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Old 11-10-2005, 12:07 PM   #9
tony hipchest
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Default Re: steelers horrible on 3rd down defense

Originally Posted by Livinginthe past
I take your point - but then how many good Offenses have the Steelers played this year?

I would say 3 - NE, SD and Cincy - and only one of these has shown good Offense against decent opposition on a consistent basis.

The Steelers do have an excellent D unit - and there is alot to be said for saving your peak until the post season - but you wont ever convince me that it is ever preferable to have short drives as opposed to long ones.

This point was demonstrated on Monday night - the Colts and Pats both scored a point for every minute of possession they had - but the Colts were able to beat the Patriots by a ratio of 2:1 in TOP.

ball controll is the formula for winning. thats a given. recent history shows its just not a winning formula against the steelers especially when year in and year out they are top 5 in rushing defense. and its not just about the offenses they faced this year. last year against the patriots and eagles i think the opposition had the ball for 17 and 23 minutes. this defense has pretty much been set for the whole cowher era and typically they are with the leaders in time of possesion. (this has dropped off this year)

does that mean theres a problem? i think its more of a philosophy change. rather than a problem. im not saying the philosophy change is the correct change. but i would rather give up a few more 3rd down conversions than an average of a few more points. its that whole risk/reward deal that the coaches have been tinkering with. i really think the coaches could easilly switch back to a more gambling style that would cut down the 3rd down conversions at the cost of leaving themselves vulnerable in certain areas and times. of course injuries and youth has been a factor too, which may also explain a slightly more conservative approach. theres a reason that the steelers d has come up big in some of the most critical times in games this year. the coaches really know when to unleash them vs. harness them. the players know the coaches will usually put them in the best situation for success.

the defense wants more sacks and blitzes
the corners would probably like more safety help and interceptions
the wr's would like more catches
the qb would like more throws
and the rb's would like more carries

the thing with the steelers is that you wont hear any of them say these things. they have bought into the coaches formula for success. ultimately buying into the formula in place is the best chance of getting to the sb, regardless of what has happened in the past. keep in mind to that the defense is compensating for some offensive injuries which also could explain a more conservative approach. we dont wanna have to play catch up (like in the afc champ. game with c. batch, 2 out of 4 rb's injured or with a banged up wr core.
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