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Thread: Why this D can't stop anyone in the 4th Q.

  1. #21
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    2012 Pittsburgh Steelers defense conjuring memories of the defensive collapse of 2009

    Submitted by Syndicated sources on September 25, 2012

    As the fallout from Sunday’s horrible loss continues to build, the memory of one play should continue to standout as a potentially unwanted harbinger for Pittsburgh Steelers fans. No, it is not the 64-yard Darren McFadden touchdown run, or the borderline hit that Ryan Mundy delivered to Darius Heyward-Bey, Not even close. The play was a fourth down call by head coach Mike Tomlin in their own territory where the Steelers went for it on a fourth-and-one.With that call to the offense, Tomlin delivered a clear message that he had little to no faith in the defense to stop the Oakland Raiders offense. The Steelers converted that play, but could not finish the drive, something that overshadowed the call, and allowed the Raiders to pull out the victory.

    While it is not a shock that the defense has struggled at times without stars James Harrison and Troy Polamalu, but these issues seem to run a lot deeper than those two injured players. During their two losses, the Steelers defense seemed to be outplayed in the second half, unable to either stop the run or pass in either game. In the first loss, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning shredded the defense in the no-huddle with short passes and a balance of run and pass. Sunday, quarterback Carson Palmer did not use the no-huddle, but the balanced attack was there.

    Again, some will point to the injured players, but that should be viewed as s a falsity, as this same defense was in place in week two against the New York Jets and they stood up and delivered a physical performance. However, the Jets offense lacks the playmakers in the backfield that the Raiders boast and Mark Sanchez is nowhere near the quarterback that Palmer is.

    Sure, the players are at fault as they are the ones that have to make plays, but schematically, the Steelers do not match-up well with a short controlled passing attack. For some this is no surprise, as memories of the 2009 season begin to creep into mind. It is hard to forget that season or this offensive game plan, one that has killed the Pittsburgh defense on-and-off for the past few seasons, especially that season.

    With the bye week on tap, the coaching staff and defensive players must stand-up and face a tough reality. If they do not fix this fundamental flaw, it will be a long season in Pittsburgh.

    http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/ar..._2009/11803183

  2. #22
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    Really not convinced that the Steelers have drafted 'bad players' over the last few years. What it would seem is that what used to work for the Steelers, no longer works for the Steelers. It used to be that teams would try & beat you on the ground first, then resort to the passing game once momentum was reached. The Steelers excelled at stopping a dominant run philosophy. Now teams spread the Steelers out, pass quickly. This takes the ILB's off the line of scrimmage, and reduces the time an OLB has to get to the QB. It effectively reduces the abilities & advantages of what the Steelers used to, and probably can still do. Running against the Steelers isn't easy, even today. But when you've spread the defenders out, it becomes easier. No surprise that since 2002 when Brady spread us out & showed the NFL how to beat the Steelers, that the dominant run defense has been... less dominant. We now see LB's that used to sell out against the run being pushed 5 yards off the line to cover a TE that used to run block. It's all cumulitive.

    The Steelers would be well advised this off season to look at what they have on the roster for future years. Not 'how do they fit the Steelers 3-4', but 'what skills do they bring to the table'. Case in point- LaMarr Woodley is an excellent pass rusher & tackler. He's an average at best pass defender. So why is he in a position where he drops in coverage so often? Would he be better served rushing the passer & collapsing the pocket on every play? Would Worilds be the same? Carter? Is Timmons a better 'in space' LB or a better 'in the muck' LB? If he's better running around, being athletic- why stump him in the middle of the pile? That he felt the need to bulk up, reducing his mobility (his strength as a player) shows the point Chadman is making. Many on here have never liked Timmons. Chadman suggests we've never seen him play as he should. Would a 4 man DL of Keisel/Worilds, Heyward/Ta'Amu, Hood/McLendon, Woodley be better at getting to the QB if they didn't have to worry so much about 'clogging lanes' the way Hampton & Aaron Smith excelled at for so long. Would this allow Timmons, Sylvester & Spence to play a more athletic, diverse, LB system in behind them?

    What is better, in todays NFL, than putting athletes in a position to do what their skills say they should do best? Right now, the Steelers have athletes that fit a 4-3 & are stuffing them into a system that worked throughout the 80's & 90's & early 2000's. Chadman loves the 3-4. But Chadman doesn't see too many 3-4 teams play like the Steelers play it. Time to use our players to their best advantage- in Chadman's opinion, they are a potentially dominant Defensive group- if used properly.
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by papillon View Post
    James Harrison is the heart and soul of the defense; Troy is the play maker of the defense (by and large) without one the defense can get by, but will typically need a good effort from the offense to win, without both the offense has no room for error almost every possession needs to turn into points and that's untenable.

