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Hawaii 5-0
05-11-2012, 12:32 AM
Hoke Says It Could Take A Year Or Two For Ta’amu To Play Comfortably In Steelers Scheme

Thursday, May 10th, 2012 by Dave Bryan


Chris Hoke may have retired this offseason, but he stays active in the media and he joined 93.7 The Fan Thursday morning for an interview. Hoke, who backed up Casey Hampton at nose tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers for over a decade, was asked about fourth round draft pick Alameda Ta'amu. Hoke said, "I tell you what, he's going to be a good football player, I don't know if hell be ready to go right away playing the nose tackle, maybe doing some situational things next season, but this guy is going to be a good football player for a lot of years here."

Hoke was asked next how long it takes for the light to come on for a young nose tackle and get comfortable with the Steelers scheme at the position. Hoke said in a lengthy reply, "Well I think it depends on who you are and what kind of scheme you learned in college, but I say it would take a year or two. I mean when you look at Hamp, Hamp came in I remember our rookie year and he started after his first seven games. I mean Hamp is a freak of nature though and this guy is as gifted of a talent that I've ever been around, especially when he was young. You know you look at a guy coming in here and you've got Coach Mitch, who I believe is the best 3-4 defensive line coach in the NFL, who really breaks you down. He doesn't care what you did when you were in college. He doesn't care what techniques you were taught and he'll tell you that. He goes; I don't care what you learned when you were at Washington and I don't care what you learned when you were at Texas. He goes; you're going to play the Steeler way. Then he'll break you down. He'll take away all the things you learned in college and teach you how to play nose tackle, or defensive end, how the Steelers want you to play with great technique, with great hands, with great leverage. You know staying square and all those kind of things that he teaches and he professes. And that's the way we've been successful over the years. So i see Ta'amu learning, growing. He looked the part, you know I know he's got to get in shape. You know a lot of rookies when they come in, their first mini-camp, their first OTA's, they didn't train for football. They trained to run the 40 and run these shuttle drills and now they've got to get back into football shape and they'll do that. But I know once he get in shape, and the rest of these rookies in shape, its going to be a good class."

Pretty awesome reply to a great question if you ask me and it pretty much goes along with what I have been writing since the Steelers drafted Ta'amu. The general thinking with most is that the nose tackle position is just about eating up space and handling double teams, and that they do not have to understand much outside of that. Not only will defensive line coach John Mitchell break down Ta'amu and rebuild him to play the position the Steeler way as Hoke says, but he will also be taught the other nuances of the defensive scheme as well.

It is easy to point back to the rookie season of Hampton and conclude that because he started half way through his rookie season that Ta'amu should be able to as well. Hoke made sure to point out that Hampton was a freak of nature and keep in mind that he was a first round pick as well. Ta'amu is not as technically sound as Hampton was his rookie season and he was drafted in the fourth round because of that. Now it is not out of the question that the rookie out of Washington could progress as fast as Hampton did, but I would not lay down any money on it happening. Mitchell will not play him until he is ready unless injuries force his hand to do so. I would be prepared for Ta'amu to see the field less than 100 plays this season, and if it is more than that, it is because he is a freak of nature like Hampton was or because several injuries have thinned the position.

http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/article_external/hoke_says_it_could_take_a_year_or_two_for_taamu_to _play_in_steelers_scheme/10766657

tony hipchest
05-11-2012, 01:05 AM
chris hoke is freaking awesome! IMO one of the most humble, loyal, underated steelers ever. and thats saying alot being that he didnt have a stellar career where he did alot more than just be there and be prepared. when he stepped in, he was star quality and his insight and current fandom is primo.

you've got Coach Mitch, who I believe is the best 3-4 defensive line coach in the NFL, who really breaks you down. He doesn't care what you did when you were in college. He doesn't care what techniques you were taught and he'll tell you that. He goes; I don't care what you learned when you were at Washington and I don't care what you learned when you were at Texas. He goes; you're going to play the Steeler way. Then he'll break you down. He'll take away all the things you learned in college and teach you how to play nose tackle, or defensive end, how the Steelers want you to play with great technique, with great hands, with great leverage.



'nuff said. THIS is what makes them so good.

as for ta'amu, everyone will be looking for the next hampton, just like the next bettis. but like hoke pointed out, bettis was a once in a generation player selected top 10 in the 1st round.

alameda should be fine replacing hampton for many years once he is molded, doesnt lose patience, and refrains from getting lazy.

hoke AND hampton are big shoes to fill X2.

