Why register with the Steelers Fever Forums?
 • Intelligent and friendly discussions.
 • It's free and it's quick. Always.
 • Enter events in the forums calendar.
 • Very user friendly software.
 • Exclusive contests and giveaways.

 Donate to Steelers Fever, Click here
 Our 2014 Goal: $450.00 - To Date: $450.00 (100.00%)
 Home | Forums | Editorials | Shop | Tickets | Downloads | Contact Pittsburgh Steelers Forum Feed Not Just Fans. Hardcore Fans.

Go Back   Steelers Fever Forums > Steelers Football > Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers Fever Fan Shop

Doc's Sports Get FREE NFL Picks and College Football picks as well as Football Lines like live NFL Lines and updated NFL Power Rankings all at Doc's Sports Service.

Pro Bowl
8:00PM Eastern on ESPN

Thread Tools
Old 09-01-2008, 06:16 AM   #1
Living Legend
GBMelBlount's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Western PA
Posts: 6,203
Gender: Male
Member Number: 5140
Thanks: 1,138
Thanked 2,068 Times in 947 Posts
Default Steelers D-line is aging....

Steelers keep 7 defensive linemen, but the solid group is aging

Brett Keisel is the most recent defensive lineman the Steelers have taken in the draft, and that was in 2002. The team's only defensive lineman under age 30 by the end of the month will be backup Nick Eason.

When coach Mike Tomlin said before the draft the Steelers needed to get bigger on their lines, this is not quite what he meant: They have more bodies, not especially larger ones.

The Steelers kept seven defensive linemen on their final roster -- provided today's roster is final -- rather than the normal six, and the reason for that might reflect the age of the group. Only one will be younger than 30 when September ends, and that's backup end Nick Eason, 28.

Not only did the Steelers fail to draft a defensive lineman this year, they failed again to keep a young player drafted at the position previously when they waived Ryan McBean, a fourth-round draft choice in 2007. Brett Keisel, drafted in the seventh round in 2002, is the most recent drafted defensive lineman still with the team.

That should end the ongoing debate that they will switch to a 4-3 defense under Tomlin any time soon.

The lack of youth may not hurt them this season, though, because their front line of ends Aaron Smith and Keisel and nose tackle Casey Hampton is distinguished. Smith and Hampton are Pro Bowlers and Keisel led the team with 31 pressures on quarterbacks last season.

Even though he's 35, Orpheus Roye should be able to help the Steelers in spots.

"We have such a veteran group, guys can all play," Smith, 32, said.

Another important factor is all of them open the season in good health.

"Overall, I'm pleased," said Keisel, who turns 30 this month. "We've got a few nicks and things like that, but, for the most part, we're relatively healthy."

Tomlin was able to keep an extra lineman because he did not use a roster spot on a pure return man, as he did last season with Allen Rossum. Cutting veteran return man Eddie Drummond allowed them the luxury of keeping seven defensive linemen.

They kept the normal contingent of 10 offensive linemen but the fact they tried and failed to trade center/guard Sean Mahan or tackles Trai Essex or Max Starks -- Did they really think someone would pay Starks' guaranteed $7 million? -- meant that fourth-year guard Jeremy Parquet, who spent the past three seasons with the Chiefs or Rams, was released. Parquet was signed to the practice squad yesterday.

Roye, for one, will find that some opponents block the Steelers differently than they did when he last played on their defensive line in 1999. It has caused the linemen -- and the linebackers -- to adjust how they play the run.

Instead of blockers shooting out at the snap of the ball to get after their assignment, many offenses use a zone blocking scheme against the Steelers with their linemen waiting for the defense to make its move first.

"As defensive linemen, they're trying to get us to go one way," veteran backup nose tackle Chris Hoke said. "You watch their runs, they're all cutbacks. That's what they did to us last year."

The Steelers must have adjusted well enough because their defense ranked No. 1 overall and No. 3 against the run last season in yards allowed.

The solution?

"We have to stay in our gaps," Hoke said. "They used to keep the ball front side on us and we'd stuff the run. But now they come front side and cut back side because they know we have to stay in our gaps and they're going to the back side of the run. We just have to be more disciplined on defense. We have to work as 11 men and make sure everyone's doing their job. The thing about the 3-4 defense, if one guy doesn't do his job, we're gashed."

Instead of offenses being aggressive in their run-blocking, they try to take advantage of the Steelers' complicated, aggressive, blitzing defense. It may be a reason for their plans to align Keisel at different positions in the defense more than last season.

"Teams really aren't trying to push us back, like drive us back," Keisel said. "Teams are trying more to do what we call zone block, which is kind of let them come into you and let them run that way."

Here is how Keisel said it's done:

"If I'm the offense, and you go into the 'A' gap, rather than coming at you and missing you, I just come back, let me go there and just push."

He said it's similar to punt protection and works best against 3-4 defenses because "you can bring so many guys and you have so many different looks that you have to account for. Rather than say we're going to charge this as an offense, let them come to us and when they come we'll take it as it goes."

