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View Full Version : Steelers Fever Exclusive Editorial: The Difference Makers


Bayz101
09-24-2012, 11:54 AM
Monday, September 24th, 2012
By Tiger Rowan
Steelers Fever Columnist

If one were to scour Steelers message boards, there is one ubiquitous theme: Fire Dick LeBeau. I have heard it time & time again. And, being the defensive coordinator for the Steelers, some culpability should indeed be directed his way. Regardless of blame, the fact is that LeBeau does not have the players to run "his" defense.

Of course, the counter-arguement would be that if LeBeau does not have the players, one might suggest that he simply alter his scheme. Well... hmmm... that is easier said than done (but, I will get back to that idea later on).

LeBeau's defensive philosophy, in its simplest form, is this: keep everything in front of the defense... and after enough plays, the offense will make a crucial mistake. This philosophy has worked for a long, long time... but, not necessarily due to the scheme; I contend that it is the players that have made it successful.

We are all familiar with LeBeau's formula: the cornerbacks play ten yards off; the opposition can have anything underneath/anything short; and after making an opponent drive down the field, taking ten to thirteen plays... at some point, a "difference maker" WILL rise up, and create a "splash" play: an interception, a forced fumble, a momentous sack, and/or a key tackle on third down.

In the 90s, the difference makers were Greg Lloyd, Carnell Lake, and Rod Woodson. In the early part of the 2000s, it was various players, such as Joey Porter, James Farrior, Kendrell Bell, and even Casey Hampton. For the past few years, it has been James Harrison and Troy Polamalu. And, alas, currently... there is NO ONE making "splash" plays on this defense......

Read more: http://www.steelersfever.com/editorials/1012.html

stb_steeler
09-24-2012, 12:02 PM
Looks like its one of those falling out years....Man i hope not!

Steelers>NFL
09-24-2012, 12:16 PM
Looks like its one of those falling out years....Man i hope not!

Wouldn't be a bad thing. Get a high good draft pick! :noidea:

Sharkissle29
09-24-2012, 12:19 PM
I was very excited going into this year, now not so much. Still early but I do not like one bit of the defense.

Hoping to get Troy and Harrison back after the bye. Could make a world of difference. If it doesn't, we are done for.

Bayz101
09-24-2012, 12:19 PM
Wouldn't be a bad thing. Get a high good draft pick! :noidea:

We're not going to finish below .500. Write that down.

This was my "trap" game as soon as the schedule was announced, and the defense fell into it.

The good news is the offense DIDN'T, and it looked better than the Patriots offense from last night.

Why does this matter? The Pats defense isn't the best defense either, and NO ONE has them missing the playoffs. Don't get caught up in the medias woes. We'll be fine.

Sharkissle29
09-24-2012, 12:25 PM
We're not going to finish below .500. Write that down.

This was my "trap" game as soon as the schedule was announced, and the defense fell into it.

The good news is the offense DIDN'T, and it looked better than the Patriots offense from last night.

Why does this matter? The Pats defense isn't the best defense either, and NO ONE has them missing the playoffs. Don't get caught up in the medias woes. We'll be fine.

Although I try and stay positive, the defense has been atrocious. But all it takes is ONE stop in the second half and we could be a 3-0 team. We need to get off the field in the 2nd half.

One other thing to note. This offense is only going to get BETTER.

tanda10506
09-24-2012, 12:26 PM
I agree that nobody is making splash plays and that we no longer have the talent we used to, but that's about it. First off, the Pats are yet to win a Lombardi without being able to tape the other teams signals, so that is not a defense we should model ourselves after. The defense we played against the Pats last year is the defense we should be playing, and the talent is nearly the same now as it was then (remember Farrior and Harrison were out).

As far as the offense turning into something special, I can definitely see that, but I don't see it being good enough to overcome how far the defense has fell. It wasn't a "shoot out" against the Raiders, they were just allowed to make an 8-12 yard catch every time because of the cushions. Losing to them like that isn't frustrating, it's flat out f****** embarassing and it didn't have to happen, regardless of "splash" plays.

Kanata-Steeler
09-24-2012, 12:43 PM
In other words, blaming the "D" to the point of posts like "...LEBEAU MUST GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!..." just shows how "spoilt" we have all been over the past few years, with this Steelers #1 NFL Defense.
Sooo, when will our Offense finally step up to the plate then?.
Don't just constantly "blame' the "D" this early on.\

I'm still waiting for our "O" to alteast get to #3, how 'bout #2 in the NFL, which it has NOT been for what now, - over a couple decades now. ???
"Scouring the Forums" haha. Ya right. for what, to listen to a bunch of couch "QB's", in the NFL, such as us all ?

I want our "O" to finally DO what our "D" has been doing for years now -mainly get to #One, son !!!
Then, and only then, squak all u want about our "D".
Talkin' bout our Offense, it is plain we NEED to be able to run, to setup the pass, and vice-versa, it's basic Football-101, without it, no one is goin' nowhere.

So, lets NOT embarrass ourselves anymore with pre-mature water boy posts such as has been already seen around here.
TY.

Bayz101
09-24-2012, 01:02 PM
In other words, blaming the "D" to the point of posts like "...LEBEAU MUST GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!..." just shows how "spoilt" we have all been over the past few years, with this Steelers #1 NFL Defense.
Sooo, when will our Offense finally step up to the plate then?.
Don't just constantly "blame' the "D" this early on.\

I'm still waiting for our "O" to alteast get to #3, how 'bout #2 in the NFL, which it has NOT been for what now, - over a couple decades now. ???
"Scouring the Forums" haha. Ya right. for what, to listen to a bunch of couch "QB's", in the NFL, such as us all ?

I want our "O" to finally DO what our "D" has been doing for years now -mainly get to #One, son !!!
Then, and only then, squak all u want about our "D".
Talkin' bout our Offense, it is plain we NEED to be able to run, to setup the pass, and vice-versa, it's basic Football-101, without it, no one is goin' nowhere.

So, lets NOT embarrass ourselves anymore with pre-mature water boy posts such as has been already seen around here.
TY.

I agree. The "DEFENSE SUCKS FIRE LEBEAU" threads are annoying as hell, and if you noticed, any new threads have been locked immediately.

However, last year doesn't matter. The year before doesn't matter. What matters is this year, and the defense hasn't showed up yet.

I sure hope they improve with the arrival of Troy and Harrison, and I hope we can be competent again.

And by the way, we mustered up all of 40-50 yards rushing and the passing game racked up 300+ yards. We obviously don't need to run to setup the pass. That shit became a myth just as soon as Goodell starting transitioning this league into a passing league.

A running game certainly would help now that Haley's calling a great passing game, and we'll have Mendenhall back in two weeks.

But seriously, quit bringing up the fact that our defense has bailed out the offense for the better part of the last decade, because honestly, none of that matters. What matters now is that we're 1-2, and that MANY other ELITE teams are 1-2 as well.

The season is NOT over. The offense is NOT at it's peak. The offense WILL get better. The defense IS bad, and we're missing some pieces that can change that.

Fire Arians
09-24-2012, 01:27 PM
Having the #1 defense doesn't matter if you make the #30- offenses look great

Bayz101
09-24-2012, 01:36 PM
Having the #1 defense doesn't matter if you make the #30- offenses look great

Exactly, and what DOES matter is that it's all happening this year. Right now.


And by the way, I highly doubt we have even a top ten defense statistically, although I never track things like that.

teegre
09-24-2012, 03:13 PM
We're not going to finish below .500. Write that down.

This was my "trap" game as soon as the schedule was announced, and the defense fell into it.

The good news is the offense DIDN'T, and it looked better than the Patriots offense from last night.

Why does this matter? The Pats defense isn't the best defense either, and NO ONE has them missing the playoffs. Don't get caught up in the medias woes. We'll be fine.

BINGO!!!

If you look, the west coast teams have HOSTED a lot of these early games, and their records show it. That trip cross-country is a bear. PITT had to fly west twice in three weeks.

teegre
09-24-2012, 03:17 PM
But all it takes is ONE stop in the second half and we could be a 3-0 team. We need to get off the field in the 2nd half.

One other thing to note. This offense is only going to get BETTER.

EXACTLY!!!

1. The difference between 3-0 is one measily stop by the defense (and/or one turnover not given up). And, while Troy & Harrison are no longer in their primes, they each are very capable of one or two key plays that would turn into that aforementioned "ONE stop."

And, it need not be a sack or an INT from them; it might be a run stuff on first down or a pass batted away on third down. It is those small inches (that Al Pacino talked about) that can turn a game from a loss ot a win.

