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Thread: Larry Foote Says Players Don’t Trust LeBeau

  1. #21
    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    Has Steelers’ defense become too predictable?



    Raiders tightend Brandon Myers pulls in a Carson Palmer pass on the winning drive in front of the Steelers Lawrence Timmons at O.co Coiseum Sept. 23, 2012

    By Mark Kaboly
    Published: Sunday, September 30, 2012

    Seattle had the ball at its 30-yard line early in the third quarter of last year’s home opener, and Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau dialed up one of his patented crossfire blitzes.

    Inside linebacker James Farrior crossed in front of Lawrence Timmons while both rushed up the middle, confusing quarterback Tarvaris Jackson’s personal protector, Marshawn Lynch, and leading to a sack.

    Fast-forward to the second play of this season’s opening game in Denver. Deep in Broncos territory, LeBeau calls the same blitz, sending Timmons and Larry Foote after Peyton Manning. Timmons tipped his intentions a split-second early, allowing Manning to know there would be zone coverage. Manning hit Eric Decker for a 13-yard gain in the zone’s soft spot.

    Same scheme. Same defensive coordinator. Same blitz call. Different result.

    Following an uncharacteristically bad start this season for the Steelers’ defense, the 75-year-old LeBeau — a Hall of Famer — is being criticized for becoming too predictable with a once cutting-edge defense.

    Oakland receiver Derek Hagan said after a 34-31 win last week that the Raiders knew how the Steelers would attack certain plays. Denver’s Brandon Stokley stated a similar stance two weeks earlier after host Denver’s 31-19 victory.

    “It doesn’t matter if you know what we are doing,” safety Ryan Clark said, “if you can’t stop it.”

    EARLY STRUGGLES

    But what happens when teams do stop it? A defense that has been so good in the past eight years — it finished as the NFL’s best unit in yards per game four times — starts to be called predictable.

    “We haven’t changed here since I’ve been here,” safety Troy Polamalu said. “You can throw on film from Carnell Lake and Rod Woodson and Darren Perry and substitute numbers in, and it is the same exact defense.”

    While LeBeau’s zone-blitz scheme is basically the same defense he developed in the 1980s with Cincinnati and the one that gained fame during his first stint with the Steelers in the mid-1990s, it’s never been described as predictable.

    “Really, there are only so many defenses that you can call,” said former NFL safety Darren Sharper, now an analyst for NFL Network. “What they are running now is what they ran when I was in the league. They have never done anything exotic to where you were confused.

    “(But) I definitely don’t agree that they are predictable because that’s not the case.”

    LeBeau’s defense is ranked seventh in the league but has had shortcomings in its two losses. Compared to its first three games last season, the defensive difference has been alarming:

    • Opponents are converting 48 percent of third downs this season compared to 36 percent last season.

    • The Steelers have hit or pressured opposing quarterbacks 21 times versus 28 times last season.

    • They have 10 passes defensed compared to 15 last year.

    • The defense has allowed 75 points this season versus 55 points last season.

    All of that has contributed to second-half collapses in the Steelers’ losses during which the team failed to prevent an opponent from scoring after halftime.


    “I always look at myself first, and I hope (the players) do, too,” LeBeau said. “When things aren’t the way that you want them to be, something’s got to be done differently.”

    PERSONNEL PROBLEM?

    Former Steelers safety Mike Logan played under LeBeau from 2004-06 and admitted that the scheme never changed, but the calls within the scheme changed significantly week to week and even quarter to quarter.

    “I remember during a second half of a game that Coach LeBeau pulled out a dry erase board on the sidelines and drew up different pressures,” Logan said. “He was always changing things during the game. But you have to have the personnel to do that.”

    With former NFL Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison and his 58 career sacks yet to play, and Polamalu missing the past two games, LeBeau’s personnel isn’t what it once was.

    “I think that is the major factor of why this defense hasn’t played to the level that it has in the past,” Sharper said. “In the past, they just executed their defense exceptionally well. They had guys who were better than they were going against.”

    Along with Harrison and Polamalu being out, the Steelers’ defense lost three other starters from last year: Farrior, Aaron Smith and William Gay.

    “There is all this talk about us being old,” Clark said. “It is not the old guys, you know … we have to infuse the young talent, and we all have to work together well. What you lose is chemistry when guys go out. We have to learn to fit together properly.”

    LeBeau explained it a little more matter-of-factly.

    “I’ve got to give them things that they can execute,” he said. “We’ve got to trust each other and trust the defense, and the results will come.”

    http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...#ixzz27zXaystz

  2. #22
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    “I’ve got to give them things that they can execute,” he said. “We’ve got to trust each other and trust the defense, and the results will come.”
    With this statement right here, I believe we will look much better against Philly.

  3. #23
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    Steelers seek remedy for mediocre defense



    Raiders running back Darren McFadden (right) comes down with the ball as Steelers inside linebacker Larry Foote looks on during the fourth quarter of a game in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012

    By Alan Robinson
    Published: Sunday, September 30, 2012

    Cam Heyward often wears a “Steel Curtain” T-shirt, a sign that he recognizes the tradition of defensive excellence that is not only expected but is mandated whenever a player joins the Steelers.

    Let down in a single game, and you are letting down Mel Blount and Jack Ham, Joe Greene and Rod Woodson, Jack Lambert and your teammates, Troy Polamalu and James Harrison.

    A season ago, the Steelers allowed the fewest yards and points in the NFL. It wasn’t an anomaly. Since the 1970 NFL merger, they also are No. 1 in the same two categories, which measure not just a team’s ability to control an opponent but to keep it off the scoreboard.

    “This city’s built on defense,” linebacker Larry Foote said. “This locker room is built on it.”

