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    Your Brother In Christ Scorp's Avatar
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    Steelers notebook: Run defense establishes two franchise records

    Monday, January 03, 2011
    By Gerry Dulac and Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



    CLEVELAND -- The Steelers easily finished the regular season with the best rush defense in the National Football League and came close to finishing with one of the best in league history.

    After allowing the Cleveland Browns to rush for 43 yards on 17 carries in Sunday's 41-9 victory, the Steelers set a franchise record for allowing the fewest yards rushing in a season (1,004) and fewest yards per game (62.8).

    That eclipsed the old record of 1,125 yards allowed in a 12-game season in 1953. The former yards per-game record was 74.7, set in 2001.

    The Steelers came within 34 yards of tying the NFL's record for rushing yards allowed in a 16-game season (970), set by the 2000 Baltimore Ravens.

    Some other defensive highlights this season:

    • The Steelers were the only NFL team to allow just one run longer than 20 yards in 2010.

    • They allowed just two teams -- the New York Jets (106) and New England Patriots (102) -- to rush for more than 100 yards against them. No other team rushed for more than 75 yards.

    • They did not allow a 100-yard rusher all season and just one in the past 50 games.

    Dynamic duo
    Mike Wallace, who tied John Stallworth's team record (1984) of having seven 100-yard receiving games in a season, teamed with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to set a record. Their 56-yard touchdown pass against the Browns was the eighth of 40 yards or more in Roethlisberger's and Wallace's two years together.

    "That was just the play call since last week," Wallace said. "We knew we were going to run that play."

    Substitutes
    The Browns scored their only touchdown when they drove 88 yards in 12 plays in the fourth quarter against 10 Steelers substitutes on defense. The only starter left was linebacker James Harrison because there wasn't another linebacker to replace him.

    Did the captain of the defense say anything to his understudies.

    "Not yet; I didn't get a chance to talk to them," James Farrior said. "They're going to catch it all when we get back home."

    Looking ahead
    Here are the Steelers' opponents at home and on the road for 2011.

    On the road: San Francisco, Arizona, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Houston and the three AFC North opponents.

    At home: Tennessee, Seattle, St. Louis, Jacksonville, New England and their three division opponents.

    Dates for games are usually determined in April.



    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11003...#ixzz19zjkXqB6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scorp View Post
    Monday, January 03, 2011
    By Gerry Dulac and Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



    CLEVELAND -- The Steelers easily finished the regular season with the best rush defense in the National Football League and came close to finishing with one of the best in league history.

    After allowing the Cleveland Browns to rush for 43 yards on 17 carries in Sunday's 41-9 victory, the Steelers set a franchise record for allowing the fewest yards rushing in a season (1,004) and fewest yards per game (62.8).

    That eclipsed the old record of 1,125 yards allowed in a 12-game season in 1953. The former yards per-game record was 74.7, set in 2001.

    The Steelers came within 34 yards of tying the NFL's record for rushing yards allowed in a 16-game season (970), set by the 2000 Baltimore Ravens.

    Some other defensive highlights this season:

    • The Steelers were the only NFL team to allow just one run longer than 20 yards in 2010.

    • They allowed just two teams -- the New York Jets (106) and New England Patriots (102) -- to rush for more than 100 yards against them. No other team rushed for more than 75 yards.

    • They did not allow a 100-yard rusher all season and just one in the past 50 games.

    Dynamic duo
    Mike Wallace, who tied John Stallworth's team record (1984) of having seven 100-yard receiving games in a season, teamed with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to set a record. Their 56-yard touchdown pass against the Browns was the eighth of 40 yards or more in Roethlisberger's and Wallace's two years together.

    "That was just the play call since last week," Wallace said. "We knew we were going to run that play."

    Substitutes
    The Browns scored their only touchdown when they drove 88 yards in 12 plays in the fourth quarter against 10 Steelers substitutes on defense. The only starter left was linebacker James Harrison because there wasn't another linebacker to replace him.

    Did the captain of the defense say anything to his understudies.

    "Not yet; I didn't get a chance to talk to them," James Farrior said. "They're going to catch it all when we get back home."

    Looking ahead
    Here are the Steelers' opponents at home and on the road for 2011.

    On the road: San Francisco, Arizona, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Houston and the three AFC North opponents.

    At home: Tennessee, Seattle, St. Louis, Jacksonville, New England and their three division opponents.

    Dates for games are usually determined in April.



    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11003...#ixzz19zjkXqB6
    Not a bad schedule at all...

    As for the record, this one struck me the most: "The Steelers were the only NFL team to allow just one run longer than 20 yards in 2010" - WOW.

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    It's an amazing accomplishment, especially when your realize they did the majority of it with out Aaron Smith. That's as much a credit to Zood for playing well this year as it is for Lebeau and the entire unit. Troy gets a lot of credit for that too, his presence alone helps secure the run defense.

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    Starter SteelJunkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlitzburghRockCity View Post
    It's an amazing accomplishment, especially when your realize they did the majority of it with out Aaron Smith. That's as much a credit to Zood for playing well this year as it is for Lebeau and the entire unit. Troy gets a lot of credit for that too, his presence alone helps secure the run defense.
    hhmm maybe Zood is playing better then I thought. :P

    James Harrison - "Right now, you know, some people may want to jump on the Steelers bandwagon.
    Don't do that. We don't need you. We didn't need you at the beginning, we don't need you now."

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    Starter Goodfrom55's Avatar
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    Great accomplishment on that end but concerned because the Browns converted (4) 3rd and 10 or more opportunities against this defense. Shows how vulnerable the Steelers are to a QB and TE in good rhythm. Something to work on if they win in 2 weeks and face NE.

    Sorry for the downer, but I always look for a something to improve, no matter how close to perfect it may be.

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harrison92 View Post
    Great accomplishment on that end but concerned because the Browns converted (4) 3rd and 10 or more opportunities against this defense. Shows how vulnerable the Steelers are to a QB and TE in good rhythm. Something to work on if they win in 2 weeks and face NE.

    Sorry for the downer, but I always look for a something to improve, no matter how close to perfect it may be.

    The Steelers traditionally have problems covering TE's, it's been their weakness over the years more than anything. That's the main reason the Pats are so successful against us, they use the TE's a lot. The Steelers try to counter with Timmons or Polamalu covering them but then they leave themselves exposed in other areas. It's something that will need to be addressed as the post season starts for us.

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    Wow. Just think about what it would have been like if we had our starting D Line in all season.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlitzburghRockCity View Post
    The Steelers traditionally have problems covering TE's, it's been their weakness over the years more than anything. That's the main reason the Pats are so successful against us, they use the TE's a lot. The Steelers try to counter with Timmons or Polamalu covering them but then they leave themselves exposed in other areas. It's something that will need to be addressed as the post season starts for us.
    Other teams can do it, so surely we can with our superior athleticism at LB.

    Though, I would like to see us take another tack. Bugger trying to play it safe for 3rd and long situations. I think we need to rush more. Most teams that beat the Pats, that is what they do. Sure Brady will convert on a fair amount of them, but if you give him enough time, he will almost always find the open man, so you need to get to him ASAP.

    Man, I hope we get to play them just to see how this all pans out.

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