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View Full Version : Realistically here folks, has the window closed on this defensive unit?



BlitzburghRockCity
12-06-2009, 08:35 PM
I'm not talking about the 2009 season, we all know this season is all but a wash at this point. I'm talking about the window that this current group of Steelers is playing in. Let's face it, we're not getting any younger at several key positions, with no clear heir apparent ready to step in and take over. This same core group has been together for a long time and perhaps an influx of fresh talent is in order. Perhaps it's a player here and there, or perhaps it's wholesale personnel changes.

The loss of Aaron Smith and Polamalu especially, has made it abundantly clear that the Steelers have allowed themselves to get into the unenviable position of not having taken care of business in the draft and free agency. It's clear Hood is nowhere near ready, Kirschke is old and doing the best he can, Eason is average at best. Hampton and Kiesel are having solid years, Kiesel especially is playing out of his mind, but beyond those 2 it's a sad state of affairs on the defense line.

Farrior isn't getting any younger, and after that epic season last year that afforded him the new deal, he has seemingly lost a step as the season wears on. James is a top notch LB, but even father time catches up with all of us. With Timmons in and out of the lineup, Fox has had to step up, and he played well but the combination of players at MLB this year has not yielded it's usual dividends.

The Steelers front office felt like Gay was ready to replace McFadden so they let Bryant go to Arizona, but it's equally clear now that Gay is in way over his head and that Townsend needs to step in and finish out the season. With the new NFL rules on concussions, it's a good possibility that Gay will be out for Thursday's game against the Browns, but even if he is ready to play, he needs to take a back seat because his play has been horrific to say the least.

The unit as a whole seems to have lost a step and it's always a second late to the party on any given play. Is the loss of Smith & Polamalu completely to blame; have those 2 epic players hidden apparent weaknesses on the defense all this time? Perhaps it's just time for the Steeler Nation to realize that this defense isn't what it was, even right up until last year and perhaps the window is closing faster than we thought. Regardless of what you want to call it, who you want to blame, Lebeau's unit has shown nothing more than mediocrity over the course of this season, with only flashes now and then of what they were last year. Perhaps they get back to being their usual epic selves in 2010, but who's to say what will happen then if the same 2 players get hurt and miss time again. Smith & Polamalu aren't getting any younger either; it's high time the front office start getting some solid heirs for them to groom.

Lebeau can only do so much; he's calling the same epic defensive blitz schemes, the same style of organized chaos that helped us win 2 championships in the last 4 years, but the players are not executing anywhere near what we're used to seeing and it's quite frankly, disheartening.

Big T
12-06-2009, 09:48 PM
Well we should be able to get some real quality players in the draft...1) because of the pick we will have and 2) because of how deep this class is.

SteelerRush
12-06-2009, 10:04 PM
I think this "D" is just worn out from the last 2 seasons. Aron Smith has been a huge loss against the run with teams gashing us. Troy has been a difference maker when he plays. When he is out we look weak in the secondary and poor tackling is part of it. I didn't think one man could make that big a difference but it has. I still think this team is playing winning defense and is playing better then most teams in the NFL.

Decisions by the coaches have been the difference this year. We are not pressuring the other teams offense late in games so they are having chances to make plays on our pass coverage. Also our offense is not finishing off the other team like we are used to.:2cents:

igor0190
12-06-2009, 10:17 PM
I know it's real tough to swallow what's happening right now, but you can't seriously think we are far from being a playoff team. We are just in a VERY bad slump that is likely going to cost us the season. Heck, the Titans lost their first 6...


Hampton and Kiesel are having solid years, Kiesel especially is playing out of his mind, but beyond those 2 it's a sad state of affairs on the defense line.

A sad state of affairs? We play a 3-4 and you just said 2 of the 3 are currently studs. Depth isn't great, but we just used a first rounder on Ziggy.



James is a top notch LB, but even father time catches up with all of us.


C'mon now... Harrison is still playing out of his mind at a pro-bowl level and he hardly has high milage on him.



The Steelers front office felt like Gay was ready to replace McFadden so they let Bryant go to Arizona, but it's equally clear now that Gay is in way over his head


Mcfadden and Gay split time for a reason last year and there's no way we could have afforded Mcfadden anyways. That's like saying Nate Washington was worth what the Titans paid him.

SteelCityKid5
12-06-2009, 10:47 PM
C'mon now... Harrison is still playing out of his mind at a pro-bowl level and he hardly has high milage on him.

I think he was talking about Farrior not Harrison?

Anyway, this is a problem. It may take a couple of seasons to fix. If you see our D it is old but when healthy they can still produce very well. We just somehow have to get back to closing games. Thats why I always liked when we ran the ball with a lead.

TampaSteelGirl
12-06-2009, 10:53 PM
Gay has been pretty decent in the past but needs benched now, Deshea...haven't seen him do chit in a very long time..Ike, I"m digusted with Ike. It think Timmons, Smith, Harrison and Troy are beasts....we do need some fresh meat though.

Black@Gold Forever32
12-07-2009, 12:06 AM
Gay has been pretty decent in the past but needs benched now, Deshea...haven't seen him do chit in a very long time..Ike, I"m digusted with Ike. It think Timmons, Smith, Harrison and Troy are beasts....we do need some fresh meat though.

