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Old 06-05-2007, 11:45 AM   #1
tony hipchest
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Default State of the [Steeler] D

even SI haters should appreciate this artice. it gives good insight of current trends of which direction our team might be heading. its long so heres a few teasers:

Tampa Two On the Decline
Despite a Super Bowl that featured two teams running the Tampa Two defense, offenses have started to catch up with the scheme.

The defense, which came to prominence with the great Steeler teams in the 1970s, only uses the front four to pressure the quarterback while dropping five underneath defenders and two deep safeties into coverage.
explains how teams are starting to figure out how to beat it with the te's in the seams and slant routes with quick wr's through the 15-20 yd "soft zone".

Since Tampa Two defenses places a premium on speed instead of bulk and power, teams featuring big offensive lines and a power running game are successful pounding the ball between the tackles. It takes time for the toll of the running game to be effective, but teams that run the ball 30 or more times eventually wear down the defense and force an opponent into more eight-man fronts.
3-4 Growing In Popularity
In a league full of copycats, defensive coordinators are taking notice of the success that 3-4 teams have had in recent years. Originally, used in the 1970s and 1980s to combat power running offenses, the 3-4 has re-emerged as one of the best solutions to deal with the West Coast offense.
Last season, six of the top 10 rushing defenses featured some form of a 3-4 scheme. Baltimore, Pittsburgh, New England and San Diego surrendered on average 100 yards or fewer on the ground. Additionally, those four teams also finished in the top 10 in sacks and top 15 in takeaways.
Rookie Pass Rushers Thriving
Since 2000, all but one season (2004) has had at least one rookie pass rusher surpass double-digit sack totals.
maybe one of our rookies can have a kendrell bell style impact as a situational rusher

Safeties More Important
You only have to look at the dramatic rise of the Colts' defense after the return of Bob Sanders last season to appreciate the impact of the safety position....

It seems unlikely that one person can impact a defense so much, but the safety position has increased in importance. With teams still using Tampa Two or Cover Two as their primary defense, the safety has become the "playmaker." Teams want players with the athleticism to cover half of the field in the passing game and the toughness to be a factor versus the run.

Safeties Ed Reed, Troy Polamalu, Sean Taylor and Brian Dawkins are just a few of the difference-makers who have emerged in recent years. Each has the combination of cover skills and blitz ability to be used in multiple ways. This versatility has become a premium and the draft shows the added emphasis teams are placing on finding safeties with this combination of skills. In the past, few safeties got first-round consideration, but seven safeties have been selected in the first round in the past two years.
the year troy was drafted all the rams coaches wanted to take him with the 12th pick. all the "non football" people in the war room said it was way to early to draft a safety and they wanted the big tackle (kennedy)? pittsburgh proved to be ahead of the curve. troy is not going nowhere especially considering the final trend:

Teams continue to make due without shutdown CBs
Don't read too much into the huge contract San Francisco gave cornerback Nate Clements this offseason. Teams are beginning to build championship defenses without stars at that position.

The emergence of Cover Two and the zone blitz scheme have minimized the need for a "shut down" corner on the roster. Both schemes place a premium on pressuring the quarterback and emphasize the importance of pass rush over coverage.
i know many here dont like SI but i highly reccomend clicking the link and looking at his archive and reading "state of the offense- 5 growing trends". very good stuff that is relevant to the steelers.
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