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SteelCityMom
08-29-2011, 07:16 AM
Busy Half Chasing WRs Gives Pittsburgh Defense An Eyeful
Atlanta Falcons Make Plenty Of Catches Against Steelers
UPDATED: 12:35 am EDT August 29, 2011

PITTSBURGH -- James Harrison expected the Pittsburgh Steelers defense to be tested by the high-powered Atlanta Falcons. The All-Pro linebacker also expected to get off the field.

Turns out, he was half right.

Though the Steelers rode the big plays of wide receiver Antonio Brown to a 34-16 win on Saturday night, the league’s top defense a year ago had trouble keeping up with the Falcons, whose starters packed a full game’s worth of work into two busy quarters.

Atlanta’s Matt Ryan threw a whopping 42 passes -- completing 22 of them -- for 220 yards with a touchdown and an interception without getting sacked, moving the ball with ease at times against Pittsburgh’s banged-up secondary.

“I think they would have run a lot more than what they did, but if you have something that was working, and it was working for them, I don’t see what you need to change it for,” Harrison said.

Atlanta did most of its damage through the air, with Ryan expertly picking his way down the field by spreading the ball around. Roddy White, rookie Julio Jones, Harry Douglas and tight end Tony Gonzalez all finished with at least three receptions.

Though linebacker Lawrence Timmons celebrated his new six-year, $50 million contract by returning an interception 44 yards to set up a field goal, it marked one of the few successes for the starters on a night in which they struggled to keep up when the Falcons spread the field.

“They have a lot of weapons,” Timmons said. “I think we did OK today. I think we could have done better.

”So does coach Mike Tomlin. The Steelers failed to rattle Ryan, who twice escaped a fast-closing Harrison to run for positive yardage. Given time to throw, Ryan helped the Falcons convert 7 of 12 third downs.

“I’d like to see us get off more consistently on third down defensively, put more consistent pressure on the quarterback and have tighter coverage in the secondary,” Tomlin said.


Read more: http://www.wtae.com/sports/2444888/detail.html#ixzz1WQ3pqM8T

BKAnthem
08-29-2011, 12:37 PM
Alot of those completions were when they were playing that Bullshit cushion/zone/prevent lebeau seems to favor so much...he has faster DB's on the field now and they definitely play better in press coverage....

steelfury02
08-29-2011, 01:56 PM
Create pressure and get some good knocks on a quick-fire pass happy QB and the rest will take care of itself. Someone else besides Harrison and Woodley need to get to the QB - plain and simple. Time for Timmons to get that sack/pressures stat way up this year.

I have full faith that Tricky Dick Lebeau has something special saved just for Brady boy.

I think the move at DBs coach and the depth we added has proven some urgency to correct the back end this year.

Oh yes - the lombardi trophy will be ours, oh yes . . .

SteeleReign
08-29-2011, 03:32 PM
I'm fed up with the DBs playing 10-15 yards off the receivers. If we are getting the pressure on the pocket that we are used to, we should be playing tighter coverage on the outside, ESPECIALLY on 3rd and long. How many times do we have to see a receiver or tight end catch a pass across the middle for 12 yards on 3rd and 11?! :banging:

Maybe these new young speedy DBs will allow LeBeau to tighten up on those WRs. :noidea:

sharkweek
08-29-2011, 03:37 PM
holding Ryan to 22 of 42 for 220 yards and 1 TD and 1 INT is pretty solid defense IMO

only thing I didn't like was 3rd downs

best defense is a good offense, we certainly scored the points but the one thing we didn't do was control the clock with a dominating run game, of which that's not something we're going to be messing with much in preseason anyway

can't expect any defense to be unbreakable if they're on the field the majority of the game

BKAnthem
08-29-2011, 03:54 PM
holding Ryan to 22 of 42 for 220 yards and 1 TD and 1 INT is pretty solid defense IMO

only thing I didn't like was 3rd downs

best defense is a good offense, we certainly scored the points but the one thing we didn't do was control the clock with a dominating run game, of which that's not something we're going to be messing with much in preseason anyway

can't expect any defense to be unbreakable if they're on the field the majority of the game

dude that was in the first half...extrapolate that over a whole game...that's the main weakness of playing off your receiver

tanda10506
08-29-2011, 04:24 PM
I don't take much from the preseason games no matter what the stats are. Our starting corners didn't even play. LeBeau isn't going to show anything new in the preseason. The timing is still obviously off for Harrison, who got close to getting a sack twice and just didn't get it. Of course we are going to struggle against a pass happy offense, mainly just New England's, but in a real game the Falcons would not have passed that well against us. Bottom line though, these new corners need to step up and take the #2 and #3 spots.

