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Hawaii 5-0
09-12-2012, 12:30 AM
Kovacevic: Old? Slow? Not Steelers’ Problem

By Dejan Kovacevic
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012


One learns in life it isn’t all that bright to argue with 285-pound, thickly bearded, mountain-bred defensive ends. So I happily accept Brett Keisel’s word when he spoke the following late Sunday night in Denver: “We feel like we’re a better defense than that.”

He’s correct, of course.

It just might be that, by the time the Steelers march off Heinz Field this weekend, they’ll have mauled Mark Sanchez and the Jets, and the opening 31-19 loss will be as distant a memory as Rex Ryan’s former waistline.

It just might be, as Keisel added, “a matter of rectifying a few things.”

But let’s first rectify one description of the defense that shouldn’t be in the discussion.

OLD and SLOW.

It started with Warren Sapp’s jab a year ago, and it’s carried all the way into the predictable outcry this week. Someone on the Web or a talk show brings up the defense, and it’s a matter of seconds before it pops up anew.

OLD and SLOW.

It’s lazy analysis, to be kind, especially as it relates to Sunday.

Let me ask this: Who was the Steelers’ best player?

Answer: It was, by an almost shameful margin, 32-year-old Larry Foote. He had eight tackles, a sack, two hurries of Peyton Manning, a forced fumble, a pass defended, and probably helped little old ladies cross the street outside the stadium.

Fellow inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons?

Five tackles and ... well, he did make it onto the active roster.

Timmons is 26, and he’s YOUNG and FAST, though you wouldn’t know the latter from how easily the surgically rebuilt Manning sprinted away from him on that late scramble.

The linemen and outside backers totaled only five hurries on Manning. But again, that had little to do with OLD or SLOW.

Tomlin rotated his linemen liberally, giving extensive time to Cam Heyward, 23, and Steve McLendon, 26, in part to combat the thin air. And of the outside backers, LaMarr Woodley, 27, had no sacks or hurries, and Chris Carter, 23, who’s VERY YOUNG and VERY FAST, was buried all night by Denver tight end Joel Dreessen.

The biggest factor, actually, was that Manning was brilliant in picking up blitzes and quick in moving the ball. But that would have been the case if the Steelers had gone with ALL ROOKIES who could ALL RUN LIKE USAIN BOLT.

Which takes us to the secondary, maybe the most maligned with that OLD and SLOW label.

Manning’s most frequent victim was Keenan Lewis, 26, who allowed Eric Decker seven catches. It was no way to make anyone forget William Gay, 27, whose offseason exit via free agency always should have raised more red flags than it did.

That was a case of OLD being better than NEW.

Ryan Mundy, 27, filled the spot of Ryan Clark, 32, for the game.

Ike Taylor, 32, was torched again by Demaryius Thomas, but he shuts down pretty much everyone else, YOUNG or OLD.

And Troy Polamalu?

Well, let’s face it: When people talk OLD and SLOW, aren’t they really talking about Troy?

Sorry, I’m not there yet.

Sure, Polamalu isn’t hitting the highlights anymore. You’ve seen a lot more Clark Kent than Superman for a couple years now, especially when hurt. Tomlin revealed Tuesday that Polamalu has a strained calf.

Still, look at his big gaffe in Denver e_SEmD he went underneath a block that led to Thomas’ 71-yard touchdown e_SEmD and it was mental. An OLD player is better equipped to make that play, even if he’s now SLOWER.

“I should have made a better decision,” Polamalu said.

Or he could have had help. Mundy got blown up, too. Maybe Clark wouldn’t have been. Never underestimate what Clark’s stability means to Polamalu.

Look, I’m not going to sugarcoat this. The defense was lousy. Three 80-yard touchdown drives in a row is embarrassing.

But let’s set aside the memes and consider real solutions Tomlin and Dick LeBeau should find for the Jets: If James Harrison isn’t ready, sit Carter for Jason Worilds, who put the only hard hit on Manning. Get help for Lewis, too, or drop him for Cortez Allen. And let’s see more of Heyward and McLendon.

The coaches should look in the mirror, too.

Manning outsmarts most opponents, but there had to be an extra sting in hearing Denver receiver Brandon Stokley say of the Steelers’ late defensive collapse: “I think they pretty much did the same thing all game.”

Hey, maybe it’s the strategies and adjustments that are OLD and SLOW.

http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...#ixzz26DljDzzU

maddog78
09-12-2012, 08:37 AM
Alluded to this in another thread. Where were Timmons and Woodley?

