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Atlanta Dan
10-20-2012, 12:31 PM
I do not agree with the premise of this article that the Steelers D under Dick LeBeau has been consistently overhyped, but as opposed to the usual "LeBeau sucks" rant this article brings a lot of stats to ponder -excerpt below from a very detailed review

As a compiler of football statistics and a Pittsburgh native who has experienced every single high and low, here's the truth:

The Steelers' defense is vastly overrated, just like much of LeBeau’s coaching career has been ...

The most sustained coaching success LeBeau has had started when he returned to the Steelers in 2004. Since then Pittsburgh has gone 101-46 (.687) with two Super Bowl wins.

But two more important events happened in Pittsburgh in 2004: the drafting of franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu moving into the starting lineup. Each player has been the team MVP on their side of the ball.

Since 2007, no defense has allowed fewer points or yards than the Steelers, ranking No. 1 in the league in fewest points allowed three times (No. 2 in 2007).

That sounds nice, but you have to ask yourself what you want from a defense.

Should it shut down the Cleveland Browns and their annually different quarterback twice a year, or do you want a defense that will show up against the best competition too? Do you want a defense that can finish the job, or a defense that’s going to fall apart in the clutch?

You can have all the top-ranked statistical defenses you want. If you cannot make a play to win a game or perform anywhere close to your usual level against the best of the best, then the only reality is your defense is overrated.

Stating the facts
Since 2007, Pittsburgh’s defense has allowed 20 game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime, which is tied with Green Bay for the league's second most.

http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/49468506/ns/sports-nfl/

SteelerJay
10-20-2012, 12:53 PM
ouch! that hurts...

The author fails to understand the concept of the defense which, in addition to stopping the run, is keen to not give up the big play and to let the qb work his way down the field. The concept preached during Cowher's years was 'keep the receiver ahead of you', meaning, give the cushion, but make the tackle, and let the QB earn it by being accurate and making more throws. In the long run, the defense can be more successful with this approach. However, with quality QB's, this concept does not work as well.

tanda10506
10-20-2012, 01:11 PM
The type of stats that the author is using points out how the bed was shat in 2009, 2011, and this year. Nearly all the examples given were from those years. So while it's true that the team was not good in 2009 or 2011, that doesn't mean the defense has been overrated since 2007. I assure you that the 2010 defense, and especially the 2008 defense, was not overrated.

As for LeBeau, it's the same question that everyone asks of all the greats: "was it them or there players". The question is asked about the Pats w/ Brady and Bellicheck all the time. A great coach can do a lot but if there is a huge lack of talent on the field then the team will likely still struggle, and if a talented team is not coached properly and not disciplined then they will struggle too.

Atlanta Dan
10-20-2012, 01:16 PM
The type of stats that the author is using points out how the bed was shat in 2009, 2011, and this year. Nearly all the examples given were from those years. So while it's true that the team was not good in 2009 or 2011, that doesn't mean the defense has been overrated since 2007. I assure you that the 2010 defense, and especially the 2008 defense, was not overrated..

Fact remains that the Steelers made the Super Bowl only in years they did not need to deal with Brady in the playoffs

In their Super Bowl runs in 2008 and 2010 they only played 2 top tier QBs - Warner in 2008 and Rodgers in 2010

FanSince72
10-20-2012, 02:17 PM
http://i1297.photobucket.com/albums/ag37/JPsuff/lebeaudefense_zps81889a23.jpg

harrison'samonster
10-20-2012, 03:14 PM
I think one important part of our D is having a players that can make big plays when needed.

Obviously Troy has been that player for us, and without him the whole scheme is questionable. Any NFL team should have players who can routinely make the easy plays. If you're counting on them making mistakes, that's fine, but you also need to have players that will take advantage of those mistakes.

Edman
10-20-2012, 03:14 PM
It's the truth. Our Defense was never that great.

The last time it was ever "good" was 2008. Since then, it's been above average at best. Proof that Statistics don't tell the story.

The fact that this Defense falls to shit without Troy Polamalu is proof of it's real mediocrity. We have 11 players on Defense, but we had one player who made big plays (Troy). Oh, and you can't answer for the shitload of game-winning drives and the many times it's made mediocre Quarterbacks look incredible since 2009. Cassell, Gradkowski, Hasselbeck, Palmer, Tebow... the embarrassing list goes on. Do we not forget the near embarrassment against Fitzpatrick in Buffalo in 2010? If Steve Johnson doesn't drop the pass, we lose and don't get a home game.

