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Chieferific


Joined: 24 Feb 2006
Posts: 4943
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:43 am    Post subject: The Right Stuff or Just Fluff? Reply with quote

An article linked from NFL.com. It's claiming the Steelers now have a "Title-caliber" Defense. It gives big props to Tomlin (I'm sure to the chagrin of many on this Forum) for what they see as his fingerprint on this Defense. It highlights some of the interesting pieces this team has and certainly entices one to become a little excited about the possibilities. But is reality or just fluff?
http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000817780/article/making-the-leap-pittsburgh-steelers-defense
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Steeler Hitman


Joined: 25 Apr 2006
Posts: 1795
Location: Laurel, MD
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Chief:

Good article. I do believe that the defense has the potential to be much better. I think four things will be the factor in making this come true:

1. Key starters and reserves remaining healthy. No significant or long term injuries to those players.
2. Making proper in game adjustments as necessary on both sides of the ball.
3. Allowing the personnel to play more man coverage with an improved pass rush outside and up the middle.
4. A good offense makes for a better defense.

I think the Steelers have a strong team and probably have a two or three year window to close the deal before Ben retires and some up and coming teams and youth begin to catch up to them.

My dream has been to see this team perform with all of its cylinders running on offense, defense and special teams. Our defense has been underrated as there were games last year that they outperformed the offense or kept them competitive when the offense sputtered.

I think this team can beat anyone (including New England) when running on all cylinders. It is time to perform. They just have to do it. I believe that the 2017 and 2018 seasons will be very special for the Steelers provided that those four components hold true.

If the Steelers offense plays to its potential they will be able to limit opposing teams possessions and time of possession while tiring out their defense and keeping our defense off the field as much as they were at times last year (the first Miami game is a great example of this). Our defense was on the field so much from turnovers and three and out plays, they wore down in the second half and scorching Miami heat.
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JLambert58


Joined: 30 Jan 2013
Posts: 2031
Location: Denver, CO
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right Stuff - for sure.

That 9 game winning streak last year was due in large part (aside from the OL & Bell) to the young defense learning how to play together and growing up collectively. (Averaged @16.5 ppg during that time)

The return of Dupree was huge in week 12 or whatever week it was. I'm still amazed they did all that without Heyward. I'm going to call my shot right now and say that Tuitt will likely be even better than Heyward. Shazier it seemed became more disciplined as the year wore on.

All in all, Colbert & Tomlin have been drafting defense heavily for a few years and it's finally starting to pay off. Obviously the addition of Burns, Davis & Hargrave last year was huge. If Watt & Sutton can come anywhere close to contributing like that, look out.

I think this is a BIG year for the team. Super Bowl or bust imo. All the pieces are in place now for a big run.
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warfelg


Joined: 12 Jan 2014
Posts: 3564
Location: Richmond Va
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fluff Piece!!!!


We have the talent that can become a title-worthy defense. Burns, Davis, Shazier, Dupree, Hayward, Tuitt, Hargraves are all plenty talented. But they havent shown that they are talented as a unit to get it done.
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jebrick wrote:
Quote:
Jarvis Jones signs with Steelers


Hahahahaha.

Jones' only chance is to go to Tenn. Otherwise he is flipping burgers this fall.
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FourThreeMafia


Joined: 28 Sep 2006
Posts: 63655
Location: East of Sixburgh
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

warfelg wrote:
Fluff Piece!!!!


We have the talent that can become a title-worthy defense. Burns, Davis, Shazier, Dupree, Hayward, Tuitt, Hargraves are all plenty talented. But they havent shown that they are talented as a unit to get it done.


We have the talent to win a title. We had it last year.

What we dont have is the coaching to beat New England. We play them the same way...EVERY...SINGLE....TIME.... The one time we played them a bit different in 2011....we won...go figure.

Granted, I do think we are lacking in certain areas talent-wise that would make it hard to beat New England even with good coaching (most notably in the secondary), if they would stop playing the ultra conservative, soft-zone garbage....at least we might stand a chance, as opposed to Brady and Belichick bending us over and going in dry.

The sad thing is, we have defensive line talent that could create an interior pass rush and force Brady out of his comfort zone. But no, lets just keep doing the same thing over and over....its bound to work at some point....ya know....probably after Brady and Belichick retire. Confused
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JLambert58


Joined: 30 Jan 2013
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Location: Denver, CO
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FourThreeMafia wrote:
warfelg wrote:
Fluff Piece!!!!


We have the talent that can become a title-worthy defense. Burns, Davis, Shazier, Dupree, Hayward, Tuitt, Hargraves are all plenty talented. But they havent shown that they are talented as a unit to get it done.


We have the talent to win a title. We had it last year.

What we dont have is the coaching to beat New England. We play them the same way...EVERY...SINGLE....TIME.... The one time we played them a bit different in 2011....we won...go figure.

Granted, I do think we are lacking in certain areas talent-wise that would make it hard to beat New England even with good coaching (most notably in the secondary), if they would stop playing the ultra conservative, soft-zone garbage....at least we might stand a chance, as opposed to Brady and Belichick bending us over and going in dry.

The sad thing is, we have defensive line talent that could create an interior pass rush and force Brady out of his comfort zone. But no, lets just keep doing the same thing over and over....its bound to work at some point....ya know....probably after Brady and Belichick retire. Confused


Brady's on the cover of Madden so I'm hoping for some kind of miracle. Like 2008. 40 is 40, even if it's TB. Something's got to give at some point.

(I know, pathetic that that is the formula for getting over the hump)
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CKSteeler


Joined: 17 Mar 2013
Posts: 10339
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tomlin and Colbert have done a good job finding talent. Tomlin and Butler do a good job on a weekly basis having the team prepared for most teams. The defense plays above its talent (whereas the offense underachieves).

There are way too many what-ifs on the Steelers defense for an article like this to be taken seriously. The secondary as of now is not good. The pass rush is still marginal. The DL depth is paper thin. Young guys who had good rookie seasons or who made some nice plays still need to keep taking steps forward.

I like the potential of Burns, Davis and others, but they haven't become legit players yet. And it's entirely possible they take a dip before that happens/if it happens.

And then there's New England. Nothing should have to be said there.
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Mike Tomlin, January 17, 2017 on the avoiding the Patriots in previous playoffs:
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Final: 36-17
NFL.com-BELICHICK OUTCOACHES TOMLIN YET AGAIN
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warfelg


Joined: 12 Jan 2014
Posts: 3564
Location: Richmond Va
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FourThreeMafia wrote:
warfelg wrote:
Fluff Piece!!!!


We have the talent that can become a title-worthy defense. Burns, Davis, Shazier, Dupree, Hayward, Tuitt, Hargraves are all plenty talented. But they havent shown that they are talented as a unit to get it done.


We have the talent to win a title. We had it last year.

What we dont have is the coaching to beat New England. We play them the same way...EVERY...SINGLE....TIME.... The one time we played them a bit different in 2011....we won...go figure.

Granted, I do think we are lacking in certain areas talent-wise that would make it hard to beat New England even with good coaching (most notably in the secondary), if they would stop playing the ultra conservative, soft-zone garbage....at least we might stand a chance, as opposed to Brady and Belichick bending us over and going in dry.

The sad thing is, we have defensive line talent that could create an interior pass rush and force Brady out of his comfort zone. But no, lets just keep doing the same thing over and over....its bound to work at some point....ya know....probably after Brady and Belichick retire. Confused


Exact thing I was thinking as I typed that but in better words. The talent is there but it's not being put in the position it needs to.
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jebrick wrote:
Quote:
Jarvis Jones signs with Steelers


Hahahahaha.

Jones' only chance is to go to Tenn. Otherwise he is flipping burgers this fall.
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Chieferific


Joined: 24 Feb 2006
Posts: 4943
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steeler Hitman wrote:

1. Key starters and reserves remaining healthy. No significant or long term injuries to those players.
2. Making proper in game adjustments as necessary on both sides of the ball.
3. Allowing the personnel to play more man coverage with an improved pass rush outside and up the middle.
4. A good offense makes for a better defense.

Nail meets head. Obviously injuries are unpredictable. Odds are at least 1 key player will get some type of bump or bruise. Hopefully those are few and far between and none are season ending. But #2 and #3 are the keys imo. The in game adjustments have nothing and everything to do with the players. Nothing because it's the coaches' responsibility to make these adjustments. Everything because these adjustments MUST fit to the player(s) strengths. This seems to be a weakness in the playcalling on both side of the ball at times. As for the scheme switch. They appear to be moving towards Man Coverage. Now does that mean 4 Quarters and 16 games. I doubt it but any change from Zone would be welcomed. Hopefully it becomes the Base Defense. Unfortunately I think they'll temper Hargrave and Co and not allow them to pin their ears back and push the pocket. I think a more conservative approach will remain. But it certainly adds another dimension to a much needed Pass Rush.
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Steeler Hitman


Joined: 25 Apr 2006
Posts: 1795
Location: Laurel, MD
PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

warfelg wrote:
FourThreeMafia wrote:
warfelg wrote:
Fluff Piece!!!!


