View Full Version : Steelers' defense is formidable again

09-21-2007, 03:24 AM

The Steel Curtain is back, at least so far this NFL season.
It's a somewhat more compact curtain - Pittsburgh runs a 3-4 these days instead of the four down linemen of Mean Joe Greene's heyday - but it's still steel. And in the process of a 2-0 start, the Steelers have allowed a total of 10 points.

The heavy metal in the new Steel Curtain is 6-foot-1, 321-pound nose tackle Casey Hampton, a Pro Bowl run stopper. He's flanked by Brett Keisel and Aaron Smith, with James Harrison, James Farrior, Clark Haggins and Larry Foote at linebacker and Troy Polamalu, Deshea Townsend, Ryan Clark and Ike Taylor behind them.

So far, that unit has 10 sacks - from nine different players. They've also produced a couple of interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
The Steelers have also extended a remarkable string, putting together 27 straight games without allowing a 100-yard rusher (the last was Edgerrin James, then of the Colts, in a Monday Night game in November of 2005). The next closest was Rudi Johnson's 123-yard game for the Cincinnati Bengals early in 2004.

This week, the Steeler 'D' has its sights on San Francisco running back Frank Gore, who passed the century mark nine times in 2006. Gore, whose mother died recently, has been held mostly under wraps this season.
Why is Pittsburgh so difficult to run against? Hampton is a big (literally) reason.

The veteran from Texas doesn't get a lot of tackles, but he doesn't have to. His job is to wreak havoc along the line of scrimmage, piling up bodies like fallen logs and making it all but impossible for a back to run inside through the wreckage.
So they bounce outside, only to be hunted by some of the league's fastest and most aggressive linebackers.

All of this should be a big advantage for rival quarterbacks, and there were times last year when the Steelers did get burned for big passing games. A lot of that, however, had to do with fatigue. With Ben Roethlisberger under par and throwing a league-high 23 interceptions, the defense often spent a lot of time on the field.
Now, given time to recoup by a rejuvenated offense and frequently favorable field position by rookie punter Daniel Sepulveda, the Steel Curtain has been rehung.

09-21-2007, 06:05 AM
I think we could have been formidable last year had it not been for the total collapse on offense going 3 and out or turning the ball over, the poor play of ST putting them in bad field position, and the sub par play of the defense as a whole...ok they all stunk last year we know what :lol:

I do like where Lebeau is taking this unit and how well the players are doing so far. Im particularly excited about the return of the pass rush because that is the key for everything. If we continue to get after the QB it will help all aspects of the defense.

09-21-2007, 06:36 AM
I am still waiting to play a "formidable' offense though! I love our team, but I do beleive the jury is still out! i`m afraid we can get off to a quick 4-0 start, but we will still not know how good we are.

09-21-2007, 01:10 PM
... i`m afraid we can get off to a quick 4-0 start, but we will still not know how good we are.

When we played the Browns last year--both times, it was a tough, TOUGH game for our team, and they barely pulled out a win. The Browns were still the Browns--one of the lowest teams in the league...how many times did we fumble, how many times did Ben throw picks in those games? Stupid mistakes
that caused us to have to come from behind at one point if I remember correctly...

Fast forward to this season:

We BLEW OUT a bad team. We BLEW OUT a bit better team. Our point differential is 60 to 10. We have TEN sacks by NINE players.
Willie had a game that he didn't fumble. Heck--even Nate held onto the ball.
Big Ben has had ONE pick--in TWO games. (And I know you know all this, I'm just sayin it for effect and because it sounds SOOOO good :D )

What I'm trying to say with all this is simply that a LOT of the problems that caused us to go 8-8 have been either solved, or greatly decreased. And I saw improvement even from week 1 to week 2, so that tells me that they're fixing what's wrong--making adjustments, however small. Heck--they're already mid-season form.

So it's not WHO we've played--it's HOW we've played them :bigthumb:

I would say that we're "good" now, and will probably be "great" by the end of the season.

09-21-2007, 01:21 PM
We are a good team. and our defense is doing better because our offense gives it time to rest! Now lets get all wheels turning, and annihlate all our opponenets.:yesnod:

black an gold 4 life
09-21-2007, 07:14 PM
the blessing is were smashing teams were suppose 2,defenses can't figure out what were doing on offense, once we get the o caught up 2 the d we will b unstoppable, the defense looks better because mike has put his cover 2 n with that 3-4 the cb's an safeties r lookn great,we should b able 2 hang with the best offenses n the league we will b tested weeks 7-9, go STEELERS