What's the Real Problem on D?
Our D played fairly well the last 4-5 weeks of 2012. So we should be able to compare the personnel and get a pretty clear picture of the problem.
Here's the difference in the starting lineups.
2012 - 2013
Lewis - Gay
Hampton - McClendon
Harrison - Worilds/JJ
Foote - Williams
Hood - Heyward
I distinctly remember thinking at the end of last season that Casey and James were rounding out into form and that's why our D was looking so good. Could the play of their replacements really be making this dramatic a difference?
I'd say Lewis was clearly better than Gay although Gay's a decent replacement. Heyward's a huge upgrade already over Hood, although Hood played well in December of last year.
Foote's by no means an all pro, but he's steady and Williams is currently in over his head. Could it simply be we didn't have anyone ready to replace the older versions of Hampton, Harrison, and Foote?
The there's the domino effect of McClendon/Williams play that's making Timmons worse. Forcing Troy out of the secondary into the box and leaving Ryan Clark as a single high safety all game is making Clark worse.
Woodley actually looks like he's playing better, Troy looks better being healthier, and Ike/Kesiel look about the same.
So there's gotta be a significant drop off in some of these other guys given the level the D has dropped. Could it just be that McClendon, JJ/Worilds, and Williams have been awful thus far? And if we get a real NT and let the 2 rookies develop we'll get back to typical Steelers' D in no time?
It looks like this D has dropped off the planet in terms of production, but is it possible just one small change in personnel and time could turn things 180 in a heartbeat? Are we really that far off or does it just look really bad and we're close to being good again?
I think Clark is worse than he was, regardless if he's now being required to do something different.
Troy definitely looks healthy out there but he's made his share of bad decisions. On the long TD pass from Brady, why did he bite and go to his left when the reciever in that direction was already double-covered and Ike needed help on the other side?
One small change right now might be a big difference but time is not on our side. But in time? Clark, Troy and Ike are getting up there. And Ike and Troy are expensive. In the near future, we need good replacements for these guys too.
4 of the 5 positions you listed are a downgrade to a serious downgrade. That's a pretty significant number. Clark looks as if he's slowed considerably. I think Ike has slowed a tough as well (not a ton but some). As you mentioned, Troy is a LB this season (and personally believe he is trying to do too much leading to mistakes - mental and positioning). Keisel is a year older.
The pass rush borders on non-existent. Can't let a QB just sit back there, even a bad QB. And the tackling has been atrocious all season. Guys getting run around or flat out run over.
Having lost to a 2nd string QB and the pitiful Vikings, a rooking QB with the Raiders, and then Brady with his 3rd best day of his entire career; it's really hard to see how a small change fixes that. Need more than a band-aid when you have a knife wound to the gut.
Hall of Famer
In a defense designed to not give up the big play, the Steelers defense sure has given up it's share of big plays. Now I'm not pinning the blame entirely on Ryan Clark, but anyway you look at it "safety" is his job. Is it because the front 7 is so bad that that he's constantly in run support? Is it because DL has him playing out of position? Is it because he's a shell of his former self? All of the above? I don't know, but I think Ryan Clark is a big reason why this defense looks like poo.
Originally Posted by Jigawatts
About time for Ryan to get on with his life's work...Problem is, I don't know that we have his replacement ready. Shark may be more of a SS...acquiring a good FS who can cover and tackle ought to be a top priority for this team going forward...
For the sake of discussion, lets say that we need a "rebuild" of the defense. We aren't going to be able to do that by the old way of bring a rookie in and let him sit and watch and play some special teams...unless we want to be bad for a few years of course. We are going to have to have a defense that is designed to allow younger players to come in a integrate themselves more rapidly than the norm over the past decade.
Do we have the defensive scheme that would facilitate that? I think not.
Do we have the Def Coord willing to adapt to that? Again, I think not.
2 moves fix this 1-move jj to ilb,i liked the pick,but hes not strong enough at olb....i personally believe he would be a great at ilb....2-we need to draft a great olb,i dont know who this may be,but he has to be great and we cant miss on this pick!!!!!!!
I was suggesting this yesterday. And the kid that will be available if we get a top pick is Anthony Barr.
Originally Posted by mr.me
im not buying the cassey part
with as many teams playing the 34, if he was worth anything, someone would have given him a call