will finally be stronger under Haley
2. WRs/TE
3. DL-will be better than many think. IMO the most improved unit on the defense, but unfortunately will not be utilized to fully take advantage of that.
4. Head Coach--IMO one of the Top 3 in the league.

Concerns:

1. LBs-former strength is now a serious concern with no depth and injury issues. Bad news for a 3-4 team that relies on LBs.
2. Kicking-Can't believe Suisham was the best available. Really? Will cost us a game or two.

phillyesq
09-04-2012, 10:00 AM
Ovi - good point on the kicking game. Hadn't thought too much about that.

Carter looks to be much better than he was last year, but my biggest concern at this point is the health of Harrison. The offensive line is also a bit of a concern. I think swapping out Kemo with Colon should be an improvement, and hopefully Gilbert takes a step forward, but the line still has a way to progress.

I think Heath and the WRs should be a strength, as well as some of the obvious - Ben, Troy, etc.

Slapstick
09-04-2012, 12:02 PM
I don't know what games Mr. Neal Coolong was watching, but Heyward has looked pretty disruptive in the snaps he played last year in live games...

Also, if Ta'amu isn't "getting it", why is he on the roster? He must be getting something...4th round picks aren't exactly locks to make the team...

Oviedo
09-04-2012, 01:22 PM
I don't know what games Mr. Neal Coolong was watching, but Heyward has looked pretty disruptive in the snaps he played last year in live games...

Also, if Ta'amu isn't "getting it", why is he on the roster? He must be getting something...4th round picks aren't exactly locks to make the team...

Heyward was hot and cold last year as expected by a rookie especially in our system since we require them to play very different than they typically did in college. T-mu is just going through the same learning process.

Coolong may watch games but that has nothing to do with what he writes. He writes what he thinks will get enough "buzz" to have people read what he writes. Being accurate has nothing to do with what he writes. He is simply another version of Madden but less obnoxious.

fezziwig
09-04-2012, 01:53 PM
Worried Coulmn:

Kicker/Punter
Coverage team
Can Foote fill the shoe's of Farrior ( no pun intended )
Harrison probably won't be the force we need to make our defense click
Troy....I think he has lost some desire/ lost a step or something.
I don't know if Ziggy has come of age yet.
Can Lebeau figure out how to stop the run or get ff the field on third down ?

Positive Column:

I think our o-line will be better
I like our young runners that want to prove they belong
Our receiveing group has to be the best in the NFL
Keenan Lewis should be a plus
McCleddon given the chance should add to the d-line
Rainy on special teams is huge
Haley has to be better than Arians.


Side bar: Since I made the comment about Arians I quickly went back to the Steelers/Eagles game when the Eagles treated Ben like chum.
Arians made no adjustments to help out his friend the quarterback at all that day and if that was the only reason to get rid of Arians then so be it but sadly, there were many reasons to get rid of Arians. So to continue my last positive line in my positive column.........Haley might make our offense the lights out show many of us thought it could be.

Oviedo
09-04-2012, 02:03 PM
Worried Coulmn:

Kicker/Punter
Coverage team
Can Foote fill the shoe's of Farrior ( no pun intended )
Harrison probably won't be the force we need to make our defense click
Troy....I think he has lost some desire/ lost a step or something.
I don't know if Ziggy has come of age yet.
Can Lebeau figure out how to stop the run or get ff the field on third down ?

Positive Column:

I think our o-line will be better
I like our young runners that want to prove they belong
Our receiveing group has to be the best in the NFL
Keenan Lewis should be a plus
McCleddon given the chance should add to the d-line
Rainy on special teams is huge
Haley has to be better than Arians.


Side bar: Since I made the comment about Arians I quickly went back to the Steelers/Eagles game when the Eagles treated Ben like chum.
Arians made no adjustments to help out his friend the quarterback at all that day and if that was the only reason to get rid of Arians then so be it but sadly, there were many reasons to get rid of Arians. So to continue my last positive line in my positive column.........Haley might make our offense the lights out show many of us thought it could be.


