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SteelProven
10-24-2005, 05:01 PM
By Len Pasquarelli
ESPN.com

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=pasquarelli_len&id=2202130

This is a very good read!!

Secondary steps up for Steelers
In terms of young, emerging defensive backs, there may be no better team in the league right now than the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have a secondary that runs deep, runs pretty fast, and is plenty rambunctious. The Steelers went into Sunday's game against the high-octane passing offense of the Cincinnati Bengals with three corners -- Deshea Townsend (hamstring), Ricardo Colclough (shoulder) and Willie Williams (groin) -- on the official injury report. Williams started the game but, one snap into the contest, he was replaced by rookie Bryant McFadden, a second-round draft pick, in the base alignment.



PolamaluEven with the decreased body count (Colclough didn't dress for the game and Williams and Townsend, who played in the sub packages, were limping around), the secondary had a terrific performance. Unheralded free safety Chris Hope had a key interception, arguably the signature play of the afternoon for the Steelers defense, a second pass defensed and six tackles. Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu notched five tackles. McFadden had a pair of stops and two passes defensed, one of which he should have had for an interception. And Ike Taylor, who is starting to come on as one of the league's promising cornerbacks, took on Cincinnati star wide receiver Chad Johnson all over the field and limited him to four catches for 94 yards. The loquacious Johnson, who continued to jaw-jack throughout the game, got precisely half his yardage total on a late-game catch when the outcome was long decided.

Funny thing about the Pittsburgh secondary (and being a native 'burgher we can say this), but it's far more admired around the league than it is by the hometown fans, who never feel the unit plays well enough. But think about this: In his previous nine games, Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer had compiled a passer efficiency rating of 100 or more each time, and his mark in the nine-game streak was 113.4. On Sunday, he completed only 21 of 36, just two for more than 20 yards, and his rating was an anemic 53.8.

This could be a Steelers secondary that is good for a lot of years. Polamalu is a monster, a superb hybrid safety who can do it all. Hope, whose contract expires after this season but hopes he can get an extension before the year ends, is a nice complement at safety. Taylor has good size, is in only his third season, and can lock down on receivers. Colclough is a player who, like Taylor, figures to mature in time. And McFadden, a guy touted as a possible sleeper in the first round heading into the 2005 draft, doesn't run all that well but is one of those corners who is around the ball. Even Townsend, another underrated all-around corner, is only 30 years old.

Kevin Colber, the director of football operations, and coach Bill Cowher have done a very nice job replenishing the secondary -- six contributors in the unit were added in the past four drafts -- and it is a bunch that will only improve.

Grey
10-24-2005, 05:28 PM
Thanks for that.

I was definately impressed with the work of the secondary on Sunday. This personnel is quite a change from our 6-10 season, huh? Things look a bit better without Chad Scott :funny: and Washington.

One thing that they do better than any other team I've seen in the league right now --- TACKLE.

Here we go.
Grey

clevestinks
10-24-2005, 06:14 PM
Steel Proven nice find. This is starting to be a seconday with some depth, Wow its been awhile since we`ve been able to say that