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August 9th, 2014, 7:30pmET

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Old 01-10-2013, 11:43 PM   #31
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

When you have a top ranked defense and a lead, you run the ball to kill the clock and play good defense. I don't think its playing scared I believe it's playing smart. IMO.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:08 AM   #32
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

I agree this years defense was less than steller early on. We had mix and match going on in the secondary for the first 3 games. Coupled with Woodley and his 45 extra pounds lounging out there at the hash marks, Harrison with a bum knee on the other side, and a couple of soft served defensive linemen in Hampton and Hood, this had all the makings of horror show in action

Well, we fixed the secondary issues and as a unit they were solid until Taylor got hurt. Harrison play did improve significantly the last 3-4 games, but make no mistake, he is not the all-pro defensive player of the year we had a few years ago. Woodley played his season like he is very much interested in staying healthy to insure collecting the rest of his $65 milion dollar contract.

AS for the DL, Hood just doesn't have the instincts to play that DE position. He is too mechanical, and has no creativity when it comes to moves. I can just hear what's going on in his head on a play, " Ok at the snap, up, land punch, ok that;s done, two steps to the left, punch, lean forward.... meanwhile, he's now 5 yards off the lol and the runner is past him. As a pass rusher he is passable, as a run defender, especially against zone blocking schemes, he's a liability. With Casey, he gave it all he had, all 380lbs of it, unfortunately at his age, you can still get shoved of your spot even with an extra 40 lbs you're sporting.

Amazingly, with all of this crap going on, we STILL end up with a top D. It's nothing short of incredible, and a testament to LeBeau's system.

It's no wonder we didn't have the take aways. No wonder why we could hold teams in their own end. The front seven pressure on the line of scrimage just was not there, especially from our two outside linebackers. With Harrison, it's understandable. With Woodley, it's inexcusable. Why McClendon wasn't playing, and how Hood is still in the starting lineup is beyond me.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:45 AM   #33
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

I agree with the poster that said this is nothing more than playing conservatively - not scared. That's old-time Steelers football. I think it's related to the Rooney's mandate that the team get back to "Steelers football." Most Steelers fans over 40 grew up during the Steel Curtain era of bloody knuckles, missing teeth, and bone-rattling defense. And the Cowher days were equally defense & run-the-ball related.

Rooney made it clear that the team would not become an offensive highlight reel as BB would have it, and would return to the mentality of the glory days.

I think that statement has caused a conundrum for game-planning. How do the coaches stay true to the Steelers glory days, while also keeping pace with the new NFL? How does Lebeau coach down his players to keep them from getting game-turning 15-yard personal fouls? How does Arians/Haley coach up his offense to score enough points to outscore their high-octane, Goodell-protected opponents?

Injuries, age, poor coaching, and poor play are all contributors to this 8-8 season, but I contend that it's also related to this idea that the Steelers need to go back to the days of yore. As much as I hate to say it, maybe it's time to open up the offense. Maybe it's time to look at the 4-3, or draft some bump & run corners? Something clearly needs to change in Pittsburgh, not just names on the jerseys, something fundamental.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:05 AM   #34
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

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Originally Posted by austinfrench76 View Post
When you have a top ranked defense and a lead, you run the ball to kill the clock and play good defense. I don't think its playing scared I believe it's playing smart. IMO.
That would be the case if they played good defense. They don't.

How many 4th quarter leads did we squander this year?
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:12 AM   #35
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

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That would be the case if they played good defense. They don't.

How many 4th quarter leads did we squander this year?
Or could run the ball to save their lives.

We're relying on an old philosophy when we have neither a defense nor a running game to close teams out.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:20 AM   #36
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

Defensively and for that matter I think there were times when their defficienies determined how they played and there were times where it was obvious they were playing as though they knew they had defficiencies and they had to compensate for them. I wouldn't call it scared as much as I would call it skittish or over cautious.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:39 AM   #37
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

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True. But wouldn't you say offenses weren't quite as wide-open during Cowher's tenure?

Also consider Cowher isn't here anymore and the Steelers defense has had some fourth quarter issues for the last three seasons. Playing close to the vest hasn't worked out too well in recent history.
Cowher was worse - the original "Martyball" disciple.

There is an NFL Films clip of a verbal exchange between Ben and Cowher during SB 40 where Ben is walking towards the sidelines and says to Cowher, "Coach let's play to win; let's not play not to lose." And I think that that particular exchange sums up Bill Cowher's approach to the game when things got tight.

After Cowher and with Ben becoming a more mature player, it seemed as if things were easing a bit and the offense became more wide-open and took more risks and even the defense was more aggressive and seemed to try to cause takeaways instead of just trying to keep teams from scoring.

But lately, things seem to have drifted back towards Martyball and there's a strong sense of Deja vu. I don't know if it's philosophy, fear or something else, but I don't like it and it needs to change.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:55 AM   #38
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

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Or could run the ball to save their lives.

We're relying on an old philosophy when we have neither a defense nor a running game to close teams out.
Yes. I am not quite sure why some are so enamored by having the top defense in yards allowed, especially when a big reason for that is that we played against some of the worst offenses (Jets, Titans, Chiefs, Browns 2x, Bengals2x, Chargers). And then we couldn't even stop half of them from scoring points, especially when it mattered most.

IMO, the defense was the problem in the first half of the season. They stepped it up when Ben got hurt (nowhere near an elite level however) and the offense was the problem in the 2nd half for the most part, and I feel that was because Ben was still hurt.

I am thankful to Lebeau for everything he has done for this team, but he has been running the same scheme for 30 years. I don't expect him to be going anywhere, so I expect to see the same scheme next year with the same players (since his defense is uber-complicated and rookies sit for 3 years). I would be okay with that if he would actually play the younger guys to their capabilities and bring some aggression back to the defense instead of dropping 7 or 8 into coverage and hoping the offense makes a mistake.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:06 AM   #39
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

Everything perceived as "the Steelers play scared" comes from Coach Tomlin. I will consider your arguments that Tomlin needs to change his philosophy when and if he has a losing season. Until then I think the image of a toilet was an appropriate response to this thread and all subsequent commentary was unnecessary.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:58 AM   #40
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

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Yes. I am not quite sure why some are so enamored by having the top defense in yards allowed, especially when a big reason for that is that we played against some of the worst offenses (Jets, Titans, Chiefs, Browns 2x, Bengals2x, Chargers). And then we couldn't even stop half of them from scoring points, especially when it mattered most.

IMO, the defense was the problem in the first half of the season. They stepped it up when Ben got hurt (nowhere near an elite level however) and the offense was the problem in the 2nd half for the most part, and I feel that was because Ben was still hurt.

I am thankful to Lebeau for everything he has done for this team, but he has been running the same scheme for 30 years. I don't expect him to be going anywhere, so I expect to see the same scheme next year with the same players (since his defense is uber-complicated and rookies sit for 3 years). I would be okay with that if he would actually play the younger guys to their capabilities and bring some aggression back to the defense instead of dropping 7 or 8 into coverage and hoping the offense makes a mistake.
Two points, I would like to contend.

A, the Bengals were underated, and B, last year we played 9 out of 16 games against either rookie QBs, or scrub QBs. This years schedule was much tougher than last year.

IMO, historically, his system does work. You may not like his playing the averages approach, and frankly, I would love to see more carnage too, so I get that. But the fact is, it is an effective defense against other team scoring, which I understand the whole point.
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