    The defense needs both and they need them for 2 or 3 more years to be competitive and hopefully draft or develop some talent on defense. The other players seem to be playing as if Troy and James are in the game and waiting for them to make a play or cause the quarterback make a bad decision.

    Pappy
    If you look at it that way, one can make a parallel to 1995-97 ish. Back then, we had a crazy, mean heart & soul (Harrison '12, Lloyd '96), and a playmaking future HOF DB (Polamalu '12, Woodson '96). Not coincidentally, our D took a dip from that previous era of STRONG defensive football... hopefully not a portend of the future this time.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chadman View Post
    Really not convinced that the Steelers have drafted 'bad players' over the last few years. What it would seem is that what used to work for the Steelers, no longer works for the Steelers. It used to be that teams would try & beat you on the ground first, then resort to the passing game once momentum was reached. The Steelers excelled at stopping a dominant run philosophy. Now teams spread the Steelers out, pass quickly. This takes the ILB's off the line of scrimmage, and reduces the time an OLB has to get to the QB. It effectively reduces the abilities & advantages of what the Steelers used to, and probably can still do. Running against the Steelers isn't easy, even today. But when you've spread the defenders out, it becomes easier. No surprise that since 2002 when Brady spread us out & showed the NFL how to beat the Steelers, that the dominant run defense has been... less dominant. We now see LB's that used to sell out against the run being pushed 5 yards off the line to cover a TE that used to run block. It's all cumulitive.

    The Steelers would be well advised this off season to look at what they have on the roster for future years. Not 'how do they fit the Steelers 3-4', but 'what skills do they bring to the table'. Case in point- LaMarr Woodley is an excellent pass rusher & tackler. He's an average at best pass defender. So why is he in a position where he drops in coverage so often? Would he be better served rushing the passer & collapsing the pocket on every play? Would Worilds be the same? Carter? Is Timmons a better 'in space' LB or a better 'in the muck' LB? If he's better running around, being athletic- why stump him in the middle of the pile? That he felt the need to bulk up, reducing his mobility (his strength as a player) shows the point Chadman is making. Many on here have never liked Timmons. Chadman suggests we've never seen him play as he should. Would a 4 man DL of Keisel/Worilds, Heyward/Ta'Amu, Hood/McLendon, Woodley be better at getting to the QB if they didn't have to worry so much about 'clogging lanes' the way Hampton & Aaron Smith excelled at for so long. Would this allow Timmons, Sylvester & Spence to play a more athletic, diverse, LB system in behind them?

    What is better, in todays NFL, than putting athletes in a position to do what their skills say they should do best? Right now, the Steelers have athletes that fit a 4-3 & are stuffing them into a system that worked throughout the 80's & 90's & early 2000's. Chadman loves the 3-4. But Chadman doesn't see too many 3-4 teams play like the Steelers play it. Time to use our players to their best advantage- in Chadman's opinion, they are a potentially dominant Defensive group- if used properly.
    Your points seem valid on the surface, but, in the same time span you say it was discovered how to beat the D (and I agree NE did expose us in terms of how to shred the D and so did the Raiders 1 week later), in 2002, we have won two Super Bowls since and have had a top D pretty much every season since. So, I am torn. Maybe it just been a progressive thing since and we are now at the tipping point. Maybe what you say has been coming and prior to this year enough teams still tried to establish the run, which falls into our hands. Or, maybe our same system would be fine if our stars were not aging and/or out of the line up from injury. I guess we just don't know as of right now.

    I do know this: If we can't pressure the QB, then we are in big trouble. Look at what Seattle did to GB last night, in terms of 8 sacks in the 1st half. That is some serious pressure. Right now, as things are, we lose to the Ravens big, we lose to Cinci and we are in a dog fight trying to beat Cleveland. That could all change if 43 and 92 come back and are whole. But that is a big "if."

