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Thread: Butler: Dupree won't be as useless on the other side

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    Butler: Dupree won't be as useless on the other side

    Tim Benz: 2 reasons to love Steelers OLB switch; 1 reason to hate it

    TIM BENZ | Tuesday, June 19, 2018

    One of the biggest revelations that emerged from Steelers minicamp is the outside linebacker position swap between Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt isn't just an experiment during organized team activities. It's not a change-up the team is working on to keep opposing tackles off-balance.

    Dupree practiced primarily as the outside linebacker on the right side. Watt usually was working on the left side. That's opposite of last season.

    After hearing defensive coordinator Keith Butler and the players talk more about it last week, it has become clear that decision is being done with long-term intent.

    The are two major reasons to applaud this move. There is one reason to be critical of it.

    The first reason for applause is it could help Dupree significantly. The Steelers still have optimism for Dupree because his strength and athleticism show up on gameday, even if it's not seen on the stat sheet.

    He frequently pushed back or rushed around opposing right tackles last year. Unfortunately, he did that dramatically enough he often ran too deep into the pocket and too far beyond the other team's quarterback.

    Dupree has a tendency to start a rush on the 30-yard line and wind up on the patio of the open end of Heinz Field. That allowed the QB to escape the pocket or step up into a clear passing lane on the right side.

    This was a common complaint from fans and media throughout 2017. Butler gave credence to that gripe with his comments last week.

    "What Bud did too much of last year, in my opinion, was he got past the quarterback," Butler said. "To me, you're useless when you're past the quarterback."

    Augmenting that problem is most passers in the NFL are right-handed, so they easily could see how far upfield Dupree had gone as he blew past their natural field of vision. Working from the blind side more frequently in the new alignment, quarterbacks might not be able to exploit that flaw in Dupree's game as much if it continues.

    "Now, he won't be as useless behind the quarterback because he can work back a little bit or he can go up and under where the quarterback won't see him," Butler said.

    Secondly, the move could help the defense by Watt's presence on the left side. If Dupree switching pans out, the quarterback will be scrambling to the defense's left side more often. Butler apparently feels Watt will be better in contain duties.

    "T.J. will be a little bit more disciplined in terms of how he is trying to contain the quarterback and constrict the pocket around him," he added.

    Expanding on that, Watt, who had seven pass break-ups last year, believes if the passer is rolling toward him more frequently, he'll have an opportunity to bat down more throws.

    "I'm presented more opportunities to bat the ball down when I'm on the left side. Even in this (offseason camp), I've been able to knock down more passes than usual," Watt said last week.

    Watt said the move will help him personally as well.

    "I think I'm more natural on the left side just because I'm more right-hand dominant," Watt said. "I can have a better dip and a better stab. I have more pitches I can throw on the left side."

    The only complaint about this switch: Why wasn't it done last year?!

    All of the discussed attributes seemed apparent to the Average Joe watching. Coaches had to be aware much earlier than us. So why wait?

    "We had a rookie and another guy who hadn't been in the league very long," Butler said. "We didn't think it was a good idea halfway through the season to switch them because we weren't being unsuccessful in terms of winning games."

    No. But the defense became less successful at preventing points as the season went along. This is a classic case of Steelers coaches answering the "is it hard for the linebackers to switch sides in the 3-4 defense" question in a way that fits the narrative they want.

    If they want to make it sound difficult, they say it's hard to do.

    If they want to make it sound easy before a change is made, they say it's easy.

    It was that way for weeks when the move was discussed about LaMarr Woodley, and years when wondered about Jarvis Jones and Alonzo Jackson. Butler has said both. So have Bill Cowher, Mike Tomlin and Dick LeBeau.

    The 20/20-hindsight venting aside, switching Watt and Dupree is full of logic and should pay dividends for a Steelers defense that needs as much help as possible.

    http://triblive.com/sports/columnist...ch-1-reason-to

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    Gerry Dulac's Steelers chat transcript: 6.20.18

    GERRY DULAC
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    JUN 20, 2018

    A. Ditson: What are your thoughts on Dupree and his prospects for a better season switching sides? There were stretches last year where he went several games with few to no tackles and was invisible out there. I am not concerned with how many sacks he gets, I am more concerned with his disappearing act for multiple games.

    Gerry Dulac: I think he disappeared for more than a couple games. The Steelers had no choice but to pick up his fifth-year option. He needs to be better against the run, in addition to more disruptive in the backfield

    Rob Rogers: D Coordinator admits to moving Dupree to other side because he might be better if QB can't seem him. Not really a ringing endorsement of a player, right?

