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Old 02-07-2011, 08:17 AM   #1
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Default The Official CB/Secondary Discussion Thread

Pack burns Steelers secondary, and DBs knew it was coming
http://www.cbssports.com/print/nfl/s...-it-was-coming
By Craig Morgan
Special to CBSSports.com
Feb. 7, 2011

DALLAS -- Troy Polamalu smiled when asked about the Green Bay Packers' depth at wide receiver.

"Sometimes it's just about the guy putting the ball in their hands," Polamalu said.

The Steelers knew they were in for a challenge against the Packers' spread-'em-out offense Sunday. They knew because they heard about it the entire week leading up to Super Bowl XLV.

They heard it from the media.

They heard it from their coaches.

And they heard it in veiled references from the Packers, who believed they could pull Pittsburgh out of its base defense and exploit that shift with an array of receivers the likes of which the Steelers' suspect secondary had not seen all season.

"It was like a broken record," cornerback William Gay said. "We prepared for it for two weeks. We knew what was coming."

But the Steelers were mostly powerless to stop it in the Packers' 31-25 victory.

Green Bay got four catches and two touchdowns from top receiver Greg Jennings and two receptions from Donald Driver before he left because of an ankle injury.

But it was the Packers' Nos. 3 and 4 wideouts who killed the Steelers repeatedly at raucous Cowboys Stadium.

Jordy Nelson caught nine passes for 140 yards and a touchdown, breaking Max McGee's franchise record for receiving yards in a Super Bowl. James Jones added five catches for 50 yards.

Those numbers would have been much more impressive if not for a half-dozen drops by Green Bay receivers. But those drops didn't matter, because Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers just kept putting throws in the right places.

"He didn't fold under the pressure," Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said. "I thought we hit him some early and we got to him as the game went on, but he showed his mettle, continued to throw the ball and continued to throw it accurately."

The Steelers sacked Rodgers three times and either hit or harassed him many more.

"He just stood in there and made plays," cornerback Bryant McFadden said.

The Steelers responded by dropping more into coverage and creating tight passing lanes.

"He put the ball in some tight places and he made some really good throws," Polamalu added.

And when the Steelers made coverage errors, Rodgers cut to the bone.

He hit Nelson over the middle on a 38-yard crossing pattern that set up the Packers' final touchdown -- leaving safety Ryan Clark running in Nelson's fumes.

On the first touchdown pass to Jennings, both Polamalu and Clark had chances to make a play on the ball and missed by inches.

Gay was beat on several occasions.

And on the second Jennings touchdown, Polamalu, the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year, got caught cheating.

"That was completely my fault," he said. "Earlier in the game, they ran Jennings down the middle, and I was anticipating that same pass play and I guessed wrong."

The score in the right side of the end zone was a dagger that restored Green Bay momentum after the Steelers had rallied from a 21-3 deficit to pull within 21-17.

"Big ups to them," a choked-up Gay said. "They did what they needed to do."

It would be foolish to pin the loss entirely on the secondary when Pittsburgh's offense turned the ball over three times, allowing an interception return for a touchdown while twice giving Green Bay a short field, opportunities the Packers turned into 14 more points.

"They were tough situations, but we've been in those before," McFadden said. "You have to pick each other up."

The Steelers could not, making precious few of the plays that defined their run to Dallas.

"They made plays, we didn't get any turnovers," Tomlin said. "It's that simple."
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:33 AM   #2
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Default Sign a free agent CB over Woodley & Colon?

I just wanted to throw this out there.. If you were the Steelers GM and Rooney gave you the green light to sign a top tier free agent CB such as Asomugha.. Obviously, by signing Asomugha it was likely we would lose Woodley & Colon. Let's assume the CBA has been settled and there is a salary cap in place. What would you do?

So sign Nnamdi Asomugha over Woodley (& maybe Colon)? One more twist: Taylor was re-signed. Thoughts???
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: Sign a free agent CB over Woodley & Colon?

An OLB is a much easier find than a CB......Woodley is good...That being said he is better here than he will be anywhere else.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: Sign a free agent CB over Woodley & Colon?

They definitely need a CB and will not be able to re-sign everyone unless they get a CB in the draft -question is whether the system can just plug in another OLB - if you lose Woodley you are going to need to replace both OLBs in the near future - Harrison is 32 and you have to wonder how many more peak years he has left

Flozell Adams was a great stop gap at RT for one season but keeping Colon looks necessary - at some point that rotten OL is going to get Roethisberger hurt without a major rebuild (I could see every OL other than Kemo who started yesterday not starting whenever next season begins)
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:51 AM   #5
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Default Re: Sign a free agent CB over Woodley & Colon?

Its almost a must to sign a FA on the Oline!
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:51 AM   #6
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Default Re: Sign a free agent CB over Woodley & Colon?

Woodley and Colon, easily. Wouldn't even think twice.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:56 AM   #7
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Default Re: Sign a free agent CB over Woodley & Colon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by steeltheone View Post
An OLB is a much easier find than a CB......Woodley is good...That being said he is better here than he will be anywhere else.
That is sort of my thinking. Woodley reminds me of Chad Brown to some degree. While he certainly good, he is a product of our system. I think I would rather have a better secondary over an OLB that can be replaced.
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:04 AM   #8
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Default Re: Sign a free agent CB over Woodley & Colon?

Our D is built around the LB's. We lost the Super Bowl to a QB that played as almost a perfect game as I have seen. It is easy to pick apart the secondary when we lose. The 1st Packer TD to Nelson with gay in coverage was a perfect throw, Gay had decent coverage. Ike played well the majority of the game and on the play to jennings went for the pick and missed the ball by an inch. Rodgers was great and sometimes the 3-4 zone blitz D like we play has holes. Our recievers ran free as well Ben just was off. Lets not panic! As far as I am concerned Woodley is a must keep and if we can franchise him ...WE SHOULD. If we can keep Colon we should as well.
We should Draft an OL in the first round as we will likely get either Pouncey or Wisneiwski with our pick.
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:10 AM   #9
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Default Re: Sign a free agent CB over Woodley & Colon?

they're going to franchise Woodley.

But we absolutely need secondary help and FAST. It cannot be ignored. We'll make it with the OL but need some help. I would put that one notch below the horrendous secondary.
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:13 AM   #10
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Default Re: Sign a free agent CB over Woodley & Colon?

I have to say, I haven't liked our secondary for some time now. If the asking price isn't too high, I would even trade a draft pick for a guy like Champ Bailey. Yes, I know he's getting older but he would have been better than anything we had yesterday (besides Taylor).

And yes, when we lose a big game folks have a tendency to go into panic mode. Regardless if we won or lost yesterday, I still would have thought this was a glaring weakness. It just hurts because we lost on the biggest stage.
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