ETL
08-29-2011, 04:35 PM
All that matters is scoring. If we can limit teams to 16 points each game, i will be happy.

I could care less how many yards our pass defense gives up as long as we give up the least amount of points. So much is said about how poor our pass defense is but a huge reason is because our run defense is so good. If our run defense sucked, other teams would run on us all day and wouldnt bother to throw. And out pass defense number would look a whole lot better.

People, please look at "stats" with a smarter eye and the whole picture.

Atlanta Dan
08-29-2011, 04:47 PM
holding Ryan to 22 of 42 for 220 yards and 1 TD and 1 INT is pretty solid defense IMO

FWIW Peter King was not particularly impressed with what the Falcons accomplished

Stat Lines of the Weekend
A few of the performances that caught my eye last week.

Atlanta QB Matt Ryan vs. Pittsburgh (first half)
Comp. - 22
Att. - 42
Yards - 210
TD- 1
Int - 1
Rating - 65.6

Thought: Weird. The Falcons obviously wanted to see how the Roddy White-Julio Jones-Tony Gonzalez-Harry Douglas receiver group worked in tandem against a good pressure defense like Pittsburgh's. The answer: plenty of work left to do.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/peter_king/08/28/preseason.week.3/1.html

The inabiity to sack Ryan (which I attribute to Harrison clearly not being in game shape due to the back surgeries) bothered me more than the passing yards

Steeldude
08-29-2011, 04:56 PM
I have full faith that Tricky Dick Lebeau has something special saved just for Brady boy.



lol...the steelers defense will get shredded by brady again. lebeau is too passive when playing brady and brady loves it.

Steel_Bus_24
08-29-2011, 05:31 PM
10 yard curls all year long.....

Fire Arians
08-29-2011, 05:34 PM
10 yard curls all year long.....

that might come to a stop if lewis wins the #2 spot over mcfadden. lewis' strength is jamming receivers at the line, I'm sure lebeau has to alter the scheme to suit his strengths right? toast mcfadden can't cover anybody, which is why he's always playing 20 yards off his man.

and after the game, tomlin said in his press conference that they need to play tighter coverage. maybe that's a sign of things to come

SteeleReign
08-29-2011, 05:47 PM
that might come to a stop if lewis wins the #2 spot over mcfadden. lewis' strength is jamming receivers at the line, I'm sure lebeau has to alter the scheme to suit his strengths right? toast mcfadden can't cover anybody, which is why he's always playing 20 yards off his man.

and after the game, tomlin said in his press conference that they need to play tighter coverage. maybe that's a sign of things to come

I pray this is true. It seems logical that if our rush is forcing the QB to make quick decisions then our DBs should be playing press coverage. I get the bend-don't-break concept, but the coaches have to figure out how we can stop giving up conversions on 3rd & long like we did against Atlanta.

tanda10506
08-29-2011, 07:02 PM
The Steelers are never a bend don't break defense, and they won't be this year. I've never understood that anyway, what you bend and give them the field position and time of possesion battle all game to hope that you don't break and give up touchdowns on any of that? Regular season comes around and you'll see the same defense as last year.

SteeleReign
08-29-2011, 07:18 PM
The Steelers are never a bend don't break defense, and they won't be this year. I've never understood that anyway, what you bend and give them the field position and time of possesion battle all game to hope that you don't break and give up touchdowns on any of that? Regular season comes around and you'll see the same defense as last year.

They are absolutely that type of defense. They play soft coverage, allowing underneath short passes, and defending against the big play.

tanda10506
08-29-2011, 07:28 PM
They are absolutely that type of defense. They play soft coverage, allowing underneath short passes, and defending against the big play.

If you mean that type this preseason then I agree, but the Steelers have never played that style of defense in seasons past.

dyce23
08-29-2011, 09:53 PM
If you mean that type this preseason then I agree, but the Steelers have never played that style of defense in seasons past.

Huh? You're a Steeler fan right? You don't watch the games? We've played a "bend-but-don't-break" style of defense for a while now. At times we've played it better than others, but we've been using that style for some time.

Back to the thread topic.

Harrison is still hurting, and Troy isn't a hundred percent either. Still, once the season gets underway, I doubt we'll be as easy to move the ball against. Hopefully, like some of you have suggested, McFadden loses his job too. That would definitely be a boost to the secondary...especially if that corner is allowed to press his man...

steelerjim58
08-30-2011, 12:31 AM
If you mean that type this preseason then I agree, but the Steelers have never played that style of defense in seasons past.

Not meaning to pile on, but agreeing with my fellow fans, bend but dont break is exactly what the defense is designed to do. Which is exactly why Brady and co. does so well against the Steelers. Their offense is designed to do what the Steelers defense is designed to give up. They have no problem taking 15 plays to go eighty yards. Dink and dunk up and down the field.

Steelersfan87
08-30-2011, 01:35 AM
Allowing Matt Ryan to complete barely half of his passes, and his only touchdown coming on a short field (although granted, Julio Jones did drop a 50+ yard bomb, which would have been a nice catch as it was), is something that I will take, especially when considering that the secondary was absent the starters, and then Keenan Lewis. And most importantly, the offense is primed to be its most potent, perhaps, that it's ever been.

Rick5895
08-30-2011, 06:16 AM
There will be some difference when Ike gets back. There were very big cushions against ATL but I have a feeling that had more to do with who was in there. Although the Steelers did some things to be excited about, it is still just pre-season. Let's not get over excited or overly upset at our successes and failures in these games.
I believe we will still have our usual top 5 Defense. The difference this season is we appear to have a big play quick strike offense, which will translate into more time on the field for the D. Therefore a rotation of DL and spelling Harrison if he's still not 100 % is important in the early part of the season.

SteeleReign
08-30-2011, 07:01 AM
There will be some difference when Ike gets back. There were very big cushions against ATL but I have a feeling that had more to do with who was in there. Although the Steelers did some things to be excited about, it is still just pre-season. Let's not get over excited or overly upset at our successes and failures in these games.
I believe we will still have our usual top 5 Defense. The difference this season is we appear to have a big play quick strike offense, which will translate into more time on the field for the D. Therefore a rotation of DL and spelling Harrison if he's still not 100 % is important in the early part of the season.

Well said. Let me just say that that those huge cushions were prevalent last year too. Because this team is built to win Superbowls, they will need to get through New England, San Diego, Indy, Green Bay, etc. If we play that soft coverage against those QBs we'll get torched like we did in the Bowl last year.

SteeleReign
08-30-2011, 07:05 AM
Not meaning to pile on, but agreeing with my fellow fans, bend but dont break is exactly what the defense is designed to do. Which is exactly why Brady and co. does so well against the Steelers. Their offense is designed to do what the Steelers defense is designed to give up. They have no problem taking 15 plays to go eighty yards. Dink and dunk up and down the field.

Remember the game, a few years ago, where New England threw the ball 20-some-odd consecutive plays to start the game. All up and down the field. 5, 10, 15 yards a pop. Drove me nuts!

effyou515
08-30-2011, 09:13 AM
Atlanta QB Matt Ryan vs. Pittsburgh (first half)
Comp. - 22
Att. - 42
Yards - 210
TD- 1
Int - 1
Rating - 65.6


The Steelers defense did stiffen up in redzone and keeped the Falcons out of the endzone like defenese is designed to do.

SteeleReign
08-30-2011, 11:11 AM
The Steelers defense did stiffen up in redzone and keeped the Falcons out of the endzone like defenese is designed to do.

Well, the dropped pass by Jones certainly helped a bit. Problem is, without better DB play, we will have issues beating playoff teams like New England, Indy, San Diego, etc. I do see some positive signs coming from Butler, Brown, and Lewis. We'll see. Soon.

Atlanta Dan
08-30-2011, 11:26 AM
Well, the dropped pass by Jones certainly helped a bit. Problem is, without better DB play, we will have issues beating playoff teams like New England, Indy, San Diego, etc. I do see some positive signs coming from Butler, Brown, and Lewis. We'll see. Soon.

For some reason the Steelers have not been torched by San Diego or Manning (who has health issues with his recovery from neck surgery - glad Steelers get him in September)

OTOH New England owns them when Brady is healthy