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mesaSteeler
02-07-2011, 09:17 AM
Pack burns Steelers secondary, and DBs knew it was coming
http://www.cbssports.com/print/nfl/story/14655871/pack-burns-steelers-secondary-and-dbs-knew-it-was-coming
By Craig Morgan
Special to CBSSports.com
Feb. 7, 2011

DALLAS -- Troy Polamalu smiled when asked about the Green Bay Packers' depth at wide receiver.

"Sometimes it's just about the guy putting the ball in their hands," Polamalu said.

The Steelers knew they were in for a challenge against the Packers' spread-'em-out offense Sunday. They knew because they heard about it the entire week leading up to Super Bowl XLV.

They heard it from the media.

They heard it from their coaches.

And they heard it in veiled references from the Packers, who believed they could pull Pittsburgh out of its base defense and exploit that shift with an array of receivers the likes of which the Steelers' suspect secondary had not seen all season.

"It was like a broken record," cornerback William Gay said. "We prepared for it for two weeks. We knew what was coming."

But the Steelers were mostly powerless to stop it in the Packers' 31-25 victory.

Green Bay got four catches and two touchdowns from top receiver Greg Jennings and two receptions from Donald Driver before he left because of an ankle injury.

But it was the Packers' Nos. 3 and 4 wideouts who killed the Steelers repeatedly at raucous Cowboys Stadium.

Jordy Nelson caught nine passes for 140 yards and a touchdown, breaking Max McGee's franchise record for receiving yards in a Super Bowl. James Jones added five catches for 50 yards.

Those numbers would have been much more impressive if not for a half-dozen drops by Green Bay receivers. But those drops didn't matter, because Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers just kept putting throws in the right places.

"He didn't fold under the pressure," Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said. "I thought we hit him some early and we got to him as the game went on, but he showed his mettle, continued to throw the ball and continued to throw it accurately."

The Steelers sacked Rodgers three times and either hit or harassed him many more.

"He just stood in there and made plays," cornerback Bryant McFadden said.

The Steelers responded by dropping more into coverage and creating tight passing lanes.

"He put the ball in some tight places and he made some really good throws," Polamalu added.

And when the Steelers made coverage errors, Rodgers cut to the bone.

He hit Nelson over the middle on a 38-yard crossing pattern that set up the Packers' final touchdown -- leaving safety Ryan Clark running in Nelson's fumes.

On the first touchdown pass to Jennings, both Polamalu and Clark had chances to make a play on the ball and missed by inches.

Gay was beat on several occasions.

And on the second Jennings touchdown, Polamalu, the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year, got caught cheating.

"That was completely my fault," he said. "Earlier in the game, they ran Jennings down the middle, and I was anticipating that same pass play and I guessed wrong."

The score in the right side of the end zone was a dagger that restored Green Bay momentum after the Steelers had rallied from a 21-3 deficit to pull within 21-17.

"Big ups to them," a choked-up Gay said. "They did what they needed to do."

It would be foolish to pin the loss entirely on the secondary when Pittsburgh's offense turned the ball over three times, allowing an interception return for a touchdown while twice giving Green Bay a short field, opportunities the Packers turned into 14 more points.

"They were tough situations, but we've been in those before," McFadden said. "You have to pick each other up."

The Steelers could not, making precious few of the plays that defined their run to Dallas.

"They made plays, we didn't get any turnovers," Tomlin said. "It's that simple."

Steelthe#1dynasty
02-07-2011, 09:33 AM
I just wanted to throw this out there.. If you were the Steelers GM and Rooney gave you the green light to sign a top tier free agent CB such as Asomugha.. Obviously, by signing Asomugha it was likely we would lose Woodley & Colon. Let's assume the CBA has been settled and there is a salary cap in place. What would you do?

So sign Nnamdi Asomugha over Woodley (& maybe Colon)? One more twist: Taylor was re-signed. Thoughts???

steeltheone
02-07-2011, 09:40 AM
An OLB is a much easier find than a CB......Woodley is good...That being said he is better here than he will be anywhere else.

