Quote Originally Posted by papillon View Post
I must be missing something about the Steeler defense last year and maybe those who know the X's and O's can help me out or correct my misremembering.

Early in the season (first 4 games, maybe 5), Polamalu and Harrison are on the sideline or just coming back and the run defense is getting gashed pretty good. Harrison starts playing and they are still getting it handed to them for a few games, Polamalu re-injures calf muscle and is now out until week 11 or 12. Harrison continues to play, Woodley is dinged and/or ineffective, but as the games go on the run defense is becoming more stout. When Polamalu returns with 3 or 4 games to go the defense as a whole becomes the dominant unit and is turning in performances that keep them in games.

I'm sure I missed a few things here and there, but for the most part that's it, the D-line was healthy, Timmons and Foote were healthy, Ike was healthy until the 15th game and Lewis and Clark were playing really good football. The twio differences are Harrison and Polamalu are now healthy. I guess Im not seeing this steep decline in the play of Harrison that many see. If Harrison's play declined to the point that he can't get a job, then what was the difference in the defense form the beginning of the year to the end?

A big part of the turnaround on the defensive side was when Mundy was benched, Allen started at FS and Clark moved to SS. Clark was a beast at SS and he and Allen played very well together. When Troy was inserted back into the lineup the defense slipped for a couple of games until he got his game legs back. I agree Harrison getting better physically during the year also helped the defense.