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View Full Version : The non-whining defense discussion.


Preacher
10-05-2009, 12:11 AM
Ok. This is a non-whining thread. Let's talk about the D WITHOUT over-sweeping terms like "They suck" "so and so needs to be benched" etc.

1. Blitzing. Am I wrong, it does it look like we are not blitzing enough now?

2. We are playing zone coverage, allowing stuff underneath. That has been true for quite some time now... but it was different last year. Why? Was our tackling that much better last year?

3. Why in the 4th quarter? Is it age, or is it just not getting/staying aggressive enough?

Please... let's DISCUSS the issues... not WHINE about them.

T.Richardson
10-05-2009, 12:13 AM
No prevent..please!!!

Sharkissle29
10-05-2009, 12:15 AM
some of my thoughts....

-we are still blitzing but they seem to not be getting through/working,

-this game proved to me that its not us getting tired (since time of possession was way in our favor) playing bad football late in the game

-so what is it??

fansince'76
10-05-2009, 12:15 AM
We aren't blitzing as much as we have in the past, that's for sure. Troy's absence has something to do with it I'm sure, but it seems like we run out of steam later in games, which might have something to do with age, or we are "losing urgency." I'm glad we get Troy back next week.

MACH1
10-05-2009, 12:16 AM
I think some of it is the qb's are getting the ball out faster and negating the rush.

Preacher
10-05-2009, 12:17 AM
some of my thoughts....

-we are still blitzing but they seem to not be getting through/working,

-this game proved to me that its not us getting tired (since time of possession was way in our favor) playing bad football late in the game

-so what is it??

In the preseason, a few of us where wondering if there was a tell from the O line when we were running....

I wonder if there is a tell on the D that others are picking up by the fourth quarter???

That, or teams are abandoning the run... and we are finding out that we just catch cover underneath for some reason.

BlastFurnace
10-05-2009, 12:17 AM
Ok. This is a non-whining thread. Let's talk about the D WITHOUT over-sweeping terms like "They suck" "so and so needs to be benched" etc.

1. Blitzing. Am I wrong, it does it look like we are not blitzing enough now?

2. We are playing zone coverage, allowing stuff underneath. That has been true for quite some time now... but it was different last year. Why? Was our tackling that much better last year?

3. Why in the 4th quarter? Is it age, or is it just not getting/staying aggressive enough?

Please... let's DISCUSS the issues... not WHINE about them.

It seems like we are a step slow on our blitzes. I do like how LeBeau is moving Deebo around a little. That seemed to allow him to get through. Woodley is the one that is puzzling me. To me, Timmons has been a disappointment as a starter. Seems to overrun a lot of plays...completely taking himself out of the play.

To me, the difference is missing Troy. Troy always seems to make the key INT, Tackle, etc. The QB has to account for him when he is in there. Without him, we are weak covering the underneath stuff. Think about how many games Troy has made a great play that stopped drives. That was happening against Tennessee, but hasn't happened since he's been out.

I don't think it's age, nor conditioning. I think it all relates back to your second question...we miss Troy back there. He is the one guy we absolutely cannot lose on defense.

I firmly believe that if Troy was healthy, that we would be 4-0.

X-Terminator
10-05-2009, 12:19 AM
This was posted by Steeldude in the other thread, but one weakness of the Steelers' D has been covering TEs. And I think that is where Troy is missed the most, because our LBs aren't good enough to handle a TE like Gates. That, and they really, REALLY, need to pull the prevent defense out of the playbook. This game should never have been this close with the way the offense performed tonight. However, they did manage to sack Rivers 4 times, which is NOT easy to do, and Deebo got the sack-strip to put the game away. Still though, this HAS to be troubling to the defense, and yes, it does mean Troy means everything to them. He's the difference between a good defense and a great one.

BozMan
10-05-2009, 12:21 AM
I know that he did have 2 sacks tonight and the refs constantly miss holding calls, but it still seems like opposing offenses are blocking Harrison better.

On several key plays tonight, it seemed like Harrison not only got blocked but got pushed sideways towards the near sideline and away from the QB, thus buying Rivers precious extra seconds.

I wonder what could be a good counter measure for this...

tony hipchest
10-05-2009, 12:21 AM
troy.

he is important.

cubanstogie
10-05-2009, 12:22 AM
their rb's picked up numerous blitzes. Their o line actually gave Rivers some time or it could have been due to us rushing only 4. I give them some credit. What bothers me is Gates beat us everytime. I think we just gave them too much underneath crap, which equates to the prevent sucks. Thats the last time I will say it ive beaten a dead horse. With all that said they got all their yards on 3 good drives which all happened to be in the 4th. Common denominator is we were giving them too much cushion. The positive is we shut them down for 3 quarters and gave them some momentum with a special teams play.

devilsdancefloor
10-05-2009, 12:22 AM
1. Our blitzes seem a second slower this year and we are not getting to the QB. Also i think we are not disguising or blitzes well when we do blitz.

2. Last year we played the same coverages, but this year the front 7 isnt getting to the QB.

3. I think we let off the gas pedal a bit and unravel. If we would just play the same style in the 4th as we did in the previous quaters i think we would be fine. But that could be cause of our age or conditioning in the fourth we cant be that aggressive??

