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lamberts-lost-tooth
01-04-2010, 03:43 PM
Okay, obviously we have some things to fix with the defense. But , before we start with the "fire everyone" or "________ sucks" posts, lets keep in mind that we have a top 10 defense and anyone who thinks we need to start from scratch is an idiot.

Here is my take on this, which isnt diffferent than what I have been saying most of the season. Other than the CB position which needs a legit ballhawk...Two things bit us in the ass this year....age and depth.

Traditionally You can have young players without a lot of depth at their positions or you can have older players if you have good depth.
You can NEVER have a lot of older players with little depth behind them. When you try that formula you will ALWAYS get good production in the beginning of the game with a sharp drop off late in the game. (Sound familiar) ...and you will get good stats with fewer wins then the stats indicate.

I think this is what throws us fans off. We see great stats...high defensive rankings and we think....everything is OK:thumbsup:
But the reality is that we have incredibly talented older starters who are wearing out by the 4th quarter and we dont have the talent behind them to A) spot relieve them during the game...or B) Competentely play a whole game when our starters go down.

I think the beginning of fixing our defense is youth/depth...and I think the facts point in the same direction.

Thoughts?

steeltheone
01-04-2010, 03:48 PM
All three defensive linemen -- Smith (33), Casey Hampton (32) and Keisel (31) -- are in their 30s, as are Farrior (34), Harrison (31) and safety Tyrone Carter (33). Safety Ryan Clark will be 30 on Oct. 12.

scsteeler
01-04-2010, 03:52 PM
One of the things Tomlin talked about was getting younger players in for the defense.

I never thought firing everyone was the answer but the DB coach needs to be helped or repplaced. I am sure that Things will be fixed next year and that Nasty Steeler Defense will be back.

Aussie_steeler
01-04-2010, 04:04 PM
Youth and depth is required in the following positions IMO


Needs immediate attention

1. FS - Clark will not be around forever and no-one is behind him ( priority area IMO)
2. SS - Troy is a stud with a very slow veteran behind him. Time to get young at SS backup
3. ILB - Next year may need to be Timmons and Fox. Youth and depth is needed behind them
4. OLB - wouldnt hurt to have a look at who is behind the NFL's best OLB duo. If one goes down there is potentially a huge drop off for an extended period.

Unsure
5. NT - all depends on Casey's status. The Franchise tag is not what Casey seeks. Young vs Old ....not sure
6. DE - with Hood, Harris, Eason behind Smith and Keisel it all depends on their longevity. Might be OK for a year but will need to get younger at some point
7. CB - this group will be very young next season with no Townsend. I think they can look better with a true cover FS behind them with good speed and range.

The youth / depth policy would also help out ST's. This unit needs to have a better age balance to it IMO

Dino 6 Rings
01-04-2010, 05:33 PM
its all solved by bringing back KUHN to play Full Back

Championship!

Dino 6 Rings
01-04-2010, 05:35 PM
oh my bad...defense...um...

Um...well we got pretty good LBs...ok Dline...we need a Free Safety for depth, a Corner that can actually cover a guy man up and not sit 10 yards off every play, and tackling would be nice.

Glace
01-04-2010, 06:01 PM
One of the things Cowher used to talk about was having no place for CB's who were afraid to tackle and make hits.

I've seen Gay make some of the most pathetic attempts at tackling I've seen from anybody this year. Is it from the rule changes? Or is Gay afraid to make a hit? Did getting run over by Peterson shake the balls off of him?

Imposing fear is a major part of a great defense. The receivers need to be AFRAID to catch the ball.

We had that last year, and you can't argue for one second that losing Troy affected that aspect of it.

I hate to see players get hurt, but I loved the hit Ike put on Pat White. That, my friends, is football! We haven't seen many bone-jarring hits from our D this year.

