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mesaSteeler
10-29-2010, 12:03 AM
Saints' Brees may find a vulnerable secondary
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/print_706639.html
By Scott Brown
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, October 29, 2010

The contention by the Steelers players and coaches that the team's No. 24 ranking in passing defense is just a meaningless number will be tested Sunday night in New Orleans.

Drew Brees figures to fill the electric Superdome air with passes, and he is at a different level than any quarterback the Steelers have played against to this point.

What will go a long way toward determining which team wins the contest between last two Super Bowl champions is how several numbers games play out in the Big Easy.

Will Brees, who has completed just over 70 percent of his passes dating back to last season, riddle a defense that has allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete just over 66 percent of their throws?

Or will a defense that has allowed just four touchdown passes and is tied for seventh in the NFL with nine interceptions get the better of the quarterback that has already thrown 10 interceptions, one less than he did all of last season?

"Teams that are really patient do pretty well against us," Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu said. "But no offense is really patient. I think the most patient offense we've played against since I've been here is the Dolphins."

That patience did not translate into a victory for Miami in part because they had to settle for four field goals in the Steelers' 23-22 win last Sunday.

Of Chad Henne's 23 completions, 12 went for 10 yards or less and only three covered more than 20 yards.

The Steelers players have generally shrugged off the fact they have given up 235.7 passing yards per game, which puts them in the bottom third of the NFL in that category.

So, too, did Brees, whose 18,298 passing yards from 2006-09 are the most in NFL history during a four-year span.

"All that means is they've been ahead in most of their games, and their run defense is No. 1 in the league," Brees said, "so teams are forced to pass against them."

Said Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau: "There are so many statistics in football that it's so hard to be real good in all of them. I've seen it around here when we've done that, but that was a rare, rare year."

Translation: the Steelers probably had a once-in-a-generation season in 2008, when they came within 55 rushing yards of leading the NFL in rushing, passing and total defense.

"The bottom line," LeBeau said, "is how's the team doing?"

The 5-1 Steelers have done just fine, but they have yet to face a quarterback the caliber of Brees, the MVP of last season's Super Bowl.

The six quarterbacks that have started against the Steelers this season have one Pro Bowl appearance among them.

Brees, meanwhile, has been selected to the annual all-star game four times and was the NFL's Offensive Player of the Year in 2008.

The Steelers are expected to blitz Brees often to keep him from getting in a rhythm.

"We tried to rush him up the middle a lot because he would always step up in the pocket," said cornerback Bryant McFadden, who played against the Saints in the playoffs while with the Cardinals last season. "With him not being as tall (6-feet-0) as a lot of other quarterbacks, we tried to come at him from the front."

The Steelers have a reptuation of coming from anywhere and everywhere with LeBeau running their defense.

That has not changed, even though Polamalu is not moving around as much before the snap this season perhaps because of the emergence of Lawrence Timmons at inside linebacker.

"Every week, we have new plays, we have new blitzes that we put in," Steelers free safety Ryan Clark said. "Some weeks, we scrap some of the old things and bring them back later. I don't know how (LeBeau) keeps a rolodex in his brain, but he has it. We've got some new things we put in specifically (for the Saints). Hopefully, it will work."

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

tony hipchest
10-29-2010, 01:49 AM
Said Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau: "There are so many statistics in football that it's so hard to be real good in all of them. I've seen it around here when we've done that, but that was a rare, rare year."

Translation: the Steelers probably had a once-in-a-generation season in 2008, when they came within 55 rushing yards of leading the NFL in rushing, passing and total defense.
crazy old man. if dan marino can put up 50td's and 5000+ yds every year in his illustrious career, the steelers should be able to match statistical peaks... :rolleyes:

"Every week, we have new plays, we have new blitzes that we put in," Steelers free safety Ryan Clark said. "Some weeks, we scrap some of the old things and bring them back later. I don't know how (LeBeau) keeps a rolodex in his brain, but he has it. We've got some new things we put in specifically (for the Saints). Hopefully, it will work."

while lebeau was golfing early at the end of last season, im sure he watched the SB (knowing the saints were on the 2010 schedule) with his wheels spinning.

Merchant
10-29-2010, 02:08 AM
No one is exactly scared of the Saints secondary either. Have you heard about this guy the Steelers have, Ben something? Supposedly he's half-decent.

Lady Steel
10-30-2010, 04:40 PM
Or will a defense that has allowed just four touchdown passes and is tied for seventh in the NFL with nine interceptions get the better of the quarterback that has already thrown 10 interceptions, one less than he did all of last season

Yes, that. :hope: :tt02:

TOOLofSTEEL
10-30-2010, 04:57 PM
No one is exactly scared of the Saints secondary either. Have you heard about this guy the Steelers have, Ben something? Supposedly he's half-decent.

http://images.askmen.com/galleries/model/marshall-faulk/pictures/marshall-faulk-picture-1.jpg

Nope he's overrated, I would know. I've seen a lot of QB's in my day. :chuckle: