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Old 05-28-2012, 11:51 AM   #11
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Default Re: Dick LeBeau Will Have the Best Defense in the NFL...Again

With all the limelight on the "new" offense and a draft dominated by offensive picks, I feel the defense is not getting any scrutiny this off season. First, this unit is laced with older veterans on the wrong side of 30, (what I would not give to be in that age range though) Troy, JH, Clark, Foote, Kiesel, Hampton are all in key positions. We saw what injuries can and did do to us late last year and the fact is the older a player is even in great shape is more likely to sustain injuries. Also Vets are vets for a reason and that is longevity and experience and that means more games played which again take a toll on an athlete as he ages. Do not get me wrong the players afore mentioned still have gas in their tanks but I believe the key to the defense is how our younger players step it up this season including a rookie or two. Second I would not care if we take a step back on defense this year in statistical departments if we can just create more turnovers. Another year in last place in turnovers will just not get it. Turnovers are game changing plays and we made fewer than anyone last year. Hopefully the offense turns the ball over less and we can pick up some Ints. and fumbles this year.
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:28 PM   #12
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Default Re: Dick LeBeau Will Have the Best Defense in the NFL...Again

if i have to place money on dick lebeau or anybody else, my money is on dick lebeau.

i like our mixture of youth and veteran leadership. our one major flaw is that we have troy polamalu who i believe is the most irreplaceable defender in the nfl.

i'll take that "problem" any day of the week.
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:48 PM   #13
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Default Re: Dick LeBeau Will Have the Best Defense in the NFL...Again

Troy is a player who, when, healthy is as dominant a player on defense in the likes of L Taylor, R Lott, and Joe Greene. In the last forty years of NFL viewing I have never seen players on defense like the ones I mentioned, I have seen groups that collectively played to a high standard, such as the 85 Bears but as individuals Troy ranks up there with the best ever.
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Old 05-28-2012, 08:13 PM   #14
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Default Re: Dick LeBeau Will Have the Best Defense in the NFL...Again

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Originally Posted by Ricco Suavez View Post
Troy is a player who, when, healthy is as dominant a player on defense in the likes of L Taylor, R Lott, and Joe Greene. In the last forty years of NFL viewing I have never seen players on defense like the ones I mentioned, I have seen groups that collectively played to a high standard, such as the 85 Bears but as individuals Troy ranks up there with the best ever.
i couldnt agree more. i have often said that troy is the most dominant defender that teams have to scheme an entire offense around since reggie white and LT. going back 40 years lott and greene are certainly right there on top. if i could take off my hater cap i would probably include d. sanders as well.

troy is right there in that all time dominant group.

dick lebeaus great defense has been phenominal with a healthy troy to work with and i expect much of the same in '12. if sean spence were entering his 3rd year in the system, i think we could be deadly.
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:30 AM   #15
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Default Re: Dick LeBeau Will Have the Best Defense in the NFL...Again

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I love Dick (pun intended?) as much as anybody but it took him 8 years to figure out how to stop Tom Brady. I wouldn't count that as a bonus.
Up until last season we didn't have the CB's to play the press man that can beat Brady. We saw a difference in that game because we have young physical corners who can play press coverage.
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:16 PM   #16
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Default Re: Dick LeBeau Will Have the Best Defense in the NFL...Again

Dick LeBeau Has Both A Big Nickel & Dime To Spare In 2012

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 by Dave Bryan

With more and more offenses starting to use the hybrid tight ends like the New England Patriots use Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, defenses will be eaten alive if they do not match up with hybrid type defenses. The buzz words you will hear more and more this year, as far as defenses go, is “Big Nickel”.

Pat Kirwan of SiriusXM NFL Radio recently wrote about the “Big Nickel” and noted the teams he thought had the personnel to use it. One of those teams he listed was the Pittsburgh Steelers and it should come as no surprise as the Steelers used it last year in their win over the Patriots. We saw glimpses of it since that game and we will likely see even more of it in this upcoming season.

