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Thread: My Biggest Concern

  1. #1
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    My Biggest Concern

    I know everyone is concerned about the development of the OLine. But it doesn't worry me so much. Ben's overcome far worse talent to win. And these young guys will start to get it together in time. The OLine is good enough to win thanks to Ben.

    The unit that concerns me is the DLine. As much as I like Keisel and McClendon and as well as Ziggy finished the year, none of the guys are dominant. I think the Steelers tried to address this by drafting Hood and Heyward at #1. But so far it feels like we really missed on those picks and we're still stuck with a mediocre group up front.

    Aside from Ben, I think the biggest key to winning championships has been dominant play by our DLine. Hampton, Smith, and Keisel were the best 3-4 front in the game. And that was one of the big keys to our defensive dominance in recent history. Keisel, McClendon, and Hood are at the low end of the league when it comes to 3-4 lines. And it becomes a domino effect where our pass rushers have to take on tackles that outweigh them by 80 lbs giving QBs more time in the pocket to make completions.

    The quality of our DLine is why it seems the only pass rushes that work are Timmons/Foote crossing up the middle or Timmons/Polamalu lined up outside of one of the OLBs going after the QB. And blitzing can make us susceptible in coverage. It's a double edged sword.

    All I can do is hope Hood, McClendon, Heyward get better. Any little improvements will help. But the main reason we don't seem to be able to get pressure is the guys up front. And the reason we don't get enough turnovers is not enough pressure.

    With Troy back and Allen starting, I do think we got better at DB. And it'll make QBs pause just a bit and be a little more cautious. And this should help our front 7 with an extra split second to get to the QB. But we're gonna struggle as long as no one in the front 3 puts the fear of God into anyone. It still concerns me that our front 3 can likely be easily handled by 3 guys. I hope one or two of these young guys steps up and proves different.

  2. #2
    Good view Flip. However, instead of just looking at the front 3, I am looking at the front 7 as a unit. First off, consider that the Hood, McLendon, Keisel unit is no worse than last year's unit which had Hampton instead of McLendon. Actually, if you believe some here, McLendon was an upgrade over Big Casey...but I think that for argument sake we can call it even.

    There is an new edge once you add in the backers. Starting inside, I see Foote 2013 as the same guy as last year's Foote. As for Timmons, I think that he had an excellent year last year and should have made the Pro Bowl. He is a young guy on the upswing and no reason to predict a slide. If anything he can step it up once more for an even better year.

    The biggest difference I see is the outside guys. I believe that Woodley 2013 will be a much better player than Woodley 2012, and more resemble the player who we have seen in the playoffs wreaking havoc. He heard the whispers, realized they were right, got into better shape, and should charge out of the gate this season instead of his usual slow start. On the other side we have Worilds/Jones instead of Harrison 2012/Worilds. Harrison is one of the best 3-4 OLBs we have ever seen, however Harrison 2012 was no better than average over the course of 16 games, and was either absent or below average for most of them. I see Jones taking over very early in the season and making plays that we did not get last year.

    While the old adage of linemen occupy blockers letting backers roam free might not be the way this year, as long as the focus of the D is shifted to one or two players, it will allow more freedom for the rest, and we will have better playmakers up front than we had last year.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by flippy View Post
    I know everyone is concerned about the development of the OLine. But it doesn't worry me so much. Ben's overcome far worse talent to win.
    Exactly when did Ben win with worse talent on the OL?

  4. #4
    Backup Chucktownsteeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    Exactly when did Ben win with worse talent on the OL?
    Take your pick of the last 4 or 5 years.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    Exactly when did Ben win with worse talent on the OL?
    We won a SuperBowl in 2008 with Starks, Kemo, Hartwig, Stapleton, and Colon.

    Plus Ben's said this is the best front he's had.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by steeler_fan_in_t.o. View Post
    Good view Flip. However, instead of just looking at the front 3, I am looking at the front 7 as a unit. First off, consider that the Hood, McLendon, Keisel unit is no worse than last year's unit which had Hampton instead of McLendon. Actually, if you believe some here, McLendon was an upgrade over Big Casey...but I think that for argument sake we can call it even.

    There is an new edge once you add in the backers. Starting inside, I see Foote 2013 as the same guy as last year's Foote. As for Timmons, I think that he had an excellent year last year and should have made the Pro Bowl. He is a young guy on the upswing and no reason to predict a slide. If anything he can step it up once more for an even better year.

    The biggest difference I see is the outside guys. I believe that Woodley 2013 will be a much better player than Woodley 2012, and more resemble the player who we have seen in the playoffs wreaking havoc. He heard the whispers, realized they were right, got into better shape, and should charge out of the gate this season instead of his usual slow start. On the other side we have Worilds/Jones instead of Harrison 2012/Worilds. Harrison is one of the best 3-4 OLBs we have ever seen, however Harrison 2012 was no better than average over the course of 16 games, and was either absent or below average for most of them. I see Jones taking over very early in the season and making plays that we did not get last year.

    While the old adage of linemen occupy blockers letting backers roam free might not be the way this year, as long as the focus of the D is shifted to one or two players, it will allow more freedom for the rest, and we will have better playmakers up front than we had last year.
    I'm really optimistic about the LBs. And I'm not counting out the impact of getting Worilds into an OLB rotation with JJ and Woodley and the impact that it will have on keeping our pass rushers fresh. But I still worry that with the play up front, that teams will be able to key in and stop our OLBs. We really need some disruption in the middle and to start collapsing the pocket like Casey used to so the OLBs can run by the tackles to get to the QB rather than having to get thru them when the QB steps up into the pocket.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Chucktownsteeler View Post
    Take your pick of the last 4 or 5 years.
    You can't know that because you haven't see this OL play one single down as a whole. All we know is that Gilbert sucked so bad at LT they had to move him back to RT. Adams was horrible in pass protection last year.

    Quote Originally Posted by flippy View Post
    We won a SuperBowl in 2008 with Starks, Kemo, Hartwig, Stapleton, and Colon.

    Plus Ben's said this is the best front he's had.
    Have you heard Ben talk before? If so then I wouldn't put much stock in what he says. Also like I've said, you can't possible know how good this OL will be. They may make the 08' OL look like the hogs of the old Redskin teams. You can't possible know they'll be good.

  8. #8
    Hall of Famer SidSmythe's Avatar
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    I see the Opposite. I like our DLINE and it has some depth. I think AL WOODS is a darkhorse. The OLINE scares me to begin with...we lose a starter or two and it will be painful.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SidSmythe View Post
    I see the Opposite. I like our DLINE and it has some depth. I think AL WOODS is a darkhorse. The OLINE scares me to begin with...we lose a starter or two and it will be painful.
    I like Al Woods too. I really like Fangupo. And I was most impressed by our PSer, Arnfelt. But the problem I see is all these guys are ham and eggers. There's no Ngata, Atkins, Suh, etc in the group. We don't have a single guy in the group that offenses have to gameplan around. Seems likely that all of our DLinemen will get one on one matchups.

    If you just look at the teams we'll face week in and week out, can you think of another team without any stars up front like us? Week in and week out, it seems like Pouncey's got some 350lb beast lined up over him that he can't handle on his own. If McClendon lined up across from him every week, it might be a cake walk for our offense.

  10. #10
    Everybody still ok with the OL and more worried about the DL? I wonder what Ben thinks now? They had 7 on the OL and had the RBs chipping and still couldn't protect him.

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