The last time I saw the Steelers Defense consistently good pre-2008 was 2004 and 2005. They weren't dominant, but they always played well in crunch time. Those Defenses never collapsed in the 4th quarter.

Edman
10-20-2012, 03:27 PM
ouch! that hurts...

The author fails to understand the concept of the defense which, in addition to stopping the run, is keen to not give up the big play and to let the qb work his way down the field. The concept preached during Cowher's years was 'keep the receiver ahead of you', meaning, give the cushion, but make the tackle, and let the QB earn it by being accurate and making more throws. In the long run, the defense can be more successful with this approach. However, with quality QB's, this concept does not work as well.

2009, 2011 and this year is proof that you don't exactly need a "quality QB" to beat this Defense.

harrison'samonster
10-20-2012, 03:48 PM
I would have to disagree with one thing Edman, 08 and 04 defenses were great. I wouldn't just say that they were good. But that's my opinion.

Twentyvalve
10-20-2012, 03:51 PM
What? Were we not ranked historically at the top of the league for the last umpteen years? I think as fans we are so critical we can lose sight of fact and reality. I think you are blending this year with seasons past - no comparison. The Steelers, historically, kicked ass on D. Please post stats that rates or D as mediocre over the last 5-6 years. Not individual game states, but season stats. I will be surprised if you find us in the bottom half of the league I will be surprised.

It's the truth. Our Defense was never that great.

The last time it was ever "good" was 2008. Since then, it's been above average at best. Proof that Statistics don't tell the story.

The fact that this Defense falls to shit without Troy Polamalu is proof of it's real mediocrity. We have 11 players on Defense, but we had one player who made big plays (Troy). Oh, and you can't answer for the shitload of game-winning drives and the many times it's made mediocre Quarterbacks look incredible since 2009. Cassell, Gradkowski, Hasselbeck, Palmer, Tebow... the embarrassing list goes on. Do we not forget the near embarrassment against Fitzpatrick in Buffalo in 2010? If Steve Johnson doesn't drop the pass, we lose and don't get a home game.

The last time I saw the Steelers Defense consistently good pre-2008 was 2004 and 2005. They weren't dominant, but they always played well in crunch time. Those Defenses never collapsed in the 4th quarter.

nikstar
10-20-2012, 04:19 PM
The Steelers 2008 defense was questionably one of the greatest defenses of all time. Statistically in the top defensive categories among all defenses ever. In that defense you could expect someone to make a big play to finish out the game, this years version I'm not so sure about.

tanda10506
10-20-2012, 05:24 PM
Fact remains that the Steelers made the Super Bowl only in years they did not need to deal with Brady in the playoffs

True, this does bother me but it does not mean we were overrated. IMO the 2008 defense would have beat Brady in the season and playoffs, but there's no realistic way of ever knowing that. Our record against the Pats irritates the hell out of me. But Brady is one of the best QB's ever plus he's had a great O line nearly his entire career, so the fact that he beats us more often then not does not mean that we were overrated. Not to mention he gets "a little" help from the refs.

In their Super Bowl runs in 2008 and 2010 they only played 2 top tier QBs - Warner in 2008 and Rodgers in 2010

True again, but how many of them could they have faced? They played 3 playoff games including the SB in both 2008 and 2010, that's 6 games. Warner and Rodgers were both great QB's at the time, and Phillip Rivers was a beast in 2008, check the numbers. We did pretty well beating him also in the divisional round. And although they are not elite, Flacco and Palmer aren't exactly bottom of the barrel. Point is not that many teams have elite QB's.

I'm pretty surprised about how many are forgetting how great we were. 2008, as mentioned already, was one of, if not the best defense ever to play the game. How the f*** could they be overrated? I understand we suck right now, period, and I think the stats hid a terrible defense last year, but lets not try to undo what was done because of that. 2010 was a great defense and 2008 was as good as it gets. Sure not every year was great, and I'm not that optimistic about the next year or two, but watching that 2008 defense was a privilege and that defense being overrated should be an insult to Steeler fans.