3A. also i read somewhere on the board coach lebeau’s mother past away. If she has been ill for a few weeks and she passed away maybe his mind is elsewhere.

SteelerFanInStl
10-05-2009, 12:24 AM
It's puzzling because of how well the defense is playing for the first 3 quarters. Is it because the opponents are mixing it up more in the first 3 quarters but going strictly to the pass in the 4th? It certainly seems like the defense is back on their heels too much in the 4th instead of staying aggressive. I've gotta think that all of that underneath stuff, especially to Gates tonight, isn't going to happen with Troy in there.

Preacher
10-05-2009, 12:24 AM
troy.

he is important.

I know Troy is important... but I just don't know if one player makes THAT much of a difference... turning an above average defense (which we are right now) into a TOP defense.

I just know know if it is THAT much of a difference.

I DO agree that he makes a big positive difference though.

Pittsky
10-05-2009, 12:25 AM
from what i saw it just looked like they completely stopped playing because they had such a big lead. the first score in the 4th by the chargers they looked lethargic....like they werent even trying. 67 yards in 4 plays i think it was. im happy for the win but i feel like we lost....we've gotta figure out this 4th quarter funk were in...i do not think its age, i think its a hunger issue. our opponents are hungrier than we are....in the 4th. its really amazing what a difference troy makes...cant wait to get him back and what a job mendy did tonight? he gets the game ball fo sho!

Sharkissle29
10-05-2009, 12:26 AM
In the preseason, a few of us where wondering if there was a tell from the O line when we were running....

I wonder if there is a tell on the D that others are picking up by the fourth quarter???

That, or teams are abandoning the run... and we are finding out that we just catch cover underneath for some reason.

You could argue that maybe they arn't as disguised without troy polamalu?? troy plays at the line all the time and lining up all over the place. maybe this just helps the defenses scheme.

BIGWILL90
10-05-2009, 12:26 AM
I think the Special Teams need to do a better job of playing it safe, instead of chancing it like they did on the punt return. That ended up being a fumble. Also being more prepared for a on side kick in the closing minutes of the 4th Q. The chargers were down a couple of TDs. The special teams should of been ready for anything on the kick off.
Its obvious that the Defense is hurting that Troy is not there. If he played he would be the one covering Gates. Which Gates scored all the TDs execpt for the fumble on SP. James Harrison was playing in the back field where he should never be. And he got a pass interference call on him. It seemed the D wanted more muscle back down the field. Where Troy would be.

Overall they played great. Great o-line, great running game and so on.
The 4Q there just doing alot of this :coffee: when they should be doing this :tt04:

X-Terminator
10-05-2009, 12:27 AM
their rb's picked up numerous blitzes. Their o line actually gave Rivers some time or it could have been due to us rushing only 4. I give them some credit. What bothers me is Gates beat us everytime. I think we just gave them too much underneath crap, which equates to the prevent sucks. Thats the last time I will say it ive beaten a dead horse. With all that said they got all their yards on 3 good drives which all happened to be in the 4th. Common denominator is we were giving them too much cushion. The positive is we shut them down for 3 quarters and gave them some momentum with a special teams play.

The cushion they give is part of the scheme. Their goal is to NOT give up the big play. However, the front 7 has to get consistent pressure on the QB or they will get burned on the underneath stuff. I think the problem is that the D takes their foot off the pedal in the 4th quarter more so than age or anything else. If they pressure Rivers the way they did on the final play, I doubt they manage to score as quickly as they did.

Preacher
10-05-2009, 12:29 AM
from what i saw it just looked like they completely stopped playing because they had such a big lead. the first score in the 4th by the chargers they looked lethargic....like they werent even trying. 67 yards in 4 plays i think it was. im happy for the win but i feel like we lost....we've gotta figure out this 4th quarter funk were in...i do not think its age, i think its a hunger issue. our opponents are hungrier than we are....in the 4th.

Remember last year, it was almost a given that we'd get the ball back after a strip.

This year, I was actually surprised when Harrison was able to get in and strip the ball at the end of the game. There is just something different.

I know teams are scheming against us now... specifically picking up our defense, maybe even putting parts of it in their defensive packages and thus, are even more knowledgeable of it. But something just isn't clicking.

sharkweek
10-05-2009, 12:30 AM
Yeah, I'm excited to see Troy back. Keep in mind that Troy looked like a god amongst men in the time he was playing before getting injured that first game.

Of course the concerning part is whether or not he'll be able to go 100% or if he'll have any rust. Granted, he gets the Lions and Brownies to warm up on.

BozMan
10-05-2009, 12:30 AM
I think the Special Teams need to do a better job of playing it safe, instead of chancing it like they did on the punt return. That ended up being a fumble. Also being more prepared for a on side kick in the closing minutes of the 4th Q. The chargers were down a couple of TDs. The special teams should of been ready for anything on the kick off.
Its obvious that the Defense is hurting that Troy is not there. If he played he would be the one covering Gates. Which Gates scored all the TDs execpt for the fumble on SP. James Harrison was playing in the back field where he should never be. And he got a pass interference call on him. It seemed the D wanted more muscle back down the field. Where Troy would be.

