Originally Posted by Hawaii 5-0
Polamalu: Steelers' scheme isn't the problem
Troy Polamalu gave a flat answer when asked if the Steelers' defense needed to change: "To be quite honest, this is a question that you guys ask us at this same point every single year since I've been here. We're not going to change. It's about how we execute and how we can win our one-on-one matchups. If we don't, it's nothing to do with the scheme of things. It's just that we're not performing."
He then laughed and added, "Maybe I ought to make a recording of that."
Maybe Polamalu needs to make a recording of what our biggest gripe was with Bruce Arians-- he made his players run "his scheme", instead of custom tailoring the scheme to match the talent he has available.
If our guys on defense are not "executing and winning the one-on-one matchups", then the scheme needs to be adjusted accordingly, lest we find ourselves entering "square peg, round hole" territory....
I realize that Polamalu is too classy a guy to call out his mentor and DC in front of the press.
Whatever the guys are saying-- the problem was scheme, moreso than execution. With this same injury-riddled roster we have now (no Harrison, old Dline, no pass rush), we beat the Patriots soundly last year-- and they are one of the highest flying of the high flying offenses in the NFL right now.
You CANNOT tell me that this defense can shut down Tom Brady, but cannot handle Carson Palmer and Darrent McFadden-- not if the right scheme is called.
The sky is NOT falling, and we do NOT need to get rid of Lebeau (you should have your head checked if you are suggesting this) but some things need to change moving forward.
* More press coverage to give the pass rush time to land some sacks, and better job of disguising who is playing deep each play (Peyton Manning was keying off of where Polamalu was lining up pre-snap each play--QBs have to learn to respect our deep secondary at least a little bit for Troy to be able to do his thing).
* No more soft zone cushions, unless the CBs start having trouble staying with their guys consistently in man coverage. We have athletic corners, but they cannot make the play when they are being told to line up 10 yards off their guy.
* Pull some of the snaps Big Snack and Kiesel have been getting and give some snaps to Cam Heyward and Steve Mclendon. At least 50/50. Both have looked awesome this season, but have only been given a literal handful of snaps-- and somehow, the press is seeing phantom #97 and #90 getting "no push" on every play, even though they got a cumulative 11 snaps between the two of them against the Raiders. Cam Heyward closes out the Jets game with a big sack (his second snap), and then gets.....5 touches the next game in favor of an aging veteran with bad knees. Dumb. Kiesel and hamp may just need some more time to heal up, considering they jsut went through rehab for major knee injuries-- not sure why we were in such a rush to start them this year when we have capable guys behind them.
* Timmons needs to wake the hell up.
* Replace Ryan Mundy with a new cardboard cutout if Troy is not ready to go this Sunday.
In all, I would not be alarmed, fellow Steelers faithful....this team is going to get stronger as the year goes on:
* More time with Haley's system.
* Colon will adjust to LG in time.
* Mendenhall coming back.
* Redman getting healthy with less touches.
* DeCastro coming back.
* Poalamlu coming back.
* James Harrison playing his way back to health.
* Either Kiesel and Hamp get healthier legs under them, or Cam & Steve era begins.