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SnakeEyes43
08-06-2013, 10:46 AM
http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000226719/article/pittsburgh-steelers-change-defensive-philosophy


An old defensive coordinator can still teach some new tricks.

Longtime Pittsburgh Steelers defensive leader Dick LeBeau is asking his defensive ends to rush the passer on the edge more than before.

"We definitely need to get more pressure up front," said Brett Keisel, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "There's been an emphasis more on [ends] getting on the edge rather than just pushing the pocket, getting on the edge and trying to make something happen."

This is a dramatic change in philosophy for LeBeau from recent seasons. The Steelers have traditionally been 3-4 team that asks their defensive ends to occupy blockers, do the dirty work, and let the outside linebackers grab the glory. The change is perhaps a recognition that the Steelers have more questions at outside linebacker than usual and solid depth at defensive end.

Keisel, Ziggy Hood and Cameron Heyward will be asked to push upfield more. This goes along with NFL trends where many 3-4 teams have "one gap" ends, whereas Lebeau has always asked his ends to occupy two gaps. Players like J.J. Watt and Corey Liuget are changing the way we look at 3-4 defensive ends.

"We've kind of changed our techniques [from] years past until now," said Keisel, who led the Steelers by a wide margin with 41 pressures in 2012. "In years past, when we had James and LaMarr, it was mostly just push the pocket, try to collapse the pocket, make the quarterback flush and those guys would be there to clean him up. That's what we were taught."

This change shouldn't be a shock. LeBeau, 75 years young, has made a career out of adjusting to offenses and coming up with solutions when his "system" isn't working. That's how the zone blitz was born.

To get back to the old Pittsburgh Steelers defense, LeBeau knows some things needed to change.

Real Deal Steel
08-06-2013, 10:56 AM
Good to hear that he's going to tweak it up a bit.

Moondog
08-06-2013, 11:04 AM
Hi all! It feels good to be on the site, haven't really posted in a while. Anyhow, I'm happy to hear that Lebeau is being more flexible in his approach, I think it will be good to make the d-line more aggressive, though they might get gashed from time to time in the run game. No risk, no reward though, the Steelers definitely need more qb pressure.

K Train
08-06-2013, 11:16 AM
Only way to make hood even a little servicable. Keisel is still probably the better end rusher though

NeilPatrickBanana
08-06-2013, 11:24 AM
the days of shutting down the run completely are over... im not saying thats a bad thing, but if we are incorporating more 1 gap principles, we are going to disrupt the pocket more, get more sacks... but we are also going to leave our insider backers in more stack and shed situations, instead of keeping them clean....

it's definitely a trade off I am more than happy to make...

I wish we did this when Keisel was in his prime...

K Train
08-06-2013, 11:32 AM
the days of shutting down the run completely are over... im not saying thats a bad thing, but if we are incorporating more 1 gap principles, we are going to disrupt the pocket more, get more sacks... but we are also going to leave our insider backers in more stack and shed situations, instead of keeping them clean....

it's definitely a trade off I am more than happy to make...

I wish we did this when Keisel was in his prime...
Keisel is a rare breed of 5 tech that can masterfully stack and shed but can also bend the corner and even stand up and play OLB in a pinch since he has really fluctuated his weight over the years based on what he has been asked to do.

Im ok with 1 gapping, especially because timmons has become king of run defense after years of horrible, to average, to absolute beast. If any single player on the team grew into his position its timmons.

Also, the corners and safeties are so good against the run and even thought harrison was the best run defender, jarvis could be that guy too because he was an absolute artist of TFLs.

A line of Keisel, Hood, heyward would probably be the best for what they are talking about, or possibly Keisel, Mcclendon/Woods, Hood. Definitely going to be interesting

Goodfrom55
08-06-2013, 06:13 PM
Also, one of the more successful ways to defeat a stretch running game is D-line penetration. Just wondering why the Steelers are announcing this to the world though.

K Train
08-07-2013, 01:19 AM
you dont just change philosophy, you change that on a week to week basis to be successful. This is a story you hear every year

coldrolled
08-07-2013, 08:54 AM
This defensive changeup will not apply to the QB weak teams... Browns, Bengals, Ravens.. they will have a run game.

this change up will work great with the mannings, brady, rivers maybe Rodgers if lacy doesn't work out. the teams weak at RB.

we shall see.