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Thread: Cook: Turnovers, and lack thereof, the real issue

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    Because the 4-3 is the base defense with a minimum of 4, not 3, rushing on every play. It isn't a blitz until you send one or two additional. Because you play the 4-3 doesn't mean you stop blitzing but you do generate more of a pass rush and pressure each and every play with 4 versus 3. In addition, those 4 DL aren't instructed to "occupy blockers" so the LBs can make a play. They are expected to make plays.
    Again, on third and long, don't the players in the nickel have the same responsibility? Isn't Ziggy supposed to be getting after the QB?

  2. #32
    I agree.. Why in the hell do we allow catches and then focus on tackle... why are we not going after the ball when opponent throws the ball!!!

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Steelhere10 View Post
    Great article Hawaiian. That's what I was sayin earlier, playing not to get beat deep and somewhat passive will keep the rankings high but the TO low.
    It's also a winning strategy, provided that the offense doesn't turn the ball over 18 times in three games...

  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by phillyesq View Post
    Again, on third and long, don't the players in the nickel have the same responsibility? Isn't Ziggy supposed to be getting after the QB?
    It depends. Is Ziggy still responsible for two gaps in the nickel? If so, then he's not getting after the QB...

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel View Post
    Steelers’ D Getting a Pass Again?

    Dec 18

    I was once told by a fairly ‘respected’ Pittsburgh Steelers’ writer that statistics don’t mean anything when talking football. Stats, he said, “were for Skip Bayless.” While I don’t necessarily disagree with that sentiment, there are however some numbers you just can’t avoid discussing and that number continues to center around ‘one.’

    The Steelers’ defense was ranked number one in the league entering last week’s game in Dallas and also rated number one against the pass. Has the defense played well this year? Considering the problems on offense in recent weeks I’d say yes, but then there is Denver and Oakland and Tennessee and then Sunday in Dallas.

    Fans can complain and make points about the injuries on Sunday and while those may not be completely thrown out, they cannot be an excuse. Every team deals with injuries. It’s the nature of the beast and you need to accept it.

    Tony Romo completed 30 of 42 passes for 341 yards and two touchdowns. He did not turn the ball over either which is something he typically does once or twice per week. When you have young guys in the secondary you have to find ways to help them and that falls on the guys along the front seven. Unfortunately, the pressure applied by these guys was minimal and far too infrequent. Had ‘Jerry World’ had a grass field, Romo still would have had a clean jersey at the end of the day.

    James Harrison rarely got pressure and LaMarr Woodley was as absent as a Super Bowl Trophy in Cleveland. Yes, Harrison still made plays and that can’t go unmentioned, but both men are paid extremely well to get to the other team’s quarterback and Woodley especially is falling woefully short.

    The front three, which we know are not necessarily responsible for getting pressure have done little of that anyway. Brett Keisel and Ziggy Hood have had their moments but have been far too inconsistent. Cam Heyward is starting to become a disappointment in my mind. Two years in now and I have yet to see significant plays from him.

    I’m still waiting for an explanation as to where Steve McLendon is? The guy who impressed last season and during the preseason continues to see far too few snaps in my opinion. That isn’t a knock on Casey Hampton, but McLendon needs more time on defense especially in passing situations.

    What we have to realize is this defense is no longer ‘BlitzBurgh’ and anyone thinking it is has not watched this team this year or last for that matter. The speed on the edges is gone. Harrison and Woodley have never really been speed rushers anyway the way a Jason Gildon once was. Teams no longer worry about having to get rid of the ball quickly and they have chip-blocked less and less through the season.

    So how does this defense have such a strong ranking then right? This is not as difficult to explain as you might think. First of all, the Steelers might be first in total defense but they are eighth in points allowed at 20.8 points given up per game. You know how the defense has been on the field a lot the last two weeks? Believe it or not, they are second in the league in terms of how much time they are on the field. That makes the 20 points given up per game even more glaring.

    Perhaps the most disturbing stat for this defense is that they rank 28th in the league in takeaways. After last year’s dead-last rating, many of us thought that was just a hiccup but it is becoming a trend. In three of the last five seasons, the Pittsburgh defense has rated 23rd or below in takeaways. In the two years they were better, they were in the top 10.

    Compare the Steelers’ defense to the top 10 in takeaways in 2012 and you’ll notice only two teams in that group that aren’t in the playoff hunt. There’s a correlation there and it can’t be denied. Teams that limit scoring and create turnovers are just as good as teams that have number one rankings.