    Gerry Dulac: Nope. Reaching for compliments, if you call that one

    http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/s...s/201806200124
    Last edited by hawaiiansteel; 06-21-2018 at 03:05 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel View Post
    Gerry Dulac's Steelers chat transcript: 6.20.18

    GERRY DULAC
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    JUN 20, 2018

    A. Ditson: What are your thoughts on Dupree and his prospects for a better season switching sides? There were stretches last year where he went several games with few to no tackles and was invisible out there. I am not concerned with how many sacks he gets, I am more concerned with his disappearing act for multiple games.

    Gerry Dulac: I think he disappeared for more than a couple games. The Steelers had no choice but to pick up his fifth-year option. He needs to be better against the run, in addition to more disruptive in the backfield

    Rob Rogers: D Coordinator admits to moving Dupree to other side because he might be better if QB can't seem him. Not really a ringing endorsement of a player, right?

    Gerry Dulac: Nope. Reaching for compliments, if you call that one

    http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/s...s/201806200124
    Wow. More disappointment.

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    Bud Dupree needs to worry about rushing the passer, not leading the defense

    By: Curt Popejoy

    Any successful NFL team has leaders on the field, leaders in the locker room and those guys who just come to work every day and do their job. Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was on Steelers Nation Unite and he talked about linebacker Bud Dupree taking more of a leadership role with the team.

    And we couldn’t disagree more.

    The start of Dupree’s career has not gone according to plan. After coming to the Steelers as one of the most athletic defenders in the draft, Dupree still hasn’t found a way to translate that to the field on a consistent basis. Dupree was drafted to be the next great Steelers pass rusher and that is where his focus should be.

    “Certainly, we’re looking for more pressure,” Tomlin said. “I don’t think there will ever be a point in time where I’m not singing that song. But I expect Bud to grow in all areas. He’s at that point in his career where he’s no longer a young guy. He needs to do the things that come with that.”

    There are plenty of players on this defense that can be productive and still lead the unit. Nothing we have seen from Dupree through three seasons says he can do that. Pittsburgh exercised Dupree’s fifth-year option which will pay him $9.2 million in 2019. Nothing better for confidence than to finally break out in 2018 in the sack department.

    No one is ready to call Dupree a bust on the level of Jarvis Jones but he has not lived up to the pre-draft hype. If he can just get really good at finishing plays, he can lead by example and that’s what this defense needs.

    https://steelerswire.usatoday.com/20...g-the-defense/

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    They trying desperately to give Dupree every opportunity.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Maniac View Post
    They trying desperately to give Dupree every opportunity.
    well, unfortunately we don't have anyone any better...

  7. #7
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    Nothing wrong with changing the scheme to better fit the players...if Bud doesn’t fit where they thought he would, why not put him in a better position to succeed...
    Actually, my post was NOT about you...but, if the shoe fits, feel free to lace that &!+€# up and wear it.

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    True..........

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slapstick View Post
    Nothing wrong with changing the scheme to better fit the players...if Bud doesn’t fit where they thought he would, why not put him in a better position to succeed...
    seriously....timmons played infinitely better on the inside than the outside, max starks was a better LT than RT for us against most logic, william gay was a better inside CB than outside CB

    I really liked the Dupree pick at the time (was a big Shane Ray guy, but really thought they found their guy). I am losing faith in him, but the logic oh moving him because of his struggles as a pass rusher make a lot of sense. We see him be the guy to almost get there but never quite gets there. Coming from the blind side may help him, it may not, but weve already seen TJ grow into a closer with speed, technique, and relentlessness...may not make a difference but may help everyone in the end

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    Quote Originally Posted by K Train View Post
    seriously....timmons played infinitely better on the inside than the outside, max starks was a better LT than RT for us against most logic, william gay was a better inside CB than outside CB

    I really liked the Dupree pick at the time (was a big Shane Ray guy, but really thought they found their guy). I am losing faith in him, but the logic oh moving him because of his struggles as a pass rusher make a lot of sense. We see him be the guy to almost get there but never quite gets there. Coming from the blind side may help him, it may not, but weve already seen TJ grow into a closer with speed, technique, and relentlessness...may not make a difference but may help everyone in the end
    I hope your right K-Train. I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for Dupree but it’s put up or get out time for Dupree.

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