Originally Posted by tony hipchest
seems to be a hot topic especially after reading cowhers weekly press conference. sure teams have put together long drives. but steelers are 5th in scoring defense and probably lead the league in allowing the fewest "big plays" and probably top 5 in creating turnovers in the redzone. steelers could improve their 3rd down numbers but what is the cost? big plays burning us? id rather see a 12 play drive go for 3 points than a 3 play drive go for 7.
it is impossible to play a goal line defense to stop the run and a dime to stop the pass at the same time. theres gotta be a balance. it seems like the coaching staffs philosophy is to gamble a little less to stop the big play. the cost of this philosophy is giving up longer drives. what weve seen at alot of these long drives is offenses making mistakes and our defense capitalizing. do you think a team wans to be smacked around by the steelers defense for 12-15 plays straight? this will tire out an opposing offense real quick.
so far it has worked relatively well and other than injuries the players are fine. i think it is a slightly different approach by the coaching staff and if its not really broke at this point why try to mess with it? the solution could mean giving up 2-3 more points a game. id rather not give up those points.
sure last year the steelers were #1 in scoring and rushing defense but does anyone really wanna see polamalu getting burned again in the afc champ. game? small changes that these stats represent show cowhers ability to be flexible and adapt as a coach, contrary to popular belief. him addressing the situation at his press conference shows he is always weighing the pros and cons of the philosophy they are using. we could see the steelers gamble a little more this week to cut down the 3rd down conversions against the browns, but remember the cost and risk could be a 40-50 yd td play.
Personally I think there is no real excuse for giving up 3rd and 10+ conversions on a regular basis - it is something I have seen time and again with the Patriots this year, but I think the DB injuries there are the main cause.
Also I think you have your logic back to front as regards opposition drives - you seriously think that opposition offenses dont want long 15 play drives because that might tire out THEIR OFFENSE? Are you kidding me?
It is conventional wisdom that long drives tire out a D well before an offense - this is because the Offense is trying execute a play it knows is going to happen - a D has to diagnose, react..THEN make a play.
Lets face it, if long drives are a bad thing - then the Steelers have been getting it wrong since day one.