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BlitzburghRockCity
06-02-2008, 01:42 AM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08154/886694-66.stm


Monday, June 02, 2008
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It's bigger and, according to the plan, will pack more punch. The Steelers' defensive playbook always has been one of the more intricate and confusing in the NFL under coordinator Dick LeBeau, and it might be more so in 2008.

Some of the newer designs are meant for one reason: Get to the quarterback. The Steelers have been among the best at that, traditionally. But the past two seasons, it's not the quarterback who has dropped but Steelers' sack totals. They dipped from 47 during their run to the Super Bowl in 2005, to 39 in 2006 and to 36 last season.

They've gone from Blitzburgh to Zipsburgh when it comes to sacking the quarterback, especially in the second half of last season. Halfway through, the Steelers had 25 sacks and a 6-2 record. In the second half, they managed only 11 sacks and a 4-4 record.

"I do feel like maybe toward the end of the year we weren't getting to the quarterback as much as we should have," said defensive end Brett Keisel.

Little surprise then that LeBeau and head coach Mike Tomlin are trying to devise ways to put more pressure on the quarterback in 2008.

"We have to put guys in position to highlight their skills and let them go," Tomlin said.

Toward that end, there will be lineup changes and schematic ones, too.

LaMarr Woodley replaces Clark Haggans at left outside linebacker, and he has shown he knows his way to the quarterback. He had four sacks while playing in just 80 of the team's 933 defensive snaps as a rookie last regular season, then added two more in the playoff loss to Jacksonville. Haggans had four sacks as a starter. Those six sacks ranked third on the team behind James Harrison's 10 and James Farrior's 6.5.

His teammates predict big things for Woodley as a regular in 2008.

"He's very strong," Keisel said. "I think once he gets more comfortable in our scheme and what he's doing, he's just going to be that much better. I definitely expect double digits from him."

More pressure from Woodley on the left side should provide more opportunities for team MVP Harrison on the right.

"Hopefully, he'll take some of the pressure I had toward the later part of the year, where they started keeping running backs in to block me on the edge, give me a bump," Harrison said. "They're going to have to give him the same respect that they give me.

"I figure through the first half of the year, he'll come out and surprise a few people on opposing teams, and, after they realize it, they'll have to deal with both of us."

Harrison's role will increase, too. The plan is to move him around more in the defense, along with Keisel, to try to further confuse offenses. He'll do more of what Joey Porter did before him.

"It should be confusing," Harrison said. "You're going to get looks where we're inverted or we're both inside. We're both going to rush, both going to drop. One might rush and one might drop, depending on what the call is."

The drop they hope to avoid is another one in their sack total.

"I think our defense is definitely capable of a large playbook where we have all kinds of things that we can throw at an offense," Keisel said. "We don't have to come at one team with one game plan. We can say, well, this team, you can get after them on the right side and then have a whole thing of crazy blitzes, you know. We have a veteran defense and, hopefully, we will do that."

It might get a boost from a rookie, though.

One reason cited for the dropoff in sacks the second half of the season was weariness. Other than Woodley's few plays, Haggans and Harrison played every down. The coaches said they would like to use third-round pick Bruce Davis as a situational pass-rusher to spell Woodley and Harrison. Davis had 24 1/2 sacks the past two seasons at UCLA.

"It has to be a collective thing," Tomlin said, explaining the workings of a good pass rush. "If you have one guy who has standout skills, offenses can make adjustments and do what they need to do in terms of getting it blocked. If you have a collective group that's capable of getting after the quarterback, making the ball come out on time and eliminating escape lanes, then you have a good rush and you can apply consistent pressure."

Reading posts like this just gets me excited to see what Lebeau is going to cook up for us this coming year. A great pass rush can mask an average secondary. Last year we didn't have that consistent pass rush and our secondary got exposed and combined with the injuries to that unit it just wasn't pretty. I expect our secondary to be sured up in 2008 and the pass rush to be worlds better than it was last year. A Steeler defense that isn't near the top of the league in sacks and QB pressures isn't something we're used to seeing. Blitzburgh needs to come back stronger than ever and so far it looks like we're getting some good pieces to that puzzle in place.

Steel58
06-02-2008, 09:08 AM
Can't wait to see what kind of scheme LeBeau will put in for defense:cope:

AZ_Steeler
06-02-2008, 01:51 PM
They need to change something because the last half the season was awful! Letting a QB stand there all day and pick an already weak secondary apart makes for a long Sunday afternoon. I'm not quite sure what happened last year, and I hate to blame it on injuries b/c then that's just an excuse.