Atlanta Dan
02-07-2011, 09:47 AM
They definitely need a CB and will not be able to re-sign everyone unless they get a CB in the draft -question is whether the system can just plug in another OLB - if you lose Woodley you are going to need to replace both OLBs in the near future - Harrison is 32 and you have to wonder how many more peak years he has left

Flozell Adams was a great stop gap at RT for one season but keeping Colon looks necessary - at some point that rotten OL is going to get Roethisberger hurt without a major rebuild (I could see every OL other than Kemo who started yesterday not starting whenever next season begins)

steeltheone
02-07-2011, 09:51 AM
Its almost a must to sign a FA on the Oline!

cloppbeast
02-07-2011, 09:51 AM
Woodley and Colon, easily. Wouldn't even think twice.

Steelthe#1dynasty
02-07-2011, 09:56 AM
An OLB is a much easier find than a CB......Woodley is good...That being said he is better here than he will be anywhere else.

That is sort of my thinking. Woodley reminds me of Chad Brown to some degree. While he certainly good, he is a product of our system. I think I would rather have a better secondary over an OLB that can be replaced.

Rick5895
02-07-2011, 10:04 AM
Our D is built around the LB's. We lost the Super Bowl to a QB that played as almost a perfect game as I have seen. It is easy to pick apart the secondary when we lose. The 1st Packer TD to Nelson with gay in coverage was a perfect throw, Gay had decent coverage. Ike played well the majority of the game and on the play to jennings went for the pick and missed the ball by an inch. Rodgers was great and sometimes the 3-4 zone blitz D like we play has holes. Our recievers ran free as well Ben just was off. Lets not panic! As far as I am concerned Woodley is a must keep and if we can franchise him ...WE SHOULD. If we can keep Colon we should as well.
We should Draft an OL in the first round as we will likely get either Pouncey or Wisneiwski with our pick.

TRH
02-07-2011, 10:10 AM
they're going to franchise Woodley.

But we absolutely need secondary help and FAST. It cannot be ignored. We'll make it with the OL but need some help. I would put that one notch below the horrendous secondary.

Steelthe#1dynasty
02-07-2011, 10:13 AM
I have to say, I haven't liked our secondary for some time now. If the asking price isn't too high, I would even trade a draft pick for a guy like Champ Bailey. Yes, I know he's getting older but he would have been better than anything we had yesterday (besides Taylor).

And yes, when we lose a big game folks have a tendency to go into panic mode. Regardless if we won or lost yesterday, I still would have thought this was a glaring weakness. It just hurts because we lost on the biggest stage.

pete74
02-07-2011, 10:29 AM
i would trade Woodley for a good corner in a second. i like him but i think the next guy would step in and play just as well as he does. we definatly need a corner before next season and not a corner like we drafted the last 2-3 years

CargoJon
02-07-2011, 10:41 AM
We can find good O Line in the later rounds....look where Carl Nicks and Jahri Evans were drafted.

As much as I want Pouncy's kid brother, I'd be happy with a good cover CB in round 1.

Keeping Woodley and Colon right now isn't a choice.

JewniorGong
02-07-2011, 10:44 AM
Can we sign Carlos Rogers? Dude wouldn't be nearly as expensive as Asmougha. Besides, we don't need the BEST corner, just an adequate one who can tackle

NCBlackWolf
02-07-2011, 11:05 AM
We all know we need a cornerback. We knew it all year. Whatever it takes get Ike help on the other side. Woodley was awesome last night. I love Beast but...

McFadden McStinks.

CargoJon
02-07-2011, 11:10 AM
How bout Brent Grimes even?

harrison'samonster
02-07-2011, 11:12 AM
As good as our O-line was at pulling together through the play-off run, we need to keep good, consistant players throughout the year on the line so that our offense can develop and peak going into the playoffs.

I think we need to keep Colon for now. I would love to see the Steelers go after a big time CB, it is the weak link on D. However, I think the O-line is more important now.

I don't think Woodley is just a product of the system. I think his best years are still to come. As a Steeler.