It's only preseason but Ben looked an awful lot like chum when we played the Eagles.

Arians never had a good OL and it just made the result of his stubborness and unwillingness to adapt worse. Haley has a chance if the OL improves. If not, more of the same.

fezziwig
09-04-2012, 02:09 PM
But Arians never added more protection, tried any draw plays, quick passes or anything to take the heat off of Ben.
I've heard a couple of teams laugh at the Steelers and their arrogance or stupidity on how they don't protect Ben when there is a constant jail break at getting to Ben. And I agree.
I'm not saying Haley will be Gods gift but I'm sure he is willing to try.

RuthlessBurgher
09-04-2012, 03:13 PM
It's only preseason but Ben looked an awful lot like chum when we played the Eagles.

The last time Ben looked like chum vs. the Eagles, we won the Super Bowl that year.

Oviedo
09-04-2012, 03:15 PM
The last time Ben looked like chum vs. the Eagles, we won the Super Bowl that year.

If you are selling, I'm buying that!!!!

fezziwig
09-04-2012, 03:42 PM
That fact hasn't escape my memory. So if we allow Ben to get beat, drug through the mud, broken nose, mugged up and down the field then, we should have won Super Bowls each season Ben has played.

Sugar
09-04-2012, 04:01 PM
My biggest concerns have to do with health and the OL on Offense. It would be great for these guys to be able to actually gel as a unit. On Defense, I'm concerned about the LB corps and the turnstyle that we are starting to see there. I'm pretty confident that if our starters are healthy and ready to go that we'll be in good shape. However...

Oviedo
09-04-2012, 04:06 PM
That fact hasn't escape my memory. So if we allow Ben to get beat, drug through the mud, broken nose, mugged up and down the field then, we should have won Super Bowls each season Ben has played.

Maybe Ben is better when he play mad.

Sugar
09-04-2012, 05:29 PM
Maybe Ben is better when he play mad.

He's like Rocky or the Incredible Hulk!

fezziwig
09-04-2012, 05:53 PM
I'd hate to be around if Bruce Banner ran out of toilet paper in the stall next to me.

Lonbull
09-04-2012, 06:14 PM
Biggest Concern :

Our Running Back Situation -

(imo) Mendenhall comes in recovering from an injury.

Isaac Redman - he takes too many hits. I REALLY hate to knock a guy for fighting for every inch on the field, but sometimes it really is better just to go down. If Mendenhall takes 2 hits for 5 yards, Redman takes 2 hits for 5 yards and 4 additional hits for an extra yard or two....is it worth it??

The only "healthy" guys we have coming in are a relatively unproven Dwyer, a relative rookie coming off of an injury Baron Batch and rookie Chris Rainey.

Too many health and unproven issues for my taste - however it's a new playbook and any of these guys may be an improved option from what we've seen in the recent past.


2nd biggest concern is:

Linebackers -

I still think Timmons hasn't become the playmaker the Steelers had once envisioned.
Foote -- is solid, but a step backwards from what Farrior once was.
Woodley - Health issues
Harrison - Bigger Health Issues.

L.B.

pfelix73
09-04-2012, 09:05 PM
My concern is the Defense. Specifically- LB's and the CB's. I just hope we'll be able to get off the field on 3rd downs.....

hawaiiansteel
09-05-2012, 01:10 AM
My biggest concerns have to do with health and the OL on Offense. It would be great for these guys to be able to actually gel as a unit. On Defense, I'm concerned about the LB corps and the turnstyle that we are starting to see there. I'm pretty confident that if our starters are healthy and ready to go that we'll be in good shape. However...

:Agree

the main thing that concerns me about this team is how healthy we can stay. if we continue to get decimated by injuries this could be a long season but if we can just stay healthy another Super Bowl run is very possible.