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chadman View Post
    Really not convinced that the Steelers have drafted 'bad players' over the last few years. What it would seem is that what used to work for the Steelers, no longer works for the Steelers. It used to be that teams would try & beat you on the ground first, then resort to the passing game once momentum was reached. The Steelers excelled at stopping a dominant run philosophy. Now teams spread the Steelers out, pass quickly. This takes the ILB's off the line of scrimmage, and reduces the time an OLB has to get to the QB. It effectively reduces the abilities & advantages of what the Steelers used to, and probably can still do. Running against the Steelers isn't easy, even today. But when you've spread the defenders out, it becomes easier. No surprise that since 2002 when Brady spread us out & showed the NFL how to beat the Steelers, that the dominant run defense has been... less dominant. We now see LB's that used to sell out against the run being pushed 5 yards off the line to cover a TE that used to run block. It's all cumulitive.

    The Steelers would be well advised this off season to look at what they have on the roster for future years. Not 'how do they fit the Steelers 3-4', but 'what skills do they bring to the table'. Case in point- LaMarr Woodley is an excellent pass rusher & tackler. He's an average at best pass defender. So why is he in a position where he drops in coverage so often? Would he be better served rushing the passer & collapsing the pocket on every play? Would Worilds be the same? Carter? Is Timmons a better 'in space' LB or a better 'in the muck' LB? If he's better running around, being athletic- why stump him in the middle of the pile? That he felt the need to bulk up, reducing his mobility (his strength as a player) shows the point Chadman is making. Many on here have never liked Timmons. Chadman suggests we've never seen him play as he should. Would a 4 man DL of Keisel/Worilds, Heyward/Ta'Amu, Hood/McLendon, Woodley be better at getting to the QB if they didn't have to worry so much about 'clogging lanes' the way Hampton & Aaron Smith excelled at for so long. Would this allow Timmons, Sylvester & Spence to play a more athletic, diverse, LB system in behind them?

    What is better, in todays NFL, than putting athletes in a position to do what their skills say they should do best? Right now, the Steelers have athletes that fit a 4-3 & are stuffing them into a system that worked throughout the 80's & 90's & early 2000's. Chadman loves the 3-4. But Chadman doesn't see too many 3-4 teams play like the Steelers play it. Time to use our players to their best advantage- in Chadman's opinion, they are a potentially dominant Defensive group- if used properly.
    Excellent post. All this nonsense about all of sudden we have bad players is nothing but making excuses for the real problem.

    The following quote hits the nail on the head
    Right now, the Steelers have athletes that fit a 4-3 & are stuffing them into a system that worked throughout the 80's & 90's & early 2000's
    We are tying ourselves to a system because of who the DC is and not what our players can do best. It is like I have said, there is a template and hell or highwater we are going to squeeze people into that template. This is exactly what I have been saying for the past two season. Every year we "project" that a player can "maybe" convert to a 3-4 DE or a 3-4 OLB and then after 3 years whn it doesn't work we try to say we have bad players or the front office is all screwed up. What is screwed up is the whole conversion notion. Why not bring the players in to play the position you just spent a couple of years watching and scouting them playing in college? I bet we would see much earlier contributions and a faster learning curve in their adjustment to the NFL.
    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!

  6. #26
    If the defense had a history of failure, I could see your point...

    However, I will allow the coaches to do their jobs over the next 13 games before I acknowledge a total failure on their part...

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    Excellent post. All this nonsense about all of sudden we have bad players is nothing but making excuses for the real problem.

    The following quote hits the nail on the head


    We are tying ourselves to a system because of who the DC is and not what our players can do best. It is like I have said, there is a template and hell or highwater we are going to squeeze people into that template. This is exactly what I have been saying for the past two season. Every year we "project" that a player can "maybe" convert to a 3-4 DE or a 3-4 OLB and then after 3 years whn it doesn't work we try to say we have bad players or the front office is all screwed up. What is screwed up is the whole conversion notion. Why not bring the players in to play the position you just spent a couple of years watching and scouting them playing in college? I bet we would see much earlier contributions and a faster learning curve in their adjustment to the NFL.

    So what you are saying is that we shouldn't draft players who played in a spread offense ... or any offense other than a pro set. Or are you saying our offense ought to switch to the spread or wishbone if that is the system we draft players from? You are starting to confuse me.
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by ikestops85 View Post
    So what you are saying is that we shouldn't draft players who played in a spread offense ... or any offense other than a pro set. Or are you saying our offense ought to switch to the spread or wishbone if that is the system we draft players from? You are starting to confuse me.
    Our Offensive Coord, even Arians, seem to have had little trouble getting those guys up to standard and on the field playing. It is our Defensive Coord who seems to take as long as it takes to get an Associates Degree to make it happen.