Curtain_of_Steel
02-07-2011, 12:00 PM
Woodley isnt going anywhere.

to say you can find an OLB anywhere, is a ridiculous comment, lol.

Steelthe#1dynasty
02-07-2011, 12:09 PM
Woodley isnt going anywhere.

to say you can find an OLB anywhere, is a ridiculous comment, lol.

I'm not trying to downplay Woodley's contribution or anything. He is a beast. However, we are the best at scouting, drafting, preparing OLB talent, etc.

steelers33
02-07-2011, 11:16 PM
Think about it,how good would our defense be if we had another solid cornerback alongside Ike. Well we would know how good our defense be if we had another CB, so simply put we need to draft a cornerback in the first round. Even offensive line where there is not great talent this year but could be a lot of solid talent in the second round. Honestly guys I think next year may be our last chance for a bit because of our rising age on defense.Think about it at each level we have age. How much longer can Hampton and Kiesel remain on the d-line how much longer can Harrison and Farrior keep running around? Hell, even Troy will be 30 and he has an extensive history of injury. And Ike isn't young either. The front 7 will not be as dominant next year as it is this year. With a young shutdown corner we will be very very tough. It would also be a great move depth chart wise because mcFadden will drop to a 3rd cb and the fourth cb sport could be fought out by Gay Butler or even Lewis. Mike Tomlin was a friggin secondary coach so he should figure out why our CB position is in shambles. Also drafting added youth at ILB and NT should be a priority. Also if we don't resign Ike we are in trouble even more.

BehindSteelCurtain
02-07-2011, 11:18 PM
I know we arent big FA signers or traders but maybe this will inspire the Rooney's? Thats really against the Steelers, they like homegrown talent.

steelers33
02-07-2011, 11:24 PM
I know we arent big FA signers or traders but maybe this will inspire the Rooney's? Thats really against the Steelers, they like homegrown talent.

I was talking more in terms of drafting young CB talent, but if there is quality FA CB talent out there for a good price I'm all for up. That's a given though but anyone could be an upgrade from our 2-4 CBs

Merchant
02-07-2011, 11:28 PM
Ya never know.. Crezdon Butler could be a gem. Don't forget that Ike was drafted late (4th round) as well.

YhQucP7DjYE

PhantomJB93
02-07-2011, 11:39 PM
I just wanted to throw this out there.. If you were the Steelers GM and Rooney gave you the green light to sign a top tier free agent CB such as Asomugha.. Obviously, by signing Asomugha it was likely we would lose Woodley & Colon. Let's assume the CBA has been settled and there is a salary cap in place. What would you do?

So sign Nnamdi Asomugha over Woodley (& maybe Colon)? One more twist: Taylor was re-signed. Thoughts???

I would gladly let Ike and Colon hit the open market for Asomugha. If Taylor were resigned, Aso's not worth giving up Woodley,

Fire Arians
02-07-2011, 11:40 PM
Ya never know.. Crezdon Butler could be a gem. Don't forget that Ike was drafted late (4th round) as well

this guy has 1st round talent imo and he was a steal in rd. 5. His stock dropped because he was thrown away from a lot his senior year, and they were saying he was a little small for the pro game (185 lbs). He has a 6'0 frame so he can still put on weight without losing any speed. I have a feeling he may be our #2 cb next year

BehindSteelCurtain
02-07-2011, 11:42 PM
Woodley played awful against the run and was the reason why GB had those big runs throughout the game....They man got to far up field....He essentially ran himself out of the play. And they kept running to his side and not Harrisons.

sexyllama
02-07-2011, 11:46 PM
Sure, if CB is here for 10 years he might get off the Bench...

Offense: They tell Arians to get them youngsters ready: Pouncey, Sanders, Brown, etc..
Defense: They sit around waiting for them to finish Jedi training or whatever...

