View Full Version : Part deux: Defense/ST

05-13-2009, 09:24 PM
I do this because I care

Bubble players in Italics

Nose Tackles

Casey Hampton-Final year of his contract. Getting up in age, and while never a pass rush threat, he is getting slower. Still gets the job done as a two-down two-gap run stuffer. Still one of the better players on the team.

Chris Hoke-The backup for what seems like forever. Smaller, but much quicker than Hampton, replacing him in passing situations. Has shown the ability to hold the fort for long periods of time when Hampton is absent. Could probably start for a few teams.

Scott Paxson-At 6'4'' 298 he has the size of a 5-tech Defensive End instead of Nose Tackle, giving him some versatility. He is too tall and too light to be an effective NT it would seem.

Defensive Ends

Aaron Smith-While he is getting older and a replacement will need to be found soon, he is the best player against the run the Steelers have and has some pass rush ability although he has lost some quickness.

Brett Keisel-A solid player who will do anything asked of him. Solid in all aspects of his game, though great at nothing. He is undersized at 275 lbs and would be best as a rotational player that comes out on passing downs and plays special teams.

Evander Hood- The 1st pick out of Mizzou. Personally, I thought he would be best as a penetrating Undertackle in a Defense like the Colt's. However, it is what it is and he is a decent pass rusher with good upfield burst. He should sit for a little bit to learn the 3-4. He is still fairly raw as a prospect. Undersized at 6-3

Nick Eason Not a personal favorite of mine although he had a good season last year as a reserve. Can play NT in a pinch. Isn't a good pass rusher; above average against the run. Solid guy off the bench but cannot be counted on for anything more.

Travis Kirschke Very similar to Eason except older and slower. The only time he really had to start for an elongated period of time (2007) he was an abomination and he too cannot be trusted to start.

Ra'Shon Harris Has ok size for a 5 technique (6-4 300), could stand to gain some weight though. Very raw player who needs help. Could see some time on the practice squad to learn the position.

Jordan Reffett He was on the practice squad last year I think, I honestly know not a damned thing about him or the two UDFA's, Steve McClendon and Jeff Bradley. If anyone has any info here, let me know.

Inside Linebackers

James Farrior-Despite his age, he is very durable and very athletic. He can cover as well as anyone and is a very reliable tackle. Isn't the best pass rusher, but is far from the worst. Doesn't have a wide variety of moves, but really that's nitpicking. Possesses incredible intangibles and a terrific leader.

Lawrence Timmons- One of the teams best athletes. Incredibly quick and very fast for his size/position. Good in coverage and can cover most tight ends and running backs. Good against the run, though he could stand to get better. Is a bit undersized and is best in space where he can use his speed. Solid pass rusher, though he mostly gets by on shear athleticism. Good on Special Teams.

Keyaron Fox- Not the best fit as a 34 ILB, but is fast and one of the teams best on Special Teams. Plays hard and with reckless abandon on special teams (*side note: from personal experience this is kinda required for Special Teams, but I digress.) Haven't seen enough of him on the actual defense to get a good look.

Andy Schantz-UDFA from Portland State. Undersized (6-1 235)

Tom Korte-UDFA. Apparently looked good in OTA's

Outside Linebackers

James Harrison- Reigning Defensive MVP. Dynamic pass-rusher. Spectacular against the run. Pretty solid in coverage. Excellent on Special Teams.

LaMarr Woodley- Very good pass rusher who is mediocre against the run and in pass coverage. Could get better in those areas. Gets a lot of his sacks and pressures from the focus on James Harrison.

Bruce Davis Very raw and very athletic. Was fantastic as an undersized D End at UCLA. Couldn't learn the defense last year and was inactive. Should at least play ST this year.

Andre Fraizer The most experienced backup. Tall and lanky build. Good on special teams coverage. Struggles to get leverage and get around blocks. A solid backup and Special Teams player but nothing special.

Arnold Harrison- A player that they must really like (been around since '05). He's had some injury issues and has been serviceable when forced to play.

Patrick Bailey The team's top rookie last year and probably their best Special Teams player. He got almost no time on defense last year.

Donovan Woods Showed promise on ST's last year before getting hurt. Is an athletic former safety who has some potential.


Ike Taylor- The fastest player on the team bar none. He is a good player, but gets by on pure athleticism rather than technique, which is at times painfully obvious. He can play with any receiver in the league as it is and would be on par with Nnamdi Asomugha if he was a more intellectual player. Also, he has stone hands.