Overall they played great. Great o-line, great running game and so on.
The 4Q there just doing alot of this :coffee: when they should be doing this :tt04:

Good point... the special teams deserve a lot of scrutiny, in addition to the D.

The Cincy meltdown and scare tonight against SD were made possible by critical special teams gaffes. In Cincy, we let them convert on a fake punt. Tonight, we (1) weren't prepared for an on-side kick, and (2) did not protect the ball well while returning a punt.

tony hipchest
10-05-2009, 12:31 AM
I know Troy is important... but I just don't know if one player makes THAT much of a difference....

thats on you... not me.

:hunch:

KYsteelfan
10-05-2009, 12:33 AM
Troy is usually there to pick up the underneath stuff. thats where the big gap has been. He always can handle the middle or underneath. He is the missing cog. I fear for teams when he solidifies our D and the offense keeps looking as great as it has. were gonna be one of the top teams when all is said and done.

GridironWarrior
10-05-2009, 12:34 AM
We got sacks but I wonder if the D gets tired in the 4th due to age or playing so hard for 3 quarters that they get gassed?

Preacher
10-05-2009, 12:38 AM
thats on you... not me.

:hunch:

Troy is usually there to pick up the underneath stuff. thats where the big gap has been. He always can handle the middle or underneath. He is the missing cog. I fear for teams when he solidifies our D and the offense keeps looking as great as it has. were gonna be one of the top teams when all is said and done.

I understand what the both of you are saying...

but why does it only show itself in the fourth quarter?

Steel_Bus_24
10-05-2009, 12:39 AM
We got sacks but I wonder if the D gets tired in the 4th due to age or playing so hard for 3 quarters that they get gassed?

that shouldn't be a problem with the way we controlled TOP tonight

Edman
10-05-2009, 12:41 AM
Being without Troy is probably not the only reason. This was a problem in XLIII as well. If I recall correctly, we had Troy for that game too. Arizona erased a 13 point deficit in the fourth.

The Defense is fine the first three quarters, but after that, they fall over and die. Even if 7 points was fault from the Special Teams, San Diego still moved the ball effortlessly. Taking up no time whatsoever.

Troy is not the difference between a good defense and a great one anymore. It makes the difference between a good defense and an average one. The 2007 team was without Troy most of the year was still a top-rated squad, though they still had their issues.

I think it comes down to age, poor tackling, and the fact that Whiz exposed the blueprint to beat Dick Lebeau's defense in the Super Bowl. Tennesee gouged us, Chicago gouged us, Cinci gouged us, and Philip Rivers just ripped us a new one. Fortunately for us San Diego's Defense sucks harder. So far, DL's done a poor job of adjusting. I'm over my angry shock of the Defense's utter near-meltdown tonight. If the 2009 Steelers are going to win games, it's going to be in shootouts.

KYsteelfan
10-05-2009, 12:42 AM
I understand what the both of you are saying...

but why does it only show itself in the fourth quarter?

I think it only shows in the fourth because in these situations we have been in weve gone to the prevent D (which in my opinion only prevents a win) and it leaves those huge holes. in the early going they are playing much more Lebeau-esque D. i think we know that they are gonna abandon the run and jsut drop back into as much coverage as possible.

tony hipchest
10-05-2009, 12:43 AM
I understand what the both of you are saying...

but why does it only show itself in the fourth quarter?

you tell me.

why does it NOT show itself in the 4th quarter with troy in there?

:noidea:

undermining troy's greatness is a big mistake. you may be smitten....

or smote...

or whatever they call it...

pepsyman1
10-05-2009, 12:46 AM
The two things that I see that I think are causing problems:

1) At the end of the half and in the fourth quarter, it appears that our corners are playing even FURTHER off the receivers than normal (on some plays you can't even see them on the TV screen when the play lines up), then when we do blitz the QB's are immediately going to a hot read and looking for those receivers underneath. The blitzers just don't have quite enough time to get there, because the QB's are looking for an immediate hot read and it's ALWAYS open. On most of those plays the QB is getting rid of the ball in less than 3 seconds. If we don't blitz the receivers are getting pretty far downfield cuz the corners are still keeping them in front of them.

2) We are blitzing less and the blitzes that we are coming with aren't being as varied...we usually get that occasional corner or safety blitzing and even getting the unmolested sack. With the lack of variety teams know what they are looking for.

billybob
10-05-2009, 12:48 AM
So this the old "life without Troy thread " ? I knew i would find it some day . (LOL)

BozMan
10-05-2009, 12:49 AM
Being without Troy is probably not the only reason. This was a problem in XLIII as well. If I recall correctly, we had Troy for that game too. Arizona erased a 13 point deficit in the fourth.

The Defense is fine the first three quarters, but after that, they fall over and die. Even if 7 points was fault from the Special Teams, San Diego still moved the ball effortlessly. Taking up no time whatsoever.

Troy is not the difference between a good defense and a great one anymore. It makes the difference between a good defense and an average one. The 2007 team was without Troy most of the year was still a top-rated squad, though they still had their issues.

I think it comes down to age, and the fact that Whiz exposed the blueprint to beat Dick Lebeau's defense in the Super Bowl. Tennesee gouged us, Chicago gouged us, Cinci gouged us, and Philip Rivers just ripped us a new one. Fortunately for us San Diego's Defense sucks harder. So far, DL's done a poor job of adjusting. I'm over my angry shock of the Defense's utter near-meltdown tonight. If the 2009 Steelers are going to win games, it's going to be in shootouts.

