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View Full Version : Would you rather see the Steelers defer, or take the ball first?



BlitzburghRockCity
10-13-2011, 12:15 AM
There's an article in the Trib (http://www.steeleraddicts.com/forum/To%20start,%20Steelers%20defense%20must%20find%20t he%20stops%20-%20Pittsburgh%20Tribune-Review%20http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_761583.html#ixzz1adEtyvEb) that talks about the Steelers deferring after winning the coin toss this past Sunday. Tomlin challenged them by making them take the field first but it didn't work out too well on the first drive. When you read the article you can see the logic in having them go on defense first. It's not like it's anything new; they usually deferred in the past. However in the wake of recent slow starts by the defense, perhaps the offense should get on the field first moving forward?


It wasn't coincidence that the Steelers deferred the opening kickoff last week against Tennessee.

Coach Mike Tomlin wanted to see how his defense would respond to a challenge he laid out during the week in light of Houston's 19-play, 95-yard touchdown-scoring drive to start the game a week earlier.

It's safe to assume Tomlin didn't like what he saw — a 13-play, 69-yard drive by the Titans that ended in a field goal.

"I know Mike T. was disappointed with what happened," linebacker James Farrior said. "It didn't work out so well, and we all were disappointed."

It has become a familiar scene, the Steelers' defense allowing opening-game scoring drives.

Twice the Steelers deferred after winning the coin toss and chose to put their defense on the field first, only to give up points. In all, they've allowed three opening-drive scores — two for touchdowns — and all when their defense started the game on the field (Houston won the toss and chose to receive).

Last year, the defense allowed three opening-drive touchdowns in 19 games.
"We are not coming out with the intensity that we need," Farrior said. "We have to be prepared for them giving us their best shot right out of the gate."

In the first two instances — opening week against Baltimore and two weeks ago in Houston — the opening drive set the tone for the rest of the game.
The Ravens scored in three plays and went on to rout to Steelers. Houston took nearly 11 minutes off the clock before scoring a touchdown.

"We can't do that anymore," nose tackle Chris Hoke said. "We have to come off of the bus firing."
Honestly, I was alittle nervous about them deferring last Sunday. As the article shows, doing that hasn't worked out so well for them this year. Although nervous, I wasn't surprised. I figured Tomlin wanted to see the defense step up right from the get go and set the tone. Although those first couple runs were pretty scarey they settled down quickly.

All in all though would you rather see them defer the coin toss or take the ball first?

mwittman5
10-13-2011, 12:48 AM
I like kicking off to start a game because then if you are losing you get it after the half and if you score before the half then you get the ball back again.

steelersbabex25
10-13-2011, 12:51 AM
Defer. Everytime.

DanRooney
10-13-2011, 02:39 AM
I'm glad Tomlin'saddressing this instead of the usual "throw the style points out the window, a win is a win" bullshit.

Steelers_All_Day_43
10-13-2011, 06:19 AM
You should ALWAYS defer because it help you no matter if your winning or losing at halftime.

SteelDad
10-13-2011, 07:43 AM
Defer. Everytime.

Yup.:goodpost:

IMO, the second half kickoff is more important than the opening one.

Rampage
10-13-2011, 11:03 AM
Whichever one sets the better tone for the game, because the team that scores more points is going to win the game.

:D

Nolrog
10-13-2011, 11:34 AM
Whichever one sets the better tone for the game, because the team that scores more points is going to win the game.

:D

Ed Zachary.

Maybe putting the O on the field first would better set the tone of the game.

Stone
10-13-2011, 02:07 PM
You should ALWAYS defer because it help you no matter if your winning or losing at halftime.

If this were true, EVERY team would defer EVERY time.

That being said, I want to see the Steelers defer because it's like a statement to the other team :here ya go, you take the ball, we'll beat you anyway"

Steelers_All_Day_43
10-13-2011, 02:33 PM
If this were true, EVERY team would defer EVERY time.
That being said, I want to see the Steelers defer because it's like a statement to the other team :here ya go, you take the ball, we'll beat you anyway"

....It is true. If you are losing, you get the ball first to try take the lead or start a comeback. If you are winning, you have a chance to increase your lead. There are NO negatives to deferring.

