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coldrolled
01-14-2013, 05:04 PM
Rooney: Takeaways tied to sacks

Posted Jan 10, 2013

Bob LabriolaSteelers Digest @BobLabriola



(The second in a series examining the 2012 season.)

In the process of describing the 2012 season as frustrating, Steelers President Art Rooney II pointed to the team’s minus-10 turnover ratio as the one statistic that stood out in any evaluation of why it all ended with an 8-8 record and no spot in the playoffs.

“Not to oversimplify it, clearly one statistic that stands out as a problem was turnover ratio,” said Rooney. “If you look at the playoffs, teams that are on the negative side of the turnover ratio are not in the playoffs. It’s really as simple as that. That was an area on both sides of the football that we fell short of, and certainly something we can improve upon and something we need to improve upon.”

Not only did the 2012 Steelers have problems generating takeaways, but only five teams – Buffalo, the New York Jets, Detroit, Kansas City, and Philadelphia – committed more than their 30 turnovers, and none of them made the playoffs. In fact, there were 16 teams that finished with a minus in turnover ratio for the entire season and only Denver, Minnesota and Indianapolis qualified for the playoffs. The Vikings and Colts were eliminated in the Wild Card Round.

“It’s a lot of things,” said Rooney when asked if he had an explanation for a minus-10 turnover ratio. “Focus is part of it. It’s hard to say, because over the course of a season a lot of different things happen. We need to make sure we’re on the plus side of it on both sides of the ball.”

The Steelers’ 30 turnovers can be viewed as skewed a bit by the meltdown in this area during the Nov. 25 loss to the Browns in Cleveland where they became the first NFL team since 2001 to turn the ball over eight times in one game. But what is more than a one-game anomaly is their takeaway total.

In 2011, the Steelers finished last in the NFL with 15 takeaways, 11 of which were interceptions. In 2012, they managed 20 takeaways, which was good for 25th in the NFL, with 10 interceptions.

The Steelers just completed their 80th season in the NFL, and only once has one of their teams finished with fewer than 10 interceptions. The 1940 Steelers posted the franchise low of nine interceptions, but that was in an 11-game season when their opponents combined for a grand total of 192 pass attempts. The 2012 Steelers got their 10 interceptions on 523 pass attempts by their opponents over a 16-game season. And by the way, those 11 interceptions in 2011 tied for third-lowest in franchise history with the 2007 and the 1939 squads.

“On the defensive side, the statistic that goes with (takeaways) the most is sacks and quarterback pressures, and we haven’t been where we need to be on that front,” said Rooney. “That’s something we have to get better at – we need to get more pressure on the quarterback, because as everyone will tell you that creates turnovers.”

The Steelers of recent vintage have been nothing like the units that spawned the “Blitzburgh” nickname almost 20 years ago, and as Rooney pointed out franchise history shows there is a direct correlation between the team’s ability to rush the passer and its success in forcing turnovers.

In the 2008 regular season that ended with a win in Super Bowl XLIII, the Steelers posted 51 sacks and 29 takeaways, and in the 2010 regular season that ended with a loss in Super Bowl XLV, they had 48 sacks and 35 takeaways. But there were only 35 sacks and 15 takeaways in 2011, followed by 37 sacks and 20 takeaways this past season.

Some of the decline in both sacks and takeaways can be traced to injuries.

In the last two seasons, LaMarr Woodley has missed 10 complete games with injuries and his sack total over that span was 13. Over the three seasons previous to those, Woodley missed one complete game with an injury and his sack total over that span was 35.

In the three seasons spanning 2008-10, Woodley and James Harrison each posted double-digit sack seasons every year, but in 2011-12, they combined to miss a total of 18 games, 17 of those because of injury with the other due to a one-game suspension levied against Harrison. From 2008-10, Woodley and Harrison combined for 71.5 sacks in the 48 regular season games. In 2011-12, Woodley and Harrison combined for 28 sacks in the 32 games.