To recap, the “Big Nickel” utilizes three safeties, one of which usually plays down in the box and matches up against a flexed out tight end or stays in tighter if the formation is condensed to help play the run. Kirwan asked several defensive coaches about the three safety defense and the response he got was, “You gotta have the right kind of hybrid safety to do it right." The “Big Nickel” safety has to be able to play as a linebacker when the offense condenses the set, and of course, he has to match up on a flexed tight end when they spread out the formation.

The right kind of hybrid safety the Steelers used last season in the “Big Nickel” was of course Troy Polamalu. He played that role when the Steelers brought Ryan Mundy into the game as an extra safety when an extra cornerback was also brought into the game. This of course meant the nose tackle came off the field as well as a linebacker.

What is interesting about the game against the Patriots last season is that the Steelers defense was incredibly stretched thin in that game at linebacker. James Farrior and James Harrison did not play due to injuries and Jason Worilds was inactive for that game as well with an injury. Both Larry Foote and Stevenson Sylvester started inside and Lawrence Timmons continued to have to play outside in place of Harrison. If that was not enough, the Steelers also lost LaMarr Woodley in that game when he suffered his hamstring injury. At one point later in the game the “Big Nickel” defense featured Timmons, Foote and rookie Chris Carter at linebacker. Not the ideal personnel for the package, but it worked nonetheless.

Not only did the defense use the “Big Nickel” in that game, defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau also used the “Dime” as well with rookie Cortez Allen serving as a fourth cornerback on the field alongside Ike Taylor, William Gay and Keenan Lewis. While Patriots quarterback Tom Brady still finished the game with a 101.8 quarterback rating (a stat that gets more useless by the year), he was also held to under 200 yards passing and the Patriots offense gained just 241 yards in total. Gronkowski had 94 yards of that offense, but superstar wide receiver Wes Welker was held to just 39 yards receiving thanks mostly to Taylor banging him around quite a bit in man coverage.

While the Steelers defense will not have to employ the “Big Nickel” or “Dime” every week in 2012, you can bet that they will at some point. They also figure to do so with Timmons back inside where he belongs and a healthy Harrison and Woodley outside. While Polamalu will likely continue to be that hybrid type safety to come up and play in the box, you have to wonder if maybe rookie linebacker Sean Spence might be able to fill that same role later on in the season to help lighten the wear and tear on Polamalu playing down low. While Spence is indeed considered a linebacker by the Steelers, his college tape shows him flying around the field like Polamalu does. This is why you have heard me refer to Spence following the draft as a possible “nickelbacker” type.

As far as “Dime” defense possibilities go this year, the Steelers did allow Gay to walk via free agency and now Lewis and Allen will battle to see who starts outside opposite Taylor. Your fourth cornerback on the field in “Dime” situations this year, assuming he doesn't win the starting nickel cornerback job, will be Curtis Brown. Although Brown did not receive any snaps on defense last year, we did get to see what type of tackler he was on special teams, where he will continue to contribute in 2012. A few of the Pittsburgh media have also noted how he stuck out during the first OTA session last week. Even though it was just football in shorts, it is worth noting.

So while Kirwan notes that a few teams still are working on ways to combat the offenses that feature the hybrid tight ends, LeBeau has been on it for a while now. Not only does he have a “Big Nickel” at his disposal, but a young “Dime” version as well.

http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012/05...spare-in-2012/
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:43 PM   #17
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Default Re: Dick LeBeau Will Have the Best Defense in the NFL...Again

Quote:
Originally Posted by tony hipchest View Post
i couldnt agree more. i have often said that troy is the most dominant defender that teams have to scheme an entire offense around since reggie white and LT. going back 40 years lott and greene are certainly right there on top. if i could take off my hater cap i would probably include d. sanders as well.

troy is right there in that all time dominant group.

dick lebeaus great defense has been phenominal with a healthy troy to work with and i expect much of the same in '12. if sean spence were entering his 3rd year in the system, i think we could be deadly.
Troy is something. He is productive 98% reliable (once in a while he guesses wrong) but he does things you don't see others do at any position. It's great when you watch a game to know your at seeing one of the best ever.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:47 PM   #18
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Default Re: Dick LeBeau Will Have the Best Defense in the NFL...Again

nice article on the nicle and dime packages. when sean spence was first drafted my first though was that lebeau may tinker with him in sub packages as a big nickel variant.