    BTW playing in the spread in college actually is becoming an asset in today's NFL especially for skill position players. Does that help with the confusion?
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  9. #29
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    Late letdowns on defense hurting Steelers

    By Alan Robinson
    Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012



    Steelers saftey Ryan Clark returns an interception against the Raiders in a loss earlier this season

    A look at how quarterbacks have fared against the Steelers this season in the first and second half:

    • First half: 20 of 34, 215 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT

    • Second half: 33 of 53, 385 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT


    They can blame the absence of all-world safety Troy Polamalu for two games. They can blame not getting the reliable push from their defensive line that would have helped prevent wide receivers from constantly gaining downfield separation.

    To safety Ryan Clark, it’s time to stop finding reasons why the Steelers secondary’s statistics look great but their execution can look awful, especially in the second half.

    To illustrate how numbers can lie, the Steelers (1-2) are No. 5 in total defense and No. 3 in passing yardage, yet they made an aging Peyton Manning look like an in-his-prime Manning, and Carson Palmer look like the Palmer of 2004. If Mark Sanchez hadn’t looked like Mark Sanchez, the Steelers’ numbers wouldn’t look like they do.

    Big plays allowed, drives extended, upsets not prevented, games lost in the second half. No matter what the statistics say, that’s not the Steelers’ way.

    “It’s like I said, on the first play (Sunday) there’s no more excuses,” Clark said Wednesday. “We can’t run in here and say, ‘We don’t have Troy, we don’t have James (Harrison).’ We have everybody we’re supposed to have now, so we’ve got to go out and make plays. You get a lift when those guys are out there, running to the ball and doing what they’ve done for years.”

    What’s contradictory to their high rankings is that opponents are converting nearly half of their third-down attempts (16 of 33), thus keeping an aging defense on the field too long. That’s showing up in the second half, when the Steelers are giving up nearly twice as many yards passing (385) as they are in the first half (215).

    “It hasn’t been terrible; honestly, it hasn’t been,” Clark said of the secondary’s play. “I think the spot we come up on the wrong end of the grade is third down. If you look at anything we need to improve on, it’s getting off the field in those clutch downs and getting the offense the ball back. People haven’t really beaten us over the top.”

    Palmer, for example, was 6 of 10 for 37 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the first half; in the second half, he was 18 of 24 for 172 yards and two touchdowns as the Raiders rallied from a 10-point deficit to win, 34-31.

    “Any defense, if you’re not going 100 percent on third down, you’re not satisfied,” defensive end Cam Heyward said. “We have to pick it up. I think we’re going to come out with a better effort this week.”

    They might need one against ultra-mobile quarterback Michael Vick, whose ability to extend drives with his running and throwing helped the Eagles (3-1) rally in the fourth quarter of all three of their wins. Philadelphia visits Heinz Field on Sunday.

    “He’s taken a pounding this year, guys are getting to him, making him fumble and give the ball up,” Clark said, referring to Vick’s five fumbles. “Even though he takes a lot of hits and he’s a tough guy, you can get the ball out from him. You’ve got to continue to pound on him so it adds up as the game goes along.”

    Last week, defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau suggested the defense’s problems resulted in part from players abandoning their responsibilities and trying to make a play on their own. Trust each other and do your job.

    That message was reinforced as the Steelers returned to practice Wednesday, when the defense was healthy and operating at full strength for the first time since training camp started.

    “If we get no push or if we get push, we have to be solid on our coverage,” cornerback Cortez Allen said. “We’ve got to plaster their receivers, and that’s going to be a big thing against Michael Vick, who does a good job as far as extending plays. Regardless of what happens up front, we have to be solid in our coverage.”

    And not just on the stats sheet.

    http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...#ixzz28JSej2mP

  10. #30
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    Against the Raiders, I would've gone for it on the 2nd 4th down. I think think it was an awful 4th-and-9 but I still would've gone for it. You knew that as soon as we gave the ball to the Raiders, that game was over.

    I'm not sure I buy that the major problem with the defense is primarily players not trusting each other and trying to make an individual play outside of the system. But I guess we'll see as time goes on. I'd like to see a stat of how many plays our corners played tight man coverage, jamming the receivers at the line. And how many plays we sent an agressive blitz. IF we're going down, I want to go down guns-a-blazin'. PLAY AGRESSIVE ! Take chances. We're getting burned anyway.

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