Is it still a "stop the run first" type of mentality in today's NFL?
Dick Lebeau and the Steelers as a whole have always lived the credo of "stop the run" on defense. First and foremost that is the primary goal every Sunday, every week regardless of the opponent. In a nutshell, if you stop the run you make the offense one dimensional therefore improving your chances for success. It's a concept that has served the Steelers well for decades; annually the Pittsburgh run defense is near the top of the league. Overall the defense is a top 10 unit in nearly every category too.
With today's offenses focusing on the passing game more and more, should the Steelers begin to rethink their focus on defense? One way to do that is perhaps foregoing the traditional big Casey Hampton or Vince Wilfork type of player and focus more on the ability to stop the pass on the way to run? Like other teams do? With the addition of players like Ziggy Hood and Cam Heyward who have solid pass rush skills but also the ability to hold up against the run, perhaps it's the way of the future. The Steelers already deploy many different schemes and personnel groupings that don't always involve the main 3 guys on the DL being on the field, and it's been very successful.
In my opinion though,the hard nosed, stop the run, mentality will continue to be the Steelers motto in the future as much as it is now. I do like the abilities of young guys like Hood to get after the passer now, it's a new dimension that they will need in this new NFL era. Hood is still improving and the addition of Cam Heyward is going to bring new possibilities to the line.
Just something to think about, and how that thinking might affect future draft picks.
(I credit our own K train for the inspiration of this thread. We've been debating the possibility of Ziggy Hood eventually playing NT for the Steelers in another thread and then the wheels started turning, LOL. )