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Hawaii 5-0
09-12-2012, 06:53 PM
Another blueprint?

By F. Dale LolleyStaff writerdlolley@observer-reporter.com
9/11/12

http://www.observer-reporter.com/assets/8580889/0911-steelers-instory.jpg

DENVER - In their season-opening 35-7 loss at Baltimore last year, the Steelers saw the Ravens use a lot of cut blocking on nose tackle Casey Hampton to get him on the ground so that they could gash Pittsburgh for 170 rushing yards.

It was a tactic future opponents used with success until the Steelers finally adjusted.

After Denver had success against the Steelers in Sunday night’s 31-19 season-opening victory at Sports Authority Field at Mile High using a no-huddle offense exclusively from the second quarter on, Pittsburgh had better be prepared to see plenty more of that in 2012.

“We practiced against it all week,” said Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley. “We knew they were going to go to the no-huddle at some point. We just gave up some big plays in it.”

None was bigger than a 71-yard catch-and-run to Demaryius Thomas in the third quarter. Thomas caught a simple wide receiver screen at the line of scrimmage, picked up some blocks and ran untouched straight up the field for a score.

That play ruined what was otherwise a dominant third quarter for the Steelers, who ran 28 plays compared to two for the Broncos and held a 14:24-:36 advantage in time of possession yet saw their 10-7 halftime lead turn into a 14-13 deficit.

“We didn’t make significant plays, you know, third-down type plays. Plays to get you off the field,” said Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. “They did. They didn’t have many third-down opportunities, but I think they were like five, six of nine or something like that. We just didn’t make enough football plays, and they did. You’ve got to give credit to them. They executed.”

Peyton Manning completed 19 of 26 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns after a 4-for-7 start once the Broncos went to their no-huddle in the second quarter.

Yes, Manning was coming back after not having played a regular season game in nearly two years, but luckily for the Steelers, not every team has Manning running the no-huddle, an offense he has excelled in throughout his NFL career.

“What can you say? I mean, he’s Peyton Manning,” said Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu. “He’s the same Manning I don’t know how to explain. Everything anybody has ever said about him is probably the same thing I would say.”

But the Steelers feel like they will be better prepared to face similar attacks moving forward.

Pro Bowl linebacker James Harrison and starting free safety Ryan Clark did not play Sunday night for the Steelers. Harrison should be closer to returning to the lineup after being held out while recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery a little over three weeks ago, while Clark will be back this week against the Jets after sitting out because the game was played in Denver, where the high altitude causes issues with the sickle cell trait that he carries.

“We feel like we’re a better defense than that,” said defensive end Brett Keisel. “We feel like we stopped them pretty good in the first half. I feel like we’ll get better.

“We just couldn’t get to Peyton in the second half. He was getting the ball out quickly. Guys were making plays, and we weren’t.”

Right tackle Marcus Gilbert suffered a hyperextended knee in the third quarter but is expected to be OK. He was replaced by rookie Mike Adams. Right guard Ramon Foster suffered an eye injury and was expected to be evaluated on Monday. He was replaced by Doug Legursky. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was 10 of 12 for 129 yards on third downs as Pittsburgh converted 11 of 19 third downs. Inside linebacker Larry Foote led the Steelers with eight tackles, one sack and two quarterback hits.

http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/sports11/Steelers-Broncos-wrap

MACH1
09-12-2012, 06:58 PM
Hopefully it doesn't turn into '02 all over again.

QCbeauBlak
09-12-2012, 07:28 PM
I have to re-watch the game, but was Kenan Lewis playing off most of the time? There seemed to be a ridiculous cushion on the outsides. It almost looked like we were in prevent defense the whole game. That bend don't break game. It was like we just conceded every pass attempt as long as the receiver doesn't get past the DB. I understand that QB's are going to rack up their yards. You are not going to defend every pass. But it seemed like our DB's were too afraid to take risks and jump on the ball. Ike did once or twice but that was it. I know having Clark out there really hurt because he usually takes takes those risks as far as jumping routes.