We have the talent that can become a title-worthy defense. Burns, Davis, Shazier, Dupree, Hayward, Tuitt, Hargraves are all plenty talented. But they havent shown that they are talented as a unit to get it done.


We have the talent to win a title. We had it last year.

What we dont have is the coaching to beat New England. We play them the same way...EVERY...SINGLE....TIME.... The one time we played them a bit different in 2011....we won...go figure.

Granted, I do think we are lacking in certain areas talent-wise that would make it hard to beat New England even with good coaching (most notably in the secondary), if they would stop playing the ultra conservative, soft-zone garbage....at least we might stand a chance, as opposed to Brady and Belichick bending us over and going in dry.

The sad thing is, we have defensive line talent that could create an interior pass rush and force Brady out of his comfort zone. But no, lets just keep doing the same thing over and over....its bound to work at some point....ya know....probably after Brady and Belichick retire. Confused


Exact thing I was thinking as I typed that but in better words. The talent is there but it's not being put in the position it needs to.


I wouldn't call this strictly a fluff piece. I think that based on the pieces falling in place, the potential is there. Truth be told, I don't think that our offense has played to its potential the past several years. As stated, The Steelers offense has under-performed compared to its potential. No one has gotten into the why's? Is it injuries, is it coaching? Is it the suspensions? Is it a combination of all of these factors? The point is that on paper our offense should probably be the best in the league at this point and it hasn't!!!

The defense has played over their heads at many points and has actually kept the Steelers in games when the offense struggled or sputtered. Is the potential there for Heyward, Tuitt, Shazier, Dupree, Burns, Hargraves, and Watt to help take this defense to the next level? I believe that it is, we have to wait until December, January and February to see how far these two units go. No one has problems with saying the Patriots will be BETTER this year with the off season moves they have made and a 40 year old Brady at the helm. We are more likely to believe NE because they have the hardware to back them.
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Chieferific


Joined: 24 Feb 2006
Posts: 4943
PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steeler Hitman wrote:
warfelg wrote:
FourThreeMafia wrote:
warfelg wrote:
Fluff Piece!!!!


We have the talent that can become a title-worthy defense. Burns, Davis, Shazier, Dupree, Hayward, Tuitt, Hargraves are all plenty talented. But they havent shown that they are talented as a unit to get it done.


We have the talent to win a title. We had it last year.

What we dont have is the coaching to beat New England. We play them the same way...EVERY...SINGLE....TIME.... The one time we played them a bit different in 2011....we won...go figure.

Granted, I do think we are lacking in certain areas talent-wise that would make it hard to beat New England even with good coaching (most notably in the secondary), if they would stop playing the ultra conservative, soft-zone garbage....at least we might stand a chance, as opposed to Brady and Belichick bending us over and going in dry.

The sad thing is, we have defensive line talent that could create an interior pass rush and force Brady out of his comfort zone. But no, lets just keep doing the same thing over and over....its bound to work at some point....ya know....probably after Brady and Belichick retire. Confused


Exact thing I was thinking as I typed that but in better words. The talent is there but it's not being put in the position it needs to.


I wouldn't call this strictly a fluff piece. I think that based on the pieces falling in place, the potential is there. Truth be told, I don't think that our offense has played to its potential the past several years. As stated, The Steelers offense has under-performed compared to its potential. No one has gotten into the why's? Is it injuries, is it coaching? Is it the suspensions? Is it a combination of all of these factors? The point is that on paper our offense should probably be the best in the league at this point and it hasn't!!!

The defense has played over their heads at many points and has actually kept the Steelers in games when the offense struggled or sputtered. Is the potential there for Heyward, Tuitt, Shazier, Dupree, Burns, Hargraves, and Watt to help take this defense to the next level? I believe that it is, we have to wait until December, January and February to see how far these two units go. No one has problems with saying the Patriots will be BETTER this year with the off season moves they have made and a 40 year old Brady at the helm. We are more likely to believe NE because they have the hardware to back them.