Kingmagyar
05-11-2012, 03:26 AM
Hampton once said he has 3 plays to learn. Rush left, right, or straight. We are not talking about the QB position here, it's a Nose Tackle. It's going to take 1-2 years to be able to play that position?

Fire Arians
05-11-2012, 12:51 PM
Hampton once said he has 3 plays to learn. Rush left, right, or straight. We are not talking about the QB position here, it's a Nose Tackle. It's going to take 1-2 years to be able to play that position?

to get used to the level of competition he's going to be up against, it could. sure the idea behind it might be easy, doing it is a problem when you're actually supposed to take a double team against two men that weigh over 300 lbs

also the NT has a critical role in the 3-4. learning the system is one thing, but making it automatic probably does take 1-2 seasons

Sixburgher
05-11-2012, 12:55 PM
Hampton once said he has 3 plays to learn. Rush left, right, or straight. We are not talking about the QB position here, it's a Nose Tackle. It's going to take 1-2 years to be able to play that position?

Exactly. Yet Ben catches shit for a few joking comments about the learning curve involved in implementing an entirely new offense. Go figure.

steeltheone
05-11-2012, 02:26 PM
Hampton once said he has 3 plays to learn. Rush left, right, or straight. We are not talking about the QB position here, it's a Nose Tackle. It's going to take 1-2 years to be able to play that position?

Agreed......Hear this all the time....Very overrated

Fire Arians
05-11-2012, 02:51 PM
Agreed......Hear this all the time....Very overrated

taamu is going to have to work with the strength and conditioning coaches, getting strong enough to handle an NFL season doesn't happen overnight.

Riddle_Of_Steel
05-11-2012, 06:16 PM
There is more to nose-tackle than "rush right, straight or left".

Playing defensive or offensive line is all about footwork and keeping your center of gravity lower than the opposing players. Hand placement, leverage, and using your hips to gain physical advantage are all crcial skills that take time for the muscle memory to develop.

Kingmagyar
05-11-2012, 06:58 PM
There is more to nose-tackle than "rush right, straight or left".

Playing defensive or offensive line is all about footwork and keeping your center of gravity lower than the opposing players. Hand placement, leverage, and using your hips to gain physical advantage are all crcial skills that take time for the muscle memory to develop.

I hear what your saying. Technique and strength absolutely. But I doubt Dontari Poe won't be playing in KC on opening day. But I guess the point of this is "getting up to speed". He could start day one but with some seasoning and experience he will only get better and better and that takes game reps and knowing your opponents.

By the way I hope your name Riddle of Steel has something to do with this quote:

"Crom is strong! If I die, I have to go before him, and he will ask me, 'What is the riddle of steel?' If I don't know it, he will cast me out of Valhalla and laugh at me."

or this:

"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women."

Steelerfreak58
05-11-2012, 07:26 PM
Gonna miss that guy playing.

lloydwoodson
05-11-2012, 09:11 PM
Exactly. Yet Ben catches shit for a few joking comments about the learning curve involved in implementing an entirely new offense. Go figure.

Teams change their offensive coordinator all the time. This has nothing to do with rookies trying to adapt physically to the NFL game. John Mitchell is talking about changing the Ta'amu plays entirely in terms of technique.

El-Gonzo Jackson
05-11-2012, 09:21 PM
Hampton once said he has 3 plays to learn. Rush left, right, or straight. We are not talking about the QB position here, it's a Nose Tackle. It's going to take 1-2 years to be able to play that position?

Yeah, at least they dont have a new coordinator that is gonna set back the young guys development 2-3 years.

And maybe the Steelers Defense is not Rosetta Stone, but rather Heiroglyphics???

Sixburgher
05-11-2012, 09:45 PM
Teams change their offensive coordinator all the time. This has nothing to do with rookies trying to adapt physically to the NFL game. John Mitchell is talking about changing the Ta'amu plays entirely in terms of technique.

Way to completely miss my point.

lloydwoodson
05-11-2012, 10:22 PM
Way to completely miss my point.

The teams with new offensive coordinators next year in the AFC alone: Bills, Jets, Patriots, Browns, Dolphins, Jaguars, Chiefs, Raiders and Chargers. Ten out of sixteen AFC teams have a new offensive coordinator. This is a great time to have a new offensive coordinator because if it is a disadvantage it is one shared by most of the teams in the AFC.