Monday, September 01, 2008
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Peter Diana/Post-Gazette
If I could be like that,
what would I do,
What would I do..."

~ 3 Doors Down

GBMelBlount is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2008, 07:09 AM   #2
Living Legend
Steeldude's Avatar
Hexxagon Champion! Make a Splash Champion! Shooting Practice Champion! What A Shot Champion! Yeti Sasquatch Annihilation Champion!
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3,713
Member Number: 4570
Thanks: 115
Thanked 367 Times in 234 Posts
Default Re: Steeler D-line is aging....

it's going to get worse before it gets better.

the problem should have been addressed 2 to 3 years ago.
Steeldude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2008, 08:43 AM   #3
Living Legend
HometownGal's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: The Burgh
Posts: 21,479
Gender: Female
Member Number: 2413
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Steeler D-line is aging....

Gee Bouchette - tell us something we didn't already know.

We'll be OK this season and probably next, but the Steelers definitely do need to address this situation sooner rather than later.

The Anti-Wahoo
HometownGal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2008, 10:17 AM   #4
Living Legend
Texasteel's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Dallas, Tx
Posts: 3,638
Gender: Male
Member Number: 8323
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Steeler D-line is aging....

I can't see us doing anything as far as FAs are conserned, but I see several kids that will be in this years draft that should be able to help next year, and make a big difference the year after.

Simply, The Chief.
Texasteel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2008, 10:37 AM   #5
Bench Warmer
Havik's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 220
Gender: Male
Member Number: 8843
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Default Re: Steeler D-line is aging....

What worries me is if just one of the starters goes down, we're in big trouble. Everyone saw what happened when Aaron Smith got injured. I hope this problem gets addressed in next years draft, because most defensive linemen take at least 2 years to develop. Next years draft is loaded with talented defensive linemen, so there's no reason for the Steelers to not get some new d-line talent in 2009.
Havik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2008, 11:00 AM   #6
El-Gonzo Jackson
Living Legend
El-Gonzo Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 10,392
Member Number: 8264
Thanks: 759
Thanked 4,319 Times in 2,043 Posts
Default Re: Steeler D-line is aging....

I think the addition of Roye is a big step towards having somebody that can play if there were an injury.

Thats the stop-gap move until somebody can be aquired next season.

The D-line is fine this season.
El-Gonzo Jackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2008, 11:00 AM   #7
Head Coach
19ward86's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pittsburgh, Ohio
Posts: 1,988
Gender: Male
Member Number: 2717
Thanks: 1
Thanked 9 Times in 6 Posts
Default Re: Steeler D-line is aging....

If we can draft a NT in the first round next year and get a late round suprise at DE i think that will catch us up, mostly if we can have multiple picks on the D-line next year.
You must watch this video.
19ward86 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2008, 11:05 AM   #8
Team President
Steelman16's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 2,414
Member Number: 6517
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default Re: Steeler D-line is aging....

Originally Posted by 19ward86 View Post
If we can draft a NT in the first round next year and get a late round suprise at DE i think that will catch us up, mostly if we can have multiple picks on the D-line next year.
I'd be surprised if we drafted an NT in the first round. If a quality center is available, there is no way we'd pass on that.

Next year's draft is definitely going to have linemen as top priority.
I'll keep my freedoms, my guns, and my
money . . . you can keep "THE CHANGE."
Steelman16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2008, 11:29 AM   #9
DACEB's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,480
Gender: Male
Member Number: 2911
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Steeler D-line is aging....

I hope we take advantage of all these guys and rotate them in and out, early and often.

I'm glad the team kept seven, I'm confident Eason will have a much stronger showing. It would be nice to keep all the guys fresher and the backups on point. If Keisel and Smith could get a blow on occasion or one of the other guys could provide some help with the pass rush with fresh legs, that would be a huge boost.

I'm disappointed that we didn't keep another DL on the PS. I thought from what I saw in preseason, Reffert looked ok. It's easy to say that a draft prospect will come in and help out, but if you look around at the cuts there are alot of the guys we liked for our squad not on a team. Hayden, Dykes are a couple that didn't make a squad, go figure.
DACEB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2008, 11:38 AM   #10
lamberts-lost-tooth's Avatar

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Midwest
Posts: 10,829
Gender: Male
Member Number: 2363
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default Re: Steeler D-line is aging....

LIke TexasSteel and I were talking about in another thread....there is at least the potential of picking up players that were cut yesterday...Two of the ones that we had discussed are Dre Moore & Nick Hayden. Both were tried out as DT's ..but may actually work out better as DE's at the pro level.

Do I think we will bring them in....No. But it is interesting to think that their are some options out there to still bring in youth. I personally think Hayden would be a perfect 3-4 DE and has the size/strength to learn the position. I would drop Eason and give Hayden a shot.
lamberts-lost-tooth is offline   Reply With Quote


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:10 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Shoutbox provided by vBShout v6.2.1 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2015 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.0.8 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2015 DragonByte Technologies Ltd. Runs best on HiVelocity Hosting.
Navbar with Avatar by Motorradforum
no new posts