View Full Version : Trib: Banged up secondary struggling

11-14-2006, 01:05 AM

No sight better summed up the kind of game it had been for the defensive backs Sunday than a groggy Tyrone Carter making his way to the Steelers sideline near the end of it.
Like Carter, the secondary wobbled but, ultimately, made plays when the Steelers had to have them in a 38-31 win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at Heinz Field.

Carter forced a fumble that free safety Ryan Clark recovered at the Steelers' 25-yard line with less than a minute to play.

His hit on Saints wide receiver Terrance Copper preserved the victory that snapped a three-game losing streak, but it may have raised as many questions as it answered.

Foremost among those is the state of the secondary.

Physically, it was battered and was all but held together by duct tape in the second half Sunday.

Strong safety Troy Polamalu and cornerback Deshea Townsend left the game in the first half with concussions. Their status for this Sunday's game at Cleveland figures to be addressed today when Steelers coach Bill Cowher holds his weekly news conference.

If the health of the defensive backs isn't enough of a concern, the Steelers looked as vulnerable against the pass as they have all season.

And that is saying something, considering the Steelers have allowed two different quarterbacks to throw four touchdown passes in a game. And they gave up three touchdowns to Jake Plummer, the lowest-rated passer in the AFC, in a recent loss to the Denver Broncos.

The Saints were without wide receiver Joe Horn, but the loss of the four-time Pro Bowler didn't slow down their passing attack.

Drew Brees, who leads the NFL in passing yards, lit up the Steelers. The secondary, particularly cornerback Ike Taylor, also had no answer for rookie sensation Marques Colston, who finished with 10 catches for 169 yards.

Not that the defensive backs were solely to blame for the 398 passing yards surrendered

The Steelers didn't generate a consistent pass rush, and when they did get to Brees, he usually was able to get away and step up in the pocket.

It also didn't help that Carter and seldom-used rookies Anthony Smith and Anthony Madison played most of the second half because of injuries and the frequency with which the Saints threw the ball.

"Out of everybody, I played the worst," said Clark, who recovered two fumbles and had six tackles. "I think the young guys came in, stepped up and played well."

This unit better get healthy and get their asses in gear. Drew Brees is a pro bowl QB but the way their playing anybody can torch them. They need to step up big time and in a hurry. Ive never seen a secondary get so abused and beat up as ours is this year.

11-14-2006, 01:20 AM
We need to get our pass rush going to give these guys a chance. If we don't it will be the same thing every week.

11-14-2006, 01:26 AM
You're exactly right. We've never had a problem with our pass rush this bad. We're just not executing the blitzes and getting off the blocks fast enough. WE've gotten close tons of times but we keep missing the mark. That has got to change to give our DB's a chance.

House of Steel
11-14-2006, 09:49 AM
I think they will get back into things against the Browns this weekend. I expect a high scoring Steelers game and a very low output from the Browns. You also have to remember the Brown's secondary get torched more than we do. Ben will have a monster game and so will Willie.

11-14-2006, 10:35 AM
The key is besides the turnovers, is to get on top early and get the crowd out of it. When you're on the road in a hostile environment its important to score first and get going quickly.

House of Steel
11-14-2006, 10:48 AM
Shouldn't be a problem, I hope. Watch me regret this for not going to the game live.

11-14-2006, 11:29 AM
The secondary is really starting to be exposed... which is another characteristic of the 03 team which we have been comparing this 06 team to!

It's hard to place all the blame on the secondary though when the guys in the trenches and the blitzers can't get to the QB. As long as they can get the pressure applied then the secondary is fine.