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Old 11-11-2006, 12:14 PM   #1
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Default Defense has recovered only 1 fumble

Defense has recovered only 1 fumble
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, November 11, 2006


Turnovers may be the biggest reason why the Steelers are 2-6, but they aren't just an issue on offense and special teams.
The Steelers defense hasn't forced a fumble in the past five games and has recovered only one all season.

That is the fewest in the NFL, and it's in stark contrast to last year, when the Steelers averaged nearly one fumble recovery per game during the regular season.

"It is something that we definitely have to look at and have everyone try harder at swarming the ball and swiping at the ball and getting pressure on the quarterback, so he gets antsy and throws picks," defensive end Brett Keisel said.

The Steelers have intercepted 12 passes, which is tied for second in the NFL, but the team ranks last in turnover ratio (minus-11), partly because the Steelers are on pace to recover all of two fumbles after making 15 fumble recoveries in 2005.

"We're losing the turnover battle right now, and we take that upon ourselves," inside linebacker James Farrior said. "That's one of the things we've been talking about is trying to create more turnovers."

It looks like Farrior will be able to help, as the Steelers try to do just that Sunday when they play host to the New Orleans Saints.

Farrior's status for the 4:15 p.m. game had been in question because of a groin injury, but the Steelers' leading tackler practiced Friday at the team's South Side facility and said he would play against the Saints.

Larry Foote (ribs), the Steelers' other starting inside linebacker, also said he would play.

"It's always good to have all of your starters out there," outside linebacker Joey Porter said. "Whenever you have a healthy team, you have a great opportunity to go out there and win football games."

Why the Steelers have forced so few fumbles is a bit of a mystery, especially since the defense has the reputation of being a hard-hitting group that gets after the quarterback.

"It's nothing you can really pinpoint to say how do you get a turnover," Farrior said. "It's just a lot of hustle and a lot of awareness. You've just got to anticipate things more, and you've got to tackle as hard as you can, try to get that ball out."

There is, Keisel said, a tried-and-true method to prying the ball loose on defense.

"It's usually the second guy coming in on the tackle, where that running back or receiver is fighting for extra yards and leaning with the ball, and that's usually when you can knock it out," Keisel said.

That happened to Steelers wide receivers Cedric Wilson and Hines Ward in last Sunday's 31-20 loss to the Broncos.

The defense is well aware those are the kind of plays it has to make as the Steelers try rebound in the second half of the season.

"It seems like they come in bunches, kind of feast or famine," defensive end Aaron Smith said of fumbles. "You get a lot of them, or you don't get any. It's just a matter of not getting deterred and keep playing hard and running to the ball. Guys playing sounds, guys playing hard, that's when you create turnovers."
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Old 11-11-2006, 01:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: Defense has recovered only 1 fumble

Let's see if they can make up for lost time tomorrow!
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Old 11-11-2006, 01:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: Defense has recovered only 1 fumble

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Originally Posted by jaysta View Post
Let's see if they can make up for lost time tomorrow!
Not just with turn overs, but also with the record.
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Old 11-12-2006, 10:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Defense has recovered only 1 fumble

We certainly added a few today.
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Old 11-12-2006, 11:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: Defense has recovered only 1 fumble

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We certainly added a few today.
2 I believe!
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