    Yes, health is always an issue as it is for every team, but this team relies far too much on letting other teams make mistakes rather than forcing them. The ‘bend-don’t-break’ mentality of Dick LeBeau is out of touch and no longer applicable with today’s game and especially with this team’s talent or lack thereof. The defense has to get younger and more importantly faster on the edges. If that means putting Woodley back to his down position at end that he played in college then so be it.

    As troubled as this offense is, the defense isn’t exactly a model of perfection despite their ranking either. There is only one ‘number one’ we should be concerned with at the end of the season and that’s the number one team in the league, not defense. After all, where did the number one defensive ranking get us last year?

    http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/ar...again/12463375
    Excellent article. Hits the nail on the head and accurately describes the issues that are on this defense that many don't want to see because they are too busy making excuses. However this is not a one season phenomenom. The trend has been there for the past few season if anyone wanted to see it.

    The defense doesn't work anymore because it is too reliant of experienced veterans always being there and always being 100%. It does not allow a margin of error due to the excessive complexity and time it takes to be considered qualified to actually play. It's like an engine that has to be perfectly tuned all the time or it doesn't run.

    Who have you heard arguing these points the last three seasons?

    The ‘bend-don’t-break’ mentality of Dick LeBeau is out of touch and no longer applicable with today’s game and especially with this team’s talent or lack thereof.
    Putting out the template!

    If that means putting Woodley back to his down position at end that he played in college then so be it.
    Needs to play DE!

    What we have to realize is this defense is no longer ‘BlitzBurgh’ and anyone thinking it is has not watched this team this year or last for that matter. The speed on the edges is gone. Harrison and Woodley have never really been speed rushers anyway the way a Jason Gildon once was. Teams no longer worry about having to get rid of the ball quickly and they have chip-blocked less and less through the season.
    We don't really blitz because our OLBs are bullrushers and always have been.

    Bottomline: Time to wake up and quit living in the past and change this defense!
    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. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    Excellent article. Hits the nail on the head and accurately describes the issues that are on this defense that many don't want to see because they are too busy making excuses. However this is not a one season phenomenom. The trend has been there for the past few season if anyone wanted to see it.

    The defense doesn't work anymore because it is too reliant of experienced veterans always being there and always being 100%. It does not allow a margin of error due to the excessive complexity and time it takes to be considered qualified to actually play. It's like an engine that has to be perfectly tuned all the time or it doesn't run.

    Who have you heard arguing these points the last three seasons?



    Putting out the template!



    Needs to play DE!



    We don't really blitz because our OLBs are bullrushers and always have been.

    Bottomline: Time to wake up and quit living in the past and change this defense!
    The facts show that the defense still works.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by BURGH86STEEL View Post
    The facts show that the defense still works.
    No, the meaningless rankings based on yardage provide an illusion it works. The inability to make game changing plays, intercept the ball and sack the QB shows it doesn't work like it use to.
    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!

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    No, the meaningless rankings based on yardage provide an illusion it works. The inability to make game changing plays, intercept the ball and sack the QB shows it doesn't work like it use to.
    Not really. The defense made some game changing plays vs the Cowboys. The defense made several stops vs the Cowboys. Stopping the opposition can be considered game changing moments. The special teams and offense killed the defenses moments in crunch time by giving the ball away.

    Turnovers are nice but can't be counted on to win games every week. Creating turnovers isn't as important as giving the ball away. Take care of the football and you give your team a chance to win.

  9. #39
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    Top-ranked Steelers defense lacking in big plays

    By WILL GRAVES (AP Sports Writer) | The Associated Press
    Thu, Dec 20, 2012

    PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Every time a pass comes his way, Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Keenan Lewis is faced with a choice: the ball or the man?

    If Lewis chooses the ball, he knows he better be sure he can get a hand on it. If he chooses the man, Lewis knows he better bring the guy down, or else.

    ''You don't make that tackle, they score a touchdown on you and you might be coming out,'' Lewis said.

    Lewis has proven to be a pretty shrewd decision-maker. His 21 pass breakups lead the NFL and he's rarely been beaten deep while serving as the backbone of a secondary that leads the NFL in fewest yards passing allowed.

    The one thing Lewis hasn't done, is actually catch the ball. Then again, neither have the rest of his teammates on the league's top-ranked defense.

    For all their responsible tackling, the Steelers (7-7) have lacked a certain menace this season, and it could cost them a playoff spot.

    Heading into Sunday's game against Cincinnati (8-6), Pittsburgh ranks 27th in turnovers forced (13) and is tied for 23rd in sacks (27). Not exactly the formula that led the Steelers to three Super Bowl appearances - and two wins - in a six-season span from 2005 to 2010.

    While the lengthy absences of safety Troy Polamalu, linebackers James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley and cornerback Ike Taylor have played a role in the drop, the Steelers insist there are plays to be made, they're just not making them.

    ''I've dropped a ball that hit me in my face against Kansas City,'' said safety Ryan Clark, who has three of Pittsburgh's seven interceptions. ''Keenan dropped one against Tennessee. (Larry) Foote's dropped balls. We've had opportunities and that's on us.''

    Hall-of-Fame defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau isn't complaining. His job is to design schemes that slow opponents down. Getting the ball is a bonus.

    ''You can talk about a lot of statistics, but leading the league in yardage yielded is an important one,'' LeBeau said. ''Do we need more interceptions? Sure. We need more turnovers ... but every week we're trying to keep our football team in the game, keep the score in a manageable position.''

    Something the Steelers have done as well as anyone in the league. The game-turning plays, however, have been sporadic. Pittsburgh is on pace for its fewest turnovers and sacks since LeBeau returned for a second stint as defensive coordinator in 2004.

    Some of it is the byproduct of a defense in transition.

    A unit that began the season with seven starters in their 30s now features a secondary with four cornerbacks - Lewis, Cortez Allen, Curtis Brown and Josh Victorian - 26 or younger. It's the same along the defensive line, where 26-year-old nose tackle Steve McLendon is now basically a co-starter with 35-year-old Casey Hampton. Ditto the linebackers, where 24-year-old Jason Worilds leads the team with five sacks.

    The youth movement has forced LeBeau to tinker a bit with his game plan. The Steelers spend the early portion of the game letting the youngsters get their feet set before unleashing the complex blitzes that are LeBeau's trademarks.

    ''With the younger guys back there we hold off a little bit and kind of simplify and so guys can play a little bit faster and they kind of know what they're doing,'' Hampton said. ''At the same time when it's simple there really shouldn't be no big plays or anything like that.''

    Big plays haven't killed the Steelers this season, but little ones. The proliferation of short passing attacks give the front seven less time to get to the quarterback and shorter routes mean fewer opportunities for defensive backs to get in front of the ball.

    ''You look at it we've probably been one of the best teams in the NFL this year taking away the deep ball,'' Lewis said. ''Teams ain't really trying to throw deep like that no more. When you don't have those plays, those short plays is (less) of a risk to make a mistake.''

    The Steelers have allowed just 18 passes over 25 yards this season and opponents are averaging just 5.9 yards per pass attempt, the lowest in the league. Yet their inability to create turnovers has forced the offense to deal with long fields almost every time it gets the ball.

    Clark pointed to a 34-24 loss to San Diego two weeks ago as proof that the defense needs to be more opportunistic. The Steelers held San Diego to three straight three-and-outs with the ball near midfield in the first half. Each time the Chargers pinned the Pittsburgh offense deep in its own end. Each time the Steelers ended up punting and the Chargers finally capitalized on the great field position.

    ''We weren't flipping the field because we didn't make a play, special teams didn't make play and the offense didn't make a play,'' Clark said. ''Flipping the field is a huge part of the play ... if you look at the games we lost, that's why we lost.''

    Not exactly. The Steelers have committed 27 turnovers this season, seventh-most in the league. Those miscues have often put the defense in difficult situations, even if Clark and company refuse to use it as an excuse.

    If Pittsburgh was coasting into the playoffs - as it did last year when it created just 17 turnovers - the lack of takeaways wouldn't be an issue. But the Steelers have dropped four of five and need to win out to play past Dec. 30. The season could come down to one or two tipped passes that turn into interceptions or one fumble that ends up with a guy in a black helmet on top of it.

    ''We definitely need to get more turnovers and sacks and things like that if we want to be successful,'' Hampton said.

    NOTES: Lewis missed practice on Thursday with a hip flexor and is questionable ... Polamalu sat out practice for the second straight day but it was not injury related.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/top-ran...NNQaEcAa.XwFAx.

  10. #40
    I guess this games blows that theory....

    While I agree that getting turn-overs and limiting them on offense is typically a recipe for success, the Steeler offense is so pathetic that it doesn't make a difference....

    I don't know the numbers but I can assure you that we did not capitalize on many (if any) turn overs or special teams returns...

    But you all can keep harping on the defense, how bad DL sucks, no sacks, no turn overs....blah, blah, blah....

    The season was a failure because of the OFFENSE....PERIOD!!!!

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