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Thread: Training Camp: Defense

  1. #1
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    Training Camp: Defense

    Defensive info prior to camp......
    -------------------------------------------------
    Q. Is this going to be the year when the Steelers actually follow through on what seems to be the annual promise to rotate the outside linebackers in an attempt to keep fresh bodies on the field to rush the passer?

    This actually has been going on long enough for Jason Gildon to have been a part of it from both ends — as a promising situational pass rusher as a rookie in 1994 who couldn’t get many repetitions because he was behind Kevin Greene, to Gildon being the established veteran of 10 seasons who rarely came off the field despite the presence of another capable young guy named Clark Haggans.

    In 2007, Haggans was the starter and rookie LaMarr Woodley was the promising newcomer who couldn’t get onto the field, at least not as much as his production early in the season warranted. After three games last season, Woodley had two sacks, but in the ensuing two games he played little on defense. In the sixth game, he got
    his third sack, but then again, in the ensuing three games he played little.

    Woodley and James Harrison will be the starting linebackers this season, and behind them is No. 3 pick Bruce Davis, of whom Coach Mike Tomlin said, “He had a distinguishing characteristic that stood out — he applies pressure off the edge and offensive tackles had a problem with him.”

    Since pressuring the quarterback is critical to the success of the Steelers’ style of defense, it would seem a good idea to keep the pass rushers as fresh as possible with the same type of rotation system used along the defensive line. But that has seemed to be a good idea for the last 15 years.

    Q. Five of the top six defensive linemen are over 30. How is that going to be managed
    during camp and the preseason?


    A lot of the nagging, camp-common injuries are located in the leg muscles, and the hamstring strains and groin pulls usually happen to the guys doing a lot of the sprinting and cutting. That said, the health of the top six defensive linemen — Aaron Smith, Casey Hampton, Brett Keisel, Chris Hoke, Travis Kirschke and Nick Eason — should be monitored. Not one of those guys, Smith particularly, shies away from repetitions, but there should be times when the decision is made for them.

    Q. Are there going to be any changes made to the starting 11?

    The obvious competition to watch is the one between Larry Foote and Lawrence Timmons at inside linebacker in the 3-4. Timmons was the first No. 1 pick of the Mike
    Tomlin era, and he was chosen that high because he is seen as a run-hitcover guy whose skill set would give coordinator Dick LeBeau options for his zone blitzes. After a
    start slowed by a nagging groin issue, Timmons finished his rookie season as an improving player. He will come to camp this summer as a much more confident individual with a
    higher comfort level of the scheme.

    Foote originally got his chance when Kendrell Bell couldn’t get off the sideline during camp in 2004, and since then he has been nothing but a quality starter on a defense that
    consistently ranked among the league’s best for a team that won a lot of games, as well as a good teammate and a solid citizen off the field. Foote played very well during the 2005 postseason, and he hasn’t missed a start since breaking into the lineup full time.

    The battle ultimately could be decided by who makes more of what Tomlin calls “splash plays.”

    Q. Any others?

    Every summer for the past few, there has been some thought that Deshea Townsend will be unseated as the starting right cornerback, but every time he has been up to the challenge, most recently from Bryant McFadden. Townsend has the best ball skills among the cornerbacks, he’s smart, a good tackler, and he has missed only six starts since breaking into the lineup full time in the ninth game of 2003.

    His ability to play the ball could have made Townsend a good safety, but he’s been too valuable as a cornerback for the team to experiment.

    Q. How about a sleeper?

    As mentioned earlier, five of the top six returning defensive linemen are on the other side of 30, and the team didn’t draft any or sign any as free agents. That could create some opportunity for Martavius Prince, an undrafted rookie from Southern Mississippi.

    While Prince better fits the definition of a sleeper, Ryan McBean should be in a better spot to compete as a defensive end. A fourth-round pick in 2007, McBean was on the practice squad for 13 games as a rookie and then the early part of his offseason was
    ruined by a foot injury. But that healed, and McBean was working out at the team’s facility a lot between the end of OTAs and the start of camp.

  2. #2
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    Re: Training Camp: Defense

    Of course my biggest question of D is who will be the safety - Smith or Clark???
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    Re: Training Camp: Defense

    MJG, it had better be clark!
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    Re: Training Camp: Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by birtikidis
    MJG, it had better be clark!

    It "sounds" like he is better, but we will see. I haven't given up on Smith. He may very well have learned after eating some crow and getting some egg on his face.
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    Re: Training Camp: Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by MeetJoeGreene
    Quote Originally Posted by birtikidis
    MJG, it had better be clark!

    It "sounds" like he is better, but we will see. I haven't given up on Smith. He may very well have learned after eating some crow and getting some egg on his face.
    well to me, Smith is playing out of position. he should be a run support guy while troy is the cover guy... but.. for some reason coaches prefer to put troy in the box...
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    Re: Training Camp: Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by birtikidis
    ... he should be a run support guy while troy is the cover guy... but.. for some reason coaches prefer to put troy in the box...
    I agree, but isn't it part of what makes Troy so "dangerous"?.... No one knows where he'll be...

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    Re: Training Camp: Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by birtikidis
    MJG, it had better be clark!
    Please God! Keep Smith on the sideline.

    Also please quit blitzing Troy into the middle of the OL. Let him use his speed to play in the secondary and not wrestle with 300lb linemen.
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

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    Re: Training Camp: Defense

    i think smith will be a good player, he is just young thats all. i definetly want clark starting though. clark is very solid and very under rated. he is much better than hope was. it will be very interesting to see if bmac can beat out townsend for the 2nd cb spot. part of me wants to see townsend win the job since he has been a steeler for so long and has been nothing short of solid at cb however i think its bmac's year

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    Re: Training Camp: Defense

    Clark should start and Mundy should be the back up. Put Smith on ST. He can hit and we need hitters on ST.
    LETS GO MOUNTAINEERS!
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    Draft 2.0

    1. Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
    2. Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
    3. Kareem Martin, DE, UNC
    4. Donte Moncrief, WR, Mississippi
    5a. Shaquille Richardson, CB, Arizona
    5b. Seantrel Henderson, OT, Miami
    6a. Kevin Pierre-Louis, OLB, Boston College
    6b. Glen Stanley, OLB, Albany St
    7. Beau Allen, NT, Wisconsin

  10. #10

    Re: Training Camp: Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by calmkiller
    Clark should start and Mundy should be the back up. Put Smith on ST. He can hit and we need hitters on ST.

    Isn't Mundy one of those trouble maker types from Morgantown?
    He who forgets, will be destined to remember.

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