One thing that is a fact... our Defensive Backs Coach should be fired and replaced.
-3 years and zero results
-look at all the DB's we have...drafted by Cowher
-No development. Again, look at the Jets... the younger players can come in and at least play great zone coverage (look at NE second game and the gameplan) They used a 3 Line 8 DB vs Tom Brady (5 at 7 yards and 3 safeties)
-we need better input and gameplan from DB coach... he didn't come up with one scheme in two weeks that worked
-3 years and again nothing tangible

Before you say... look at what he had... I present to you Sean Kugler.

Llama

BehindSteelCurtain
02-07-2011, 11:48 PM
Is ike a FA this year? As much as I hate to say it, I think its time to part ways with Ike if hes still looking for #1 CB money. Hes 30, best corner we have, but nothing special.

SH-Rock
02-07-2011, 11:52 PM
Sure, if CB is here for 10 years he might get off the Bench...

Offense: They tell Arians to get them youngsters ready: Pouncey, Sanders, Brown, etc..
Defense: They sit around waiting for them to finish Jedi training or whatever...

One thing that is a fact... our Defensive Backs Coach should be fired and replaced.
-3 years and zero results
-look at all the DB's we have...drafted by Cowher
-No development. Again, look at the Jets... the younger players can come in and at least play great zone coverage (look at NE second game and the gameplan) They used a 3 Line 8 DB vs Tom Brady (5 at 7 yards and 3 safeties)
-we need better input and gameplan from DB coach... he didn't come up with one scheme in two weeks that worked
-3 years and again nothing tangible

Before you say... look at what he had... I present to you Sean Kugler.

Llama

I see your point, but if you can find a better replacement then I will be all for it.

Crezdon looks like he has played WR before. Very good ball hawking skills. Knowing Lebeau, rookies don't play on his defense.

Steelthe#1dynasty
02-08-2011, 12:13 AM
Defense: They sit around waiting for them to finish Jedi training or whatever...

Llama

We can't deny that one... The training is very important! LOL

figg
02-08-2011, 12:31 AM
If the Steelers dont re-sign Ike and get a top CB they will still be in the same position with QB's picking on everyone else. They need another CB in addition to Ike.

Fire Arians
02-08-2011, 12:49 AM
We can't deny that one... The training is very important! LOL

that's my gripe against lebeau. other teams plug in their rookies in the secondary. yes they have some growing pains but players NEVER develop unless they have game experience. it doesn't matter if they spend 3 years learning the system, the moment they step onto the field the first time, they aren't gonna be big time.

lebeau needs to be less afraid to play his rookies. mcfadden doesnt have the talent to cover #2's. I don't care how good of a coach you are, without the personnel you won't get the job done. If toast mcfadden is obviously lacking the talent to cover a #2 wr then give one of the young guys who has the ability to do it. At least we'll have a flying chance of covering somebody.

and madison isn't the answer. why does he even see the field? you back up mcfadden with another cb who also doesn't have enough talent to cover a #2 or #3?

sexyllama
02-08-2011, 03:08 AM
t
lebeau needs to be less afraid to play his rookies. mcfadden doesnt have the talent to cover #2's. I don't care how good of a coach you are, without the personnel you won't get the job done. If toast mcfadden is obviously lacking the talent to cover a #2 wr then give one of the young guys who has the ability to do it. At least we'll have a flying chance of covering somebody.

and madison isn't the answer. why does he even see the field? you back up mcfadden with another cb who also doesn't have enough talent to cover a #2 or #3?

Completely agree. They almost showed Arians the door for exactly the same reason. Rookies need to start producing. Offense needs to produce, etc...

I love Tomlin / Lebeau but come on... 3 years now and we *BARELY* have a nickel CB? Seriously? I used to think Bill Cowher was crazy firing 1-2 coaches every 2-3 years. You guys remember that? After 3 years you should see sold improvement/play (like Kugler, Butler, Wide Receivers, Running Back, Defensive Line) or you have:

Our DB Coach

Our QB Coach (Ben is way too inconsistent... just look at those 3 playoff games. He needs better coaching, mental / muscle memory drills or something) He has way too many OFF HALF's for 14 mil/year)

Our Special Team (although I'm torn because Kick Returns looked good but could they stop with the penalties ... all the ))@#$% time)

Llama