TheDude
09-12-2012, 11:32 AM
agree with stokley's comments...we pretty much did the same thing on defense all night

I attribute that to the no huddle. it doesnt allow the D to substitute and limits communication from the sidelines to the field

Tomlin & co. need to recognize this. And recognize that they also have a QB capable of operating out of the no huddle.

We can put the same pressures and limitations on defenses we face too

steeltheone
09-12-2012, 01:49 PM
I feel sure our Defense will be much more productive than game 1 showed... Just need more pissed off aggressiveness...Are we able to do that anymore?

Hawaii 5-0
09-12-2012, 07:43 PM
OLD. SLOW. DONE.

Monday, September 10, 2012
by Mark Madden

http://content.clearchannel.com/cc-common/mlib/2094/09/2094_1347292368.jpg

Yinz hate Ben. I get it. Pick six, game over, tasteless jokes, etc. PREDICTABLE.

Ben Roethlisberger needed to come through late in the fourth quarter when the game was up for grabs. He didn’t. He knows it, and is no less disappointed than you.

But that’s one instance. Ben’s third-down precision was the offense’s saving grace. Ben's stats on third down were HUGE: 11/15 with two TDs and a QB rating of 139.4.

The Steelers’ defense had no saving grace. OLD. SLOW. DONE. Denver had THREE CONSECUTIVE 80-YARD TOUCHDOWN DRIVES.

Things started OK. The D had two sacks and a fumble recovery in the first quarter.

Once Denver went to the no-huddle, Peyton Manning made the Saran Wrap Curtain look ancient, tired and clueless. Dick LeBeau’s platoon prides itself on not giving up big plays. Congratulations. You shaved nine yards off Demaryius Thomas’ run to the house. He only went 71 yards, as opposed to 80 yards in last year’s playoff loss.

After that, Troy Polamalu played a mile or so off the line. NON-FACTOR.

It’s just one game, obviously. Denver’s a tough place to play and Manning is a tough quarterback to beat. If he’s lost anything, it’s hard to tell.

But despite the mostly close nature of last night’s loss, and despite injuries and illness hurting their chances, something felt wrong about the Steelers.

The offense was predictable: The Steelers ran on their first seven first- or second-down plays and passed on their first three third-down plays. Unless desperation necessitated, Roethlisberger primarily managed the game a la Mike Tomczak.

The Steelers drove 64 yards in 16 plays to open the second half, using a Shaun Suisham field goal to extend their lead to 13-7. The Broncos immediately went 80 yards in two plays, Thomas’ 71-yard catch-and-run providing a 14-13 edge.

The Steelers had the ball for 8:55, the Broncos 36 seconds. The Steelers got three points, the Broncos seven.

The Steelers played old-time, grind-it-out football. The Broncos, their play-calling firmly rooted in the present, MADE PLAYS. But Denver out-rushed Pittsburgh anyway. The Steelers had the ball for 35:05. But the Steelers' defense still looked exhausted. When the Broncos got their first possession of the second half, Denver's O and Pittsburgh's D (save one kneel-down) had been off the field for ALMOST AN HOUR.

Boom: Two plays, 80 yards, touchdown. At least chasing Thomas from behind was a familiar situation. Hey, Demaryius, wait for ME-E-E-E-E!

The New York Jets come to town next Sunday having scored 48 points on Buffalo, a team thought by many to be playoff-caliber. Suddenly, that’s a BIG TEST.

James Harrison and Ryan Clark didn’t play. Marcus Gilbert and Ramon Foster went down before halftime. That’s not supposed to matter. The standard is the standard.

http://www.1059thex.com/pages/supergenius.html?article=10404284#ixzz26IYLVUXE

maddog78
09-12-2012, 09:12 PM
Madden is a pinhead. The old guys were on the bench. It was young guys getting beat.

And it's not about "aggression" or "emotion". It's about understanding your assignments and executing, and about coaches putting players in position to succeed. If you tell Ziggy Hood to stand up and maintain gap control and drop Woodley into coverage, you're not going to generate a pass rush.

GoFor7
09-12-2012, 10:37 PM
Timmons has been a scapegoat, and rightly so in some ways. He has underachieved since signing his contract. Yes, last year he was moved around when Harrison broke his orbital bone, but when Harrison came back there wasn't much improvement from Timmons back at his normal spot.

