View Full Version : Steelers point/counterpoint: How good is the defense?

09-21-2007, 07:33 PM

By Scott Brown and John Harris
Friday, September 21, 2007

Steelers columnist John Harris and beat writer Scott Brown go back and forth about the Steelers defense giving up a total of 10 points after the first two games.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/mugshots2/jharris.jpg Harris: How good is the Steelers defense? Good enough to get Cleveland quarterback Charlie Frye traded to Seattle. Good enough to make Buffalo receiver Lee Evans look like Linda Evans following some tough hits in the secondary. Good enough to make San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith ask for max protection on every pass play this Sunday.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/mugshots2/sbrown.jpg Brown: In all fairness to Lind, er Lee Evans, he doesn't exactly have Jim Kelly throwing him the ball. In fact the one common denominator between the Steelers' first two Hostess snacks is each started a player that has yet to prove he is a legitimate starting quarterback in the NFL. Let's hold off on those "Steel Curtain" comparisons until the Steelers play against a Carson Palmer, a Tom Brady or even an Alex Smith. He was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft. By the way, the Steelers may have abused Charlie Frye through the years but they did a real nice thing for him by getting him traded to Seattle and out of Cleveland.
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/mugshots2/jharris.jpg Harris: Scott, I know you can turn a clever phrase, but how in the name of Bud Carson did you manage to turn "good enough" into Steel Curtain? There you go again, trying to put words into my mouth. After two games, the Steelers have yielded a touchdown and a field goal, and looked good enough doing it. No, they haven't been tested by a big-time offense, unless you consider that Cleveland, their week one opponent, dropped 51 points on Cincinnati. That's 44 more points than the Browns scored against the Steelers.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/mugshots2/sbrown.jpg Brown: Geez, I know math isn't my strong suit but I do know how to add (or at least I know how to add on a calculator). Actually, for once, I agree with what you are saying. The defense has looked great, and it's not the Steelers' fault that their first two opponents qualify as bigger stiffs than even you. I do reserve the right to withhold judgment on how good the defense really is until the Steelers play a team with a good passing game. Anyway, shouldn't Steelers fans be more concerned with the offense considering the lack of killer instinct it has shown?

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/mugshots2/jharris.jpg Harris: Wow, I'm impressed. You actually know how to use a calculator. Next you'll be telling me you believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. By the way, flattery will get you everywhere, but don't try to change the subject. This is about the Steelers defense. Repeat after me: D-E-F-E-N-S-E. Tell you what. How about we talk about the offense next week? The Steelers will be preparing to face the Arizona Cardinals, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be going up against Ken Whisenhunt, his old offensive coordinator. In the meantime, try focusing on the subject at hand. Defense, remember? However, I'll understand if you can't.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/mugshots2/sbrown.jpg Brown: What else is there to say about the defense? It's been great but it hasn't been tested and it might not be Sunday. San Francisco has musted all of 380 yards on total offense in its first two games, and geez did I put a ball on a tee for you when I pointed out that Alex Smith was a No. 1 overall draft pick. Had you taken a swing and connected you would have pointed out that David Carr and Tim Couch were taken first overall in their respective drafts. Maybe Alex Smith is legit. Maybe the 49ers were so desperate for a quarterback in 2005 that they took the better of two questionable choices (Smith over Aaron Rodgers). I do know this: Smith won't look nearly as good Sunday as he did the last team he played against a team with the first name "Pittsburgh."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/mugshots2/jharris.jpg Harris: David Carr? Tim Couch? Man, you are scraping the bottom of the barrel just to win an argument. OK, OK, you win. The Steelers current defense isn't the Steel Curtain, and Alex Smith shouldn't be mistaken for Joe Montana. Now where were we?
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/mugshots2/sbrown.jpg Brown: Hey, the defense could turn out to be a reprisal of the "Steel Curtain." At this point we just don't know how good it is but I'll give the Steelers credit. They beat two teams they were supposed to beat, and them beat them badly. Now put away your white flag.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/mugshots2/jharris.jpg Harris: No chance. You wanna crown me, then crown me.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/mugshots2/sbrown.jpg Brown: Another week, another victory for me. Just like the Steelers.

Black@Gold Forever32
09-21-2007, 07:38 PM
To be honest I think this defense has the potential to be very special.....I don't think it will be up there with the 94 Blitzburgh defense....Thats the best defense I have ever seen...I don't go back to the Steel Curtain days...I was born in 79...lol But I do think this could be a top 3-5 defense I have seen since my days of watching the Steelers.....

09-22-2007, 07:21 AM
I think this defense could rival that unit if they stay healthy. We've got the potential to be just simply outstanding this year if things work out. Trust me, I think the Blitzburgh defense of that era was the best one ever next to the Steel Curtain. ( since I can't remember that much about that actual era because I was so young) I have to go by what I've read and seen on TV of how they played. Having watched all the SB's that the Steelers have ever played in, and countless documentaries about the 70's dynasty teams it's pretty obvious that the NFL may never see that dominant of a defense ever again. Having said that, the Blitzburgh team was one helluva special defense and just suffocating to opposing offenses. If this current group of players continues to grow, the sky is the limit.

09-22-2007, 11:59 AM
I am really excited about our D. Yes we have played two questionable teams, but I don't believe we have seen half of what our Defense, LeBeau, and Tomlin have in store for this season. I look for our defense to have a huge year!!!

K Train
09-22-2007, 12:05 PM
lebeau is a beast of a coordinator, letting him do his thing is the best move tomlin ever made

09-22-2007, 12:06 PM
lebeau is a beast of a coordinator, letting him do his thing is the best move tomlin ever made

I agree 100%!!!!:tt02::tt02::tt02:

09-22-2007, 12:10 PM
This Steelers defense is flat out awesome. They stop the run, they got off the field on third downs and receivers have second thoughts when running across the middle or jumping up to catch a ball because they know they are going to get rocked by somebody!

I don't care that their first two games were against the Browns and Bills, those are teams we expect the Steelers to dominate and that is exactly what they did. Had the games been close then we might be questioning how good the team really is.

09-22-2007, 07:54 PM
lebeau is a beast of a coordinator, letting him do his thing is the best move tomlin ever made

No doubt ! When Tomlin first came on I was wondering how much freedom Lebeau was going to have in the defense but it's obvious that he and Tomlin are on the same page and they are working together in a great way.