“I don’t think you can sit here and say we had bad luck (with injuries),” said Rooney with regard to how health impacted the team’s ability to rush the passer. “We have to be better. Some of the individual players need to be better at pressuring the passer and as a team we have to be better at pressuring the passer. And the defensive backs have to be more ball aware. I just don’t think you can point to any one thing.”

Real Deal Steel
01-14-2013, 05:08 PM
He need look no further then his Dick Lebeau defense. He needs to continue his research and see how many turnovers lebeau's defense has gotten the last 4 years. He can start his quest looking right there.

Crash
01-14-2013, 05:18 PM
I can point to one thing: "Tackle the catch"

That needs to be changed to: "Prevent the catch"

Real Deal Steel
01-14-2013, 06:28 PM
And physically sitting Ben down and saying, " Look...when you check down to your third option, and it's not there, throw the ball away!!!!"

Crash
01-14-2013, 06:35 PM
From the pocket? He's not going to do that.

You can't tell a competitor not to compete. It's easy to say when you aren't on the field.

The key is to keep out of 3rd down and predictable all day. People don't realize it, but when we have a lot of 3rd down plays in a game? The offense really isn't doing it's job.

Real Deal Steel
01-14-2013, 09:10 PM
Considering Ben's recent injury history, he needs to learn to throw the ball away more.

Nolrog
01-14-2013, 10:31 PM
It's what I've been saying for ages. Pressure on the QB leads to QB mistakes, turn overs and defensive TDs. It's no mystery that we don't create turn overs; it's because we suck at pressuring the QB.

coldrolled
01-14-2013, 10:38 PM
From the pocket? He's not going to do that.

You can't tell a competitor not to compete. It's easy to say when you aren't on the field.

The key is to keep out of 3rd down and predictable all day. People don't realize it, but when we have a lot of 3rd down plays in a game? The offense really isn't doing it's job.

Easy to type this stuff. 3rd downs... i watched flacco and yelled at the defense to cover Boldin.. did they, no.. did flacco throw to boldin yes..

luck in crunch passes to wayne, flacco goes to boldin, ben likes miller, brady goes welker, rgii was garcon.. etc... they say everyone watches tape.. but the only defenses i watched jumping 3rd down routes was the Hawks and the 49ers

USMC607
01-15-2013, 02:55 AM
I can point to one thing: "Tackle the catch"

That needs to be changed to: "Prevent the catch"

Agreed. I see so many other teams Defensive backs preventing the catch or trying to swat the ball away, while i see the Steelers Defensive backs sitting there waiting for the catch to be made and then tackling the WR. :banging:

I understand you dont want to go up for the INT or Swat miss it and then be out of position and not be able to make the tackle. Not to mention its pointless cause some of our guys couldnt catch a cold (Taylor). But you gotta take a chance every once in awhile.

I will say that i've seen our younger guys K. Lewis and C. Allen do this more then any other DB. So maybe its changing a little

Get7With7
01-15-2013, 11:06 AM
Considering Ben's recent injury history, he needs to learn to throw the ball away more.

Considering the Steelers' recent history of failed runs up the middle, they need to get more creative on the first two downs so Ben doesn't have to bail everyone out on third and long.

cbrunn
01-15-2013, 11:11 AM
Yeah pass rush would help ... and Allowing the players to make plays instead of "fit into my system"

like you guys said ... Let the DBs to take chances, yes you may give up a big play now and then but you'll also get a huge play in return now and then

Also let the DLINE make plays ... like Ta'amu said in camp or pre season , He made a play behind the Line and got bitched at it , because that's not what Steeler DLINE does they hold blocks for LBs to make the plays ... Who cares who makes the play as long as it's made???

Real Deal Steel
01-15-2013, 11:14 AM
I don't like it when the nose tackle can't get a push up the middle. You help the edge rushers when you get a push up the middle because you make the QB want to step to his left or right, and go right into the edge rushers.

cbrunn
01-15-2013, 11:17 AM
I don't like it when the nose tackle can't get a push up the middle. You help the edge rushers when you get a push up the middle because you make the QB want to step to his left or right, and go right into the edge rushers.

