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Thread: Rookies must know their roles in complex D.

  1. #1
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    Rookies must know their roles in complex D.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/s...s/201312220074

    Its a new NFL... the old model of waiting 2 to 3 years to plug a guy in isnt going to work with these rookie contracts.

    A few quotes from players and coaches...

    Worlids: "It's frustrating because you know you probably could have helped. When I was coming up, I was told that no matter what I did -- good or bad, no matter how much I improved -- I wasn't going to see the field. That's kind of discouraging. But you have to take it as an opportunity to better yourself in other ways. That's what I was able to do."

    "It's a complicated system, especially coming in and trying to understand coverage, but the more reps you get the more you tend to pick up," said Worilds, who said he will not discuss his upcoming free agency until the season is over. "The hardest part about it is you don't get the opportunities to better yourself. You're not going to get the reps on game days as a rookie to better yourself. If you play a certain number of reps you expect to get better."

    Heyward:My defensive line draft class, everyone was playing," Heyward said. "All those guys played a lot of plays. You just wait your time. I knew I had to make the most of my opportunity. Even though I was one of the last ones drafted in the first round, I still took it as a big hit that there were 11 defensive linemen drafted before me. So I have something to prove."

    Lake and Jones:Lake said when he was an assistant coach at UCLA before being hired by the Steelers the Bruins used only two coverages -- cover 4 and man-to-man. He declined to specify exactly how many coverages the Steelers have in their arsenal, but he said there are several zone coverages, several man-to-man coverages and several coverages with a mixture of zone and man-to-man.


    "You come here and you have a little more on your plate," Lake said. "Not only do you have more coverage but you have a new technique to go along with these coverages. So you're learning not only technique and assignment but scheme on top of it."

    So if the Steelers do draft another defensive player high in the draft in the spring to address some of their glaring needs don't expect an immediate impact.
    Take it from Jones.

    "That's the thing that most people don't get looking from the outside," Jones said. "Guys really have to become students of the game to be one of those playmakers. You have to know what's going on. I'm in that phase of learning and trying to become a student of the game."

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    What scares me is Lebeau saying he won't change philosophies... with 4 year rookie contracts we have to change. We cant wait until contract years to let players show out.

  3. #3
    There has to be some context to this. Who would you sit to play Worilds during his time here? Remember he took the place of Woodley and Harrison every time they were injured, except when he was injured. The idea that Worilds has been a good player all along is ridiculous. He got plenty of playing time because Woodley has been hurt the past 2 1/2 YEARS. Only now is he showing anything.

    The same holds true for Heyward. Do you sit a young player in Hood, who is also a first round pick, to play Heyward? Or do you sit the only good DL you have in Keisel? People scream about the defensive players not playing. But when Hood starts halfway through his rookie year nobody says a word and pretends it didn't happen. So do you bench Hood in his 3rd year so Heyward can play?

    It's not always an easy thing.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by feltdizz View Post
    What scares me is Lebeau saying he won't change philosophies... with 4 year rookie contracts we have to change. We cant wait until contract years to let players show out.
    That's not a recent development though. Worilds is a bit talking out of his a$s. His rookie year, he was behind a prime Woodley and a still dominant Harrison. After that year, he got shots of playing time. He proceeded to hurt himself. With Heyward though, considering the impact he's making now, one has to wonder why he sat behind that Crossfit specialist (i.e. a guy who works out like a demon, but is a non-athlete) Ziggy Hood.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    There has to be some context to this. Who would you sit to play Worilds during his time here? Remember he took the place of Woodley and Harrison every time they were injured, except when he was injured. The idea that Worilds has been a good player all along is ridiculous. He got plenty of playing time because Woodley has been hurt the past 2 1/2 YEARS. Only now is he showing anything.

    The same holds true for Heyward. Do you sit a young player in Hood, who is also a first round pick, to play Heyward? Or do you sit the only good DL you have in Keisel? People scream about the defensive players not playing. But when Hood starts halfway through his rookie year nobody says a word and pretends it didn't happen. So do you bench Hood in his 3rd year so Heyward can play?

    It's not always an easy thing.
    Link has the whole article.

    Heyward has always looked better than Hood IMO. I'm not saying these guys should have started from day one, our D was better when they were drafted. My concern is moving forward with an average D and the philosophy staying the same. I think we continue to see big plays as long as our D stays too complex for the young guysto catch on and shine.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by feltdizz View Post
    Link has the whole article.

    Heyward has always looked better than Hood IMO. I'm not saying these guys should have started from day one, our D was better when they were drafted. My concern is moving forward with an average D and the philosophy staying the same. I think we continue to see big plays as long as our D stays too complex for the young guysto catch on and shine.
    But if you sit Hood then you have the same issue with people bitching about not playing him. I've always like Heyward better. But he started slowly as well. I know that sometimes simple is better but there are other times when simple is just simple. Also it isn't as if this defense has just been along for the ride. They are the reason why the team has won 2 SBs and been on 3 the past few years. They have dominated. The offense has been up and down for years even with Ben. They've won with an average offense but can't win with an average defense.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by feltdizz View Post
    What scares me is Lebeau saying he won't change philosophies... with 4 year rookie contracts we have to change. We cant wait until contract years to let players show out.
    This depresses the **** out of me.

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    Worlids: "It's frustrating because you know you probably could have helped. When I was coming up, I was told that no matter what I did -- good or bad, no matter how much I improved -- I wasn't going to see the field. That's kind of discouraging. But you have to take it as an opportunity to better yourself in other ways. That's what I was able to do."
    For those still defending the "you can't play in this D for a long time, no matter what" I can't be OK with the above. That is not a helpful message to send. Obviously, Worilds was not going to make a Woodley or Harrison sit his rookie year, but to go around and tell rookies, "You won't play no matter what you do" I don't think, in today's game, that this attitude is appropriate. It's time for Dick to go. I don't believe in _handing_ any rookie a starting job, but this degree of ONLY playing veterans and making players sit for 2-3 years is damaging and obnoxious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    But if you sit Hood then you have the same issue with people bitching about not playing him. I've always like Heyward better. But he started slowly as well. I know that sometimes simple is better but there are other times when simple is just simple. Also it isn't as if this defense has just been along for the ride. They are the reason why the team has won 2 SBs and been on 3 the past few years. They have dominated. The offense has been up and down for years even with Ben. They've won with an average offense but can't win with an average defense.
    I'm not arguing about what this D accomplished during those SB runs. I'm talking about present day and moving forward. A complex D that takes years to grasp isn't going to cut it in this new NFL.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by feltdizz View Post
    I'm not arguing about what this D accomplished during those SB runs. I'm talking about present day and moving forward. A complex D that takes years to grasp isn't going to cut it in this new NFL.
    Almost every starting defensive player on this team was starting by year 2. There is no evidence that players are taking years to start in this defense. Even Hood was starting by mid way of his first year. Troy was starting his 2nd. Woodley his 2nd. The ones that appear to take longer are undrafted rookies like Harrison or late picks like Keisel. But again they are playing behind not just starters but very good players. There are two rookies starting on this defense.

    Also even with all the confusing defense they are able to be 15th in scoring and 8th against the pass. That means they are better than 17 other teams with simple defenses even with all the issues.

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