2. This offense could be very special.

teegre
09-24-2012, 07:03 PM
Wouldn't be a bad thing. Get a high good draft pick! :noidea:

I am still thinking that the Steelers will be picking (S, Matt Elam) at 32.

But, if somehow they do draft higher...(my projected draft spot)

NOSE TACKLES
Star Lotulelei, Utah St. (5)
Johnothan Hankins, Ohio St. (10)

OUTSIDE BACKERS
Barkevious Mingo, LSU (4)
Sam Montgomery, LSU (6)
Jarvis Jones, Georgia (7)
Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas (20)

INSIDE BACKERS
Manti Te'o, Notre Dame (17)

SAFETIES
TJ McDonald, USC (9)
Robert Lester, Oklahoma (15)
Eric Reid, LSU (21)
Matt Elam, Florida (32)

[NOTE: I "had" wanted Barret Jones at 32, but with the defensive struggles, it has to be either LB, NT, or S. Then again, Jones would be awesome!!!]

StainlessStill
09-24-2012, 07:09 PM
Here's my take on the defense thus far and this has been the case for years.

The reason why our defense was so daunting since LeBeau has returned in 04 is because of Troy's abilities to play multiple packages. Our defense is built around Polamalu (Manning in week 1 proves this.) When Troy isn't in there, we play a base, vanilla defense AT BEST. We simply don't have the bodies after Troy to go out there and call the same game and mix things up when Troy is out of the lineup. Add in the fact that our best pass-rusher is out with a knee injury and there you have a very grounded defensive philosophy in how LeBeau runs things. We are NOT as bad as this as a defense. We'll get better. No doubt,

teegre
09-24-2012, 11:49 PM
Here's my take on the defense thus far and this has been the case for years.

The reason why our defense was so daunting since LeBeau has returned in 04 is because of Troy's abilities to play multiple packages. Our defense is built around Polamalu (Manning in week 1 proves this.) When Troy isn't in there, we play a base, vanilla defense AT BEST. We simply don't have the bodies after Troy to go out there and call the same game and mix things up when Troy is out of the lineup. Add in the fact that our best pass-rusher is out with a knee injury and there you have a very grounded defensive philosophy in how LeBeau runs things. We are NOT as bad as this as a defense. We'll get better. No doubt,

I concur... especially with the last part: it will get better.  Not great, but better.  

I will add: Greg Lloyd was every bit the playmaker that Troy is. LeBeau thrived with Lloyd (& Lake & Woodson).  LeBeau thrived differently, but just as effectively, with Troy.  Currently, he has no one of that caliber.  

Lastly, you are right: no pass rush is huge.  Harrison should help, because when he's in, Woodley goes from good to elite.  

teegre
09-25-2012, 12:14 AM
I agree that nobody is making splash plays and that we no longer have the talent we used to, but that's about it. First off, the Pats are yet to win a Lombardi without being able to tape the other teams signals, so that is not a defense we should model ourselves after. The defense we played against the Pats last year is the defense we should be playing, and the talent is nearly the same now as it was then (remember Farrior and Harrison were out).

As far as the offense turning into something special, I can definitely see that, but I don't see it being good enough to overcome how far the defense has fell. It wasn't a "shoot out" against the Raiders, they were just allowed to make an 8-12 yard catch every time because of the cushions. Losing to them like that isn't frustrating, it's flat out f****** embarassing and it didn't have to happen, regardless of "splash" plays.

1.  The Taperiots' downfall was that Brady doesn't like being hit.  The NYGiants hit him... and, in turn, beat them in two SuperBowls.  

But, I was using the Tsperiots as a guideline: a defense that gives up FGs... while the offense scores TDs (exchange 7s for 3s).  

2.  I agree: changing the defense, depending on the opponent is a good philosophy.  (btw: that is in fact what Belichick does: alters the defense, to take away an opponent's strengths).  

3.  I foresee 31 points by the offense as more the norm that the anomaly.  Also, I foresee the defense allowing 21-24 points per game (as opposed to the 12-16 we've become accustomed to).  And, 31-24 is a win.  

4.  All of that said, losing that game hurt.  

Then again, two turnovers, as well as traveling west, twice in three weeks, does make a difference.  

That said, this game should never have been this close.  

Then again, the way that it was unfolding, I thought that it would end up 37-28...  and not for the fumbles, it would have been about that.