The past is the past. The game is rapidly changing but LeBeau wants to do what he did in 2008 with completely different players and the game being called completely differently. Add in the decreasing number of sacks and INTs over the past 3-4 years and you can se this defense can't make the impact it did in 2008.
But that isn't what is happening...LeBeau made adjustments to his scheme...the adjustments worked....
As far as DL goes.... no one is disputing his resume over the years but these last few have been below average. With the new CBA we no longer have the luxury of 2 to 3 years before a player gets up to speed. Sure we played more rookies because we didnt have a choice but we will continue to struggle if they need a few years to grasp this D.
...and it IS about rookies making a name for themselves. Yay team and all of that but if these rookies dont shine then WE won't shine as a team. If they don't make a name they aren't seeing the field... if they aren't seeing the field they will jump ship after the first contract.
Brownmade a name for himself, Wallace made a name for himself, Bell has made a name for himself, Troy, JH, Woodley, etc.... these rookies BETTER make names for themselves or WE will continue to be a .500 team watching younger team's run past us because we are being held hostage by old stats.
I like Lebeau... a lot. However, if this trend continues he needs to retire. Those ppg stats are cool but I watch every game. If we struggle to get pressure, struggle to keep youth on the field, struggle to get stops on 3rd and 9 on critical possessions and struggle against the zone read and keep that freaking 10 yard cushion on 3rd and 5 its a wrap.
So answer this; what team do you consider the best in the 'new generation' of defense? Seattle?, Carolina?, San Fran? Cleveland? (had a high ranking defense this season with Horton installing LeBeaus defense).
What do these teams have that the Steelers don't? They are all highly ranked in Rec Yds Against/att.
How about % of passes caught against? If the Steelers are really 'tackling the catch' this number should rank them at the bottom, correct?
Well it might surprise a few:
The Steelers were 10th in the NFL in Rec Yds Against/attempt. (11.1 yds, Seattle #1 9.9 yds.... think about that! The number one defense against the pass was allowing almost 10 yds per attempt!!)
% of passes caught against?.... the Steelers were 5th best in the league at 58%. (those great Seahawks???... allowed 60% of passes caught).
All this means to me is there were a few bad plays or games this season. So what? ...every team has them. The Steelers defensive scheme is fine, it's the effect of league rules that Steeler fans don't like, more passing, more yards....
The difference between the Seattle D and ours is physicality. They are called the Legend of Boom. Only thing we are called is old.
All you have to do is watch the [URL="http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/teams/page/SEA/seattle-seahawks"]Seahawks[/URL] and you can recognize they play physical football. What is interesting is that win, lose or draw, the team that plays them loses the next week.
I noticed how lethargic the Colts looked on Monday night in their loss to the Chargers. San Diego was running right through the defense and the Colts never got in sync. I went back and looked at every team that Seattle faced and looked at how they played the following week. All six teams lost the following week.
Carolina lost to Buffalo, San Francisco lost to Indianapolis, Jacksonville lost to Indianapolis, Houston lost to San Francisco and Indianapolis lost to San Diego. What was striking about the losses was the points scored and points given up. The six teams only generated a combined total of 45 points the week after their Seattle encounter (7.5 points per team) and they gave up 23.5 points per team.
Tennessee lost to Seattle last week and now host the 49ers. It looks like it could be seven in a row.
The difference between us and Carolina.... ppg. Carolina gave up 15 ppg. We gave up 23. By the way... Seattle gave up 14.4.
Turnovers... Seattle 39, San Fran 30, Carolina 31.. Steelers 20.
Carolina and San Fran are also more physical...
Oh... and we are older than all those other teams on D.
Last edited by feltdizz; 01-05-2014 at 11:08 AM.
The Lebeau coached defense performed at a high level consistently. Ben struggled with consistency. As a result, the offense never performed at the level of top offenses in the league from a consistency stand point. Based on the offensive and defensive rankings over the years who needed to adjust/improve more? Ben or Lebeau? The defense only had one way to go. Can't bethe number one defense or a top 5 defense every year. Having a top 5 ppg defense 70% of the time is pretty good though.
Uncharacteristic big plays were the biggest issue for the defense this season. Players give up big plays mostly due to poor execution.
The defense always played rookies. It's rare that rookies come into the league and have a huge impact. It's not only about grasping the defense. Rookie defensive players must also learn how to cope with the speed of the game. The must also deal with offenses that throw multiple personnel packages and formations. Making the transition from college to the pros isn't as easy as some of you want to believe. Most players that come out of college are NOT ready to play at a high level right away in the NFL. There will always be an adjustment period for players. That adjustment period will be different for each player. Based on my observations that's generally things how play our around the league. It took 2 or 3 seasons for the players you mentioned to make a name for themselves.
The ppg stat is the most important stat for a defense. Regardless of the number of sacks, turnovers, ect. the Steelers didn't make the playoffs without a top 5 ppg defense since 2004.
One season doesn't constitute a trend my friend.
Lebeau is going to retire eventually so you will have your wish. Steelers fans are spoiled.
Last edited by BURGH86STEEL; 01-05-2014 at 11:13 AM.
The key to playing D in today's game is having physical DBs who can intimidate, knock WRs off of routes, come up and play the run. That coupled with a fierce pass rush. When you have those things, it knocks an O out of rythym...and guys like Manning don't have an answer. Yes, they will exploit the deep ball from time to time, but it beats having a team control the clock and the rhythm of the game.
1.25 CB Eli Apple-DB-tOSU
2.58 SS Vonn Bell-DB tOSU
3.89 DT Javon Hargrave-SC State
4.123 DE-Matt Judon-Grand Valley State
6.220 RB-Tyler Erwin-San Jose State
7.229 WR Geronimo Allison-Ilinois
7.246 QB-Cody Kessler-USC
Combine FA and offensive slanted rules and the days of consistently dominating defenses year in year out are probably over.
They say they want to protect the players, but what are they doing to protect the OL and DL in the trenches where headshots are absorbed frequently?