Tomlin said it best though. There just weren't enough stops on third downs. I don't buy that Peyton is just that good or it's just week one or we have injuries. Everyone has injuries or issues to deal with. It was week one for every team. We had no disadvantage. I am not too worried because it will take some time to break in the younger defensive backs. Hopefully we will see more consistency in the future.

PS. I love Troy to death but my denial is over. For the last 2 years you can see just how far down he has come. He is a shell of his former self. I am thankful for his presence despite it all because he still strikes fear in offenses. But when he is not there someone has to step up. I am confident Ryan Clark will have a big year in coverage. Only time will tell.

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-12-2012, 10:42 PM
Yes, Keenan Lewis and Ike Taylor played quite a bit of off man coverage. Its what the Steelers defense does....keep the WR in front and break on the ball going forward. They have done it since the days of Chad Scott and DeWayne Washington :doh:

Consider that Ryan Clark was not in the game and Ryan Mundy was a liability in the passing game. I dont think its going to be a problem going forward. We were really playing with only one average safety with Troy being mediocre(maybe calf injury).

WVABE
09-13-2012, 08:30 AM
Troys calf injury, thats just a little fun we have planned for Sanchez.

Hopefully he'll bite on it.

steelfury02
09-13-2012, 08:50 AM
as I've stated before - we need other guys to step up outside of Troy.

And for as much un-warranted crap as Woodley has gotten - game changers don't wait as long as he has to "warm up." Yes, I'm greedy and I want him getting to the QB starting yesterday . . .

TheDude
09-13-2012, 09:22 AM
Yes, Keenan Lewis and Ike Taylor played quite a bit of off man coverage. Its what the Steelers defense does....keep the WR in front and break on the ball going forward. They have done it since the days of Chad Scott and DeWayne Washington :doh:

Consider that Ryan Clark was not in the game and Ryan Mundy was a liability in the passing game. I dont think its going to be a problem going forward. We were really playing with only one average safety with Troy being mediocre(maybe calf injury).

Other than the D Thomas' long catch and run...we did that for the most part.

Troy and Mundy took brutal angles...just brutal.

Here's hoping Clark stays healthy...it would seem that Ryan Mundy simply hasnt developed

Rockonsteel
09-13-2012, 01:16 PM
as I've stated before - we need other guys to step up outside of Troy.

And for as much un-warranted crap as Woodley has gotten - game changers don't wait as long as he has to "warm up." Yes, I'm greedy and I want him getting to the QB starting yesterday . . .

Yeah, with De-Bo out, and Troy playing less than spectacularly, the Steelers don't have a game changer on defense. Nobody on the D-line is a game changer. Minus Harrison, none of the LBs are gamechangers(including, and looking directly at you, Lamar Woodley). And in the secondary, there's nobody. Ike? Not really. Solid corner, not a game changer. It's actually pretty scary when you think about it. Makes you wonder how this defense finished #1 ranking last season. It certainly didn't have the impact of a #1 defense. Looks like it's gonna be more of the same this year.

Lamar better step his game up in a big way, and in a muh-fuggin hurry! I remember people used make comparisons with Wood and D. Ware. They're not even on the same planet at this point. D. Ware gets pressure all game long, and he gets sacks when the game is on the line, and he crushes double teams. Lamar, in all above categories, not so much. He disappears for long stretches at a time, and when he's not getting sacks, he doesn't apply consistent pressure all game long. Hopefully he can find his mojo, and get back in that conversation.

Rockon

TheDude
09-13-2012, 01:21 PM
Lamar better step his game up in a big way, and in a muh-fuggin hurry! I remember people used make comparisons with Wood and D. Ware. They're not even on the same planet at this point. D. Ware gets pressure all game long, and he gets sacks when the game is on the line, and he crushes double teams. Lamar, in all above categories, not so much. He disappears for long stretches at a time, and when he's not getting sacks, he doesn't apply consistent pressure all game long. Hopefully he can find his mojo, and get back in that conversation.

Rockon

Wood looked tired in Denver...not making an excuse...just an observation...saw his hands on his knees WAY TOO MUCH

he definitely needs to step up (especially when #92 is in street clothes...wood seemed to do this last yr)