    Except that being without Harrison (knee) for the season to date and Polamalu (calf) for two games has significantly weakened that foundation. The Steelers aren’t getting off the field on third downs, aren’t pressuring the quarterback consistently, aren’t getting off the field at all in the second half.

    “We aren’t whipping the guy across from us,” safety Ryan Clark said.

    When they resume practicing Monday following their weekend off, the Steelers will try to sort out whether going from the top of the heap to the middle or below in numerous statistical categories represents a fixable letdown or a non-repairable breakdown.

    They don’t know when they’ll get back Harrison, who can’t seem to get on the practice field regularly, much less play a game. They expect Polamalu to be all right — he practiced last week — but he’s 31, so it might be unfair to anticipate him being the player he was only a couple of years ago.

    No, whether this defense will begin to resemble those of the recent past will be up to Heyward and Ziggy Hood, Foote and Lawrence Timmons, Keenan Lewis and Ike Taylor.

    “In this business, you are never as good as you think you are and you are never quite as bad as maybe they say you are,” defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said. “We are getting good effort and good plays, but not enough.”

    That was evident when Peyton Manning led three scoring drives during the second half in Denver, and when Carson Palmer led five scoring drives in the second half in Oakland. And a defense that rarely allows big plays already has given up a 71-yard touchdown pass (Demaryius Thomas) and a 64-yard TD run (Darren McFadden).

    They have only five sacks, only three turnovers forced. Opponents are converting at a 48 percent rate on third down (16 of 33), the fifth highest in the league.

    “That’s why we call third down the ‘money down,’ ” Foote said. “You’ve got to get off the field.”

    Foote and LeBeau both suggested the defensive lapses have occurred in part because players are trying to do too much, such as failing to control their gap when they see a teammate in distress.

    “I found with this group of guys that generally that is a condition,” LeBeau said. “If a team is moving the ball a little bit, they want to do a little more to stop them. That is a good problem to have. But it is a problem nonetheless. We can’t do that. We have to trust the defense, trust the teammate, focus and play.”

    http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...#ixzz27zZvR3nt

  4. #24
    Man its crazy reading some of this stuff to me.. Our Defense against elite Qbs has been awful especially in the 4th qtr of games. How many 4th qtr leads can you guys remember giving up these past few years.

    Who are we trying to fool?

    Elite qbs kill us - no huddle kills us. us having 4th qtr leads (kills us)

    I think our success over the years has more to do with the the lack of great qb play (especially in our division) and less to do with us. Remember how we use to crush cinci but it kinda changed when Carson came into his own and look at the Ravens now with Flacco now coming on.

    Our system is not working any more - to many people know what we are doing. maybe its the play calling, maybe its the new league that caters to the Offense now.. who knows.. but its not 2 players, i cant believe that. (so when those 2 HoF players retire are we going back to the stone age?)

  5. #25
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    nobody has yet mentioned the Goodell effect. the league is on a record breaking track for scoring this year. most points ever! wow isnt that wonderful?
    Ol Rog is the anti-thesis of the Steelers and his policies have certainly not helped the Steelers cause during our leadership transition.
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  6. #26
    Too much sucky coaching + too much sucky execution + too many sucky players = sucky results.

    Time to stop the suckiness.

    LeBeau needs to improve, our defenders need to improve, our O-line and runners need to improve, and there are a few unproductive players that just flat need to be benched.

    Stop the suckiness.

  7. #27
    Hall of Famer fezziwig's Avatar
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    Tomlins saying of, the standard is the standard doesn't cut it and Lebeau must have bought into it. You can't call the same plays/schemes when you don't have the same high quality players. Despite the aging players, injured players it is the coaches responsibility to place on the chalk board a scheme that all players can handle or appropriate while the starters are out.
    If Troy wouldn't get hurt we would be great and Harrison didn't age he would be a force and if my uncle had tits he would be my aunt.........and so on.

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by fezziwig View Post
    Tomlins saying of, the standard is the standard doesn't cut it and Lebeau must have bought into it. You can't call the same plays/schemes when you don't have the same high quality players. Despite the aging players, injured players it is the coaches responsibility to place on the chalk board a scheme that all players can handle or appropriate while the starters are out.
    If Troy wouldn't get hurt we would be great and Harrison didn't age he would be a force and if my uncle had tits he would be my aunt.........and so on.
    LeBeau isn't calling the same plays...the Steelers weren't going after the QB like they normally do when both Polamalu and Harrison are in the starting lineup...

    The defense was playing it safe and it backfired because players (especially Keisel in that last game) weren't maintaining their discipline and were trying to do too much...they weren't playing the scheme as LeBeau called it...

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Discipline of Steel View Post
    nobody has yet mentioned the Goodell effect. the league is on a record breaking track for scoring this year. most points ever! wow isnt that wonderful?
    Ol Rog is the anti-thesis of the Steelers and his policies have certainly not helped the Steelers cause during our leadership transition.
    Every team in the league has the same "Goodell effect" and some seem to be handling it just fine. It is what it is...adapt or die.
    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!

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by fezziwig View Post
    Tomlins saying of, the standard is the standard doesn't cut it and Lebeau must have bought into it. You can't call the same plays/schemes when you don't have the same high quality players. Despite the aging players, injured players it is the coaches responsibility to place on the chalk board a scheme that all players can handle or appropriate while the starters are out.
    If Troy wouldn't get hurt we would be great and Harrison didn't age he would be a force and if my uncle had tits he would be my aunt.........and so on.
    Harrison and Troy are ready to ride off into the sunset sooner than we may want. Is that really a surprise given their age? So why are we running a defense that is completely dependent on them and there appears to be no Plan B. Players leaving and injuries are a reality of the NFL. No defense should collapse if two players aren't there without the folks in charge having a plan.
    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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