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Old 07-11-2006, 03:53 PM   #1
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Default Steelers D-Line: Who Needs Sacks?

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You can't tell a lot about the Pittsburgh Steelers ' defensive line from its stats (or lack of them).

There were no Michael Strahans, Simeon Rices or Dwight Freeneys on that unit last year. And this year, there isn't even a Kimo von Oelhoffen.

Operating out of the 3-4, the Steelers' starting D-line registered only 5 1/2 sacks during the 2005 regular season -- roughly two games worth of production for Bruce Smith in his prime. Von Oelhoffen had 3 1/2 of them.

But the main duty of Von Oelhoffen, Aaron Smith and Casey Hampton was to stuff the run and occupy blockers, thus allowing linebackers like Joey Porter to register the bulk of the sacks. That's why they call it "Blitzburgh."

Oelhoffen will perhaps be best remembered by Steeler fans for rolling up on Carson Palmer's knee and knocking the Cincinnati Bengals ' quarterback out of the AFC Wild Card Playoff Game last January. Then he cleaned out his locker and signed a lucrative free agent deal with the Jets. The Steelers wished him well.

Not that they were unappreciative, but von Oelhoffen is 35 years old, and they had an able replacement waiting in the wings in Brett Keisel.

The thing is, Keisel didn't know it.

"I thought for awhile I might be leaving," the third-year pro from BYU said after finally signing a four-year, $3.1 million deal that allowed him to remain a Steeler. "And I wasn't sure if anybody else wanted me."

As von Oelhoffen's backup in 2005, Keisel's signature contest was the AFC Championship Game against Denver. The agile 6-5, 285-pounder sacked Broncos QB Jake Plummer twice, stripping the ball once from him in the process.

He's projected to start this time around, with Smith at the other end and the sturdy Hampton clogging the middle. One of the more interesting battles in the August camp, however, will be the competition to decide who gets to stick around and play a reserve DE role.

There's 10-year veteran Travis Kirschke, who had 39 tackles for the Detroit Lions in 1999 and has started on occasion during his two years with the Pittsburgh Steelers . There's 300-pounder Rodney Bailey, a former Steeler who opposed his old team as a Seattle Seahawk in the Super Bowl and then walked in through the free agent door as von Oelhoffen was walking out. There's Shaun Nua, a 6-5, 280-pound native of Pago Pago who played at Brigham Young and was inactive last year. And there's fourth-round draft pick Orien Harris, a 6-3, 302-pounder out of the University of Miami. The knock on Harris is his speed -- he ran only a 5.25 at the combines. But he has the Hurricane attitude, can shed blockers and is stout enough to stand up to the run.

And finally, there's Lee Vickers, the kind of player the Steelers love -- small school, old school, able to play multiple positions. In fact, he started out at the University of North Alabama as a quarterback before growing into someone who chased them.

Obviously, only two (or, at most three) of the five potential backups will make the squad, although some of the others might be stashed on the developmental squad. Kirschke can also play inside, Hampton's 3-4 position, while Harris is similarly flexible.

Don't expect a drop-off in effectiveness from this group in 2006. But don't expect many sack celebrations, either.
http://www.realfootball365.com/nfl/a...ine110706.html
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Old 07-11-2006, 04:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers D-Line: Who Needs Sacks?

But the main duty of Von Oelhoffen, Aaron Smith and Casey Hampton was to stuff the run and occupy blockers, thus allowing linebackers like Joey Porter to register the bulk of the sacks. That's why they call it "Blitzburgh."

The only intelligent statement in that whole article.
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Old 07-11-2006, 04:10 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers D-Line: Who Needs Sacks?

I actually expect the d-line's sack total to rise this year with Keisel starting at DE.
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Old 07-11-2006, 04:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers D-Line: Who Needs Sacks?

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Originally Posted by RoethlisBURGHer
I actually expect the d-line's sack total to rise this year with Keisel starting at DE.
Same here. This guy obviously doesn't know Keisel or our d-line in general. He probably watched him once....maybe twice?

When the statement below is all you have to say about Keisel, then I suggest doing your homework before you type up an article......

"The thing is, Keisel didn't know it.

"I thought for awhile I might be leaving," the third-year pro from BYU said after finally signing a four-year, $3.1 million deal that allowed him to remain a Steeler. "And I wasn't sure if anybody else wanted me.""


Wow, way to go. Weak article for the most part in my opinion.
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Old 07-11-2006, 04:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers D-Line: Who Needs Sacks?

Our defensive line is SOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooo under rated. They work so well in a 3-4, the 3-4 is based on the linebackers. Our linemen free them up so they can get the job done. They do not get the credit they deserve. Our fans know this, because our fans know football.
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Old 07-11-2006, 04:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers D-Line: Who Needs Sacks?

How many other teams drop DE into zone? Hampton could play for any team he gets doubled almost ever down so how is he going to get to the qb? Our d-line is one of the best in the NFL but in this look at my stats happy NFL we might not rank well. I dont recall too many teams putting up 100yards on us rushing and you cant do that with just LB.

This is crap I think Brett Keisal (sp) will tear it up this year with more speed from the DE
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Old 07-11-2006, 05:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers D-Line: Who Needs Sacks?

and, it's so important for hampton to get doubled up. once that happens, he frees up at least one other dude to come in on the line.

anyway, i'm thinking kiesel is going to be the man this year. dude's a stud. plus, he's a decent guy. makes him easy to root for. :)
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Old 07-11-2006, 05:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers D-Line: Who Needs Sacks?

True on Kiesel. and I know he has been packing on weight. But can he hold up against the run consistantly ? Good thing we can rotate people in to keep him fresh in his first starting nod. Feed him tidbits until he can prove he can be solid against the run...........
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Old 07-11-2006, 05:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers D-Line: Who Needs Sacks?

im thinking any of the de's we dont retain will quickly snagged up by a team either running or hoping to run a 3-4. while kirsche is probably the most polished and serviceable, his veteran minimum cap number could hurt him. i think harris makes the team just for his potential upside and low cap #
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Old 07-11-2006, 05:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers D-Line: Who Needs Sacks?

I would be surprised if Kirsche and Harris both don't make it.................
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