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Thread: Re: Defensive Execution

  1. #1
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    Re: Defensive Execution

    We've talked a bunch about whether our issues on D are more about scheme or execution.

    I was listening to the Terrible Podcast and they had what I thought was interesting insight into this problem.

    I think that part of the reason Butler wasn't fired was that he was brought in to get sacks and we've had the most sacks in the league since he was hired. But, we suck at generating turnovers.

    On Steelers Depot, Alex K has an interesting article about how teams with sacks have historically gotten interceptions too.
    https://steelersdepot.com/2019/02/ru...in-pittsburgh/

    I won't quote the whole article, but I thought these two paragraphs were interesting (emphasis is mine).

    Over the last two seasons, no team in football has recorded more sacks than the Steelers 108. That’s 16 more than second place. And yet, since 2017, they rank near the bottom of the league in takeaways. The disparity between them and the rest of the high-sack teams isn’t just jarring, it should be statistically impossible. Here are the top five teams in sacks and where they rank in turnovers.
    ...
    "Since 2000, there have been 11 teams to record 100 total sacks over a two year span. Nine of them had at least 50 takeaways and no team had fewer than 43. The Steelers? Just 37. Unacceptable in every sense of the word."


    Now why don't we get picks and fumbles? It must be some combination of scheme, execution, and lack of play making ability.

    If it's scheme, hopefully moving Butler to more of a front 7 role and bringing in a new coach for the secondary helps. Maybe being an ex-LB coach helps Butler get sacks and pressures, but he doesn't understand good coverage schemes?

    I tend to believe that it's more play making ability. Another thing I heard on the podcast today was that PFF had the Steelers with the most dropped ints in the league at 13 (about double the average of 7). To me that's on lack of talent / execution since the player seems to have been in the right place at the right time, but couldn't make the play.

    https://twitter.com/PFF_Sam/status/1...ense-in-nfl%2F

    I also think we should get more strip sacks, but I didn't see any data on the rate that happens vs. the Steelers strip sack rate.

    Anyway, I thought this was some interesting information that I thought I'd share with everyone. I think it fits with what I already believed about the team, so I'd be interested in hearing some other opinions to challenge my confirmation bias.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northern_Blitz View Post
    We've talked a bunch about whether our issues on D are more about scheme or execution.

    I was listening to the Terrible Podcast and they had what I thought was interesting insight into this problem.

    I think that part of the reason Butler wasn't fired was that he was brought in to get sacks and we've had the most sacks in the league since he was hired. But, we suck at generating turnovers.

    On Steelers Depot, Alex K has an interesting article about how teams with sacks have historically gotten interceptions too.
    https://steelersdepot.com/2019/02/ru...in-pittsburgh/

    I won't quote the whole article, but I thought these two paragraphs were interesting (emphasis is mine).

    Over the last two seasons, no team in football has recorded more sacks than the Steelers 108. That’s 16 more than second place. And yet, since 2017, they rank near the bottom of the league in takeaways. The disparity between them and the rest of the high-sack teams isn’t just jarring, it should be statistically impossible. Here are the top five teams in sacks and where they rank in turnovers.
    ...
    "Since 2000, there have been 11 teams to record 100 total sacks over a two year span. Nine of them had at least 50 takeaways and no team had fewer than 43. The Steelers? Just 37. Unacceptable in every sense of the word."


    Now why don't we get picks and fumbles? It must be some combination of scheme, execution, and lack of play making ability.

    If it's scheme, hopefully moving Butler to more of a front 7 role and bringing in a new coach for the secondary helps. Maybe being an ex-LB coach helps Butler get sacks and pressures, but he doesn't understand good coverage schemes?

    I tend to believe that it's more play making ability. Another thing I heard on the podcast today was that PFF had the Steelers with the most dropped ints in the league at 13 (about double the average of 7). To me that's on lack of talent / execution since the player seems to have been in the right place at the right time, but couldn't make the play.

    https://twitter.com/PFF_Sam/status/1...ense-in-nfl%2F

    I also think we should get more strip sacks, but I didn't see any data on the rate that happens vs. the Steelers strip sack rate.

    Anyway, I thought this was some interesting information that I thought I'd share with everyone. I think it fits with what I already believed about the team, so I'd be interested in hearing some other opinions to challenge my confirmation bias.
    I picked up on the dropped INTs. If you add in half the drops as playable it puts the Steelers defense right with the pack. Player there to make the play, but didn't. Not much different than a kicker being asked to kick a FG.
    Players gotta 'do their job '.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthCoast View Post
    I picked up on the dropped INTs. If you add in half the drops as playable it puts the Steelers defense right with the pack. Player there to make the play, but didn't. Not much different than a kicker being asked to kick a FG.
    Players gotta 'do their job '.
    Nope...it's Tomlin's fault every time a player drops an INT or misses a tackle.
    Last edited by Oviedo; 02-07-2019 at 04:22 AM.

  4. #4
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    So who do we hire to increase take away’s?

    Molon labe

    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. George Orwell



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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by fordfixer View Post
    So who do we hire to increase take away’s?
    That's the question.

    I think we need to hire playmakers on D.

    But, hopefully Tyrel Austin helps at least somewhat. With scheme improvements and maybe with how to catch the football.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    Nope...it's Tomlin's fault every time a player drops an INT or misses a tackle.
    It is the culture of dropped INT's that Tomlin has created.

  7. #7
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    We are better at dropping interceptions than anyone.

    Ike Taylor must have given a master class on it last summer in Latrobe.

    He probably brought in Limas Sweed, Sammie Coates, and Dwight Stone as guest speakers.
    "The Terrible Towel is poised to strike...and boy, did he strike!" -Myron Cope

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher View Post
    We are better at dropping interceptions than anyone.

    Ike Taylor must have given a master class on it last summer in Latrobe.

    He probably brought in Limas Sweed, Sammie Coates, and Dwight Stone as guest speakers.
    Should have brought in Charles Johnson. He could at least make spectacular catches (but drop the easier ones).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher View Post
    We are better at dropping interceptions than anyone.

    Ike Taylor must have given a master class on it last summer in Latrobe.

    He probably brought in Limas Sweed, Sammie Coates, and Dwight Stone as guest speakers.
    Yeah...Ike did drop a ton of pick balls. That isn't a lie.
    From the 2010-2018 season, Mike Tomlin has only won 3 playoff games. And two of those wins were against back up Quarterbacks. Our history has been defined by what we do in the post season; not the regular season.

  10. #10
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    I always think about this when I see the D beaten up. I know it can be different each game, but in the big picture, aside from the head coach (who has his hands in all aspects), who is responsible for the failings of the D?

    Is it the FO who scouts and drafts the players? Are they finding the wrong players?

    Is it the D co-ordinator? Does the gameplan not take advantage of the skills and expose the weaknesses? Are the players not put in position to succeed? Is he not adjusting his plan when he sees it isn't working?

    Is it the defensive positional coaches? Are they not teaching them well enough so that they can improve?

    Is it the players themselves? Are they put into position to succeed but they just don't execute when the time is right? This also could fall on the FO for not recognizing a player who isn't clutch when needed.

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