William Gay- Immature jokes aside, he is an up and coming player who forced Bryant McFadden into a rotation last year. He is the anti Ike Taylor ho isn't a physical freak but is a heady player who plays with great awareness. Similar to Deshea Townsend in that sense.

Deshea Townsend- Old, slow, and really shouldn't be more than a Nickel/Dime back. He's a crafty veteran but can't cover taller, faster receivers.

Joe Burnett- A mancrush of mine. Very athletic and confident. Dazzling returner. Isn't the best tackler and is a bit of a gambler. A ballhawk who had 16 interceptions in college. He is undersized though.

Keenan Lewis- A big corner who is very good pressing receivers but may not have the hips to play CB. Could be looked at as a safety in time. He is not all that speedy and seems like he would have been a good fit in a Press Coverage/Tampa 2 scheme, similar to what Green Bay ran last season and, obviously, Tampa.

Fernando Bryant An average player who got cut by the Patriots last year when they had no one else. He has lost a lot of his speed over the years and never was that terrific. He has only 7 INT's in his career if memory serves me right. Is a bit of a journeyman.

Anthony Madison A special teams demon. He is not an ideal player (small, slower than preferred) but does everything asked of him. The teams best gunner on coverage units. He is the type of guy you like to keep around if you can, but is expendable.

Keiwan Ratliff A step slow. A terrible punt returner. I'm not a fan. Has the ability to make some plays. Was an ok player last year for the Colts.

Roy Lewis A training camp star last year, he has an uphill battle in front of him. Can play safety and corner which gives him a shot considering the dearth of safeties on the roster. Spent all of last year on the Practice Squad.


Troy Polamalu- An electric player who can line up anywhere and do anything. One of the league's best safeties. Has had some injury problems in the past though and has played...soft in the past as well. Still, he is a difference maker that needs to be accounted for on every play.

Ryan Clark- A ferocious hitter that plays a lot of center field due to Polamalu's roaming. An injury risk. He is very smart and rarely makes mistakes. Has good hands as well. A very determined player.

Tyrone Carter- A replaceable player who lacks athleticism. He is mediocre in coverage and against the run. Shouldn't start...ever. Solid on special teams though

Ryan Mundy- A player I knew little about last year and even less this year. He was injured last year in training camp which made his struggle to the active roster that much more difficult.

Derrick Richardson- Camp body.

I wouldn't be shocked to see them sign a safety. They are pretty thin here.


Jeff Reed- A drunk that is a notorious partier (check out deadspin). Hee's a good kicker too that has a good leg supreme accuracy and isn't fazed by much.

Piotr Czech- Cut in August


Daniel Sepulveda- An almost oxymornically athletic punter. He has good speed and hitting ability. Also has a strong leg and has perfected the Aussie Roll.

Dirk Johnson- This journeyman punter is extremely erratic and has lost his job on several occasions due to inconsistency.

Long Snappers

Greg Warren- Good snapper. Hasn't botched one that I can remember. Blew out his knee last year.

Paul Estermyer- I honestly dont care.

K Train
05-13-2009, 09:58 PM
again....great breakdown

05-14-2009, 07:31 AM
Great breakdown. The only thing I would say is that Hampton played with a groin injury all of last year, so if he can stay healthy, he should be better than he played last year. Hopefully, last year's underachieving of what we have seen from Hampton in the past was a result of injury not age.

K Train
05-14-2009, 10:05 AM
hampton dominated last year, he went from **** in the preseason to being the most dominate player off the snap on the defense....it was encouraging to see him not regress to much because NTs dont slowly decline, they plummet

05-14-2009, 05:13 PM
Super contribution; enjoyed reading it all.

Not an Eason fan, but he played over his gead last season. Hope Harris plays well enough to force Easpn from the team.

I hope Bryant is an early cut, because some younger player steps up.


K Train
05-14-2009, 05:16 PM
they rave about how great of an athlete eason is, and he did kinda get over the hump of sucking last season and had a few nice batted passes

05-14-2009, 05:21 PM
I do this because I care

And we read it because we care back...:yellowthumb: Nice read man..thanks.

05-14-2009, 06:17 PM
This is what I do when I'm bored, Peazy.

05-14-2009, 08:12 PM
This is what I do when I'm bored, Peazy.

I feel ya man...i like your work.I'd have to agree with all your assessments too. Can't wait till camp starts and see who steps up this year..Tomlin's all about letting these guys battle it out for there positions and it makes for good competiton.