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Old 07-08-2009, 06:02 PM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default AFCN Chat with James Walker

Steeler questions only - mesa

http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chat/_/id/27310
Let's get right into some questions this week.
jordan (pittsburgh)

Considering Mike Tomlin's background, do you see the Steelers implementing more Cover 2 schemes in the defense this year?
James Walker
(4:02 PM)

Yes, Jordan. I think that's in Pittsburgh's plans. If you look at some of the players the Steelers brought in this year, such as Keiwan Ratliff and rookie Keenan Lewis, these players either played or look like they can play the scheme. It could be a very small part that eventually grows over the next few years under Tomlin.

Tim (Tampa, Fl)

Hey James, hope you had a great 4th!!! Anything new to report about some of the Steelers upcoming FA's??? Heath or Clark coming soon??
James Walker
(4:07 PM)

Thanks, Tim. Things are pretty status quo. Because of the holiday week, there wasn't much movement. Expect rookie Evander Hood to get his deal complete before anything moves with a player already under contract.

Kyle (Providence)
The afc north is expecting to some new starters at linebacker this year. Who do you think will have the best year, Tavares Gooden, Lawrence Timmons or Rey Maualuga?
James Walker
(4:14 PM)

Of those three I would say Lawrence Timmons.

Erica (Seattle, Wa.)

What do you think are the chances of this year's Steelers team being better than the 08 version that won the Super Bowl?
James Walker
(4:21 PM)

It's tough to be better than a Super Bowl winning team, Erica. A lot has to go right, such as lack of injuries. But the Steelers have a good chance to position themselves for a title run, probably better than any title team in the past four years.

Alex (Tuls)

Can Sweed fill the role vacated by Washington? (I remember some timely drops in the playoffs)
James Walker
(4:56 PM)
Limas Sweed is going to be ok. He has the physical tools, and mentally he learned from last season. In my opinion, Sweed lost focus because he wasn't playing much. This happens sometimes to young players. Then, all of a sudden, he went from not playing to being thrown opportunties in the playoffs. It's hard to flip that switch, so Sweed is going to try and turn it on in Week 1.
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: AFCN Chat with James Walker

i think timmons and sweed will both have very good years.
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: AFCN Chat with James Walker

I normally like what Walker says, but his assessment of the cover-2 schemes is all wrong.

The Steelers already play some cover -2 packages, but to think it will become more of a cover-2 scheme because the #4 CB in Keiwan Ratliff played in Indy????? That is crazy.

Forget the fact that Ratliff is on a 1 year contract and if Walker knew that Keenan Lewis played in a primary man-to-man system in Oregon St, he would never consider Lewis a "cover-2 corner".

I expect Lebeau to do what he has always done and play from a zone blitz system, but not progress to a traditional "cover 2"
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: AFCN Chat with James Walker

Quote:
Originally Posted by mesaSteeler View Post
If you look at some of the players the Steelers brought in this year, such as Keiwan Ratliff and rookie Keenan Lewis, these players either played or look like they can play the scheme.
What are the physical differences between a cover 2 defense DB and a 3-4 zone blitz defense DB? Taller and faster?
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:10 PM   #5
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Default Re: AFCN Chat with James Walker

Normally, a guy categorized as a "cover 2 cb" is a guy with good ball skills, but not a lot of long speed. The kind of CB that runs a 4.55-40 yard dash. That is because he will always have 2 deep safety help. They call it a "cover 2" because there are 2 safetys.

What Keenan Lewis played in mostly at Oregon St was a cover 0, or man to man scheme where he wasnt given the help of having a deep safety to cover the long routes. Because he was in man coverage, he also wasnt asked to play the run a lot, but rather leave that to the safety.

Walkers belief that the drafting of Keenan lewis signals more cover 2, just doesnt make sense.
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Old 07-09-2009, 04:43 AM   #6
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Default Re: AFCN Chat with James Walker

Quote:
Originally Posted by El-Gonzo Jackson View Post
Normally, a guy categorized as a "cover 2 cb" is a guy with good ball skills, but not a lot of long speed. The kind of CB that runs a 4.55-40 yard dash. That is because he will always have 2 deep safety help. They call it a "cover 2" because there are 2 safetys.

What Keenan Lewis played in mostly at Oregon St was a cover 0, or man to man scheme where he wasnt given the help of having a deep safety to cover the long routes. Because he was in man coverage, he also wasnt asked to play the run a lot, but rather leave that to the safety.

Walkers belief that the drafting of Keenan lewis signals more cover 2, just doesnt make sense.
Thanks El-Gonzo you answerd my question as well.
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Old 07-10-2009, 11:44 AM   #7
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Default Re: AFCN Chat with James Walker

Quote:
Originally Posted by El-Gonzo Jackson View Post
Walkers belief that the drafting of Keenan lewis signals more cover 2, just doesnt make sense.
exactly...none of this makes any sense. To beat the dead horse...

Tampa-2 is a 4-3 defense that puts both safeties deep and in charge of half of the field. The MLB is responsible for the short middle of the field. Corners cover under the receivers and need to support the run with the safeties deep.

For that system you have your safeties playing mostly coverage and your corners have more run support responsibility and don't need the same speed. I think one of the advantages is that you don't need corners that are that good. in Tampa 2 you need great players at Safety,Pass rushing D-line and MLB.

Why would you want to tie up Polamalu away from the line of Scrimage? Why would you point to our drafting a standout man corner as evidence of this? Why would the best defense in the league change scheme just because Mike Tomlin used to coach DB in a team with a different scheme?
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