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mesaSteeler
01-28-2011, 09:30 AM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/print_720217.html

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Steelers' secondary looking for respect

By Scott Brown
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, January 28, 2011

A secondary that helped the Steelers record their most interceptions since 1996 and finish in the top half of the league in pass defense can hardly be described as under siege.

Just don't tell that to cornerback Ike Taylor. Or free safety Ryan Clark.

Taylor took issue with what he perceived were shots at the Steelers secondary earlier this week. Clark later weighed in on the unit that will be on the spot Feb. 6 in Super Bowl XLV when it tries to slow down Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his deep receiving corps. That's the same quarterback who torched the Steelers defense for 383 yards passing and three touchdowns in a 37-36 loss last year at Heinz Field.

"I'm done being disrespected. I'm done even caring. It's my second Super Bowl with this defense and the exact same guys minus Deshea (Townsend)," Clark said. "Maybe the other six or seven (defensive players) on the field with us are that much better than everyone else that they can overcome us being so terrible.

"Or maybe we're all right."

The Steelers allowed the fewest pass plays of 20 or more yards this season (35), and the secondary accounted for 14 of the team's 21 interceptions.

A couple of weeks ago they suffocated the Ravens' aerial attack, allowing 36 yards to Baltimore's wideouts in an AFC divisional playoff game. Clark, meanwhile, keyed the 31-24 victory with a forced fumble and interception that allowed the Steelers to erase a 14-point halftime deficit.

Yet what drew the attention of the Steelers defensive backs were postgame write-ups that pointed out All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu missing a tackle on Ray Rice's 14-yard touchdown run.

"It wasn't the linebackers missing a tackle. It was Troy missing a tackle," Taylor said. "As secondary players, we always say we're the last line of defense. Regardless of what the front seven do, we're going to always get ridiculed."

That is among the occupational hazards. Having skin thicker than armor is as much a prerequisite for playing defensive back as speed and athleticism.

That reality was reinforced here last season when the Steelers' secondary was scorched during and after a stunning 27-24 loss to the lowly Oakland Raiders at Heinz Field.

Clark fired back at reporters a couple of weeks later, calling them "turds."

One of the most talkative Steelers, Clark may also be the perfect spokesman for a secondary that sometimes feels unappreciated outside of team headquarters.

Clark went undrafted out of LSU and is playing for this third NFL team.

He is also playing alongside one of the best safeties in the NFL for a second time, having done so with the late Sean Taylor in Washington in 2004-05.

"He likes to be the underdog, the forgotten guy, the red-headed stepchild, that whatever you want to call him," Steelers defensive backs coach Ray Horton said of Clark. "He's a guy with a lot of pride. We know how good he is. I guess he's kind of, 'Hey, there's another guy here that can also play.' "

The Steelers are aware that the same is true of Rodgers.

Clark has lavished praise on Rodgers this week, calling Brett Favre's successor the hottest quarterback in the postseason.

But he and Taylor also have made it clear the Steelers don't exactly have Mo, Larry and Curly playing with Polamalu in their defensive backfield.

They'll get a chance to prove their worth on one of the biggest stages.

The Packers threw the ball 56.2 percent of the time during the regular season. They figure to go to the air early and often against a defense on which it is nearly impossible to run.

"We told our guys, 'Don't make any mistakes about it. This is a throwing team,' " Horton said. "The challenge goes right to those (secondary) guys, and I'll take them against anybody."

So will Clark.

"Right now this group of individuals can say they've started two Super Bowls, some three Super Bowls together," he said. "Go around the league and poll how many secondaries have done that. There's not going to be many, if any, that can say that, so I think we're doing all right."

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

Read more: Steelers' secondary looking for respect - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/print_720217.html#ixzz1CL9uf4Lr

stlrtruck
01-28-2011, 10:04 AM
you don't get respect until you earn respect, so if the Steelers secondary doesn't feel respected I say go out there on Superbowl Sunday and take it...with every pass play. Make Rodgers think two, three, even four times before he throws the ball, that should be enough time for the front 7 to steal his championship belt

Packerstud
01-28-2011, 06:29 PM
You'll have to wait until next season for the respect. As your secondary is going to get lit up like a Christmas tree on 5th Av

LegendSteel
01-28-2011, 07:02 PM
You'll have to wait until next season for the respect. As your secondary is going to get lit up like a Christmas tree on 5th Av

Yadda yadda yadda.

tony hipchest
01-28-2011, 07:03 PM
it hink aaron rodgers ass is gonna get lit up like a christmas tree on 5th ave. :applaudit:

43Hitman
01-28-2011, 07:09 PM
Did you guys happen to watch Playbook on NFLN tonight.. They called Ben a statue...lmao You gotta be effin' kidding me.

harrison'samonster
01-28-2011, 07:13 PM
Clark's never gotten the respect he deserves. That guy delivers, and he has for the Steelers and the Redskins. Polamalu get's all the credit (he is something else), but Clark is as good as it gets at his position.

Taylor will never get much respect either, the guy just doesn't make the interceptions like other cb's around the league do. Gay is to unknown for the media to even mention.

