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Thread: Defensive Personnel: Cowher Superior

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    Administrator steelz09's Avatar
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    Defensive Personnel: Cowher Superior

    Over the years, we've seen this team transition quite a bit. Under Tomlin, the offense is much more explosive but what about defense?

    It seems like Tomlin held onto most of the defensiveguys from the Cowher era and why wouldn'e he? Cowher drafted and developed great talent on defensive side of the ball.

    Most of those guys from the Cowher era are either past their prime or released. My question is, where is the "new" talent? I think this D' is about average right now. The Steelers have ALWAYS been known to have a next wave of talent especially in regards to defense. Where are they? I thought CB might be the next wave but I'm not quite sure.

    It's not like haven't drafted defensive players in the early rounds.

    I have to point to Tomlin in this regard. Where is the development? Why isn't our defensive personnel progressing like our offensive players.

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    Cowher coached in an era before the spigots were opened on passing offense. It's not like he demonstrated he had a clue how to stop a pass oriented attack. Just see his record against the Pats. There are far more great QBs and far more passing oriented offenses in the league than Cowher ever faced.

    The problem is we are still running Cowher's stop the run first defense.
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    Administrator steelz09's Avatar
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    Elite QBs typically still torch us... so I'm not buying that. In addition to that, our rushing d is not even close to what it was back then. You can show me our defensive ratings all you want but I have 2 eyes and pretty good vision.

    I can see that we are "selling" out to stop the rushing attack and it's making us very vulnerable in pass defense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steelz09 View Post
    Elite QBs typically still torch us... so I'm not buying that. In addition to that, our rushing d is not even close to what it was back then. You can show me our defensive ratings all you want but I have 2 eyes and pretty good vision.

    I can see that we are "selling" out to stop the rushing attack and it's making us very vulnerable in pass defense.
    Spot on.
    Our D is totally dependent on two aging superstars. TBH, anyone who thinks Harrison & Polamalu (the two aging superstars) can be "Troy Polamalu" and "James Harrison" are fooling themselves.
    They can be reasonable facsimiles, but they can't deny Father Time. What should be happening is that young guys slowly take the mantle. That really hasn't happened. Woodley is very solid. But besides him, no one makes an "impact". Hood should be pushing the pocket--he's not. Timmons and Carter (albeit just one game for him) should be flashing across our screen--they're not. Tez Allen/Lewis should be stuck to their WR--they're not (really).

    I'm really hoping the young guys step up and show more... especially Hood and Carter (if Harrison doesn't play). Hood came into this year with a lot of in-team hype--I'd like to see it. Carter needs to get in sniffing distance of the QB, like I thought he could.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by steelz09 View Post
    Elite QBs typically still torch us... so I'm not buying that. In addition to that, our rushing d is not even close to what it was back then. You can show me our defensive ratings all you want but I have 2 eyes and pretty good vision.

    I can see that we are "selling" out to stop the rushing attack and it's making us very vulnerable in pass defense.
    What team consistently stops "elite QBs"? When we lost to Tebow, we sold out to stop the pass because of their tendencies. We gambled and got burned. We have in fact slowed Brady many times, even in loses. Historically, Manning has been hit and miss against our team. No team shuts down elite QBs consistently (NE owned Manning for awhile, not lately).

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    In its complexity our defense is simple, the way we stop the pass is to be very disruptive. If we dont get to the passer we still need to do other things to ensure the play breaks down. The rule changes from Godell may be playing a part too, but our D is not getting to the passer, we're not making our presence known as a team or individually. Now, whether thats a result of poor drafting, poor coaching, or a combination, I dont know.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Shoe View Post
    Spot on.
    Our D is totally dependent on two aging superstars. TBH, anyone who thinks Harrison & Polamalu (the two aging superstars) can be "Troy Polamalu" and "James Harrison" are fooling themselves.
    They can be reasonable facsimiles, but they can't deny Father Time. What should be happening is that young guys slowly take the mantle. That really hasn't happened. Woodley is very solid. But besides him, no one makes an "impact". Hood should be pushing the pocket--he's not. Timmons and Carter (albeit just one game for him) should be flashing across our screen--they're not. Tez Allen/Lewis should be stuck to their WR--they're not (really).

    I'm really hoping the young guys step up and show more... especially Hood and Carter (if Harrison doesn't play). Hood came into this year with a lot of in-team hype--I'd like to see it. Carter needs to get in sniffing distance of the QB, like I thought he could.
    Now THIS post makes more sense. The issue is not the DL defense, but whether the young guys can replace aging superstars. It is talent, not scheme.

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    Administrator steelz09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoe View Post
    Spot on.
    Our D is totally dependent on two aging superstars. TBH, anyone who thinks Harrison & Polamalu (the two aging superstars) can be "Troy Polamalu" and "James Harrison" are fooling themselves.
    They can be reasonable facsimiles, but they can't deny Father Time. What should be happening is that young guys slowly take the mantle. That really hasn't happened. Woodley is very solid. But besides him, no one makes an "impact". Hood should be pushing the pocket--he's not. Timmons and Carter (albeit just one game for him) should be flashing across our screen--they're not. Tez Allen/Lewis should be stuck to their WR--they're not (really).

    I'm really hoping the young guys step up and show more... especially Hood and Carter (if Harrison doesn't play). Hood came into this year with a lot of in-team hype--I'd like to see it. Carter needs to get in sniffing distance of the QB, like I thought he could.
    I couldn't agree more. I just don't see any of these young guys replacing any of our old guys that were the staple of great defense in the burgh'. I'm specifically pointing our the DL and LBs here. Woodley has been the only exception and he can even be a bit inconsistent.
    Is it player leadership? Possibly.
    Coaching? Possibly.
    Drafting (possibly players that don't fit our system)? Possibly.

    It seems like our younger talent are all producing at an 'average' level and that's simply not going to cut it. We need a couple of players to step up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steelz09 View Post
    Over the years, we've seen this team transition quite a bit. Under Tomlin, the offense is much more explosive but what about defense?

    It seems like Tomlin held onto most of the defensiveguys from the Cowher era and why wouldn'e he? Cowher drafted and developed great talent on defensive side of the ball.

    Most of those guys from the Cowher era are either past their prime or released. My question is, where is the "new" talent? I think this D' is about average right now. The Steelers have ALWAYS been known to have a next wave of talent especially in regards to defense. Where are they? I thought CB might be the next wave but I'm not quite sure.

    It's not like haven't drafted defensive players in the early rounds.

    I have to point to Tomlin in this regard. Where is the development? Why isn't our defensive personnel progressing like our offensive players.
    When Larry Foote turns in your best defensive performance (though Troy also had an impact not seen on the stat sheet), you know there is an issue.

    I think a lot of the problems start with the defensive line. Smith-Hampton=Kimo/Keisel were disruptive. They commanded the line of scrimmage. You either double teamed them or they destroyed plays.

    Casey is not as explosive as he used to be, but still can at least hold his ground. I didn't see Ziggy or Heyward really step up and dominate in week 1, nor McClendon. If the defensive line is getting blown off the ball, the scheme doesn't matter. The results will not be good.

  10. #10
    Hall of Famer SteelCrazy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelz09 View Post
    I couldn't agree more. I just don't see any of these young guys replacing any of our old guys that were the staple of great defense in the burgh'. I'm specifically pointing our the DL and LBs here. Woodley has been the only exception and he can even be a bit inconsistent.
    Is it player leadership? Possibly.
    Coaching? Possibly.
    Drafting (possibly players that don't fit our system)? Possibly.

    It seems like our younger talent are all producing at an 'average' level and that's simply not going to cut it. We need a couple of players to step up.
    We definitely do not have any young talent blowing it up. Chris Carter did a decent job, but he doesnt look like a guy ready to blow it up. We wont know about Spence until next year. Adrian Robinson seems like he may be a very good pass rusher, but if he cant learn the other aspects of the D, we may never see him on the field. Our CB's are also looking very suspect. Lewis looked way behind in Denver. Even worse than Willie Gay. I hope we look better against the Jets

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