Didn't even think of that... scary if true.

But if "the secret is out", why did our D dominate Rivers and the SD O for nearly 3 quarters? How many yards did SD have at halftime? Something like 50-60?

Preacher
10-05-2009, 12:50 AM
you tell me.

why does it NOT show itself in the 4th quarter with troy in there?

:noidea:

undermining troy's greatness is a big mistake. you may be smitten....

or smote...

or whatever they call it...

it did show itself last year. Except in the AFCCG, where Troy P. made the INT, the other two games saw the other team gain 14 plus points on us in the fourth quarter.

Edman
10-05-2009, 12:53 AM
Didn't even think of that... scary if true.

But if "the secret is out", why did our D dominate Rivers and the SD O for nearly 3 quarters? How many yards did SD have at halftime? Something like 50-60?

We dominated Arizona for three Quarters in XLIII as well.
We dominated Chicago for Three Quarters.
We dominated Cincinnati for Three Quarters.

We blew two of those three games and almost blew the other one.

Edman
10-05-2009, 12:56 AM
it did show itself last year. Except in the AFCCG, where Troy P. made the INT, the other two games saw the other team gain 14 plus points on us in the fourth quarter.

Baltimore was aided by tick tack pass interference calls that set up both goal situations. The Ravens didn't exactly bomb us to death. Their Offense was anemic the entire game.

This troubling trend is traced back to XLIII.

X-Terminator
10-05-2009, 12:57 AM
We dominated Arizona for three Quarters in XLIII as well.
We dominated Chicago for Three Quarters.
We dominated Cincinnati for Three Quarters.

We blew two of those three games and almost blew the other one.

No, I think it has more to do with the defense sitting back rather than attacking whenever they get a big lead, or ANY lead, late in games. I don't think age is a factor, nor teams figuring out how to beat LeBeau's defense. If the latter were the case, we'd see teams gouging them for the entire game rather than one quarter.

billybob
10-05-2009, 12:58 AM
The two things that I see that I think are causing problems:

1) At the end of the half and in the fourth quarter, it appears that our corners are playing even FURTHER off the receivers than normal (on some plays you can't even see them on the TV screen when the play lines up), then when we do blitz the QB's are immediately going to a hot read and looking for those receivers underneath. The blitzers just don't have quite enough time to get there, because the QB's are looking for an immediate hot read and it's ALWAYS open. On most of those plays the QB is getting rid of the ball in less than 3 seconds. If we don't blitz the receivers are getting pretty far downfield cuz the corners are still keeping them in front of them.

2) We are blitzing less and the blitzes that we are coming with aren't being as varied...we usually get that occasional corner or safety blitzing and even getting the unmolested sack. With the lack of variety teams know what they are looking for.

Are you trying to say that Dick is getting "OLD TIMERS " ? Don't believe that for a minute . Troy plays a vital role in this defense , much like "SNACK MAN " does . When Troy is out , we become textbook if you will . Teams know what to do when they are playing us , and Troy is not in the game .



:tt:
:tt:
:tt:
:tt:
:tt:
:tt:
:tt:

MACH1
10-05-2009, 01:00 AM
Didn't even think of that... scary if true.

But if "the secret is out", why did our D dominate Rivers and the SD O for nearly 3 quarters? How many yards did SD have at halftime? Something like 50-60?

Its hard to do much when your on the sideline. Check out the time of possession. :noidea:

pepsyman1
10-05-2009, 01:00 AM
No, I think it has more to do with the defense sitting back rather than attacking whenever they get a big lead, or ANY lead, late in games. I don't think age is a factor, nor teams figuring out how to beat LeBeau's defense. If the latter were the case, we'd see teams gouging them for the entire game rather than one quarter.

X-Terminator nailed it right there....we are playing very passive in our coverage schemes and the end of the half and late in the game....so passive that when we do blitz the QB's get rid of the ball in less then 3 seconds with our blitzers always "right there", but not quite getting to the QB

pepsyman1
10-05-2009, 01:02 AM
Are you trying to say that Dick is getting "OLD TIMERS " ? Don't believe that for a minute . Troy plays a vital role in this defense , much like "SNACK MAN " does . When Troy is out , we become textbook if you will . Teams know what to do when they are playing us , and Troy is not in the game .


:tt:

Troy was present for the Superbowl and we did the exact same thing....we were lucky enough to have a great QB that bought us back for the win

VegasStlrFan
10-05-2009, 01:06 AM
It's all about Troy imo,. We cannot run the same schemes as effectively w/o him, or a talent like him. We may actually be exposing ourselves in a lot of cases. A safety that lines up all over the field and appears to have no true responsibilty takes QB's out of their rhythm. That hesitation creates oppurtunity for everything else blitzes, coverages, rushes, etc... Thats why we play like a completely different team w/o him.

Edman
10-05-2009, 01:11 AM
It's all about Troy imo,. We cannot run the same schemes as effectively w/o him, or a talent like him. We may actually be exposing ourselves in a lot of cases. A safety that lines up all over the field and appears to have no true responsibilty takes QB's out of their rhythm. That hesitation creates oppurtunity for everything else blitzes, coverages, rushes, etc... Thats why we play like a completely different team w/o him.

