Originally Posted by FanSince72
Health is only part of the problem.
The word I would use to describe this team - especially the defense - would be: "Stale".
Honestly, can anyone point to anything that looks "new and different"?
The offense seems to want to go in a new-ish direction and maybe that's just a matter of time before everyone "gets" whatever Haley is trying to do, so I'll let that part sit for now because I know that sort of thing takes time.
My biggest problem is the defense.
Game after game and for longer than just this season, all I've seen is what could best be described as a "pre-season" defense; a vanilla setup that doesn't seem to offer anything more than what may have worked well a couple of seasons ago but has since become old news. There's no "pop" in this defense anymore, no dynamic movement. It seems to be set up to actually allow passes to be completed or runs to gain yardage - just not so much as to score on a single play. It's as if the entire scheme is some sort of "prevent" package designed not to stop teams but merely to slow them down.
Lot's of people will point to age or injuries as the reason for the poor play of the defense but watching receivers being wide open ten yards down the field has nothing to do with aching joints but is more about coaching and that's why I believe that LeBeau is the primary reason for our defense's lack of production.
I think LeBeau has reached a point where it's time to hang up the cleats and call it a career because he just doesn't seem to have "It" anymore.
Years ago, watching a Dick LeBeau defense was like watching a complicated machine in action - lots of moving parts and all sorts of activity, but nowadays it's more like watching maple syrup drip off a teaspoon.
The defense is predictable and soft and nothing at all like what it once was and though there are some aging players, age can't be the whole story.
I think it's basically about a man having spent his entire adult life playing or coaching football simply running out of ideas and perhaps not having the desire to put in the 110% effort required to put a truly effective unit on the field week after week.
I respect the hell out of Dick LeBeau and I'll be the first in line to thank him for the truly wonderful years of football he's brought to us Steeler fans. But everyone gets old and everyone loses a step and I think that's where he is now and I think that if he truly wants to help this team he should consider stepping aside and allow someone else to begin a new era.
LeBeau's defense was great when he had several stars making plays. When Harrison and Woodley are collapsing the pocket, stabilized by Smith, Hampton, Keisel at the LOS, and backed by Polamalu, there wasn't much scheme to it. These guys won their matchups.
Now we have guys who can't win these matchups and a DC incapable of putting them in better positions to succeed. We play the same system with lesser talent and expect the same result.