6 games with Casey we average giving up 103 RUSHING yards a game.
10 games WITHOUT Casey we give up 68 yards a game.
In Hokes first every NFL start we give up FIVE rushing yards in a victory against the eventual Super Bowl champs.
We played every divisional foe both with and without Casey
With Casey 172
Without Casey 71
With Casey 98
Without Casey 68
With Casey 137
With Casey 62
Against COMMON OPPONENTS in the VERY SAME SEASON we essentially gave up TWICE THE RUSH YARDAGE with Casey as we did without Casey.
By any conceivable standard our defense was not hurt much by his absence.
Casey WAS NOT the biggest reason our run defense excelled. When our line backing crew is solid, NT gets WAY too much credit for their success.
We had the NFLs best rush defense with or without Casey.
Last edited by Captain Lemming; 06-29-2014 at 06:06 PM.
Hines and Troy. No doubt about it.
Even as Troy is getting his bearings, early in 2004 it's not there yet. As Troy got going SO DID THE ENTIRE DEFENSE DESPITE CASEYS ABSENCE. The emergence of Troy is the one variable that explains the huge defensive turnaround.
The recent run of success involves THREE THINGS that happened in 2004.
And yes haters it involved THE RETURN OF THE GREATEST DEFENSIVE MIND IN NFL HISTORY, Lebeau.
Both offense AND defense made huge strides that year.
The last 2 years, the Defense has suffered in the run department and it just so happens that Casey retired when the run D began to suffer. He was a huge asset to our run D.
Troy's impact (loss) coincided with others too. I think that doesn't get played up enough. e.g. One year, Troy was hurt a while, but it coincided with Aaron Smith being out at the same time. (BTW, I'm not one who overplays Aaron Smith's impact... though he was a good player.)
The guys who really impact the team IMO, are the guys who alter the culture. There were two, in the 2000's: Joey Porter and Hines Ward. (As I type that, I realize how dumb I am... those guys are pretty much out of that 10-year window.) TBH, it can't be Bettis or Peezy then (out of the time frame). Aaron Smith and Hines are out too (neither was in the real prime in that time frame, and both have been retired a few years now).
I guess it has to be Polamalu then.
Guys and gals,
If you play fantasy football, go to the FF forum here and read my thread. I'd appreciate some feedback on it.
Save for ONE GUY, (Timmons) we will have a front seven that has completely changed in rapid order.
Not only have we lost people, several on last years team were so much on the decline that they are not on the team anymore.
Conversely WE HAVE SEEN the impact of losing Casey when everything else on the team is the same.
I repeat, when this team was loaded WE NEVER MISSED CASEY.
Last year we lost plenty more than just Casey.
As much as he gets no love Foote LED THE TEAM with 113 tackles replaced by who? Vince Williams? Oh and he was so bad WE HAD TROY playing ILBer at times.
Aging as as he was James Harrison led the team with 11 tackles during his last game as a Steeler. Replaced by Jones who was lost for most of the season.
Those are HUGE loses to the run defense last season along with Casey. Season prior we lost Farrior and Smith.
There are three HoF worthy players on the team during that time period:
Apparently a 5x pro bowler, Team MVP 2005, 2013 Pittsburgh Pro Football HoFamer, and Steelers All Time Team member was an insignificant player.