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Thread: Run Defense

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by steeler_fan_in_t.o. View Post
    I've been saying since Hampton left that the NT position is the key to this D. The D has been in decline since he started becoming less effective. Anytime I tried to stress the importance of the position, I was met with..."NT is not that important because whenever Casey was hurt we did just fine with Hoke". That is like saying that Joe Montana wasn't so good because after he left SF, Steve Young kept them winning.
    You just compared Chris Hoke to STEVE YOUNG? Really?
    The guy backing up Montana was a HOF talent.
    Hoke......not so much.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by steeler_fan_in_t.o. View Post
    I've been questioning McLendon for a long time, but was willing to wait and see his improvements for this year. So far, I've seen none.

    I would give the mountain of a rook named McCullers a start. IMO this is one thing that must be stopped - allowing every team to run up the middle like they are facing a JV squad. Let the big guy see if he can occupy two blockers on a starting lineup and he has the job...let thew rest of the D get figured out from there.

    I've been saying since Hampton left that the NT position is the key to this D. The D has been in decline since he started becoming less effective. Anytime I tried to stress the importance of the position, I was met with..."NT is not that important because whenever Casey was hurt we did just fine with Hoke". That is like saying that Joe Montana wasn't so good because after he left SF, Steve Young kept them winning.

    Gotta get back to basics here. Fat guy in the middle forces two linemen to double team him. Frees up Heyward/Tuitt/Keisel/Thomas to roam a little more freely. That inturn gives the LBs a lot more space to attack. Given that, the CBs have less time required to follow their assignments around.
    Yes, if Im rooting for anyone to make the team it has to be McCullers. Lets get ourselves a legitimate NT!!
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  3. #13
    Pro Bowler skyhawk's Avatar
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    As I thought, the Steelers beat a pretty poor bills team. They got killed by the bucs today. We looked good last game cuz they stink.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by skyhawk View Post
    As I thought, the Steelers beat a pretty poor bills team. They got killed by the bucs today. We looked good last game cuz they stink.
    I'm afraid this is truth.

  5. #15
    Contrary to popular opinion, the coaches aren't dumb. McCullers has the team made. He is only specimen that fully integrates the physical requirements for the NT position. I didn't expect a lot from him when he was drafted. McClendon has tried to add weight, but it is sloppy weight and he still gets blocked out of the middle. McCullers is naturally big and not fat. He is as hard to root out of the middle as the old growth Maple tree in the yard. I'm not saying he'll be all-pro or has no faults, but he will occupy two blockers and be difficult to move. That is the important thing. I am also none too sure about whether Cam Thomas can handle the position either.

    McCullers might not start out the year as the starter there, but I think he'll be active soon. I think he will be a key part of this defense at some point.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triumph View Post
    Longtime Lurker here. As far as the three starters at d-line, bringing Keisel back will help, but I'm not sure if he's penciled in as the starter. Also, I no longer believe Mclendon is going to develop into a force at the nose. Perhaps I've been spoiled in the past with the dominate play of Casey Hampton, Chris Hoke and Joel Steed, but I believe Mclendon's ceiling has been reached as just a role player or spot starter. Cam Heyward will be fine, but I'm hoping Cam Thomas and Tuitt can step up provide depth or even more.
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  7. #17
    In addition to not having a stout NT, the Steelers LB corp has gotten smaller and faster. In doing so, I wonder if they've lost too much bulk. As good as he was rushing the passer, James Harrison was a beast against the run. He set the edge and he was also a monster coming down the line. Jones, not so much. Shazier is quick and I love the speed and athleticism. But he needs to wrap up better. Timmons has always been a guy who relies more on speed than strength.

    Part of the Steelers formula, in addition to having a stout NT, has been pairing a faster, more athletic ILB with a more stout run defender. Levon Kirkland, Earl Holmes, Larry Foote, etc. One bigger guy with one faster guy. Playing now mostly out of a nickel D, with smaller LBers, have the Steelers leaned too far in the other direction?

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by phillyesq View Post
    In addition to not having a stout NT, the Steelers LB corp has gotten smaller and faster. In doing so, I wonder if they've lost too much bulk. As good as he was rushing the passer, James Harrison was a beast against the run. He set the edge and he was also a monster coming down the line. Jones, not so much. Shazier is quick and I love the speed and athleticism. But he needs to wrap up better. Timmons has always been a guy who relies more on speed than strength.

    Part of the Steelers formula, in addition to having a stout NT, has been pairing a faster, more athletic ILB with a more stout run defender. Levon Kirkland, Earl Holmes, Larry Foote, etc. One bigger guy with one faster guy. Playing now mostly out of a nickel D, with smaller LBers, have the Steelers leaned too far in the other direction?
    Yes, but they have been nudged by the NFL rule changes aimed at their annual fascination with increasing offensive passing games and setting new ALL-TIME RECORDS every year.
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  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by phillyesq View Post
    In addition to not having a stout NT, the Steelers LB corp has gotten smaller and faster. In doing so, I wonder if they've lost too much bulk. As good as he was rushing the passer, James Harrison was a beast against the run. He set the edge and he was also a monster coming down the line. Jones, not so much. Shazier is quick and I love the speed and athleticism. But he needs to wrap up better. Timmons has always been a guy who relies more on speed than strength.

    Part of the Steelers formula, in addition to having a stout NT, has been pairing a faster, more athletic ILB with a more stout run defender. Levon Kirkland, Earl Holmes, Larry Foote, etc. One bigger guy with one faster guy. Playing now mostly out of a nickel D, with smaller LBers, have the Steelers leaned too far in the other direction?
    I was saying a few years ago that the 3-4 Lbr as we know it is dead. They no longer use traditional thumpers as they tend to not be able to cover. We would be rolling with LBr/safety hybrids...hence Shazier. Shazier played college at safety weight. He is now bigger but doesn't play big...as I stated before and after we drafted him. I believe the guy is going to be special...but he will get washed out if you don't keep those linebackers off of him. He isn't Kirkland.

  10. #20
    This is why they moved Timmons over to the Mack...

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