Then can you explain why Arizona was able to rally from 13 points down in the 4th against the Defense WITH Troy in XLIII?

billybob
10-05-2009, 01:11 AM
I have noticed the trend of qb's lately , dunkin the ball out quick on us . I think we are the ones with a Target on our backs. What else could you expect when you are the " CHAMPS " ? I have stated many times how you never should tip your whole hand . I think when the chips are down , we will come through . We put the footage out there for the next team to line up across from us . 7 flags for the win !
:tt02: :tt02: :tt02: :tt02: :tt02: :tt02: :tt02:
Or did we ?

lukas
10-05-2009, 01:18 AM
My take on the matter:

1) Troy being out is huge. The defense, while still remaining fundamentally sound, is losing a tremendous amount of dynamic and explosive play without Troy. The middle isn't so easily a pick-six anymore. The run doesn't get so easily stuffed around the outside. And Ike and the other corners can't completely focus on their guys now.

2) Prevent defense sucks. I understand on paper that it makes sense. Give up the smal l yards, keep the ball inbounds, and maintain the lead by burning the clock, but we're also going against good QBs. Cutler, Palmer (especially), Rivers (definitely) are good enough to pick apart a prevent defense and move the chains.

3) This is the big one: Harrison's holds. The fact that the status quo is now "holding Harrison is okay", it's really limiting what the other linebackers can do. It's also why I think Woodley is so flaccid this year (aside from him bulking up to the point of losing athleticism). Last year Harrison would require one to two lineman to block him perfectly (legally), and even then he would still come away with a hurry and/or a sack. Now with all the holds not being called, only one lineman is enough, and it doesn't draw enough enough players for a bloated Woodley to wreak havoc.

But honestly, I'm not too concerned.

Maybe I'm a bit skewed, but I ALWAYS thought that statistics portrayed a Steeler's defense more favorably than reality for quite a whole now, going back the last decade. Yes, we'd 3 and out them frequently. Yes, we'd keep them to low yardage, low scoring. And we were always ranked in the top 3 perennial because of that. But we always seemed to blow big aerial plays with the secondary when they counted. Our secondary has traditionally (as far back as post-Woodon) always been a bit suspect. It wasn't until Polamalu came into his own and Ike started developing into a monster who shuts down #1 receivers that we started masking our big play whiifs. So honestly, we're definitely not at 2008 level yet, but we're not that different than how we ever were.

steelreserve
10-05-2009, 02:19 AM
No, I think it has more to do with the defense sitting back rather than attacking whenever they get a big lead, or ANY lead, late in games. I don't think age is a factor, nor teams figuring out how to beat LeBeau's defense. If the latter were the case, we'd see teams gouging them for the entire game rather than one quarter.

This. This is what I was going to say. You can analyze a dozen different reasons for it, but in the end, what it comes down to is, when the defense is aggressive, we pin them down. When the defense plays them straight up, we let the opponent march down the field. If we don't get in the QB's face, there's usually a hole open over the middle after a few seconds, and he can hit someone for one of those catch-and-runs that go from 5 to 20 yards. That tends to be either the tight end or Wes Welker.

Anyway ... I think you're right on. Other teams scoring on us depends almost entirely on how often we fail to ratchet up the intensity. Troy helps a whole lot with this, but I think we're perfectly capable of playing shutdown D even without him.

toughsticks87
10-05-2009, 02:21 AM
I know Troy is important... but I just don't know if one player makes THAT much of a difference... turning an above average defense (which we are right now) into a TOP defense.

I just know know if it is THAT much of a difference.

I DO agree that he makes a big positive difference though.

Honestly though, if the defense falls apart due to one man, regardless of how unbelievable he is, than they need to make some serious changes to the way they play. All things aside I feel as if tonight wasn't entirely on the D. However, what worries me the most is how we are simply not getting to the QB on the blitzes. I have no clue why though...

Preacher
10-05-2009, 03:00 AM
Baltimore was aided by tick tack pass interference calls that set up both goal situations. The Ravens didn't exactly bomb us to death. Their Offense was anemic the entire game.

This troubling trend is traced back to XLIII.

No, its traced back before that. San Diego put up how many points in the fourth quarter of the Divisional game? I don't care how many points we had. The point is, we were not able to shut them down.

A ticky-tack penalty or not, that is only a couple plays on a much larger drive. I doubt very much we were called on every 3rd down situation.

So it begins with San Diego, and we have now seen the trend for 7 games.

sherlock
10-05-2009, 05:13 AM
Being without Troy is probably not the only reason. This was a problem in XLIII as well. If I recall correctly, we had Troy for that game too. Arizona erased a 13 point deficit in the fourth.

I think it comes down to age, poor tackling, and the fact that Whiz exposed the blueprint to beat Dick Lebeau's defense in the Super Bowl. .

I`ve been thinking the same over the last few days.
It was during SBXLIII that the Steelers defense looked fallible and, well,human:noidea:

theplatypus
10-05-2009, 07:37 AM
Then can you explain why Arizona was able to rally from 13 points down in the 4th against the Defense WITH Troy in XLIII?