Rick5895
01-04-2010, 06:28 PM
Youth and depth is required in the following positions IMO


Needs immediate attention

1. FS - Clark will not be around forever and no-one is behind him ( priority area IMO)
2. SS - Troy is a stud with a very slow veteran behind him. Time to get young at SS backup
3. ILB - Next year may need to be Timmons and Fox. Youth and depth is needed behind them
4. OLB - wouldnt hurt to have a look at who is behind the NFL's best OLB duo. If one goes down there is potentially a huge drop off for an extended period.

Unsure
5. NT - all depends on Casey's status. The Franchise tag is not what Casey seeks. Young vs Old ....not sure
6. DE - with Hood, Harris, Eason behind Smith and Keisel it all depends on their longevity. Might be OK for a year but will need to get younger at some point
7. CB - this group will be very young next season with no Townsend. I think they can look better with a true cover FS behind them with good speed and range.

The youth / depth policy would also help out ST's. This unit needs to have a better age balance to it IMO

I agree with you on most points. Safety help and DL is a priority IMO. I saw a mock draft today that had ILB Spikes of Florida falling to us in round 2. With us getting Mays of SC in round 1. That would be interesting.
Hood is gong to be a stud, and I believe Harris will be another Keisel. If we don't retain Casey we will have to get a NT in the 1st round.
I think although we will be young at CB, either Burnett or Lewis will beat out gay with the other taking the nickel back. I think both those kids are going to be very good.

tony hipchest
01-04-2010, 08:00 PM
I hate to see players get hurt, but I loved the hit Ike put on Pat White. That, my friends, is football! We haven't seen many bone-jarring hits from our D this year.if williams didnt have the reflexes of a cat, ryan clark woulda absolutely destroyed him.

the sack timmons put on pat white was probably the most bone crushing sack of the year.

i remember ryan clark practically begging for the opportunity to earn a fine, earlier this season.

t. carter has even made some nice hits. maybe part of the problem is more players going for the money shot as opposed to the wrap up tackle.

1 thing i do know is john madden paying the steelers the compliment last season of being the hardest hitting and best tackling team he has ever seen (and like him or hate him, he has seen a TON of football).

he reiterated this compliment earlier in the season when we were good at 6-2. dont know what happened after that point other than the reality that troy would be lost for an extended period of time and perhaps the most dominant defense in the league last year, perhaps thought they could just simply coast through a 5 game stretch vs nfl piss-ants until he got back.

BIGBENFASTWILLIE
01-04-2010, 08:29 PM
its all solved by bringing back KUHN to play Full Back

Championship!

Here we go:coffee:

lionslicer
01-04-2010, 08:51 PM
We need to get faster linebackers. Timmons is a speed demon, but Woodley and Farrior are slower than my grandma. And Woodley needs work in coverage, atleast 5 times this season he could have had an interception, but he put his hands down to make the tackle, misses the tackle and the back he was covering gets a 20-30 yard gain.

Keyaron Fox could take Farriors place, maybe on passing downs, he isn't as good as a tackler as Farrior but he's a little younger and faster.

We also need a new free saftey in general, Ryan Clark is almost 30, and I'm tired of seeing him going for the big hit when he could get a pic or knock the ball down.

Rotorhead
01-05-2010, 07:35 AM
Wow, interesting take there lionslicer, I actually think Woodley will be the def leader of this team in the next couple seasons. I think Fox takes Farrriors place but after that we could use some help. I think we keep Townsend for at least one more season (due to no-cap possibility) because he can fill in at S and CB, he will play nickel and be a backup though. We need to replace Carter, so a Safety will be early. Hood will be Smith's replacement the year after next providing Smith can stay healthy all of next season (another injury moves Hood to starter next season). So we really need a NT to replace Hampton. Maybe we can package Sweed and Big Snack for an extra 2nd rnd pick or move up in the first to get a premier NT. This salary cap BS is really our biggest problem as I can see alot of teams and players signing a bunch of 1 year contracts in hopes of an uncapped (read: Big Payday) year. I am thinking there wont be alot of free agents available (not that we do alot there anyway). If there is no cap agreement and no lockout, well, I am afraid to see what happens. I have no idea what to do with Gay, sophomore slump? Hopefully next training camp and preseason he just loses his position to someone good and we just dont worry about it.

lamberts-lost-tooth
01-08-2010, 03:07 PM
Okay, obviously we have some things to fix with the defense. But , before we start with the "fire everyone" or "________ sucks" posts, lets keep in mind that we have a top 10 defense and anyone who thinks we need to start from scratch is an idiot.

