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Old 12-16-2007, 09:24 AM   #1
Atlanta Dan
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Default Frustration About Bend But Do Not Break Philosophy?

The lead story on today's game in the P-G focuses on the lack of INTs from the D:

Garrard casts lights on flaw in Steelers' armor

The Steelers may have the No. 1 defense in the NFL when they take Heinz Field today to play the Jacksonville Jaguars. They may be No. 2 against the run, and No. 2 against the pass.

What they are not, however, are game-changing turnover hounds. Most specifically, the Steelers intercept a pass about as often as they play a home game. This will be their eighth home game, and they have eight interceptions as a team.

That's fewer than San Diego cornerback Antonio Cromartie has himself, with nine. It is, in fact, fewer than every NFL team except the Philadelphia Eagles, who have seven.
...

Secondary coach Ray Horton, though, offered another opinion on the matter. He said the defense this season wanted to focus on not allowing big pass plays and it has limited them. Before New England's Tom Brady bombed them for touchdown passes of 63 and 56 yards, they had allowed just one pass completion longer than 40 yards. Last season, they gave up eight longer than 40.

"We're doing exactly what we want," Horton said. "Statistically, they're not throwing the ball and not running on us and when they do, they're throwing it short and underneath. New England was an aberration because they threw two balls over our head. You look at our stats, everything is down because what we've given them is a comeba
ck, a short route, a short throw, and they're not throwing the ball downfield on us."...

They have caught just eight, which is headed for their all-time low, no matter how you spin it.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07350/842106-66.stm

As a companion piece, Ron Cook writes on Troy's frustrating season - Troy is as insightful as always and the full column is a good read, but this statement jumps out

Polamalu in the crosshairs

Polamalu said he has had chances to make plays this season -- and failed on some -- but not as many opportunities as he had in other seasons

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07350/842132-87.stm

If the Steelers lose today I am interested to see if the Steelers mediocre play since the Ravens game leads to comments questioning where this team is headed not only on this board but in the locker room - Tomlin may be facing his first rocky stretch as HC.
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Old 12-16-2007, 09:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: Frustration About Bend But Do Not Break Philosophy?

another stat that could be considered troubling is the steelers are ranked 28th in passes defensed?

IMO, 31st in INTs and 28th in PD means something is not right.

i went into this year not expecting too much. a new HC and a suspect O-line aren't the ingredients for a good first year. the steelers have benefitted from an easy schedule to help with the coaching transistion. overall this season has been more positive than negative.

i am interested in seeing what the steelers do with the O-line during free agency and the 2008 draft.
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Old 12-16-2007, 10:25 AM   #3
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Default Re: Frustration About Bend But Do Not Break Philosophy?

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Originally Posted by ?teeldude View Post
another stat that could be considered troubling is the steelers are ranked 28th in passes defensed?
Now is that a matter of the Steelers usually controlling the clock in the game, and the opposing team simply not getting as many plays off? We do need more turnovers. We needed a spark in some of these games that we never got, and suffered for it. Jets game especially. On those late half drives where we almost ALWAYS seem to give up at least a FG, we could use a big play.
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Old 12-16-2007, 12:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: Frustration About Bend But Do Not Break Philosophy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ?teeldude View Post
another stat that could be considered troubling is the steelers are ranked 28th in passes defensed?

IMO, 31st in INTs and 28th in PD means something is not right.

i went into this year not expecting too much. a new HC and a suspect O-line aren't the ingredients for a good first year. the steelers have benefitted from an easy schedule to help with the coaching transistion. overall this season has been more positive than negative.

i am interested in seeing what the steelers do with the O-line during free agency and the 2008 draft.
we dont take many chances, thus leading to few ints. pressure can cause ints too, but we dont seem to get enough often. our philosophy on D is to keep everything in front of us. thats why the only long plays we have given up were against the pats last week and the jets flea flicker.
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Old 12-16-2007, 01:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: Frustration About Bend But Do Not Break Philosophy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlanta Dan View Post

If the Steelers lose today I am interested to see if the Steelers mediocre play since the Ravens game leads to comments questioning where this team is headed not only on this board but in the locker room - Tomlin may be facing his first rocky stretch as HC.

I've brought it up in a couple threads that this team has NOT gotten better as the season has progressed; it's gotten worse relative to the league.

Now might be the time to question if the hard hitting training camp and the early season continuance of full contact practices have taken their toll on the team physically. Because it's either that or the coaches' inability to teach and help the players grow; or to say it in coachspeak, not putting them in the position to succeed.

I have no problem with "bend don't break." The high percentage of three and outs are really great. Game changing interceptions only happen when teams drive, and drives are pretty rare against us. There have been very few long scoring drives against us in our 9 victories.

Still, assuming we make the playoffs (NOT a given), we will be backing in based on early season dominance, not roaring in while peaking like we did in '05.
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Old 12-16-2007, 03:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: Frustration About Bend But Do Not Break Philosophy?

It's only bend don't break against crappy teams..

Against good teams? They break!
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