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SteelersMongol
08-16-2008, 03:18 AM
Linebacker speaks his mind after loss to Bills

TORONTO -- James Harrison does not seem to agree with the rest of his teammates. He is not buying the excuses that the Steelers' defense is not playing very well merely because it is the preseason and the unit is not game-planning for the opponent.

Harrison, a Pro Bowl outside linebacker and the team's Most Valuable Player last season, was upset after the 24-21 loss to the Buffalo Bills Thursday night and criticized the mindset of his defensive teammates for the way the starting unit has performed in the preseason.

So, while some of his teammates pooh-poohed the poor tackling and the two touchdowns allowed to the Bills, the third-worst scoring team in the National Football League last season, Harrison stood at his locker and warned that it is time for the defense to start performing before bad habits carry over to the regular season.

"We're going out there and treating the preseason too much like the preseason," Harrison said. "We're going out there and thinking everything is just going to come when the regular season begins and we're just out there playing snap for snap, getting our timing and not playing up to the level were capable of playing at. I don't feel that's OK."

The first-team defense was on the field for only one series against the Philadelphia Eagles and three against the Bills. But, on those four possessions, the defense has allowed a field goal and two touchdowns with scoring drives of 67, 70 and 90 yards.

The Bills made it look easy, too, rushing for 71 yards on two series and getting a pair of touchdown passes from quarterback Trent Edwards to tight end Robert Royal.

"You go out there and have two teams run the length of field on us three times out of four series, hell, yeah, that's concerning," Harrison said.

And Harrison didn't want to hear that the Steelers' defense intentionally showed little of its substitution or blitz packages against the Bills, using the nickel defense on only five occasions during the first three possessions.

On the opening scoring drive, the base 3-4 defense was on the field for nine of the Bills' 10 plays.

"I feel like our base defense is enough to do what we need to do," Harrison said.

"We're just not playing up to the level we're capable of right now. Something has to change."

After the game, coach Mike Tomlin criticized the sloppy tackling and said it was one of the reasons the Steelers did not use many, if any, of its sub packages.

"When you're not tackling, you got to play basic football," Tomlin said.

The problems on defense are merely a continuation of what happened toward the end of the 2007 season, even though the Steelers finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the league in overall defense. They couldn't stop the run, they allowed too many deep passes and they had problems protecting late leads.

So far, they haven't used the preseason to correct any of the flaws.

Or, so it appears to Harrison.

"It's not just going to snap around and just come soon as September comes," Harrison said. "You got to go out there and play these preseason games like it's a real game, no matter how long you're in there. And I don't feel like we're doing that right now.

"We're going out there and getting our timing, getting our plays in and getting out. We're not playing or coming out with the same attitude we come out with in the regular season.

"You got to show something in the preseason. That's why we play the damn games."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08229/904845-66.stm?cmpid=steelers.xml

I know our special team is not that good. I mean they were as bad as before. And the offensive team is struggling. Last year's 47 sack, with Faneca out, things are gonna be as bad they were, if not worse, if it's not addressed & dealt with soon. But what the heck is wrong with our defense? :banging:

The Duke
08-16-2008, 03:39 AM
But what the heck is wrong with our defense?

it's pre season.

that's all

I love james enthusiasm, he wants to be better, he wants the team to be better, but fact is the players go as far as they are instructed by the coaches.

there's no scheming for the game, nothing special, so obviously there will be holes on the D.

is that a concern?

No, unless it continues come september 7. then there's a story. right now not so much

"You got to go out there and play these preseason games like it's a real game, no matter how long you're in there. And I don't feel like we're doing that right now.[/B]

maybe rookies and young players trying to make the team. veterans and starters should avoid injury

The thing about harrison is he was an UDFA. He was cut what 3 times by the steelers? He fought his way to the league and he kept that attitude. nothing wrong with that. willie seems to be the same

anyway, who cares? the steelers are doomed (sarcasm smiley) :chuckle:

Galax Steeler
08-16-2008, 04:52 AM
I have to agree with what Harrison said I think they need to step up and play better in preseason so they can be prepared for regular season the bills drove withe ease on us in those two drives preseason or not we need to stop them.

Glace
08-16-2008, 07:53 AM
I love it!

I can't even begin to tell you how much it pisses me off when I see guys just dive at the legs of the ball carrier....They don't wrap them up at all. That sloppy chance-tackling bit them in the ass during the game at the Bills. Polamalu does that crap all the time.

WRAP....THEM....UP!!!!!!!!!

millwalldavey
08-16-2008, 08:52 AM
I love it!

I can't even begin to tell you how much it pisses me off when I see guys just dive at the legs of the ball carrier....They don't wrap them up at all. That sloppy chance-tackling bit them in the ass during the game at the Bills. Polamalu does that crap all the time.

WRAP....THEM....UP!!!!!!!!!

Iv'e seen quite a bit of that in our two games... it is indeed the pre-season, but the player do not get paid to hold that kind of attitude.

43Hitman
08-16-2008, 09:55 AM
I understand that it's pre-season, but there is no excuse for poor tackling. I applaud Harrison for stepping up and saying something.

stillers4me
08-16-2008, 10:00 AM
I understand that it's pre-season, but there is no excuse for poor tackling. I applaud Harrison for stepping up and saying something.

Totally agree. Preseason is what it is.......but there's no excuse for the poor tackling.