Discipline of Steel
09-05-2012, 07:03 AM
Biggest Concern :


Isaac Redman - he takes too many hits. I REALLY hate to knock a guy for fighting for every inch on the field, but sometimes it really is better just to go down. If Mendenhall takes 2 hits for 5 yards, Redman takes 2 hits for 5 yards and 4 additional hits for an extra yard or two....is it worth it??

L.B.

Jeez-O-Pete are you serious?! Nothing personal Lon but just listen to yourself. You would prefer Redman to just lay down after the first touch? This injury prone thing has gone a little too far. Running backs have been resisting tackles since the inception of the game...and applauded for it. He is who he is and I for one am glad he shows a little spirit. Remember that short pass where he fought and scored the winning TD against the Ravens? Gets the troops fired up. Lets not succumb to the dark cloud called Goodell which currently hangs over our sport. I urge you to rethink your position.

Oviedo
09-05-2012, 07:53 AM
Jeez-O-Pete are you serious?! Nothing personal Lon but just listen to yourself. You would prefer Redman to just lay down after the first touch? This injury prone thing has gone a little too far. Running backs have been resisting tackles since the inception of the game...and applauded for it. He is who he is and I for one am glad he shows a little spirit. Remember that short pass where he fought and scored the winning TD against the Ravens? Gets the troops fired up. Lets not succumb to the dark cloud called Goodell which currently hangs over our sport. I urge you to rethink your position.

I think Lon was talking about playing smart and knowing when you aren't going to get anymore yards and avoiding unnecessary hits. It is a fine line like you describe between realizing you've been stopped and breaking free for a big play. However, the former is much more the case than the latter.

Slapstick
09-05-2012, 08:56 AM
Jeez-O-Pete are you serious?! Nothing personal Lon but just listen to yourself. You would prefer Redman to just lay down after the first touch? This injury prone thing has gone a little too far. Running backs have been resisting tackles since the inception of the game...and applauded for it. He is who he is and I for one am glad he shows a little spirit. Remember that short pass where he fought and scored the winning TD against the Ravens? Gets the troops fired up. Lets not succumb to the dark cloud called Goodell which currently hangs over our sport. I urge you to rethink your position.

I agree...every player needs to go balls out on every play...

Slapstick
09-05-2012, 08:58 AM
I think Lon was talking about playing smart and knowing when you aren't going to get anymore yards and avoiding unnecessary hits. It is a fine line like you describe between realizing you've been stopped and breaking free for a big play. However, the former is much more the case than the latter.

Isaac Redman being injury prone because he takes too many hits is an urban myth that has been perpetuated on this board for some reason...

What injuries has he had? Shoulder injuries? Concussions? Broken collarbones? Nope...

A groin and an ankle injury...things that come from actually running and not from taking big hits...

Oviedo
09-05-2012, 09:06 AM
Isaac Redman being injury prone because he takes too many hits is an urban myth that has been perpetuated on this board for some reason...

What injuries has he had? Shoulder injuries? Concussions? Broken collarbones? Nope...

A groin and an ankle injury...things that come from actually running and not from taking big hits...

I don't think anyone has said he has a history of injuries, I think what has been said is that his running style makes injuries more likely. I think if you look at RBs around the league that position in general has a high number of injuries each year. Redman has just caused concern to many (me included) when he had trouble making it through Preseason healthy.

Slapstick
09-05-2012, 09:11 AM
I don't think anyone has said he has a history of injuries, I think what has been said is that his running style makes injuries more likely. I think if you look at RBs around the league that position in general has a high number of injuries each year. Redman has just caused concern to many (me included) when he had trouble making it through Preseason healthy.

Since running generally involves using your legs and feet, I tend to agree with you...:-P


Didn't Dwyer break his foot last year? Mendenhall tear his ACL?

They are RBs...stuff happens...they should still go balls out...

