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Old 10-07-2007, 09:40 PM   #1
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Default Steelers' defense was amazing

Steelers' defense was amazing


By John Harris
Sunday, October 7, 2007

It's time to finally give the Steelers' defensive players the credit they deserve.
Truth be told, it's long overdue.

You know the Steelers have a dominating defense because their 21-0 shutout Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks minus two starters -- the Steelers' first shutout at Heinz Field -- wasn't the big story.

First things first.

The offense played without two starters -- wide receivers Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes -- and the big concern in the local media was if the Steelers could score a single point, much less defeat the Seahawks in a so-called rematch of Super Bowl XL.
The defense played without Pro Bowl nose tackle Casey Hampton and Pro Bowl strong safety Troy Polamalu and limited Seattle's potent offense to 144 total yards. But after the game it seemed like the defense took a back seat to offensive catalysts Ben Roethlisberger and Willie Parker.

It's so easy to take the defense for granted, to overlook the good and highlight the bad.

Case in point: Left cornerback Ike Taylor.

Taylor had five tackles, four passes defensed and a touchdown-killing interception at the goal line on the final play of the first half.

After the game, everyone wanted to talk about Taylor not making two other potential interceptions -- although both times he had perfect coverage and prevented Seattle's receivers from making the catch.

"Playing cornerback is a tough position, like quarterback," Taylor said. "The one-on-ones, the pressure you have on you. I knew coming into the game they were going to come after me. It comes with the territory."

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told Taylor during the game to keep his head up and keep making plays.

"I just let him know that he's playing left corner against a West Coast offense and he was going to have opportunities," Tomlin said. "He was level-headed about it. He moved on to the next snap and delivered big for us at the end of the first half."

"Ike played his head off. Ike was amazing all day," defensive end Brett Keisel said.

The Steelers' defense was amazing all day.

Inside linebacker James Farrior recorded five tackles, 2 1/2 sacks and three quarterback hurries, chasing Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck all over Heinz Field. Safety Tyrone Carter had five tackles and one quarterback hurry coming off the bench. Defensive end Aaron Smith was disruptive with five tackles and helped hold running back Shaun Alexander (25 yards on 11 carries) in check. Backup nose tackle Chris Hoke played so well he made everyone forget Hampton wasn't on the field.

The Steelers even convinced Seattle coach Mike Holmgren to basically surrender against the team that beat him in Super Bowl XL. Holmgren pulled Hasselbeck with the Steelers leading 21-0 at the 7:10 mark of the fourth quarter.

"I was surprised," Keisel said. "You kind of knew when that happened they threw in the towel."

It was the Seahawks' best throw of the game.
"We're not going to turn our backs on him," Ward said. "We're going to treat him like our brother. We're going to accept him back and be very supportive of him and help him get through this. In this locker room, he's still our quarterback."
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers' defense was amazing

slow developing game in the 1st half...I thought it was the SB XL re-run! Our D would be more dangerous when Troy & Casey 're back . The PATS look scaaaaarrrrrrryyyyyyy......
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers' defense was amazing

Good article.

I loved this line....

"I was surprised," Keisel said. "You kind of knew when that happened they threw in the towel."
It was the Seahawks' best throw of the game.
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