Quote:
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Troy is something. He is productive 98% reliable (once in a while he guesses wrong) but he does things you don't see others do at any position. It's great when you watch a game to know your at seeing one of the best ever.
amen!
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Old 06-01-2012, 01:49 AM   #19
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Default Re: Dick LeBeau Will Have the Best Defense in the NFL...Again

Dick LeBeau - 5/30 Video from Steelers.com:

http://www.steelers.com/video-and-au...7-5d42ee075f5a
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:43 PM   #20
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Default Re: Dick LeBeau Will Have the Best Defense in the NFL...Again

Steelers News Bulletin: LeBeau vs. Belichick

by Neal Coolong on Jun 4, 2012



Random thoughts often go through my head during the day. One landed today to the point I wanted to scrawl it out and see how it took.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is well known for his ability to put his system first, demand his players follow it to a T and in that, utilize those players to the best of their abilities.

He is dynamic with his defense (serving as the defensive coordinator), presenting multiple looks through several successful seasons.

Dick LeBeau contrasts with that philosophy in a few ways. LeBeau is static in his base approach. There are wrinkles, obviously, but Pittsburgh’s base defense has been a 3-4 for going on two decades now. LeBeau does just fine getting the most out of his players (Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison wasn’t drafted, Joey Porter was a third round pick, Ike Taylor barely even played cornerback when he was selected in the fourth round), but his approach is much more consistent – conservative even.

Yet, both coaches have multiple Super Bowls, and will go down as two of the better defensive minds of their era.

Thinking about it from a bigger picture perspective, it seems Belichick’s philosophy really leans on his confidence in his coaching ability, eye for talent and trusting of his position coaches to execute an ever-changing defensive strategy.

LeBeau’s suggests he trust his players – longtime veterans like Casey Hampton, Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark – understand the defense he’s coached, and will always be able to adjust when necessary.

Not that either of them are incapable of doing what the other does, they just choose their own way. Lots of different ways to get from Washington, D.C. to Manhattan.

Maybe that philosophy hindered Belichick’s defense last year. They ranked at or near the bottom in yards allowed, and not particularly impressive in points allowed, either. His borderline amazing ability to maintain a quality secondary filled with younger, lower-level prospects hit a bit of a snag last season, and while scoring big on linebackers like Jared Mayo (first round pick) and Rob Ninkovich (very underrated free agent signing), his team’s pass rush was weak at best. And yet, they still made the Super Bowl.

How often will Belichick’s defense, statistically, be as poor as they were in 2011? They put up great performances in two playoff wins (Ninkovich did what the Steelers could not, contain QB Tim Tebow), and it’s tough to label their Super Bowl loss to New York as a defensive breakdown.

While the Steelers’ one-and-out playoff performance wasn’t a shimmering example of LeBeau’s excellence, they led the NFL in scoring defense for the second straight year, and that was with several veterans in the front seven missing extensive time (every week, a starter was missing and each front seven starter missed at least one game, except ILB Lawrence Timmons - but he was moved out of position due to those injuries several times). They led the league in scoring and pass yards allowed, but they were among the bottom half of the league in sacks, and had, I believe, the lowest takeaway total ever for a playoff team. It’s hard to say this defense will be much, if any, less than what it was last year.

Doesn’t it seem as if these two teams – both with reason to believe their offenses will score a fair amount of points this year – are on a collision course? Is this finally the year for two of the game’s best over the last 11 seasons to square off one more time in the playoffs? The Harrisons and the Bradys and the Polamalus and the Wilforks, and the other last-standing members of dynasty-level teams, doing battle to settle it all? Maybe I’ve just wiped the dust off some bad 2001 memories courtesy of Mr. DeFeo’s column on Kordell Stewart, but I think the Patriots and Steelers will square off twice this year.

And the second one will be epic.

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com...hick#storyjump
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