While I don't see it as the typical Fluffy Offseason article it does have an overly optimistic view of the Defense imo. Calling it a Title-caliber Defense seems a bit overstated but maybe I'm reading to much into it. This team won't win BECAUSE of it's Defense. It will win because either the Offense blows out the competition or the Offense and Defense did just enough in a combined effort. It's exciting times for Steeler fans. Several young players are getting a lot of playing time. Players we were excited (or disappointed) about getting on Draft Day are getting into the action. The period between Draft Day and significant Field Play has gotten shorter. With that becomes the high and the lows. As for the reason the Offense underperforms at times I think the easy/obvious answer is that it's a combination of things. I do think Playcalling is a major issue. It tends to be waaaaay to conservative when playing "bad" teams. I hope lessons have been learned and the pedal is to the metal no matter the opponent. I shiver at the thought of where this Offense would be without Munchak. Lastly, the Pats get well-deserved consideration and I put that almost entirely on coaching. It's not just the Titles. It's the consistency year in and year out. 10-6 is a bad year for the Pats. The Steelers will miss the Playoffs after winning/playing in the SB. The consistency year in and year out isn't there. Though I will concede it seems to be a little more consistent as of late. Brady is great but Cassel, Garappolo and Brisset were pretty good in his absence. That's coaching and game planning. I can count on one hand how many times I think BB has been outcoached. Tomlin & Co? Rolling Eyes
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warfelg


Joined: 12 Jan 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It feels like the mid-Manning-Colts years.

This defense is built to maybe get a turn over or two. It's not built to completely stopping the opposing offense. Their whole purpose is to give the offense one or two short fields a game, other wise it's goal is to not completely blow the game.
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jebrick wrote:
Quote:
Jarvis Jones signs with Steelers


Hahahahaha.

Jones' only chance is to go to Tenn. Otherwise he is flipping burgers this fall.
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warfelg


Joined: 12 Jan 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chieferific wrote:

While I don't see it as the typical Fluffy Offseason article it does have an overly optimistic view of the Defense imo. Calling it a Title-caliber Defense seems a bit overstated but maybe I'm reading to much into it. This team won't win BECAUSE of it's Defense. It will win because either the Offense blows out the competition or the Offense and Defense did just enough in a combined effort. It's exciting times for Steeler fans. Several young players are getting a lot of playing time. Players we were excited (or disappointed) about getting on Draft Day are getting into the action. The period between Draft Day and significant Field Play has gotten shorter. With that becomes the high and the lows. As for the reason the Offense underperforms at times I think the easy/obvious answer is that it's a combination of things. I do think Playcalling is a major issue. It tends to be waaaaay to conservative when playing "bad" teams. I hope lessons have been learned and the pedal is to the metal no matter the opponent. I shiver at the thought of where this Offense would be without Munchak. Lastly, the Pats get well-deserved consideration and I put that almost entirely on coaching. It's not just the Titles. It's the consistency year in and year out. 10-6 is a bad year for the Pats. The Steelers will miss the Playoffs after winning/playing in the SB. The consistency year in and year out isn't there. Though I will concede it seems to be a little more consistent as of late. Brady is great but Cassel, Garappolo and Brisset were pretty good in his absence. That's coaching and game planning. I can count on one hand how many times I think BB has been outcoached. Tomlin & Co? Rolling Eyes


You bring up a great point with the bolded. The play calling on both sides is an issue IMO.

Offensively it's not just the conservative. It's that with a lead in the 4th we tend to stick to the same things: Screens to Brown, A gap rushes with Bell. The Pats are fantastic with conservative playcalling without being boring down the stretch. Fake screens to a little 5 yard flip to Gronk. Play action stretch runs with a cut back throw to the slot WR. Rub plays with inside throws. Conservative high percentage plays while keeping defenses on their feet.

Defensively it's the wrong call at the wrong times. 3 man rush with a 8 man drop on 1st down? 5 man rush with 6 dropping on 3rd and long? Both are terrible calls and happens way too much. Too many play calls with OLB's dropping and a slot corner rushing. It's just all a bit problematic to where it's easy to find the holes in the defense.
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jebrick wrote:
Quote:
Jarvis Jones signs with Steelers


Hahahahaha.

Jones' only chance is to go to Tenn. Otherwise he is flipping burgers this fall.
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MOSteelers56


Joined: 17 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

warfelg wrote:
It feels like the mid-Manning-Colts years.

This defense is built to maybe get a turn over or two. It's not built to completely stopping the opposing offense. Their whole purpose is to give the offense one or two short fields a game, other wise it's goal is to not completely blow the game.

Throwing another team comparison out there, Greatest Show on Turf. Great offense, opportunistic defense.
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3rivers


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fluff

until we get cover corners or coaches that ask them to cover instead of zone, then forget it. Simple as that.

If they sign Revis, and stop zones, then maybe. Maybe as in we still need the pressure and that is a question mark.

Too many variables due to question marks IMO. It could turn out decent, but with our coaches I say fluff until proven otherwise Brick wall
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