Here is my take on this, which isnt diffferent than what I have been saying most of the season. Other than the CB position which needs a legit ballhawk...Two things bit us in the ass this year....age and depth.

Traditionally You can have young players without a lot of depth at their positions or you can have older players if you have good depth.
You can NEVER have a lot of older players with little depth behind them. When you try that formula you will ALWAYS get good production in the beginning of the game with a sharp drop off late in the game. (Sound familiar) ...and you will get good stats with fewer wins then the stats indicate.

I think this is what throws us fans off. We see great stats...high defensive rankings and we think....everything is OK:thumbsup:
But the reality is that we have incredibly talented older starters who are wearing out by the 4th quarter and we dont have the talent behind them to A) spot relieve them during the game...or B) Competentely play a whole game when our starters go down.

I think the beginning of fixing our defense is youth/depth...and I think the facts point in the same direction.

Thoughts?

Here are some stats to show what I am talking about.

4TH Quarter Defensive Ratings:


4th Quarter Opposing QB Rating...............................Ranked 27th
Pass Yards Allowed........................................... ..........Ranked 31st
Total 1st Downs Allowed........................................... ...Ranked 30th
Pass Yards Allowed Per Attempt................................Ranked 28th

vrabinec
01-08-2010, 03:45 PM
IMO, Hood's gonna replace Keisel, so Keisel upgrades our backups at DE.

Pick either Kischke or Eason (I'd rather keep Eason) and have him as the other backup.

Pray that Smith comes back at 100% (You can't afford to do anything else other than a late round pick or hope that Harris develops because there are too many other holes to fill) If he's not 100% and gets hurt again, you end up with Ziggy and Keisel as your ends. Not ideal, but since Ziggy should be better next year, not that bad either.

I still think Ike is a good corner. He got beat a couple times this year, but just about every good corner gets beat a couple times a year. When you watch the opponents' highlights against us, it's almost never him that's getting burned, it's gay or the deep safety whether that's Clark or Carter (Clark got beat deep a LOT this year, more than I thought before I re-watched the highlights. I love Clark's hits, but he may have become too much of a liability as the last line of defense to keep on.)

Pray that Troy comes back at near 100% and draft someone to groom as his backup in the mid rounds.

Woodley's set. As far as I'm concerned he was our best defensive player last year.

Harrison's set. He got beat a few times early in coverage, and didn't put up the numbers he did the previous year, but I don't think it's time to panic over his age just yet. But it sure would be nice to be grooming a backup behind him. Cowher always seemed to have someone like...well, like Harrison on the bench behind the starters. We need someone like that, whether it's a free agent or draft pick.

Hopefully Timmons gets better technique against the run next year. He still absorbs lead blockers poorly IMO. But he's not a huge liability or anything.

That leaves the four spots that are real issues IMO. I don't know what problem Tomlin has with Big Snack, but I'd like to see him back. If not, then I'd hope we got a capable veteran like Wilfork to take his place. I can't see going into the season with Hoke as the starter and a draft pick like Cody as his backup. I don't like the NT's who'll be available when we pick in the first. The price for moving up to get one I like is too steep, and the guys you get in the second round wouldn't be able to play next year.

Gay has to be challeneged, either by Lewis and Burnette, or by both of those guys and a first round pick. If Haden falls far enough in the draft, I'd say he'd be worth moving up to get, but I doubt he'll fall that far, so I wouldn't mind trading out of our spot into the twenties and going for one of the second tier guys.