DIESELMAN
06-02-2008, 02:23 PM
For the most part, it was lack of execution by our D and not playing the full 60 minutes. Hopefully LeBeau can get these guys back to being intense for the whole game.

ejsteeler
06-02-2008, 03:13 PM
The genius hard at work again! I am pumped for some footbal!!!!!! :cope:

ItAintEasyBeingPeazy
06-02-2008, 04:05 PM
Lebeau never ceases to amaze me, how he still comes up with new ideas for a defense after 300 years in the NFL is amazing!
Nice to finally get some fresh talent mixed in with some solid veterans,this should be a special year.

mental.apparition
06-02-2008, 05:58 PM
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Same shiat we heard last year regarding the Dick and his wizardry. Bouchette is recycling this LeBeau the magician story line.

http://www.steeleraddicts.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6534

I'll believe when the Steelers can put Brady on his back five times in a game that occurs after Thanksgiving...

ejsteeler
06-02-2008, 07:06 PM
Oh, I believe, I BELIEVE!!!!!:lol:

HUNT4SEVEN
06-03-2008, 01:04 AM
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Same shiat we heard last year regarding the Dick and his wizardry. Bouchette is recycling this LeBeau the magician story line.

http://www.steeleraddicts.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6534

I'll believe when the Steelers can put Brady on his back five times in a game that occurs after Thanksgiving...

great point, but i do believe we have better young talent at the linebacker spot this year.............

JensK
06-03-2008, 03:29 AM
I think what we really need is to vary our blitz scheme. It seemed like the last half of the year, all we did was to send the same amount of players on every single down.

Steel58
06-03-2008, 08:40 AM
They will get pressure on the quarterback:cope:

BlitzburghRockCity
06-04-2008, 08:07 AM
The zone blitz does not work without pressure on the QB. Many times it leaves the CB's 1 on1 or with very little help which can leave them exposed and as we saw last year if they aren't up to snuff that situation can kill you. Other defensive schemes can pressure the QB passed on the front 4 because of their size and strength and leave the CB's with more help but the zone blitz has so much movement, personnel and scheme changes on virtually any play that you have to pressure the CB as much as possible. If you're LB's aren't getting to the QB it exposes any flaw no matter how small.

Steel58
06-04-2008, 09:55 AM
The "D" needs sacks:cope:

mental.apparition
06-04-2008, 05:32 PM
The zone blitz does not work without pressure on the QB. Many times it leaves the CB's 1 on1 or with very little help which can leave them exposed and as we saw last year if they aren't up to snuff that situation can kill you. Other defensive schemes can pressure the QB passed on the front 4 because of their size and strength and leave the CB's with more help but the zone blitz has so much movement, personnel and scheme changes on virtually any play that you have to pressure the CB as much as possible. If you're LB's aren't getting to the QB it exposes any flaw no matter how small.

The zone blitz by definition doesn't often leave CBs 1 on 1. The Steelers in particular run very little cover zero by design. However, Anthony Smith likes to force the cover zero, but that is another issue. :banging:

I'm not arguing against QB pressure - pressure causes mistakes. More pressure is always better. Any type of blitz w/out pressure creates week spots

However the sack statistic is not a good barometer of pass defense success as much as Bouchette may like to portray it as the ultimate indicator.

Steel58
06-11-2008, 09:21 AM
The damn defense line needs to put pressure on the qb

steelcityrockers
06-11-2008, 03:10 PM
In the 3-4 Zone Blitz, the Line's primary duty is to stop the run, I think. The linebackers are the primary pass-rushers.

Steel58
06-13-2008, 08:46 AM
The d line needs to put pressure on the quarterback

K Train
06-26-2008, 12:44 AM
Can't wait to see what kind of scheme LeBeau will put in for defense:cope:


They will get pressure on the quarterback:cope:


The "D" needs sacks:cope:


The damn defense line needs to put pressure on the qb


The d line needs to put pressure on the quarterback

steel58...you just make me laugh so damn hard. i love you, never ever go anywhere

ejsteeler
06-26-2008, 11:27 AM
Needs to change his handle to "Shortandsweet"......:yellowthumb:

steelcityrockers
06-26-2008, 11:43 AM
It never gets old. Steel58, don't leave! Please don't leave!

TEEMONT
06-26-2008, 12:00 PM
steel58...you just make me laugh so damn hard. i love you, never ever go anywhere

I want him to write a book a on pressuring the QB with every part of the defense.

SteelerSteve
06-26-2008, 06:45 PM
They will get pressure on the quarterback:cope:




The "D" needs sacks:cope:


The damn defense line needs to put pressure on the qb


The d line needs to put pressure on the quarterback

HOLY MUTHA F UCKING SH.IT!!! This is just terrific, Steel58, I dont know how to say this, but I think I love you :hilarious:

steelcityrockers
06-26-2008, 09:48 PM
Steel58 is irreplaceable.

SteelerSteve
06-29-2008, 03:55 PM
Steel58 is irreplaceable.He's quickly becoming an SA legend :lol: