If found return to
100 Art Rooney Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15212
If found return to
100 Art Rooney Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15212
and hurry, we need them returned by this Sunday...
I told anyone who would listen that the loss of Farrior was much bigger than we knew.
Farrior was the complete package. He was a leading tackler a zillion times, called the plays, and was clearly the guy in the D, on and off the field. The loss of a guy like that is hard to replace. I love Foote, but Farrior had it all.
Better but not totally back yet. Any news on Troy?
Any sightings yet????:shock::shock::shock:
A brief glimpse of our D was seen last week, will it show up again this week?http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/ar..._hyde/12067699Quote:
Home » AFC » The Steelers defense: Jekyll or Hyde?
The Steelers defense: Jekyll or Hyde?
Posted by Chris Patterson
To the surprise of many, the Pittsbugh Steelers held the Cincinnati Bengals to only one long drive. It came right at the beginning of the game and seemed to portend issues for the rest of the game. At the end of the night, though, the defense had given up around 180 total yards. After half-time the Bengals only accumulated two first downs. This isn’t a team that is exactly offensively inept. Andy Dalton has averaged around 280 passing yards per game and AJ Green is being talked about as being among the best wide receivers in football. However, Dalton was held to 105 yards passing with Green only catching one pass. That one pass was a touchdown, unfortunately. Ike Taylor, who had been highly criticized coming into the game (and rightfully so) only gave up that one completion, and even then he had nearly perfect coverage. On some plays you don’t screw up, the other team just makes a perfect play. This was an example of that.
So, the Steelers defense held the fort, giving up 17 points, of which seven were gift-wrapped by the offense, to a team averaging around 23 points. This would be the Jekyll of the Steeler’s defense coming through. They were pressuring Dalton all night (who did not have many sacks against only because he was getting rid of the ball in about two seconds) and competing for every play. While the run defense looked a bit porous at times, they were able to sure that up as well. This is the same defense that showed up against the New York Jets and, to a lesser extent, Philadelphia. Confusing, quick, powerful and overwhelming.
Unfortunately, the Steelers version of Mr. Hyde has reared its head on several occasions this season, too. Most notably giving up over 30 points to a very mediocre (that’s putting it kindly) Oakland team, and letting Tennessee and Denver take over in the fourth quarter of their games. In the games featuring Mr. Hyde the Steelers are 0-3. When Dr. Jekyll takes the field the team is 3-0. It’s not a hard formula to crack…when the defense is giving up lots of yards and big plays late, the team loses. When they are overwhelming and stifling they tend to put up a win.
Disclaimer: A certain amount of criticism can be placed on the offense, for certain. But the offense has been more consistent to this point of the year even though it seems as though the offense is only a couple of plays per game from blowing this wide open.
So, what is causing such a change of pace for the defense. Why does the defense show up one week ready to dominate and the next looking like a unit ready to break? There are a lot of factors throughout this question, and the answers will probably reveal a lot about what can be expected of them for the rest of the season. Between old age, injuries and unique situations, there seems to be some explanation for most of the issues plaguing the defense.
As to injuries and old age, this can go hand in hand many times. Either players aren’t on the field, or when they are they are they’re not at 100%. In the three losses the team was without Ryan Clark (not injury related, but the result is the same) and James Harrison. In addition, Casey Hampton was playing on an ACL he had torn in Denver eight months previous. Even if Hampton was healthy enough to play, there is no way he could have been at his normal strength level. Against Tennessee and Oakland the Steelers were missing Troy Polamalu. James Harrison also missed the Oakland game and Lamar Woodley missed the Tennessee game. That’s three of the Steelers best four players (Timmons is in there somewhere as well) missing games. Also, until Tennessee, Casey Hampton seemed to be a shell of his former self, often getting pushed around by a single blocker as opposed to the double teams he normally required. In the Tennessee game he started looking a bit better and against Cincinnati he was sometimes drawing double teams and being a bit more disruptive than he had in previous games.
These injuries and old age lead to two things; players whose stamina is not at its peak and a lack of depth leading to starters playing more than they should, and backups playing more than they should as well. That would certainly make sense for why the later in the game it is, the more porous the Steelers defense looks.
However, I think the injuries and old age are playing less of a factor and the bigger factor has been unique situations (sometimes the injuries and old age goes with this).
In Denver the Steelers faced off in Mile High against a highly motivated Peyton Manning, an ultra-competitive, ultra-talented quarterback whose ability to play was being questioned. The Steelers took the field without James Harrison and Ryan Clark, two guys who could have made a big impact. Realistically, Peyton Manning was not going to lose that game.
In Oakland, the Steelers traveled to the West Coast. This is something the Steelers have not done well with in their history. It doesn’t make a lot of sense, really. There were no truly mitigating circumstances in this game beyond that. However, given the Steelers inability to win when traveling to Oakland regardless of the quality of the Raiders team, there must be some reason this team struggles so mightily playing in Oakland more often than not (and when they don’t struggle, they blow them out). This game was more likely a combination of the old age and injuries.
Against Tennessee I think the combination of injuries and old age on a shortened week caused the majority of the defense’s problems. Give an older team less time to heal, and this is the result.
This isn’t to make excuses for the Steelers. Being injured and old is not an excuse, it’s a fault. The Steelers inability to adjust to certain situations is not an excuse, it’s a fault. However, if these can be pointed to as the driving causes of their overall failings, it should help to determine if the team is on pace for another good season or if they are likely going to flail from here on out. Overall, the Steelers defensive results will probably continue to improve overall. It’s unlikely Oakland would score 34 on them again. However, this defense is filled with injury liabilities: Troy Polamalu, Lamar Woodley, Ryan Clark and to a lesser extent James Harrison are all injury liabilities. If the Steelers defense fields an entirely healthy roster ev
ON PRO FOOTBALLSteelers’ Defense Keeps Anything From Spoiling Time on Road
By JUDY BATTISTA
Published: November 4, 2012
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The Pittsburgh Steelers’ long Sunday began with an early-morning trip to the airport and then a late-night flight home. It was the middle of the day, bogged by questionable officiating and a sometimes stagnant offense, that must have seemed interminable until the Steelers uncovered an identity that made even a laborious travel itinerary worthwhile.
The missteps and mistakes — by offense and officials, even by coaches — could not undo the best effort the Steelers’ erratic defense has had, and against the best opponent it has faced. In a 24-20 victory over the Giants, the Steelers channeled their 1970s selves, with a running game — behind the third-string running back Isaac Redman — gashing the Giants’ defense for 158 yards and the Steelers’ defense holding the Giants to less than 200 yards of offense.
“Hopefully, this was a big step for us in being the kind of team we want to be,” Coach Mike Tomlin said.
The Steelers might be tempted to remember this game for a series of confounding second-quarter calls by the referee Bill Leavy and his crew that led directly to 14 points for the Giants in less than two minutes. (This was the same Bill Leavy who admitted he botched two calls in Super Bowl XL, which the Steelers won over Seattle.)
They will wonder how Keenan Lewis could have been called for pass interference when he barely touched Hakeem Nicks 41 yards downfield. Or how Ryan Clark could be called for a personal foul for a hit to the head of Victor Cruz when Cruz, it was announced minutes later, had sustained bruised ribs on the play. Or how Ben Roethlisberger could have been ruled to have fumbled a ball that was still clearly in his hand as he concluded his throwing motion, leading to a recovery for a touchdown by Michael Boley. Asked what he saw on the Roethlisberger fumble, an angry Tomlin replied, “I can’t figure out some of this stuff now.” In the locker room, the team owner Dan Rooney laughed and said, “Don’t get me fined.”
The Steelers have felt in recent years that the N.F.L. is out to get them. The hard-hitting linebacker James Harrison, they thought, has been made the poster boy for the league’s crackdown on hits to the head, and a 2011 rule change that allows the league to fine organizations whose players are repeatedly disciplined for improper hits was widely perceived as having been directed at the Steelers, among a handful of other teams. So as soon as the drip-drip-drip of Sunday’s calls began — all of which the N.F.L.’s former head of officiating Mike Pereira indicated on Twitter he disagreed with — the conspiracy theories took root.
But the notion the league wanted the Giants to win as a balm for the wounds of Hurricane Sandy didn’t account for one thing. The Steelers’ defense, which had struggled to close out opponents earlier in the season, has improved in the last three games.
On Sunday, they generated more pressure than they have since safety Troy Polamalu went out, and their secondary covered deep downfield to take away the big plays that have become a cornerstone of the Giants’ offense. The Steelers’ defense is older and slower and injured, but in the first quarter, Ike Taylor intercepted Eli Manning, just the fourth interception for the Steelers all season.
The Steelers got no points from that drive, though. Nor did they get points from three drives that the Steelers started in Giants territory, including one in the fourth quarter that began with a punt return that started a drive at the Giants’ 12 and ended with a failed fake field-goal attempt that took the ball out of Roethlisberger’s hands and put it into kicker Shaun Suisham’s. It was the kind of coaching decision that might have unraveled the defense earlier in the season. But Tomlin eschewed a try on a long fourth-and-1 in part because he trusted his defense to hold the Giants even if the Steelers got no points.
“I took a shot, and the guys backed up my play,” Tomlin said of his decision. “They overcome bad coaching sometimes. That’s on me.”
The rest, though, was on the defense. It limited the Giants to one touchdown and two field goals, including one on a drive that began at the Steelers’ 33 after Roethlisberger was intercepted. When Roethlisberger and Redman ignited for 14 unanswered points in the fourth, the Giants were so out of a rhythm that even what have become predictable fourth-quarter comebacks were out of reach. Instead, the Steelers forced the Giants into three straight three-and-outs. In all, the Giants converted just 2 of 10 third-down attempts.
“We’ve been getting hurt on big plays, but lately we haven’t been giving up big plays,” linebacker LaMarr Woodley said. “Our history has been we’ve been losing games in the fourth quarter. Getting after the run, the cornerbacks’ doing a great job on coverage, pressure on the quarterback, getting off the field on third down — I think it’s probably our best game.”
This is the vision of how the Steelers are supposed to play.
Roethlisberger has labeled Todd Haley’s offense “dink and dunk,” and for much of Sunday, it looked more like dink and slump. But it was a pass of just a few yards over the middle that Mike Wallace turned into a 51-yard touchdown that turned the game, and the Steelers finished with 349 yards of offense and a time of possession 10 minutes 30 seconds longer than the Giants’. The defense did the rest. It was ball control for the new age, and that is the kind of team that Tomlin wants the Steelers to be. At 5-3, they are a game behind the Baltimore Ravens in the A.F.C. Central, with both meetings against their fiercest rival still to come.
In the locker room, Tomlin barked about the “terrible” officiating, but then he turned to other team officials and laughed. “Let’s pack up and make this the shortest road trip in N.F.L. history.” And for the Steelers, one of the most promising