Stone
10-13-2011, 02:36 PM
....It is true. If you are losing, you get the ball first to try take the lead or start a comeback. If you are winning, you have a chance to increase your lead. There are NO negatives to deferring.

Then why would anyone EVER accept the ball? EVER?

Read this article and even if you disagree with his mindset, you can see that only 30% of kick-offs were deferred last year. If it were a no-brainer as you suggest it would 100% rather than 30%.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=clayton_john&id=6322587

Raleigh Steel
10-13-2011, 02:45 PM
depends on the opponent and maybe even weather conditions.

for example, vs. new england, i say take the ball and try to get the early lead. vs. baltimore, defer and put our defense on the field and hit them in the mouth early and often.

this week i'd like to see our offense on the field first to see if we can keep the momentum from last weeks games...

Steelers_All_Day_43
10-13-2011, 02:50 PM
Then why would anyone EVER accept the ball? EVER?

Im not a coach, so IDK

ejsteeler
10-13-2011, 02:54 PM
Defer. Everytime.

:ditto:

Goodfrom55
10-13-2011, 02:56 PM
I like taking the ball to start the 2nd half and if I'm Tomlin, I'm not backing down from my challenge to the defense to stop the bleeding on the opening drives.

BlitzburghRockCity
10-13-2011, 04:10 PM
One of the main reasons the Steelers always defer is because they want to set the tone on defense right out of the gate. They figure you aren't going to drive down and score on the opening drive against them so then they have the upper hand out of the gate to start the second half. Last year I believe only 2 teams scored TD's on the opening drive of the game against them. When the defense is on, this logic is sound. When the defense is not on, like we've seen most of the time this year, you consider taking the ball first.

steelersbabex25
10-13-2011, 04:13 PM
The only reason I could see a team electing to get the ball to start the game would be if they have an exceptional offense and a below average defense. See ---> NE Patriots.

Goodfrom55
10-13-2011, 05:04 PM
The only reason I could see a team electing to get the ball to start the game would be if they have an exceptional offense and a below average defense. See ---> NE Patriots.

That's fair, but if they take the ball vs an offensive juggernaut and dfon't score, then that's a problem.

I always deferred because I would like to try and get a quick score, even a FG before the half and then get the ball right back to start the 2nd half.

Stairwayto7
10-13-2011, 05:19 PM
Take the ball, we suck on defense that opening drive

Goodfrom55
10-13-2011, 05:54 PM
Take the ball, we suck on defense that opening drive

It's win-win, especially vs an offense that has a hard time moving the ball and scoring. Take the ball, march down and score, or defer and hopefully shut them out on the opening drive.

Pick your poison.

I still say defer.

--- Added 10/13/2011 at 04:54 PM ---

Never know, Jags might win the toss and defer to us. Then it is what it is...

RIVERS OF STEEL
10-13-2011, 05:57 PM
Take the ball.

DBR96A
10-13-2011, 08:10 PM
I'm more comfortable when the team defers.

Back in 2009, it seemed like they'd take the ball first a lot and develop a decent lead by the second quarter, but then the defense would start fooling around right before halftime and allowing cheap points, and then allowing more points to start the second half, so whatever lead the team built up was almost gone, and the opponent had all the momentum.

I'd rather the team defer, and either take or build upon the lead in the second quarter, and then use the opening kickoff of the second half to build even more momentum.

Black@Gold Forever32
10-13-2011, 08:20 PM
When the Steelers are on the road I like them to take the ball first so if they score an opening game TD then it could take the crowd out of the game.....At home defer everytime......

STEELyourface
10-14-2011, 12:16 AM
I'm pretty much always a fan of going on defense first, especially with our team, but in this instance I'm going to say I think we should go on offense first.

connecticutsteel
10-14-2011, 09:29 AM
The Steelers should always defer cause we have a defensive mentallity if the defense sets the tone the offensive result is better it is not always this way for other teams

SteelDad
10-14-2011, 09:52 AM
Let's not forget that wind and weather plays a huge part in this as well. Winning the toss and deferring allows you to choose direction to defend. I believe we all know this is a HUGE factor at Heinz.

Bottomline is that teams will choose what to do based on everything from home v away, weather, tempo, crowd, etc. I know what I would do each week and since I'm not the HC it doesn't matter.