View Full Version : Steelers defense: There's no need to panic

09-24-2009, 11:03 PM
Steelers defense: There's no need to panic
By Scott Brown
Friday, September 25, 2009

It's not that Dick LeBeau got, well, defensive about questions of what can be done to counter the quick-drop, short-passing games opponents have employed with success through the first two weeks of the season.

But the defensive coordinator made it clear that he will be anything but reactionary following a 17-14 loss to the Chicago Bears. In the earliest loss the Steelers have suffered under third-year coach Mike Tomlin, the vaunted defense couldn't protect a fourth-quarter lead and gave up a pair of long touchdown drives.

"We're going to keep coaching them the way we've been coaching them," LeBeau said after practice Thursday. "I think we led the league in (fewest) points yielded last season. I haven't looked, but I'm sure we're not last in points yielded this year. We're not going to change because we lost 17-14."

The Steelers, for the record, are tied for fifth with the Atlanta Falcons in scoring defense. But they are only 19th in passing defense, a category in which they finished first in the NFL last season.

The team has just three sacks, and the Tennessee Titans and Bears frequently threw underneath in part to neutralize the Steelers' pass rush.

LeBeau offered a strong objection to any notion that the Steelers are content to give teams the short stuff while guarding against the big play.

"We don't like to give people anything," LeBeau said. "They're the ones running the plays, not us, so we have to react to what they're doing. I'm trying to take away every play and get off the field."

The knee sprain that's sidelined All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu since the second quarter of the Sept. 10 season opener has compromised the Steelers' ability to do that. Polamalu will not play against the Bengals, and his replacement, Tyrone Carter, is hobbled by a left-thigh contusion.

Carter practiced on a limited basis Thursday and said there is "no doubt" he will play against the Bengals, even though the 10th-year veteran won't be 100 percent.

Carter has absorbed his share of fan criticism for his play in the Bears game. But he said only one of the two passing touchdowns the Steelers yielded was his fault.

LeBeau and several Steelers players defended Carter, and their contention is that the criticism is essentially this: Carter is not Polamalu, one of the top defensive playmakers in the NFL.

"When they talk about T.C., that's what they want to see," inside linebacker James Farrior said of Carter. "Tyrone's not that type of player, but he's definitely a player who's going to help this defense when we need it."

The Steelers' defense doesn't need much help in LeBeau's estimation, though he concedes it needs to be more opportunistic after forcing just a pair of turnovers through the first two weeks of the season.

LeBeau added the Steelers probably would have beaten the Bears had they made one more play on defense throughout the course of the game.

Farrior agreed.

"Nobody's in a rush or panic," Farrior said. "We just go out there and run the scheme and do what coach LeBeau calls. We're all going to have our opportunities to make plays, and our defense will be fine."

Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

09-25-2009, 02:54 AM
Well im not lookin foward to Carter playing with a injury...Im sure some ones gonna pick up on that.

09-25-2009, 07:53 PM
Let's get things turned around LeBeau and company. Let the dogs out on Sunday :tt02:

09-25-2009, 07:55 PM
Let's get things turned around LeBeau and company. Let the dogs out on Sunday :tt02:

Ditto. :tt03: