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 01-20-2009, 09:35 PM   #1
A Son of Martha

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Posts: 7,976
Gender: Male
Member Number: 10438
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Steelers show they can tone down pressure and still dominate

Steelers show they can tone down pressure and still dominate
By Tom Danyluk (danyluk1@yahoo.com)
Jan. 20, 2009

PITTSBURGH — Joe Flacco was 9-for-23 passing in his first pro playoff game, and he went 11-for-22 in the next. Those are losing QB numbers. Obituary data. But the Baltimore rookie didn’t turn it over in either game and the Ravens won them both and Flacco apologized for the shabby threads and got himself ready for a real blood game — the AFC championship in Pittsburgh.

Conventional defense says that you send a message early when a spit-shined kid like Flacco is trying to beat you. That you conjure up the rush demons and make him jumpy and fling him to the ground and then see what he has left to say. A year ago he was gunning down William & Mary and West Chester types, but, hey, now it’s the roughneck Steelers and they’ve been snuffing blood in the pocket since the earth was cooling.

“Pressure,” Steelers OLB James Harrison said, “makes any quarterback uncomfortable. Doesn’t matter if he’s a rookie or a 10-year veteran.”

In the wild-card game, Miami sent the stormtroopers after Flacco and he burned them with a pair of 31-yarders that became field goals, but overall it was the shaky kind of performance the Dolphins were hoping for. In the end, it was the Miami offense taking the pipe offensively on the day with five turnovers.

“Then Flacco was able to beat Tennessee with another couple of long throws,” Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau explained. “He scored on one and got deep down the field on the other. Sending only two or three receivers out on patterns has been one of Baltimore's ways of attacking. Which makes it very hard to blitz them because you’ve got that big line packed in there.”

Which meant LeBeau would cut the blitz recipe in half … the five- and six-man thrusts … and instead had safety Troy Polamalu set up deep like Willie Mays tracking fly balls. A vanilla three- or four-man rush forced Flacco into three interceptions and three sacks, and the postgame stat book was again littered with “J.Flacco, incompete” entries. A 13-for-30 day, the kind of numbers LeBeau was dreaming of, and a rookie storybook gets torn to pieces.

Someone asked Flacco if he just ran out of steam … the long season … hitting the wall. He shrugged it off.

“I don’t believe in that stuff. I’ve said that all year ... Early on we were trying to take some shots and see if we can get them over the top, but they did a good job of sitting back, not giving us anywhere to go with the ball. Just throwaways, things like that,” he said.

“We just tried to get pressure on him” Steelers DE Brett Keisel said, “not necessarily to get sacks but to let him know we’re coming. Not a lot of blitzing, and I think that threw him off a little bit. He’d be looking downfield at his receivers and see there were sometimes two or three guys on each man.

“We just knew there was a lot of pressure on him as a rookie quarterback and we tried to add to it. We didn’t think that he could get out from a rush and scramble like some quarterbacks do in this league. He typically gets out of the pocket but still looks downfield. So we just sat back and let him throw it to us.”

The driftnet theory — knotting up whatever swims by and drowning it.

“Coach LeBeau really surprised us with some of his calls,” Polamalu said. “I mean, we played a lot of cover-2 today, which a lot of people don’t want to play against Baltimore because they have such an awesome rush offense. On the other hand they did come out and try to pass a lot, so Coach LeBeau was a step ahead.”

And the coach made sure to mention a pair of interference penalties that gave him his only heartburn of the day. That’s because both led to short Ravens touchdowns, quickies, each on the very next snap.

“On one of them [CB Ike Taylor] never turned around,” LeBeau said, “but the other interference penalty [on Bryant McFadden] was very marginal. Other than those two plays, our defensive backs played tremendously. They did a good job of not letting anybody get behind them. And then Troy's big play (40-yard interception return for touchdown) flipped a two-point game into a nine-point game. …”

Next up for the Steelers — Kurt Warner in the big payoff game. No rookie walls … no driftnets here. The Super Bowl, once upon a time, was familiar territory for the old man. Now he’s enjoying a resurgence, and he still can beat pressure with a quick read, and if you give him time he’ll cut up a soft zone with one of those lasers.

LeBeau knows all this. Over the next two weeks he sharpens the harpoons.
mesaSteeler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2009, 09:53 PM   #2
Living Legend
devilsdancefloor's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Columbus, Indiana
Posts: 4,015
Gender: Male
Member Number: 10172
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Steelers show they can tone down pressure and still dominate

nice article thanks for posting!
Don't do anything by half. If you love someone, love them with all your soul. When you go to work, work your ass off. When you hate someone, hate them until it hurts.

I believe that today more than ever a book should be sought after even if it has only one great page in it. We must search for fragments, splinters, toenails, anything that has ore in it, anything that is capable of resuscitating the body and the soul.

devilsdancefloor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2009, 06:10 AM   #3
Team Owner
markymarc's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,589
Member Number: 2292
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Steelers show they can tone down pressure and still dominate

Great read and thanks for posting Mesa. And that is why LeBeau is the best DC in the business. And I guarantee he will have some new wrinkle for Warner and company as well. Of course pressure will be key against the Cardinals, but we also need to make sure and tackle well. And to think LeBeau has 2 weeks to prepare for the Cardinals. I like our chances.
markymarc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2009, 06:39 AM   #4
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: Steelers show they can tone down pressure and still dominate

Very nice read mesa - thanks!

Damn - I can't wait for this game to see what Lebeau is going to throw at the Cards O! It's like unwrapping yet another Christmas present!

The Anti-Wahoo
HometownGal 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 09:59 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