LeBeau needs to take some blame too. A strength was found in the Steelers CBs last year in the Patriots game when they played press-coverage. For some reason, LeBeau doesn't want to see to do that again. Why? Who knows. I think it's pride. Someone else mentioned in another thread he might be stuck in the glory of the 2008 defense.

maddog78
09-13-2012, 06:56 AM
Timmons has been a scapegoat, and rightly so in some ways. He has underachieved since signing his contract. Yes, last year he was moved around when Harrison broke his orbital bone, but when Harrison came back there wasn't much improvement from Timmons back at his normal spot.

LeBeau needs to take some blame too. A strength was found in the Steelers CBs last year in the Patriots game when they played press-coverage. For some reason, LeBeau doesn't want to see to do that again. Why? Who knows. I think it's pride. Someone else mentioned in another thread he might be stuck in the glory of the 2008 defense.

It's Tomlin's job as HC to force his hand in that regard.

Stangboy06
09-13-2012, 07:58 PM
You have to realize the Steelers haven't won a big game since AFC championship game three years ago, got thumped by the ravens last year in the first game of the season, and have gotten beat by the Denver donkeys twice in a row. It maybe time to clean house like the ravens did a few years ago there's still time to build a team around Rothlisberger. how many Steelers fans does it take to change a light bulb 5 , 1 to change the lightbulb and 4 to talk about how good the old light bulb was.

Atlanta Dan
09-13-2012, 08:23 PM
You have to realize the Steelers haven't won a big game since AFC championship game three years ago, got thumped by the ravens last year in the first game of the season, and have gotten beat by the Denver donkeys twice in a row. It maybe time to clean house like the ravens did a few years ago there's still time to build a team around Rothlisberger. how many Steelers fans does it take to change a light bulb 5 , 1 to change the lightbulb and 4 to talk about how good the old light bulb was.

Steelers have not won a playoff game since January 2011 when they beat the Jets which was 20 months ago, not 3 years ago - if you want to make snide comments about how long ago it has been since the Steelers won anything it might be helpful to first learn how to read a calendar

The Steelers did not win a playoff game last year which i guess is your definition of a big game. They did beat the Pats with Brady (and with the Steelers not having Harrison and losing Woodley) for only the second time they have played him - IMO that counts as a big game.

Steelers have made the playoffs 4 out of Tomlin's 5 years with 2 SB appearances and a Lombardi - sorry they do not win every week and meet your standards of success

In closing, please walk me through when the Ravens cleaned house - keeping Ed Reed and Ray Lewis while dumping Todd Heap is not exactly a purge of the veterans and cleaning house

We get this c**p every year when the Steelers lose a game:banging:

Steelersfan87
09-13-2012, 08:32 PM
You have to realize the Steelers haven't won a big game since AFC championship game three years ago, got thumped by the ravens last year in the first game of the season, and have gotten beat by the Denver donkeys twice in a row. It maybe time to clean house like the ravens did a few years ago there's still time to build a team around Rothlisberger. how many Steelers fans does it take to change a light bulb 5 , 1 to change the lightbulb and 4 to talk about how good the old light bulb was.

Ward
Hoke
Farrior
McFadden
Kemoeatu
Smith

Good chance Hampton and/or Harrison and/or Starks are gone next season as well. Who else of age are you going to dump? Polamalu? Clark? Roethlisberger? Miller? Taylor? Colon? Keisel?

Atlanta Dan
09-13-2012, 08:52 PM
Ward
Hoke
Farrior
McFadden
Kemoeatu
Smith

Good chance Hampton and/or Harrison and/or Starks are gone next season as well. Who else of age are you going to dump? Polamalu? Clark? Roethlisberger? Miller? Taylor? Colon? Keisel?

Dan Rooney and LeBeau are old - time for both of them to go

Hawaii 5-0
09-13-2012, 09:01 PM
Dan Rooney and LeBeau are old - time for both of them to go

I do think that this is LeBeau's last year and that Keith Butler takes over next season.

Atlanta Dan
09-13-2012, 09:48 PM
I do think that this is LeBeau's last year and that Keith Butler takes over next season.

I think Butler got some kind of assurance he would be stepping up to DC soon in return for not taking the DC job in Indy - but unless the D collapses it will be LeBeau's call to leave

Hawaii 5-0
09-14-2012, 12:35 AM
I think Butler got some kind of assurance he would be stepping up to DC soon in return for not taking the DC job in Indy - but unless the D collapses it will be LeBeau's call to leave

I agree with you, LeBeau won't be pushed out the door.

but he did just turn 75 and can't coach forever, although I must admit that I would like to look as young as he does when I'm that age.

Steelersfan87
09-14-2012, 02:28 AM
I obviously have no substantial evidence whatsoever to support this, but I just feel that LeBeau will be here at least until Polamalu retires.