I don't have a problem with having Farrior as our starter next year, but we obviously have to be grooming someone behind him, or snatching a vet free agent. I'd like to get Rolando McClain, if he's available when we pick, but if he's not, then we still have to adress the position, maybe in the second round.

And, finally, I think Clark has to be let go. I don't know what the FO thinks of Mundy, if he's not the solution, then it might be safety that we draft in the first. There certainly seem to be enough of them available this yar.

Luckily, other than a RG and a C, I don't think we need to spend preminum money of offensive free agents or premium picks on them either. That leaves a bunch of picks for defense.

If Troy comes back healthy, and if either Casey is re-signed, or we get a capable veteran NT, if we upgrade the corner spot, and if we get a safety who plays center field better than what we saw this year, then IMO this defense is top 3 again next year.

markymarc
01-09-2010, 11:36 AM
I still believe age and mediocre backups finally caught up to this defense. There is no doubt losing Aaron Smith and Troy Polamalu did hurt the defense, but IMO that should be no excuse for our poor play this year.

Brett Keisel can still be a good player, but I would like to see Ziggy Hood start next season and Brett come off the bench. I don't care how it happens, but Casey Hampton needs to be brought back. He is still playing at a high level and Chris Hoke is very solid behind him. I am not sure what the deal is with Mike Tomlin and Casey Hampton and that might be the final factor on whether he is brought back or not. The FO really needs to find the replacement for Casey Hampton this off season either through the draft or FA. I think RaShon Harris can be a good backup for the DL and who knows if 1 year in this system can do for Steve McClendon. I would definitely bring back Nick Eason because he is a great backup and can fill in nicely as a starter. The real question is can Aaron Smith stay healthy all season and he is not getting any younger. It's time to let Travis Kirschke go. I'd like to see the Steelers pick up a DE and NT through the draft or FA.

There is no better OLB duo in the entire NFL than James Harrison and Lamar Woodley. James still has plenty left in the tank and the FO most definitely needs to lock up Woodley. The problem is there is no depth behind them. I would like to see the FO either through the draft or FA pick up at least 1 OLB. IMO Lawrence Timmons will be a very good MLB for the Steelers for a long time. This was his first season as a starter and is only 23 years old. I would like to see Keyaron Fox fill in some for James Farrior next season. And it's definitely time to find James Farrior's replacement. It would be great to get Rolando McClain in the draft, but he will be long gone by pick 18. Maybe we can get Brandon Spikes in the first round and I think he would be a great pick to eventually replace Farrior.

The secondary is just a mess right now. Getting a healthy Troy back is a step in the right direction. IMO Ike Taylor is a very good CB. It was a nightmare watching William Gay get abused all season long. This season proved William Gay can't be a starting CB in this defense. I still think he can be a good nickel CB, but that's it. I would like to see Joe Burnett and Keenan Lewis get a lot more playing time next season. I think they both can be very solid CBs and they are young. Deshea Townsend has been very good for a long time, but he was exposed as well and is old. It's time to find a replacement CB for Townsend and let him go. I think it would make sense either through FA or the draft to pick up a CB for depth. Personally I would rather see Ryan Clark left go. He was exposed just as much as any other player in the secondary. Even if he is kept around I hope the FO realizes that a FS replacement is needed. It's apparent the coaches don't believe in Ryan Mundy at this point and Ryan Clark is not getting younger. It's also important that the FO gets a very good backup at SS too. Troy is a beast and if he goes down I don't want TC back there at SS. I also don't want to see TC backing up Ryan Clark either. TC must be let go and it's time to get younger at SS and FS.

I do believe the Ray Horton should have been held more accountable to the secondary performance this season. IMO he should have been 1 of the coaches let go after the season. It will be interesting to see how Mike Tomlin fixes the defense in the off season. There is a lot of work to do defensively.

xbroughneck
01-09-2010, 05:09 PM
Just answer this.


WHO DO WE REPLACE TYRONE CARTER WITH?

He's
1) slow
2) poor in pass coverage


I also hope Keenan Lewis gets more playing time ahead of William Gay.