That's easy. If you go back and watch the long td reception by Fitzgerald there was blown coverage on the play and a missed tackle.

solardave
10-05-2009, 07:44 AM
We aren't blitzing as much as we have in the past, that's for sure. Troy's absence has something to do with it I'm sure, but it seems like we run out of steam later in games, which might have something to do with age, or we are "losing urgency." I'm glad we get Troy back next week.

I'm convinced when you have guy like Troy out of your lineup it changes things. I didn't think it would affect us this much but think about it. Troy plays sideline to sideline and allows everyone else to play to their strength IE: ears back going after the QB,stunt blitzing etc. A good example of how much he's missed was last night seeing J.Harrison down field on Gates. If Troy was in we wouldn't need to do that and Harrison is going after a sack instead. We're lucky that the next 2 games are against weak teams and hopefully Troy is back. Even at 80% it will be a moral lift and we will see the real defense. The other thing I'm real grateful for is the way we ran the ball last night. Nothing helps the defense any more than letting them rest on the sideline watching your O-line grade the way! I'm proud of those guys! there. Is that positive enough?:tt04::hug:

gameface75
10-05-2009, 07:52 AM
it may be time to rethink the use of the 3-4 defense ,time to give Evander Hood a baptism by fire let some younger blood pitch in to help the older vets ,you cant learn to play this game from the sidelines.

Rotorhead
10-05-2009, 08:10 AM
I honestly think it has more to do with the prevent than Troy. The way to beat a prevent Def is to dink and dunk it down the field. Teams now are so efficient at the no-huddle that a prevent def is no longer a viable means of playing. If our running game is this good next week, I doubt we will see a prevent much anymore, i mean, if we are ahead by 4TD's again, let them score a quick strike, we can start running off the clock again. As far as this game goes, it should have be 38-14, those 2 ST gaffs are not on the Def, San Diego is a good team with a terrible coach, so I expected them to score a couple!

The_WARDen
10-05-2009, 08:25 AM
Ok. This is a non-whining thread. Let's talk about the D WITHOUT over-sweeping terms like "They suck" "so and so needs to be benched" etc.

1. Blitzing. Am I wrong, it does it look like we are not blitzing enough now?

2. We are playing zone coverage, allowing stuff underneath. That has been true for quite some time now... but it was different last year. Why? Was our tackling that much better last year?

3. Why in the 4th quarter? Is it age, or is it just not getting/staying aggressive enough?

Please... let's DISCUSS the issues... not WHINE about them.

3. I used to think it might be the age but that excuse doesn't hold water for last night's 4th quarter debacle. The Dolts had the ball for 5 seconds in the 1st 3 quarters...even an older defense should not have been tired.

revefsreleets
10-05-2009, 09:38 AM
The defense isn't slow, nor our the blitzes. Teams have simply adapted a quick strike, 3 or 5 drop passing attack and taking what we give them. The way to combat that is to only rush 3 or 4 and drop more guys into short/intermediate zones. Troy being absent DOES factor in because he's like a roving ball hawk and he can single-handedly cover HUGE spaces quickly. Also, he HAS to be accounted for and his movement before the snap creates confusion. Carter was doing a bit of that early in the game yesterday and they got away from it. I think they just need to be a little more aggressive on that front, with or without Troy.

One other factor is that teams are simply getting a few things to fall their way when previously they weren't. Playing "soft" is actually a bend don't break startegy, and it requires the other team to execute to near-perfection to move all the way down the field and score.

To be completely fair, yesterday was more of a special teams collapse than a defensive one, which leads me to believe that we are already taking steps to resolve this issue. Also bear in mind SD and Cinci both have probably a couple of the best passing attacks we will see all year.

markymarc
10-05-2009, 11:37 AM
It will be nice once we get back Troy because that will give our defense a much needed boost! It's weird how our defense can play great for 3 quarters and then just be bad in the final and most crucial 4th quarter. Offenses are attacking this defense now with short and quick passes. Hopefully LeBeau and the defense can figure out how to stop this until Troy gets back.

Rick5895
10-05-2009, 11:56 AM
Last nights game the ST had difficulties, costing us 2 TD's, the strip and return on the punt return gave SD momentum. That ridiculas muff by mundy almost cost the game. In Cinci, the O was too conservative leading to the ability to have Cinci home crowd get into the game, In Chi we missed 2 fg. All I am saying here is we need to play total football. We have had letdowns on D, Troy returning will correct that but in addition we cant give teams any momentum swing . Teams are too close in the NFL. It has seemed that we make 1 or 2 mental mistakes late in games that let teams gain some confidence. I think we are getting good pressure although it is not resulting in sacks. Rivers was hurried all night. Teams like SD have too good an offense to shut out. We will finish 11-5 or 12-4 and these mental mistakes will get corrected.
I might make changes, this is not whining but rather lets see what these guys can do.
1, Have Wallace return some kicks and punts (not all)
2, replace Gay with Ratliff against Detroit, Gay has been struggling all year.