Gay is a 3rd/nickel corner and there is nothing wrong with that.....I think he is proving he isn't a full 16 game starter in the NFL.....He is a good spot starter that can fill in like he did last year but is better as a nickel corner.....Deshea is ready for the pasture.....Its been a nice ride and he has a solid career but stick a fork in him.....We need to find out about Lewis and Burnett these last few games since we did just spend draft picks on these two......A ball hawking corner is a need on this team.......Only 8 INT's by this defense this year and the corners have none.....yep 0 by the freaking corners....So please lets draft a ball hawk.......I think FS is a huge need to.....Ryan Clark is solid but an upgrade would be nice....As for Troy yea he is beast when healthy but yet again he is constantly hurt......I don't care how great he is but he is useless if he always on the sideline......This won't happen but I would love the Steelers to trade him for draft picks....I'm tired of the pansy.......

coldrolled
12-07-2009, 07:29 AM
Gay is a 3rd/nickel corner and there is nothing wrong with that.....I think he is proving he isn't a full 16 game starter in the NFL.....He is a good spot starter that can fill in like he did last year but is better as a nickel corner.....Deshea is ready for the pasture.....Its been a nice ride and he has a solid career but stick a fork in him.....We need to find out about Lewis and Burnett these last few games since we did just spend draft picks on these two......A ball hawking corner is a need on this team.......Only 8 INT's by this defense this year and the corners have none.....yep 0 by the freaking corners....So please lets draft a ball hawk.......I think FS is a huge need to.....Ryan Clark is solid but an upgrade would be nice....As for Troy yea he is beast when healthy but yet again he is constantly hurt......I don't care how great he is but he is useless if he always on the sideline......This won't happen but I would love the Steelers to trade him for draft picks....I'm tired of the pansy.......

We dont score enough pointgs in the first half of the game against losers and we keep them in the game and wear out our defense with all our 3 and outs.

we are supposed to do that to other teams, them run them into the ground in the fourth when they are tired... sorry guys but we are tired and i am tired of a zero offense... im beating a dead horse i know.....

and>>> How many games has ratliff been gone???

BlitzburghRockCity
12-07-2009, 08:24 AM
Townsend is our best option for the rest of the season, he needs to take over for Gay and get through the end of this miserable year. Our DB's are bad enough right now, if we stick in Burnett or Lewis they'll get toasted even worse than Gay already does (if that's even possible).

We're not going to have enough draft picks to address the needs this team has, and since we fail at free agency over the last few years especially, this problem isn't going to get fixed in one offseason. We have a boat load of RFA's and UFA's heading into 2010, that we could see a very different STeelers team than we're used, which at this point might not be a bad thing.

They won't trade Troy, I know you'd love it 32..LOL. But with Clark's status in doubt next year, there's no way you go into a new season with 2 new starters at Safety unless you have too.

For the love of God please cut Carter, because he's not even a capable backup. The few good plays he makes here and there don't outweigh the constant missed tackles, and over pursuits. If you're going to fix the team, then go all the way and fix it right, not half assed.

DanRooney
12-07-2009, 08:29 AM
They have enough picks to address the secondary. Problem is our picks next year won't be playing until 2016, when LeBeau makes them master the playbook in German and Czechoslovakian.

FS/CB, NT, ILB, SS, someone who can play STs, CB, K

Miller83
12-07-2009, 08:44 AM
This defense is old and slow. There are only seven players worth keeping on defense are Polamalu, Kiesel, Harrison, Woodley, Timmons, Aaron Smith and Keyaron Fox. Cut everyone else. :tt02:

BlitzburghRockCity
12-07-2009, 10:29 AM
They have enough picks to address the secondary. Problem is our picks next year won't be playing until 2016, when LeBeau makes them master the playbook in German and Czechoslovakian.

FS/CB, NT, ILB, SS, someone who can play STs, CB, K


Then what do you with the again defensive line, the fact that Hampton might not return, and that Smith isn't getting any younger and has had 2 significant injuries in the last 3 years now that have caused him to miss substantial amounts of playing time. And what about the backup OLB's, if Harrison or Wood go down, we've got no one ready to step in. Cowher allowed this defense to get old and Tomlin hasn't fixed all the holes yet that are glaringly apparent at this point. If it weren't for Fox, we'd have no depth to speak of at all in the line backing corp.

Mike Tomlin
12-07-2009, 10:46 AM
I know it's real tough to swallow what's happening right now, but you can't seriously think we are far from being a playoff team. We are just in a VERY bad slump that is likely going to cost us the season. Heck, the Titans lost their first 6...



A sad state of affairs? We play a 3-4 and you just said 2 of the 3 are currently studs. Depth isn't great, but we just used a first rounder on Ziggy.



C'mon now... Harrison is still playing out of his mind at a pro-bowl level and he hardly has high milage on him.



Mcfadden and Gay split time for a reason last year and there's no way we could have afforded Mcfadden anyways. That's like saying Nate Washington was worth what the Titans paid him.

Exactly if we took advantage of our redzone chances we wouldn't even be talking about our defense. Our D plays great football for 3 quarters and then people pick apart the back end. If you look at the big plays thay have been right in spots where Troy would be. Troy is our closer he scrapes up missed tackles , he makes quarterback wait an extra second to throw which causes turnovers and sacks. Our D is like an engine and Troy is the oil. Now you can keep driving your car without oil but after so long your engine runs hot and then we all know what happens next.