Pittsburgh players don't need respect from the national media, let that go to the big stat guys.

acidburn517
01-28-2011, 07:15 PM
“We’re just going to give up… They’re better than us at every position. So we decided to go to Dallas and buy the tickets and sit in the stands and watch them scrimmage. So, that way, the two best teams [will play].”
— Steelers safety Ryan Clark joked Wednesday about being the underdogs

I saw this on tumblr. It was from another article (http://content.usatoday.com/communities/thehuddle/post/2011/01/steelers-really-embracing-underdog-role-vs-packers/1) about the secondary not getting respect. I thought Ryan was being pretty funny. :chuckle:

43Hitman
01-28-2011, 07:17 PM
They also said tonight that Troy couldn't hang with Jones and he would win that battle all night... wtf??

steelcityboyz
01-28-2011, 07:22 PM
:noidea:You'll have to wait until next season for the respect. As your secondary is going to get lit up like a Christmas tree on 5th AvI think I remember Ravens and Jets fans talking the same shit. Maybe you will get bit in the ass too.

steelers33
01-28-2011, 07:27 PM
Our secondary will be hopefully fine, good that them and the o-line have a chip on their shoulder going into the SB. Our pass defense has been the best in the NFL in the second half of the season, did a good job on Flacco where doing a good job on Sanchez but they then went into prevent and they got a lot of their yards on when Ike slipped. On top of that we have one of the best defensive players and game changers in Troy P in the secondary I rewatched the Steelers last second win vs GB last season and we didn't have Troy in that game, and friggin Burnett was getting torched. Well he is no longer with us and Gay and Ike have improved since then. Also their stud tight end Jermichael Finely was absolutely killing us, but he obviously won't be playing in the Super Bowl this time around. I really think it would be tougher for GB to be one dimensional in the pass verse our D. Bottom line, we have the best talent on D, the best defensive mind in the league, and overall the best defense in the league; trust me Rodgers will have his work cut out for him. You may say that New England lit us up with the pass, well that is because they hve very good tight ends something that GB does not have. Tight ends are the killers verse the 3-4 D that is why Heath ad like 7 for 110 the last time he versed the Packers.

acidburn517
01-28-2011, 07:27 PM
Can I just say, I love that the media is making us the underdogs. I was afraid they were gonna make our team the favored one (i know when has that ever happened right?)

I think the guys play better when they're expected to lose. I remember similar hype against the seahawks and Cardinals. It was all about how their high powered offenses were no match to our team. Funny how everything turned out.

Packerstud
01-28-2011, 08:02 PM
Did you guys happen to watch Playbook on NFLN tonight.. They called Ben a statue...


They also said tonight that Troy couldn't hang with Jones and he would win that battle all night...

Finally your beginning to understand who the Green Bay Packers are.

Still over a week to go?!

43Hitman
01-28-2011, 08:11 PM
We'll see who's laughing last. You better hope your team isn't taking us as lightly as the media is. :coffee: Just like the Jets did.

Packerstud
01-28-2011, 08:18 PM
We'll see who's laughing last. You better hope your team isn't taking us as lightly as the media is. :coffee: Just like the Jets did.

Your Steelers are the toughest team we will face this year.

Big Ben worries me. Your running game worries me.

Your secondary is one of your weaknesses. Your O Line is another weakness.

No matter the final score, it will be a Super Bowl that will be talked about for many many years.

LegendSteel
01-28-2011, 08:24 PM
Your secondary is one of your weaknesses.

People always underestimate the Steelers' secondary. Troy and Clark is one of the best tandems in the league, Ike Taylor has been playing lights out so far in the playoffs, and McFadden, Gay, and Madison get the job done.

Riddle_Of_Steel
01-28-2011, 08:26 PM
Finally your beginning to understand who the Green Bay Packers are.

Still over a week to go?!

Yes, they were the team this season that:

* Allowed Adrian Peterson to steal their run defense's jock straps to the tune of 131 yards.
* Allowed Michael Turner to do the same
* Lost to Miami
* Lost to the Redskins
* And the ultimate embarassment.... lost to Detroit.

Keep talking......:tt04::tt04:

Riddle_Of_Steel
01-28-2011, 08:30 PM
Your secondary is one of your weaknesses.


Incorrect.
Check the stats, friend. In the second half of the season, following the New England debacle, Dick Lebeau adjusted our coverage schemes and the Steelers have been #1 in yards allowed through the air since then. They jumped from a 29th ranking to 12th. They have allowed the fewest passing plays of 20+ yards or greater in the league. Our defense led the league in sacks, meaning the coverage downfield had to be at least adequate. They allowed the fewest points per game of any defense.

And all this against superior competition in the AFC.....we don't have 7-9 teams making the playoffs in the AFC.

In short, Aaron Rodgers will get lots of yards through the air by dinking and dunking us to death, but it won't translate into points or few big plays. Bend don't break--it works, we are at SB #3 using that system.

Packerstud
01-28-2011, 08:31 PM
* And the ultimate embarassment.... lost to Detroit

I still have no excuse for that game. It baffles me no matter how many times I watch it.

El Nino
01-28-2011, 08:35 PM
they are definitely much improved from last year. part of the reason is that william gay has stepped it up big time. mundy was also playing well when troy was out. overall we have a good squad

about the secondary being a weakness, well i don't know if that should be taken as an insult considering our d-line and linebackers are stalwart to say the least

Riddle_Of_Steel
01-28-2011, 08:42 PM
I still have no excuse for that game. It baffles me no matter how many times I watch it.

To be fair, we did not exactly do too well against Miami either. The refs made the right call at the end of that game, but we definitely won because of a rules technicality. In ages past of football, before instant replays and high definition video, that would have been notched a loss.