Steel_Bus_24
10-05-2009, 12:14 PM
It will be nice once we get back Troy because that will give our defense a much needed boost! It's weird how our defense can play great for 3 quarters and then just be bad in the final and most crucial 4th quarter. Offenses are attacking this defense now with short and quick passes. Hopefully LeBeau and the defense can figure out how to stop this until Troy gets back.

well I hope they don't get the mindset that they can play even more lazy because Troy's there to take up the load


He might not even be %100 for a good while yet

Indo
10-05-2009, 12:38 PM
My 2 cents

Everyone makes some really good points in this thread----nice to see discussion and not whining, eh Preach?!


Troy. Need I say more.
But there are good points about his presence in SB43...

Conditioning.
Not age, but conditioning. But they are professional athletes and I just can't believe the other teams are in better condition.

So here is what I think the problem is in the Fourth:

Emotional Intensity
(stay with me)

Many of us played this game in the past and we all know what it's like to stay Intense for the entire game. It is draining to stay "up" for an entire 60 minutes. The Steelers typically come out of the blocks like a thoroughbred and march down the field as if there is no defense even present.

Then, when the game seems to be well in hand, they seem to let up.There seems to be a slackening of intensity...as if they are lulled into complacency when the idea occurs that "We got this".

Ask yourself---when the score was 28-0 did you heave a sigh of relief?
I usually either pace in front of the TV or sit on the egde of the sofa. Yesterday I noticed that I was sitting back on the sofa. Even my intensity had slackened. It is difficult to stay Intense for the whole game. You can bet that the players also subconsciously let up a little. As viewers, we see it as a change in Energy on the field---a Shift in Momentum to the team that maintains that intensity.

Did you notice that as the other team scores and the game gets closer, the Intensity goes back up? When the game was within 7 points, our defense "started playing" again (And I was again sitting on the edge of the sofa, biting my fingernails!). Same thing happened against Da Bears and Cinci----but putting the game away means that Everyone must come back up. Including the kicker who missed and the WR who dropped.

This phenomenon happened the past 3 games and in SB43. But how many games were really close last year? There was no let up by the defense in those games because the games were close---hence, the INTENSITY STAYED HIGH.

Lately, the defense has appeared to slow down in the 4th---they seem to "lose a step"----the D-line doesn't get as much of an upfield push; the blitzes aren't getting anywhere; the D-backs seem slow in reacting to the ball; you get the idea.

How, then, does the D recognize this and avoid it?

I'm not sure. It's one thing to jump up and down and scream WOO HOO and 1-2 -3 DEFENSE! It's another thing to FEEL that Intensity and subsequently PLAY with it.

Edman
10-05-2009, 01:58 PM
http://www.theworldlink.com/articles/2009/10/05/sports/doc4ac70e53190a6428604298.txt

I think this pretty much sums it up.

Offenses are getting too dashy to play prevent Defense anymore. Especially when you're playing a QB like Rivers with a magnificent TE in Gates, and the offensive oriented rules of the NFL.

Rivers was frustrated for most of the game, then all of the sudden, he looks like Joe Montana and the Chargers look like the 2007 Patriots. I know he's a good QB, but the way San Diego chopped away at the lead like it was nothing was vomit-inducing. Hence why I blew up last night.

The Prevent Defense needs to go into a trash compactor immediately. It's virtually obsolete with this team.

Preacher
10-05-2009, 03:14 PM
I have to wonder about tackling as well.

We do great tackling on the run. We do great tackling when passes are thrown down field.

But it seems like we missed quite a few tackles on the underneath stuff. Not sure what that is about.

however, those misses will completely change a game.

Now, that WOULD BE Troy, since he seldom misses, except that it wasn't his assignments that missed the tackles.

Yet, as I think through it some more, I don't even think that is the full reason why.

Preacher
10-05-2009, 07:38 PM
I was just reminded in another thread about Timmons' high ankle sprain.

Ok, take that, add it to Troy's being out. Then add in the fact that in the 4th quarter, teams abandon the run and just throw the ball when they are down, and I think we have our answer.

I was thinking back to last year again. That TD that put the Cards up top wasn't a short pass. IT was a PERFECTLY Planned play. The Safeties got sucked to far to the outside and we got burned down the middle. That is a DIFFERENT issue than what is happening this year.

So, the issue is that TWO excellent coverage positions are downgraded by injury. Any thoughts?

Nighthawk
10-05-2009, 08:10 PM
I was just reminded in another thread about Timmons' high ankle sprain.

Ok, take that, add it to Troy's being out. Then add in the fact that in the 4th quarter, teams abandon the run and just throw the ball when they are down, and I think we have our answer.

I was thinking back to last year again. That TD that put the Cards up top wasn't a short pass. IT was a PERFECTLY Planned play. The Safeties got sucked to far to the outside and we got burned down the middle. That is a DIFFERENT issue than what is happening this year.

So, the issue is that TWO excellent coverage positions are downgraded by injury. Any thoughts?

I think that is one of the main reasons - it was said before the season that they wanted to use Timmons as one of our main blitzers this year and so far I have seen a few times they do that but I think Timmons high ankle sprain has slowed him just enough for it to not be as effective as it probably would be if it was 100%

Preacher
10-06-2009, 02:02 AM
I think that is one of the main reasons - it was said before the season that they wanted to use Timmons as one of our main blitzers this year and so far I have seen a few times they do that but I think Timmons high ankle sprain has slowed him just enough for it to not be as effective as it probably would be if it was 100%

I sure hope that's it. But the more I think about it... the more I just don't know.

revefsreleets
10-06-2009, 12:37 PM
I think it's a schematic hole in our defense that teams have carefully and over time found a way to pick apart. HOWEVER, LeBeau IS a defensive genius, and he'll adjust. The defense played better against another very good passing team this week than it did last, and I expect to see improvement as the season goes on.

scsteeler
10-06-2009, 01:19 PM
We aren't blitzing as much as we have in the past, that's for sure. Troy's absence has something to do with it I'm sure, but it seems like we run out of steam later in games, which might have something to do with age, or we are "losing urgency." I'm glad we get Troy back next week.


I agree with your assessment that with Troy out the defense can not do some of the things they normally do. Once Troy is back in the system I think you will see more blitzing or should I say a more aggressive defense.

memphissteelergirl
10-06-2009, 01:43 PM
My take on the matter:

1) Troy being out is huge. The defense, while still remaining fundamentally sound, is losing a tremendous amount of dynamic and explosive play without Troy. The middle isn't so easily a pick-six anymore. The run doesn't get so easily stuffed around the outside. And Ike and the other corners can't completely focus on their guys now.

2) Prevent defense sucks. I understand on paper that it makes sense. Give up the smal l yards, keep the ball inbounds, and maintain the lead by burning the clock, but we're also going against good QBs. Cutler, Palmer (especially), Rivers (definitely) are good enough to pick apart a prevent defense and move the chains.

3) This is the big one: Harrison's holds. The fact that the status quo is now "holding Harrison is okay", it's really limiting what the other linebackers can do. It's also why I think Woodley is so flaccid this year (aside from him bulking up to the point of losing athleticism). Last year Harrison would require one to two lineman to block him perfectly (legally), and even then he would still come away with a hurry and/or a sack. Now with all the holds not being called, only one lineman is enough, and it doesn't draw enough enough players for a bloated Woodley to wreak havoc.

But honestly, I'm not too concerned.

Maybe I'm a bit skewed, but I ALWAYS thought that statistics portrayed a Steeler's defense more favorably than reality for quite a whole now, going back the last decade. Yes, we'd 3 and out them frequently. Yes, we'd keep them to low yardage, low scoring. And we were always ranked in the top 3 perennial because of that. But we always seemed to blow big aerial plays with the secondary when they counted. Our secondary has traditionally (as far back as post-Woodon) always been a bit suspect. It wasn't until Polamalu came into his own and Ike started developing into a monster who shuts down #1 receivers that we started masking our big play whiifs. So honestly, we're definitely not at 2008 level yet, but we're not that different than how we ever were.

Excellent post!! :thumbsup::applaudit:
Agree 100% with your assessment

Preacher
10-06-2009, 04:06 PM
Great thread people... Good arguments, discussions... No whining Thank YOU!

HometownGal
10-06-2009, 11:35 PM
but it seems like we run out of steam later in games, which might have something to do with age, or we are "losing urgency." I'm glad we get Troy back next week.

I've had the same thought, though I even hate thinking it much less saying it. :horror: It also seems that when the O gets them a reasonably comfy lead, they are sitting back somewhat and not playing as aggressively in that 4th Q and letting these teams they've basically owned through 3 quarters every game get back into the game, which bit them in the ass in the Bears and Bungles games.

MongoSteeler
10-09-2009, 04:49 AM
My thinking on the Steeler Defense this year so far is:

1- Having Troy out hurts on a couple of different levels. He is a tremendous player and having someone "step up" won't replace his game. Troy is also the defensive quarterback and play caller. It is very difficult for any team to equal their normal success with their #2 QB in the game.Troy also distracts all the O linemens attention as they never know where he is copming from. Without him the OL can concentrate more on their assingments play to play.

2- Every team we have played thus far this year has shortened up their game plans. 3 to 5 step drops with the ball out in three seconds or less.More throws into the ground or out of bounds, but stressing on ball safety. This helps them to negate the rush and taking sacks.

3- Every team we play has a full years worth of game tapes to study and pick out the weaknesses and trends of or defense. The opposition coaches and players are NFL quality too.

4- The holding on Harrison has gotten to the outrageous point the I don't even think the NFL responds to the Steelers sending in the game tapes and asking about it anymore.

5 - Woodley went 7 games last year without recording a sack. He will still be felt this year, they can't hold him back forever.

6- We give up to much of a cushion in the 4th quarter and allow teams to gain momentum against us. We miss the abilities of Troy and his play making here.

7- Coupled with all of this, I think our offense also goes into their own prevent. It seems to me that they also back off on thier aggresiveness. Run, Run, incomplete and the defense back on the field. Maintain the attack that got you the lead in the first place.

markymarc
10-10-2009, 03:23 PM
I think that is one of the main reasons - it was said before the season that they wanted to use Timmons as one of our main blitzers this year and so far I have seen a few times they do that but I think Timmons high ankle sprain has slowed him just enough for it to not be as effective as it probably would be if it was 100%

I totally agree. You can tell that Timmons is not 100% right now. To me he just does not have the closing speed or lateral movement due to his ankle still not be completely healed. Hopefully it will get to 100% real soon and Timmons gets back to being the play maker he can be on defense.