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Steelersfan87
08-08-2012, 05:15 PM
My article:

Every team has questions in training camp, and despite their pedigree, the Pittsburgh Steelers are no different. For the fans, the best opportunity to look for their own answers is to watch the preseason games.

The Steelers will open their preseason schedule against the Philadelphia Eagles tomorrow, so here are a few things to look for, in no particular order, that could be key to the team’s success during the 2012 season:

1. Defensive line success

The Steelers are likely to start the 2012 regular season with only one third of the players that opened the 2011 season on the defensive line. Left defensive end Aaron Smith is retired and nose tackle Casey Hampton might start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. And even if he does not, he may not start immediately.

4th year former first round defensive end Ziggy Hood will be entering his first season as a starter, despite being forced into a starting role many times over the past two years due to Smith’s health. He had a pretty underwhelming season last year by some measures, but underwent a rigorous offseason training program this year.

Steve McLendon is no longer the 280 pound man he is listed as on the Steelers’ website. Reportedly now a lean 325 pounds, McLendon has reportedly had an electric camp. Hood and McLendon will likely only get a series or two in the first preseason game, making initial evaluations difficult, but it will be the first opportunity for most to see for themselves how the two young men have developed since January.

2. Health at wide receiver

With star wide receiver Mike Wallace still holding out, 3rd year man Emmanuel Sanders is currently slotted as a starter alongside 2011 team MVP Antonio Brown. Sanders broke his foot at the capitulation of the 2010 season in Super Bowl XLV and struggled with injuries throughout the 2011 season, so how he holds up will be crucial to the Steelers’ success.

Jerricho Cotchery, either the 3rd or 4th receiver depending on if Wallace decides to join the team, battle hamstring injuries last year, but seems to be free of nagging ailments thus far. With Wallace’s continued holdout, however, quality depth at receiver is relatively thin. The top three guys must stay healthy, or the team may be forced to seek help elsewhere.

Read more: http://www.examiner.com/article/5-things-to-look-for-during-the-preseason-for-the-pittsburgh-steelers-part-1

Bayz101
08-08-2012, 05:30 PM
Good read, although your "Tweet" button isn't effective. The G+ and FB buttons work, though.

TheVet
08-08-2012, 06:23 PM
Good article, surprised that a completely revamped offense didn't make the list of things to watch!

But just FYI if you're still able to change it, I think you wanted some word other than "capitulation" in this sentence: "Sanders broke his foot at the capitulation of the 2010 season in Super Bowl XLV and struggled with injuries throughout the 2011 season, so how he holds up will be crucial to the Steelers’ success." Not sure what you meant to say there.

Steelersfan87
08-09-2012, 01:30 AM
I excluded the overall new offensive scheme because I don't think a lot of it will be shown during the preseason, especially not in the first game, so I don't think a lot of questions about the new offense will necessarily be answered by watching the preseason. I think if I was going to include a 6th item it would have probably been how Chris Carter does.

MasterOfPuppets
08-09-2012, 02:05 AM
I excluded the overall new offensive scheme because I don't think a lot of it will be shown during the preseason, especially not in the first game, so I don't think a lot of questions about the new offense will necessarily be answered by watching the preseason. I think if I was going to include a 6th item it would have probably been how Chris Carter does.
perhaps so , but you don't think the top 2 picks who have high hopes riding on em , are less note worthy than hood and mclendon ?

Steelersfan87
08-09-2012, 03:09 AM
If you're referring to the numerical listing, I wrote above that that it's in no particular order.

steelfury02
08-09-2012, 10:13 AM
thanks for the write-up

My question to you is - what was it about Hood's performance last season that was underwhelming? Was it getting beat at the snap of the ball?

Steelersfan87
08-09-2012, 05:13 PM
He got tied up with blockers too often and didn't work in sync with Woodley for a lot of the season. According to Pro Football Focus, he had the second worst run stop percentage in the league among 3-4 defensive ends and in the bottom 10 in pass rush productivity.

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-09-2012, 06:04 PM
He got tied up with blockers too often and didn't work in sync with Woodley for a lot of the season. According to Pro Football Focus, he had the second worst run stop percentage in the league among 3-4 defensive ends and in the bottom 10 in pass rush productivity.

Does Pro Football Focus explain that the job of a defensive end in Dick LeBeau's 3-4 defense IS" to get tied up with blockers", so that the LB's can flow to the ball and make tackles??

Steelersfan87
08-09-2012, 06:29 PM
That was my observation, and I was referring to instances in which his job was to pass rush. Comparing Keisel's success against the pass and against the run puts it in perspective that Hood's 2011 season was disappointing.

Hawaii 5-0
08-09-2012, 06:32 PM
Does Pro Football Focus explain that the job of a defensive end in Dick LeBeau's 3-4 defense IS" to get tied up with blockers", so that the LB's can flow to the ball and make tackles??

you make a great point...

guess Pro Football Focus also doesn't understand that it's the OLB in Dick LeBeau's 3-4 defense that provides the pass rush, not the DE.