Your point is you think the NFL playbooks are complicated and that is why Ta'amu won't start. He was a fourth-round pick who is backing up a Probowl NT. I bet you DeCastro starts next year.

El-Gonzo Jackson
05-11-2012, 10:28 PM
The teams with new offensive coordinators next year in the AFC alone: Bills, Jets, Patriots, Browns, Dolphins, Jaguars, Chiefs, Raiders and Chargers. Ten out of sixteen AFC teams have a new offensive coordinator. This is a great time to have a new offensive coordinator because if it is a disadvantage it is one shared by most of the teams in the AFC.

Your point is you think the NFL playbooks are complicated and that is why Ta'amu won't start. He was a fourth-round pick who is backing up a Probowl NT. I bet you DeCastro starts next year.

reality is that very few NFL rookies start on opening day unless they are on crappy teams that dont have any decent veterans at the positions already.

DeCastro will because he is already better than Legursky, who might be the only other option. Ta'amu might not start because as you say the Pro Bowl NT is there and if he is still recovering, there is a guy with NFL experience in McLendon who can do it too.

I will guarantee that Ta'amu starts in 2013 and may be starting due to injury by week 9 this year.

Sixburgher
05-11-2012, 10:41 PM
Your point is you think the NFL playbooks are complicated and that is why Ta'amu won't start. He was a fourth-round pick who is backing up a Probowl NT. I bet you DeCastro starts next year.

No, my point was that when someone says it will be at least a year or two before Ta'amu makes a really meaningful contribution, nobody bats an eye at it, but when Ben makes a couple of joking comments about the complexity of the new playbook, people go apeshit over it.

lloydwoodson
05-11-2012, 10:58 PM
No, my point was that when someone says it will be at least a year or two before Ta'amu makes a really meaningful contribution, nobody bats an eye at it, but when Ben makes a couple of joking comments about the complexity of the new playbook, people go apeshit over it.

If Ta'amu becomes a Probowl NT and the leader on the Steelers defense, and then one year makes a comment about a new defensive coordinator I could see this being a valid comparison. Also note the reason Hoke gave as to why Hampton was able to start- Hampton is "a freak of nature." Hoke didn't describe Hampton as intellectual.

El-Gonzo Jackson
05-12-2012, 11:01 AM
No, my point was that when someone says it will be at least a year or two before Ta'amu makes a really meaningful contribution, nobody bats an eye at it, but when Ben makes a couple of joking comments about the complexity of the new playbook, people go apeshit over it.

So one player is a $100 million, Pro Bowl, 2x superbowl winning QB and the other that made the comment is a retired backup NT...........do you think that one is going to attract more attention than the other?????:doh:

Both are equally silly comments, although one thought it would take 2-3 years for young guys to learn a system, while the other thought a year or 2.

Steel_Bus_24
05-12-2012, 12:30 PM
Well I hope/think Ta'amu will have more advantages/better chance to succeed now for a couple of reasons

1. The game's rules have changed...an Defenses are in the nickle more then ever..So that alone makes a 3-4 Run Stuffing NT type a little less important. An its a big reason why I think we got such a good NT prospect in the 4th round

2. Working with Big Snack an his coaches should be beneficial both mentally an physically

3. If our coaches can keep Ta'amu from getting discouraged and instill the fire of competition within him...then hats going to breed more success when he has to line up against studs like Pouncey an DeCastro all the time in Practice

El-Gonzo Jackson
05-12-2012, 03:27 PM
Well I hope/think Ta'amu will have more advantages/better chance to succeed now for a couple of reasons

1. The game's rules have changed...an Defenses are in the nickle more then ever..So that alone makes a 3-4 Run Stuffing NT type a little less important. An its a big reason why I think we got such a good NT prospect in the 4th round

2. Working with Big Snack an his coaches should be beneficial both mentally an physically

3. If our coaches can keep Ta'amu from getting discouraged and instill the fire of competition within him...then hats going to breed more success when he has to line up against studs like Pouncey an DeCastro all the time in Practice

1. Lots of teams run a 3-4, so having a guy that can occupy 2 blockers in the run and pass is still beneficial.

2. Yes, seeing a pro like Hampton work and working with John Mitchell will be good for him.

3. What makes you think that this kid doesnt have a fire and will get discouraged?? All the reports of him is that he has a good motor and doesnt need a babysitter. He put up over 30 reps in the bench press, so he is a hard worker in the weight room, which is less fun than being on the field.

Ta'amu is going to be a fixture for 7-10 years for the Steelers. Write it down.