James Harrison is normally a man of few words and speaks little to the press. It says alot that he has spoken out..........James was the team MVP last year and is stepping up as a real leader. :thumbsup:

When James Harrison talks, people listen. Or else. :helmet:

Dino 6 Rings
08-16-2008, 10:35 AM
I believe we have found our Defensive Leader. Thank God...who do we play next? Whoever they are, I pity the fools.

klick81
08-16-2008, 10:54 AM
Harrison taking a leadership role...I LOVE IT. What the man is saying is the truth...it's time to polish up these basic skills and put them to use.

stillers4me
08-16-2008, 10:56 AM
I believe we have found our Defensive Leader. Thank God...who do we play next? Whoever they are, I pity the fools.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/sueincinci/mr-t-back1.jpg

43Hitman
08-16-2008, 11:00 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/sueincinci/mr-t-back1.jpg

:toofunny:

rbryan
08-16-2008, 11:02 AM
This is a good sign. The D will get it together when it counts.

I think we are seeing a trend of the starters giving less effort in the preseason on every team. Not saying its right or wrong, just saying. When you have marquis players held out of the preseason altogether ie LT, its human nature for other guys to hold back in meaningless games. You wouldn't like it much if the starters were dropping like flies in exhibition games.

SteelersJW
08-16-2008, 11:17 AM
Even though the first team defense struggled against Buffalo on Thursday, James Harrison looked solid. He had some great pass rushes and was always in Edwards' face. I think this year he'll become a big leader on the defense. Hopefully his intensity will be matched by the rest of the defense.

DACEB
08-16-2008, 11:24 AM
When James Harrison talks, people listen. Or else. :helmet:

Darn right, they had better listen. Silverback, I'm sure, has a feel for where the teams mentality is at. He probably is getting a vibe that he doesn't particularly care for. I applaude James for speaking out.

Someone needs to speak up before the whole Hampton "I'll be ready to go come gametime" bullshit mentality infects the whole team.

rbryan
08-16-2008, 11:25 AM
The verdict is still out on Hampton, but I think he will play his way back into shape over the next three weeks. That along with Troy coming back will go a long way to turn the D around. I like what I see from Timmons(who is still learning) I look forward to him replacing Foote.

Be patient grasshopper(s)

Edman
08-16-2008, 12:07 PM
Harrison is right. I don't care if it's preseason. The Steelers First Team D hasn't been playing well. They need more intensity and better tackling. I don't care if you have to grab the Jersey, get your hands on the man and wrap him up. Swarm him. Just TACKLE.

The Steelers Defense wouldn't have such holes if they would just TACKLE.

Props to Harrison for stepping up and saying something. This Defense really needs a kick in the nuts to get going.

Steeldude
08-16-2008, 12:11 PM
while it is only pre-season, it doesn't mean you let ball carriers run by you.

benfan7
08-16-2008, 02:41 PM
hopefully this will get the D's mindset to: "Lets actually try"
way to go Harrison! atleast someone wants to win this year.

steel striker
08-16-2008, 06:34 PM
I agree with harrison and, yes it was time for someone to say something. I don't think Joey Porter would stand for this type of play. As mentioned above this shows leadership and, I don't care what anyone says we still miss Joey Porter. Now Timmons does look like a star on the rise for sure. To me poor tackling is the basics for football. We have to play better defense then that or we will be in trouble. I sure hope our special teams can get better. Why is it that our special teams always seem to kill us? I like what i see from the offense and, Ben looks good moves the ball and even has thrown some passes away when there was not a play to be made.

It sure looks like we have some real good playmakers on the offense Mendenhall looks like he will fit in well. FWP I think will have a great year. Just as long as the oline can get it together. Sweed is going to be a good one and, I look for Holmes to have a monster year. Hines will have a great year as well and, I hope we use Heath Miller alot. Sorry for the rant and the long wind.

Glace
08-17-2008, 08:02 AM
When James Harrison talks, people listen. Or else. :helmet:

Or else they'll be taking a poop in the locker room bathroom someday....and Harrison will break down the stall door and smack their asses into shape!!

:sofunny:

43Hitman
08-17-2008, 09:27 AM
while it is only pre-season, it doesn't mean you let ball carriers run by you.

Totally agree.

SteelMember
08-18-2008, 08:22 AM
I understand that it's pre-season, but there is no excuse for poor tackling. I applaud Harrison for stepping up and saying something.

Totally agree.:thumbsup:

Even if these games are only practice for most of these players and tryouts for the rest, you have to make the most of your time on the field.

Poor practice will only promote poor play.

Tackling should be their first concern.

stlrtruck
08-18-2008, 09:23 AM
It's about time someone stands up and let's the others know that they were sucking hind arse the other night and that eventually practice carries over to game day.

DACEB
08-20-2008, 09:01 AM
You think Tomlin is smiling inside after James comments? The team does play coach T's former squad this week afterall, would be nice to have a good showing and a win for the coach.

stlrtruck
08-20-2008, 09:26 AM
You think Tomlin is smiling inside after James comments? The team does play coach T's former squad this week afterall, would be nice to have a good showing and a win for the coach.

I just hope this "emotion" carries over in the regular season and the players respond accordingly.

Brandon
08-20-2008, 01:00 PM
The good thing is, this was a wake up call. Usually Week 2 of the pre-season contending teams get their you know whats handed to them and everyone takes a step back and goes "Whoa" Harrison showing his leadership will make this team grow, I expect a dominating first half performance against the Vikings on the weekend, and you know Coach Tomlin expects the same.