You have players on the team now that can give you exactly that ... but the coaching staff doesn't want that ... they're supposed to take up blocks and that's it

Get7With7
01-15-2013, 11:22 AM
You have players on the team now that can give you exactly that ... but the coaching staff doesn't want that ... they're supposed to take up blocks and that's it

I wonder what the Steelers would do if they had JJ Watt on the D-line...

Real Deal Steel
01-15-2013, 11:36 AM
I wonder what the Steelers would do if they had JJ Watt on the D-line...

They would tell him to just stand there and knit baby bootys for the expecting wives of his teammates. :rolleyes:

Crash
01-15-2013, 11:44 AM
I wonder what the Steelers would do if they had JJ Watt on the D-line...

Tell him to occupy blockers and not be a "Superman" on this defense.

scudmissile29
01-15-2013, 01:43 PM
sounds like an olb/de in the 1st round to rooney

USMC607
01-15-2013, 04:09 PM
Tell him to occupy blockers and not be a "Superman" on this defense.

To think if we had him and thats what they were telling him to do... I would be disgusted...

Our coaching schemes and stuff like that is really outdated... The steelers are like old guys trying to fight the changing world, still using rabbit ears on tv's and **** even tho everybody is HighDef..

Still if it worked i wouldnt have a problem. But the past 2 or so season's it hasn't. So the fact that they want to fit a square peg into a round hole when all they got are triangle pieces frustrates me.

They need to accept change, and that doesnt mean they have to become a all out passing spread offense team like the pats. But they need some type of evolution, to both sides of the ball, and find the personnel that compliments it.

And for the love of god stop taking chances on douche-bags because they are talented... We never use to draft someone if they were cancers, or had a slight hint of off the field issues. Now we do it constantly and were getting burned....

USMC607
01-15-2013, 04:10 PM
And for the love of god stop taking chances on douche-bags because they are talented... We never use to draft someone if they were cancers, or had a slight hint of off the field issues. Now we do it constantly and were getting burned....

Thats the type a **** the bengals use to do...

LatrobePA
01-15-2013, 05:00 PM
Hey Rooney you don't say! Maybe if this team had a pass rush we'd be fighting for another ring... Instead we had a Harrison at 1/4 speed and an out of shape getting hurt Woodley.

coldrolled
01-15-2013, 05:20 PM
I wonder what the Steelers would do if they had JJ Watt on the D-line...

He is one reason why we need to power up the offense...

He played the Pats and the pats OL is so good they never held him the whole game, so he was worthless. did he get 1 sack?

USMC607
01-15-2013, 05:42 PM
He is one reason why we need to power up the offense...

He played the Pats and the pats OL is so good they never held him the whole game, so he was worthless. did he get 1 sack?

I seen him get 1 or at least half of one... But i think the was it.

Crash
01-15-2013, 06:12 PM
Watt played a good game against the Pats.

Goodfrom55
01-15-2013, 06:17 PM
I say the issue is Johny Mitchell, D-Line coach. He preaches occupy blocks, don't penetrate. Other D-Line coaches preach Tackle the ball carrier on the way to the QB. I truly believe outside of Watts, Kiesel is the best in the NFL at batting down passes at the LOS. Where most teams run sme type of stretch running game, the only thing that consistently beats the stretch play is...............penetration.

I'm simply hoping if the Steelers can keep Lewis, Ike and Cortez Clark and Troy in the secondary, it will allow DL to call more blitzes, etc. Pressure the QB, force him to get happy feet or throw it off his back foot, as long as our DB's actually catch the ball, there will be more opportunities for turnovers. . .Harrison comes back 100% (not sure if he will be back at all), Woody comes back a little leaner (Looks like a 4-3 DE right now), sacks equate to fumbles.