NJ-STEELER
09-05-2012, 06:47 PM
there's plenty of big RBs who had a style that can get them injured.

deosnt mean they cant be productive for a few years if not many

Discipline of Steel
09-05-2012, 07:31 PM
Im sure the Oilers regretted drafting Earl Campbell when Donnie Shell put him out of the league with that hit to the ribs. That was definately not a 'running' injury.

aggiebones
09-06-2012, 12:10 PM
I'd rather have a hard runner that gains 4 yards every play versus the guy that pops a 25 yarder every 25 carries, but loses yards on 10 of those carries and gets 3 or less on the rest. Yea the hard runner might not last more than 6-7 years, but I don't want to have some dude lingering around playing soft for 10 y

Lonbull
09-06-2012, 05:38 PM
Jeez-O-Pete are you serious?! Nothing personal Lon but just listen to yourself. You would prefer Redman to just lay down after the first touch? This injury prone thing has gone a little too far. Running backs have been resisting tackles since the inception of the game...and applauded for it. He is who he is and I for one am glad he shows a little spirit. Remember that short pass where he fought and scored the winning TD against the Ravens? Gets the troops fired up. Lets not succumb to the dark cloud called Goodell which currently hangs over our sport. I urge you to rethink your position.


I think Lon was talking about playing smart and knowing when you aren't going to get anymore yards and avoiding unnecessary hits. It is a fine line like you describe between realizing you've been stopped and breaking free for a big play. However, the former is much more the case than the latter.


Oviedo - has clarified my point a little better. In no way am I saying don't play "hard" but you can also play smart at the same time. Hines Ward played hard his entire 14 year career -- but he also knew when to fight for extra yardage (like a Playoff Game against the Ravens) --- and when it's okay to just go down because the reality is you're doing nothing more than being stood up and waiting for the opposing team to throw extra hits on you --- hits that are more likely to cause injury.

Perhaps the bigger person to "blame" would have been Mike Tomlin. If your starting running back (Mendenhall) is going to be out for a significant portion of the season (which now it seems like he won't miss much at all) --- than yes I think it would be wise to tell Redman (your probable starting running back) not to treat every down like it's a 3rd and goal in a Playoff game against the Ravens. Just be smart.

Jerome Bettis gave his teams 10 seasons of 200+ carries out of a 13 year career --- in no way am I suggesting he played "soft" --- I am suggesting that Redman runs beyond his limits (for a starting Running Back), and I doubt he could continue his style of rushing for 200+ carries for many seasons.

L.B.

Discipline of Steel
09-06-2012, 06:00 PM
Oviedo - has clarified my point a little better. In no way am I saying don't play "hard" but you can also play smart at the same time. Hines Ward played hard his entire 14 year career -- but he also knew when to fight for extra yardage (like a Playoff Game against the Ravens) --- and when it's okay to just go down because the reality is you're doing nothing more than being stood up and waiting for the opposing team to throw extra hits on you --- hits that are more likely to cause injury.

Perhaps the bigger person to "blame" would have been Mike Tomlin. If your starting running back (Mendenhall) is going to be out for a significant portion of the season (which now it seems like he won't miss much at all) --- than yes I think it would be wise to tell Redman (your probable starting running back) not to treat every down like it's a 3rd and goal in a Playoff game against the Ravens. Just be smart.

Jerome Bettis gave his teams 10 seasons of 200+ carries out of a 13 year career --- in no way am I suggesting he played "soft" --- I am suggesting that Redman runs beyond his limits (for a starting Running Back), and I doubt he could continue his style of rushing for 200+ carries for many seasons.

L.B.

Point well taken Lon. Now to carry this discussion a little further...
The Steeler RB situation has continued to evolve recently for the good. Redman is no longer 'the man' like he was at the beginning of training camp, with Mendy and Dwyer breathing down his neck. Its back to competition between the three and i suspect he will want to lay his licks while he has the chance. If he was to become the unquestioned #1 again, then maybe he could tone it down a touch but i expect his competitive drive wont allow that and he will last however long he lasts.