FanSince72
10-20-2012, 05:32 PM
The type of stats that the author is using points out how the bed was shat in 2009, 2011, and this year. Nearly all the examples given were from those years. So while it's true that the team was not good in 2009 or 2011, that doesn't mean the defense has been overrated since 2007. I assure you that the 2010 defense, and especially the 2008 defense, was not overrated.

As for LeBeau, it's the same question that everyone asks of all the greats: "was it them or there players". The question is asked about the Pats w/ Brady and Bellicheck all the time. A great coach can do a lot but if there is a huge lack of talent on the field then the team will likely still struggle, and if a talented team is not coached properly and not disciplined then they will struggle too.

I think it's just as much about "right place, right time" as it is about coaching and talent.

My personal favorite Steeler Defense in the post-Noll era would be the early 90's teams under Dom Capers and my second favorite would be the late 2000's teams under LeBeau.

But would either coach have been as successful if it weren't for the personnel they had to work with?

Capers had Kirkland, Lloyd, Lake, Woodson, Perry and then later Greene, so it could be argued that Capers would have had a great defense even if his play-calling was mediocre. As for LeBeau, I think his biggest achievement was his "Zone Blitz" which was revolutionary at the time but just as with Capers, you have to wonder how much of his success had to do with great talent versus great planning.

And what about when we didn't even have a Defensive Coordinator?

After Haslett left, Bill Cowher was running the defense himself for three years and we had some solid seasons without a DC at all.

Belichick is another story altogether and I've always said that if our coaching staff studied what he does, we'd have far fewer problems overall. Belichick does a few things that other coaches don't seem to do one of which is preparing his 2nd and 3rd string players as if they were starting every game and another is detailing a specific game plan to each team he faces and not relying on "what's been working" or worse yet - on reputation.

I think my biggest problem with LeBeau and coaches who are either from his era or who follow his style is that they seem to come from a school where intimidation and brute force was the name of the game and guys like that are falling behind in today's game -- especially since many rules have been changed to discourage hard, injury-causing hits. Back in LeBeau's day, as long as you could hit hard enough to lay someone out, you really didn't need a whole lot in the way of game-planning or technical savvy. If a receiver came across the middle, you just made sure that you hit him as hard as you could so that he'd be looking over his shoulder instead of looking for the ball.

But today, with all the rules protecting receivers and QB's, it's all about finesse and tactical prowess and I don't think it's easy for someone who has spent his whole life teaching "hitting" and preaching intimidation to suddenly change gears and start treating the game as if it were being played on a chess board instead of a football field.

The Steelers are one of the few teams (if not the only team) that still carries a reputation for defensive punishment despite the fact that the teams which created that reputation are decades in the past. I sometimes wonder if the F.O and even the coaches realize that Lambert or Lloyd are not going to be running out of the tunnel anytime soon and that the game has changed quite a bit from the days when defenses were measured by how many times a game was stopped to bring a stretcher onto the field for one of their "victims"?

Edman
10-20-2012, 06:33 PM
Great Defenses.

1994. Did everything right.
2004. Carried the Steelers to 15-1.
2005. Played their best when we really needed them to.
2008. Carried the Steelers to XLIII.

'Fool's Gold' Defenses.

2001. Vulnerable to the Pass.
2007. Invented the art of the 2nd Half collapse.
2009. Mastered the art of the 2nd Half collapse.
2010. Could stop the run better than everyone, mediocre through the air.
2011. Tebow'd. Nuff Said.

jiminpa
10-20-2012, 08:31 PM
Some of you people can only be explained by serious head injuries. The defense had been the whole entire team for five years. Most of the time the offense wasn't even a neutral, it actually put the other team in scoring position with a turnover or losing so much yardage that the punter couldn't even make it to the first down marker, then the defense would have to come out and push the other team out of their red zone, or force a turnover, only to have the offense go three and out again, on some retarded 3 yard draw on 3rd and 25, or empty set on 3rd and 3.

Curtain_of_Steel
10-20-2012, 08:59 PM
Our defense is being overhyped? Is Ike Taylor talking again?

Edman
10-21-2012, 12:22 AM
During Lebeau's Early years in his second stint in Pittsburgh, his Defenses were pretty good. 2004-2008 were mostly solid years.

From the onset of 2009, this is where the Defense developed a nasty habit of collapsing down the stretch. The first signs came in 2007, but then it was treated as an aberration then because of 2008's fantastic performance.

From 2009 to the present, the "Great" Defenses of ours have made mediocre Quarterbacks look amazing. The 2008 was great, but the 2010 and 2011 teams definitely were overrated.

ricardisimo
10-21-2012, 01:35 AM
You people are all insane, driven into some cannibalistic furor because of a bad start to the year. While it's true that stats can lie, the longer you compile them the less room for error there is. So after Lebeau's first few games you could make these sorts of arguments. But after 8 straight seasons these polemics are meaningless.

He's a great coach with great players, and those players (in particular Troy) credit him with making them what they are. This whole "paper defense" thing is getting old. I swear, if our D doesn't pitch a no-hitter week-in and week-out you're all ready to put a gun in your mouth.

Goldsteel86
10-21-2012, 07:17 AM
Bottom line is its time to put a 'hat on a hat", hit hard and play football, this is the NFL teams will score points no matter what quarter it is. I personally am sick of hearing the "old, slow, has been approach" fact of the matter is cut down the penalties and play smart football, the game against Tenessee wouldn't have been a game at all if Ike stopped his B.S., also quit playing down to your opponent the Steelers beat two fair teams but lose two to rather s****y teams because they played at the Raiders and Titans level.

maddog78
10-21-2012, 09:14 AM
He's a great coach with great players, and those players (in particular Troy) credit him with making them what they are

Was. Now that that half the great players are gone, the other half are over the hill and/or injured, the defense doesn't look so good.

That 2008 defense had Smith, Hampton, Keisel, Harrison, Woodley, Farrior, Timmons, Polamalu, Clark, and Taylor all playing at high levels.

This one doesn't, and yet we play the same schemes as if they'll magically get better.

This team doesn't have 2-gap 3-4 talent anymore, but it still plays a 2-gap 3-4 system. I don't see anything improving until one of those two things changes.

xbroughneck
10-21-2012, 02:08 PM
ouch! that hurts...

The author fails to understand the concept of the defense which, in addition to stopping the run, is keen to not give up the big play and to let the qb work his way down the field. The concept preached during Cowher's years was 'keep the receiver ahead of you', meaning, give the cushion, but make the tackle, and let the QB earn it by being accurate and making more throws. In the long run, the defense can be more successful with this approach. However, with quality QB's, this concept does not work as well.

LOL..doesn't the article say exactly what you just said?

The part about "with quality QBs, this concept does not work as well." means the defense might be overrated.


And does anyone think ANY Ravens defense in the past 10 years would allow Bruce Gradkowski to beat them on their own turf.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-videos/09000d5d814c8a15/Bruce-Gradkowski-Highlight-WK-13-vs-Steelers-2009

The Steeler's defenses have been very good (when healthy), but I can't argue that they haven't been overrated "recently".

teegre
10-21-2012, 07:08 PM
And does anyone think ANY Ravens defense in the past 10 years would allow Bruce Gradkowski to beat them on their own turf.

Didn't BALT lose to a pathetic JAX team last year? Gabbert is no Brady.

Hawaii 5-0
10-22-2012, 02:01 AM
Steelers turn up D to beat Bengals

UPDATED OCT 22, 2012

CINCINNATI (AP)
The top two running backs were gone. So were two offensive linemen. Safety Troy Polamalu was sitting on the bench along with all those other injured Steelers.

So, what exactly did Pittsburgh have left? A determined defense. Some reserve running backs. And Ben Roethlisberger.

That's enough, especially in Cincinnati.

Roethlisberger threw for a touchdown, and Pittsburgh's defense clamped down on the Bengals' Dalton-to-Green connection for a 24-17 victory Sunday night that got the Steelers back into the thick of the AFC North race.

For the Steelers (3-3), it was a significant win under tough conditions. Their first road victory of the season moved them into second place behind Baltimore (5-2), which lost to Houston 43-13 earlier Sunday.

''It puts us right there in the hunt,'' safety Ryan Clark said.

A lot of players got them there on a tough night.

Third-year running back Jonathan Dwyer made his first career start and ran for a career-high 122 yards, including a 32-yard gain in the final minute that put it away. Shaun Suisham kicked field goals of 42, 47 and 42 yards. And the defense came up with a game-turning interception.

''It was a back-against-the-wall mentality and you've got to fight your way out,'' said cornerback Ike Taylor, who helped limit Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Green to one catch.

Cincinnati (3-4) wasted yet another chance to show it deserved to be considered up there with the division's two most successful teams. The Bengals fell to 0-6 against the Steelers and Ravens over the last two seasons, a sign they are still an also-ran in their division.

They have lost three straight, falling into third place in the division.

''It's going to be tough to sleep,'' Bengals cornerback Leon Hall said. ''At the end of the day, we've lost three in a row and we're in a tough spot.''

This was their best chance yet to break through, especially after the Steelers dropped passes, fumbled and threw an end zone interception in a self-destructive first half. They couldn't take full advantage against the team that always seems to win on their home field.

The Steelers improved to 12-2 at Paul Brown Stadium, where thousands of towel-waving fans make them feel at home. They have won their last five overall against their Ohio River rival and 10 of the last 12.

And once again, the Bengals could blame themselves.

Andy Dalton's slip-out-of-the-hand interception set up Roethlisberger's 9-yard touchdown pass to Heath Miller and a tying 2-point conversion to the tight end with 24 seconds left in the half. Chris Rainey's 11-yard touchdown run put the Steelers ahead early in the fourth quarter, and the injury fill-ins finished them off.

''I'm proud of the way those young guys stepped up,'' said Roethlisberger, who was 27 of 37 for 278 yards. ''There never was a doubt they would do that.''

The Bengals got the better of it at the outset, pulling ahead 14-3 by getting their running game moving behind BenJarvus Green-Ellis and turning a fumble by Roethlisberger into a touchdown. If they were going to end that streak of futility against the Steelers, this was their chance.

Dalton's only glaring mistake made the difference.

He saw a defender waiting to make an interception and tried to stop his throwing motion. The ball slipped out of his hand, hit the helmet of Bengals lineman Kevin Zeitler and deflected to linebacker LaMarr Woodley at the Cincinnati 29-yard line with 1:23 left in the half. That set up Roethlisberger's tying TD pass and conversion.

''You can't have a thing like that happen,'' Dalton said. ''We had a chance to go down and score points or at least keep it where it was. What you can't let happen is not just let the ball slip out of your hands, but let them get an interception and get points.''

Dalton was 14 of 28 for only 105 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He threw six passes toward Green but completed only one, an 8-yard touchdown after Roethlisberger's fumble.

The Steelers' 31st-ranked running game was missing Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman, as well as center Maurkice Pouncey and right tackle Marcus Gilbert. Rookie Mike Adams made his first start in Gilbert's spot.

Plus, Polamalu was inactive for the fourth time in the last five games with a calf injury.

That put a lot on Roethlisberger, who usually does well in his home state — 15-2 all-time in Cleveland and Cincinnati — but rarely has been so short-handed.

Didn't matter.

''On the road, which is big for us, in this hostile environment — I can't say enough about it,'' Roethlisberger said.

Notes: Steelers rookie NT Alameda Ta'amu served the first of his two-game suspension for his arrest last weekend. ... Bengals rookie CB Dre Kirkpatrick was inactive for the seventh game. He hurt his left knee over the summer and hasn't played. He's expected to be ready after the Bengals' upcoming bye week. ... Bengals C Jeff Faine injured a hamstring, forcing rookie Trevor Robinson to take over in the second half. ... The Steelers wasted a chance to score off a trick play in the first half. Roethlisberger threw a lateral to Antonio Brown, who threw a pass to uncovered running back Baron Batch. The ball went through his arms. Roethlisberger then threw an end zone interception.

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/Ben-Roethlisberger-Pittsburgh-Steelers-beat-Cincinnati-Bengals-102112

ricardisimo
10-22-2012, 06:34 AM
185 net yards allowed on the road. Yup, the game has passed him by.

Atlanta Dan
10-22-2012, 08:32 AM
The D played well after initial drive but it is clear the national media is buying in to the Steelers D is old and in decline story. This from Peter King in his MMQB column this morning

I think it's been a long time since I saw the Steelers get gashed on the run the way Cincinnati gashed them early Sunday night. Nine carries, 49 rushing yards on the first drive. We're seeing a changing of the defensive guard in Pittsburgh right now, and it's not good.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/peter_king/10/21/week-7/4.html

Statement game at home agaisnt the Redskins and RGIII next Sunday - need to get a split these next 2 weeks and then hopefully start a winning streak with the Ravens at Heinz and wins against Chiefs at home and Browns on the road

Edman
10-22-2012, 08:38 AM
185 net yards allowed on the road. Yup, the game has passed him by.

One good road game on Defense doesn't erase the disasters in Oakland and Tennessee. Even then this game was well on it's way to be another Defensive disaster with the bad opening drive and being down 14-3.

Next week DL is going up against the explosive Redskins and RGIII. We'll see how our D will keep it going.

maddog78
10-22-2012, 08:40 AM
185 net yards allowed on the road. Yup, the game has passed him by.

Good game, and good thing the offense held the ball for 40 minutes.

FanSince72
10-22-2012, 09:07 AM
One good road game on Defense doesn't erase the disasters in Oakland and Tennessee. Even then this game was well on it's way to be another Defensive disaster with the bad opening drive and being down 14-3.

Next week DL is going up against the explosive Redskins and RGIII. We'll see how our D will keep it going.

Exactly.

Last night, LeBeau made some great adjustments and the defense played very well afterward, but going down 14-3 to Cincy is not the same as doing the same against GB, Houston, New Orleans, or the Giants and the questions are still there.

But in fairness, if something is broken it isn't always possible to fix it in one game.
It may take a few more games to get all of the bugs worked out and I'm willing to wait and see how things go from here, but this defense still has some glaring issues and not every opponent will allow us to come back from huge early-game miscues.

steelfury02
10-22-2012, 09:58 AM
I do like the fact that Harrison and Woodley are back at it together, although not exactly at 100%. If they can consistently play like they did in the 2nd half, they might just be good enough to help win without Troy.

As you said FanSince72, better teams will not let us get away with all those first half mistakes. Better teams would have done even more with all the bungles.

Atlanta Dan
10-22-2012, 10:05 AM
I do like the fact that Harrison and Woodley are back at it together, although not exactly at 100%.

Harrison does not appear to be anywhere close to being back - the video of Harrison previously being able to get leverage on the lineman when he came in at a 40 degree angle while placing great stress on his knee and now coming in at a higher 60 degree angle and getting less leverage was telling

steelfury02
10-22-2012, 10:12 AM
I saw that as well - the leverage is def not there - he was just a shade late a couple of times getting to the QB. This would be a fine time for someone else to bring the heat a little more. I thought Keisel played a great 2nd half.

Hopefully the confidence of having both of them back will be enough to improve this D to at least "good enough"

IMO, the jury is still out. Need to start stacking the Ws.

ricardisimo
10-23-2012, 02:59 AM
One good road game on Defense doesn't erase the disasters in Oakland and Tennessee. Even then this game was well on it's way to be another Defensive disaster with the bad opening drive and being down 14-3.

Next week DL is going up against the explosive Redskins and RGIII. We'll see how our D will keep it going.
It's the other way around... three years in five at the number one spot on defense will not erase one bad game for you people. I suppose it comes with the territory in Pittsburgh, spoiled fans and all, but you have to recognize it for what it is.

maddog78
10-23-2012, 07:49 AM
It's the other way around... three years in five at the number one spot on defense will not erase one bad game for you people. I suppose it comes with the territory in Pittsburgh, spoiled fans and all, but you have to recognize it for what it is.

It's actually somewhere in between. The defense has been ranked high since LeBeau has been here, but it's also had a habit of squandering leads. It's also gone from Superman to Clark Kent when Troy is missing.

That a defensive scheme's success relies so much on a freelancing superstar is kind of telling, perhaps.

Hawaii 5-0
10-23-2012, 02:47 PM
Ed: Steelers Defense Rises to "No. 2"

TUESDAY, 23 OCTOBER 2012 WRITTEN BY ED BOUCHETTE

Good morning,

Some stuff, and then on to your questions that have been neglected the past few days:

--- In the Stats are Stats department: Steelers defense has risen to No. 2 in the NFL in fewest yards allowed per game, No. 2 in passing yards, No. 9 in rushing yards and No. 12 in points.

--- Stats are Stats offense: No. 11 in yards, No. 6 in passing, No. 26 in rushing, No. 17 in scoring.

http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/pro-sports/steelers/118597-ed-steelers-defense-rises-to-qno-2q

jiminpa
10-23-2012, 03:02 PM
Ed: Steelers Defense Rises to "No. 2"

TUESDAY, 23 OCTOBER 2012 WRITTEN BY ED BOUCHETTE

Good morning,

Some stuff, and then on to your questions that have been neglected the past few days:

--- In the Stats are Stats department: Steelers defense has risen to No. 2 in the NFL in fewest yards allowed per game, No. 2 in passing yards, No. 9 in rushing yards and No. 12 in points.

--- Stats are Stats offense: No. 11 in yards, No. 6 in passing, No. 26 in rushing, No. 17 in scoring.

http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/pro-sports/steelers/118597-ed-steelers-defense-rises-to-qno-2qNot happy about the defense's points allowed, but it would include that bungles touchdown that the offense set up. Still, not good.

Atlanta Dan
10-23-2012, 03:28 PM
http://blogs-images.forbes.com/bleacherreport/files/2012/04/Redman_original_crop_340x234.jpeg

Ed.B. also said the bumble bee unis are making an appearance this Sunday:banging:

Ed, is this the week we get to see the dreaded bumble bee uniforms?

Ed Bouchette:
Yes, the first of two. Some call them the prisoner uniforms. I, though, will wear my normal home outfit on Sunday.

By the way, those uniforms were worn only during the 1934 season, so they must not have been popular back then either.

http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/chats/ed-bouchettes-chat

TRH
10-23-2012, 05:32 PM
Harrison does not appear to be anywhere close to being back - the video of Harrison previously being able to get leverage on the lineman when he came in at a 40 degree angle while placing great stress on his knee and now coming in at a higher 60 degree angle and getting less leverage was telling


I, too, closely watched Harrison since he's been back. Not even close to the same player.
Call it from what you want....the injuries, the "pulling up" because he's afraid to get fined, etc. And people can cry and moan all they want here about him "getting double-teamed".
But the fact of the matter is, the other premier linebackers are ALSO getting double-teamed as much as Harrison is....and they're just fine.

I certainly don't like to see this....it pains me to say it....but its the truth. The only positive i'm seeing right now is that he has to be accounted for.

Hawaii 5-0
10-24-2012, 08:00 PM
Burning Questions About The ‘Mystery’ Of The Steelers’ Defense

October 24, 2012
By Christina Rivers

Pittsburgh Steelers fans are the type of fans who analyze everything. They watch the games, they complain about ‘bad calls’ by officials, they bicker about which player is doing better on offense or who plays better defense. They’ve been criticized by fans of other teams for being stubbornly loyal and they’ve been criticized publicly for being too critical of their own team; players and coaches alike. One looming question in the minds of many members of ‘Steeler Nation’ this season has been, ‘How are we ranked so high in the NFL in defense when it looks like our defense is struggling so much?’ A legitimate answer is deserved.

The Steelers didn’t roar into the regular season in 2012; they lost the season opener in Denver. That was followed by two wins and two losses. The two losses were to the Oakland Raiders and the Tennessee Titans, teams that are statistically ranked in the bottom tier in offense in the National Football League. In 2010, the Steelers were convinced that the numbers lied. Fans who remember the ‘glory days’ and have lived through the years of success in Pittsburgh are typically too young to remember the first 40 years of the organization. Beginning in 1933, the Steelers were abysmal. Even the Rooney family realized that they weren’t making headway in professional football, but they stuck with it. The team has never moved out of Pittsburgh and is one of the oldest franchises in the league today. They’re celebrating their 80th season.

The sports media has made comments about the Steelers’ defense being “too old”, “slowing down” and even pointed out that they seem to lack the type of discipline typical to a defense that has been feared and respected for at least three decades. Fans have begun to wonder if the media they love to challenge has a point this year.

The Steelers are behind only the San Francisco 49ers in total defense through Week 7 of the 2012 NFL season. Their statistical ranking for pass defense is second in the league (184.8 yards/game). The rush defense is ranked ninth overall (92.5 yards/game). On paper, there really isn’t a lot to complain about as far as the defense goes, so why are fans not seeing it translated onto the field? Does the math add up, so to speak? Corey Doss put it this way, “The defense is ranked second in total defense in the NFL, but I think all would agree that the defense does not look all that intimidating (six games into the season). We have lost to the Raiders who are ranked 18th in total offense, and they seemed to strike at will. We lost to the Titans who are ranked 26th in total offense, and they seemed to score at will. 290 yards for (Matt) Hasselbeck, the second-string quarterback, and 91 yards for CJ2K. What we are seeing on the field and the rankings don’t seem to mesh.”

They key to solving the ‘great mystery’ is a statistic that few people think about after they’ve seen it on the field. Usually, they get caught up in the excitement of the win or the defeat and forget about the fact that their team was wearing as much gold as what got tossed onto the field with weighted bean-bags at the end of them by officials; penalties. Some fans may have cussed the television or booed in the stands when the infractions occurred, but have no clue how those penalties affected their team in the grand scheme of things. When a penalty is thrown for a helmet-to-helmet contact infraction, they may argue on Facebook about whether it was legitimate and guess as to how much money that player will be giving to Roger Goodell on Tuesday. Penalties is the key, however, to how on-field play and the numbers in the stats sheet can be so disparate.

How it translates

The Steelers have been without key veteran play-makers this season; Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark (in Denver, due to sickle cell trait), LaMarr Woodley, James Harrison. Clark, Woodley and Harrison are back, so the defense should look great, right? Polamalu is often a one-man wrecking machine on the field, dreaded by many opponents for his incredible ability to disrupt an entire offensive scheme. Quarterbacks have learned to made audibles their best friends to fend off Polamalu’s attacks. Polamalu’s influence is huge to all of his teammates, but they still have Dick LeBeau calling in the plays and they have the same defensive scheme. Injuries don’t truly factor in, in this case.

“I think that we, as Steelers fans, are so accustomed to dominating with our defense that our play of late has us grasping for answers,” Doss added. “Then you see the ranking and it is a head-scratcher.”

Tomlin addressed the penalty issue in his weekly press conference. He pointed the finger at the most-recent penalty receivers; special teams. The special teams committed four holding penalties on kickoff and punt returns that would have been great yardage for Ben Roethlisberger and the offense to start from. Instead, they stole momentum and field position. “On special teams, we wanted to be explosive in the return game,” said Tomlin. “Penalties negated that effort. What is going on in our return game from a penalty standpoint is disturbing. We must improve in that area.” Those penalties were called against blockers, not Antonio Brown and Chris Rainey. And the heat is on. According to Tomlin, “the multiple offenders and egregious offenders are going to be watching as opposed to playing…you can take the helmet off of them and have them watch. That’s what we intend to do if they don’t improve in that area.

Through Week 7, the Steelers have been called for twenty offensive holding penalties, which includes the return game. Of offensive linemen being called, Willie Colon tops the list with six. Cornerback Ike Taylor is on a negative hot-streak having seven penalties called against him. In his last 22 games, that number equals 16. The Steelers, as a team, have been flagged 53 times (an 8.83 penalties per game average).

So many times we hear fans say that the officials have it “out for the Steelers”, but we aren’t talking about ‘replacement refs’ anymore, and game tapes show how legitimate the concern about flagrant fouls should be. This goes way beyond the scandalous head shots or crippling knee hits. This goes to the core.

Mia Dentice Carey pointed out that it “comes down to fundamentals,” and she’s correct. Every player knows what is and isn’t allowed on the field. Hands to the face; unacceptable. Chop-blocking, pushing off, hand-fighting down the field; all going to get called. Yes, players get away with infractions. Every team has their fair share of what many call ‘old-school’ thuggery and not seen that hated flag bounce on the field. The issue for the Steelers is that regardless of whether the officials are catching them all, they are observing enough penalties to hurt the team overall. That means every player in black and gold should own-up and correct the problem.

If you’re one of those fans who’ve been scratching your head like Corey, stop. There is no deep-dark mystery here. It’s really simple. The Steelers aren’t executing a disciplined defense. Once penalties are cracked-down on, the defense can be rehabituated, retooled and seasoned into the type of defense they have always prided themselves in being. It takes time and perseverance, but Coach Tomlin, Coach Haley and Coach LeBeau are just the type of men to set things right.

Stevenson Sylvester is ready to fix the problem. Larry Foote is emphatic that the Steelers have “got a lot of football left, and [they] have to turn it around.” At 3-3, it isn’t time to lay down and quit. The Steelers are still in the hunt. “As long as they make it to the playoffs, they’ll be fine. Keep the faith ‘Steeler Nation’,” Carey added. I agree. Keep the faith. After all, it could be 1933.

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2012/10/24/burning-questions-about-the-mystery-of-the-pittsburgh-steelers-defense/