VaDave
09-14-2012, 07:21 AM
Geepers, it was just one game. Reading here makes it sound like the world is ending. It's pretty obvious we had, and have, more than a few missing pieces due to injuries, and even at that, still were in the game late facing a red hot Manning, and a very good Denver team executing very well.

This sort of thing DOES happen all the time, and with the Steelers, it happens a lot less than other teams. Think of this, if we won every game, what is the point of playing? Relax folks.

Stangboy06
09-14-2012, 08:24 PM
Oh yeah now Harrison's out two weeks in a row troy p out calf injury its second week of the season let's keep trying to play with 34-year-old guys 20 months how many days is that that sure makes it seem better

GoFor7
09-14-2012, 11:21 PM
Old and slow is becoming a lazy analysis of the defense's problems. Is it the age of the players? Or is it the scheme and lack of adjustments by the coaching staff?

FrancoLambert
09-15-2012, 11:25 AM
Old and slow is becoming a lazy analysis of the defense's problems. Is it the age of the players? Or is it the scheme and lack of adjustments by the coaching staff?

I'd think it's a little bit of both.
Can't deny that age is starting to show, especially with our impact players.
On the other hand, despite being the #1 ranked D last year, it looks like teams have sort of "figured out our schemes."
Lack of pressure on the QB kills us and our CB's should play more press coverage.

Steelerfreak58
09-15-2012, 12:02 PM
More press coverage. 12 to 15 yards off the ball and Manning, Brady, Breeze, Rodgers will smoke any team.

Got to get used to the facts we wont have Troy around for full seasons, Harrison is on his last leg (literally), and that there are areas on need to be addressed.

Kanata-Steeler
09-16-2012, 06:46 AM
Don't listen to Warren Sapp, mostly because he's been wrong about our "D" ever since, and during, our last SB('08).
Actually, and unfortunately, it was our "O"/Ben who dropped the ball against GB in our "other", and more recent SB.
But hey, that's another story.
;)

Bayz101
09-16-2012, 07:37 AM
Don't listen to Warren Sapp, mostly because he's been wrong about our "D" ever since, and during, our last SB('08).
Actually, and unfortunately, it was our "O"/Ben who dropped the ball against GB in our "other", and more recent SB.
But hey, that's another story.
;)

Actually, it was Mike Wallace who quite literally "dropped the ball" in our last Super Bowl loss. But you're right, that's a story for another time.

Galax Steeler
09-16-2012, 07:42 AM
That is one we should have won. Can't go back but that is a superbowl that should have been Pittsburghs.

steelfury02
09-16-2012, 09:19 AM
That all said Steelers Nation,

GET READY FOR A BIG W TODAY! It's still morning, but Oktoberfest already began in my house! WOOOOOOOOT
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sexyllama
09-16-2012, 03:45 PM
That all said Steelers Nation,

GET READY FOR A BIG W TODAY! It's still morning, but Oktoberfest already began in my house! WOOOOOOOOT
:tt::tt04::tt02::tt03::tt02::tt::tt03:
:tt::tt02::tt04::tt03::tt::tt04::tt02:

Still not impressed with the Defense for 3 years. Our back four and nickel are just trash... btw Mark Sanchez is the definition of a shit /overated QB and he's 4/5 with a TD.

steelfury02
09-16-2012, 06:46 PM
hey kill joy, how about now? lol:flap:

Hawaii 5-0
09-16-2012, 07:33 PM
guess all the critics will have to wait at least another week now to call the Steelers old and slow...

SquirrelHillSteelNut
09-16-2012, 07:54 PM
old and slow is definitely not the problem. i felt like in the Denver game, there was just no aggresive feeling or play there, not sure if the altitude was a factor, but it definitely wasn't the Steelers D that i have watched in other games in mile-high stadium. of course, it could have been key injuries, early season jitters, high altitude fatigue, other factors we don't see as spectators. i did see moments of real defensive aggression in the game against the jets today, so it definitely isn't the old and slow trashmedia argument.

Hawaii 5-0
09-16-2012, 10:07 PM
old and slow is definitely not the problem. i felt like in the Denver game, there was just no aggresive feeling or play there, not sure if the altitude was a factor, but it definitely wasn't the Steelers D that i have watched in other games in mile-high stadium. of course, it could have been key injuries, early season jitters, high altitude fatigue, other factors we don't see as spectators. i did see moments of real defensive aggression in the game against the jets today, so it definitely isn't the old and slow trashmedia argument.

it may also have had a lot to do with the fact that Peyton Manning is a helluva lot better than Mark Sanchez...