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Thread: Could be the same Steelers secondary as 2010

          
   
   
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  1. #1
    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Could be the same Steelers secondary as 2010

    No matter how it is dissected, the Steelers defense does just about everything but stop traffic on the Parkway. They stop the run, sack the quarterback and disrupt the pass better than any team in the National Football League, though the latter might come as a surprise to people who want to deride their secondary.

    In a season in which their defensive performance was as complete as any in team history, the Steelers led the league in scoring (232), rushing (62.8 yards per game) and sacks (48); were second in opposing passer rating (73.1); and were second in the AFC with 21 interceptions.

    Nonetheless, after the Green Bay Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers zipped through their defense in Super Bowl XLV, the secondary has absorbed nearly as much criticism as gas prices. And it's the cornerbacks who receive the brunt of the blame, especially Bryant McFadden and nickel back William Gay, each of whom were targeted by Rodgers and repeatedly picked on in a 31-25 loss to the Packers.

    "A lot of people pinpoint that game, but we played against an outstanding offense," McFadden said. "When you look at what they did, they executed on all cylinders throughout the playoffs and we didn't play as well as we did. But we had plays and we were still in position to win the game."

    Then McFadden added, "We take a lot of blows. It's the nature of the business."
    Six months later, it appears the Steelers are prepared to head into the season with the same trio of cornerbacks who lined up in the Super Bowl. They re-signed Ike Taylor, their best corner, to a new contract -- a move considered a top priority after the conclusion of the lockout. And they decided to bring back Gay, who was an unrestricted free agent, for one more season as their nickel back.

    Sure, the Steelers drafted two cornerbacks with back-to-back picks in April -- Curtis Brown of Texas in the third round and Cortez Allen of The Citadel in the fourth -- but neither is even close to being ready to move out McFadden as the starting left cornerback. Brown and Allen have missed the past couple days of training camp with injuries, further delaying any chance they might have of supplanting Gay as the nickel back.

    Safety Ryan Clark said the cornerbacks get a bad rap and are overshadowed in the Steelers defense because it's the only position that hasn't had a player in the Pro Bowl.

    "I think our corners do a good job," Clark said. "I think we need to make more plays out there for people to see. I think it's hard when you have a Troy Polamalu who plays safety and makes all those plays. They look at corners in a different way.
    "It's a weird deal, but the blame has to go somewhere when something goes wrong I guess."

    Indeed, the Steelers trailed only the New England Patriots (25) in the AFC in interceptions, but cornerbacks accounted for just five of their 21 interceptions. And while their opposing passer rating was bested only by the Packers (67.2) in the regular season, the secondary became downright accommodating when they faced an elite quarterback.

    Consider:
    Drew Brees (305 yards), Tom Brady (350) and Rodgers (304) combined to complete nearly 70 percent of their passes (88 of 126) for 959 yards and eight touchdowns in three games against them. The opposing passer rating in those games was 137.6 -- 64 points above their season average of 73.1.

    "That's football," Gay said. "You're the only one out of the front seven, the only one that the fans can really see. They know if you get beat here or beat there, you must not be doing something right. But they don't understand what goes on, as far as seven on seven, so they look at the cornerbacks in the secondary and say it's their fault."
    It's probably not going to stop, either, not until the fans see plays of a more positive nature. Taylor makes them all the time, but he doesn't intercept passes. In fact, cornerbacks have accounted for only 13 interceptions in the past three seasons.
    "I guess sometimes we feel as though we're probably the ones getting picked on by the media or whatever, but it comes with the territory," McFadden said. "We got some incredible beasts in front of us so they should get all the praise. We got to be the guys on the back end who get all the lashes all the time

    From the PG

  2. #2
    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    I get the whole, the corners have a tough job thing. They are on an island, they only get help from their own group a lot of the time. They are expected to take care of their man one on one in key situations.

    My issue is here that all too often McFadden and Gay were getting burnt like a chicken left on the grill. They were out of position, couldn't recover before it was too late, you name it. The fact is, there is no excuse. You take care of business or you don't last in this league. Unless you play for the Steelers of course, then you suffer through poor cornerback play on one side of the field for years because you don't draft a top flight corner. You try and get back with lower tier picks or guys that once had it.

    I was as excited as anyone when McFadden came back, but so far injury or not, he hasn't gotten it done. Maybe he gets back to his old self this year? Unless Gay is coming off the corner on a blitz, I have zero confidence in him to make the play. Maybe he improves again and is now a force in the secondary? Again, hoping beyond all hope?

    I know, I'm just venting but hoping the secondary steps up is getting old. It's not like the Safeties are without fault, we know that too. The whole group, for all the talent, just seems to make 1 big play and then 2 or 3 epic blunders at the worst times. They win inspite of the secondary play instead of because of it. It's one thing to win in the regular season against offenses that don't pass that often. Offenses that don't have the talent at WR that top flight offenses do. If you can't hang with the Patriots or Packers, in the passing game on defense, then something is wrong and it's time to fix it!!

    If the young guys aren't ready, perhaps by mid season we start to see one or both them beginning to step up and get more reps.
    Last edited by BlitzburghRockCity; 08-08-2011 at 11:53 PM.

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    Soooooo if these guys would make plays instead of getting burnt and outplayed then it would be a different secondary? Ok I'll bite.....then make the ****ing plays!! Hold onto the INT's!! Make the tackles!! Don't bite on pump fakes!! Play your position!! That's not asking for much, be better then the guy your lined up against. Have the desire and the will to be the best CB in the NFL. Heart, desire and the right attitude goes a long ways.


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    Veteran DanRooney's Avatar
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    I don't think Brees had a very good game against us. It kind of irks me how he gets lumped in there with the myth of Peyton Manning. They scored 20 points, and one TD came on a short field after a uncharacteristic Heath Miller fumble. The game was very low scoring and close up until the final 10 minutes of the 4th qurter.

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    Assistant Coach RIVERS OF STEEL's Avatar
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    Can they out think the opponent? Even a little bit better than last year. It always takes that little bit extra.

    And their fans.

  7. #7
    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Yeah that Saints game irks me too. The Steelers had that one won and then some mental errors in the secondary and a late touchdown and it sealed our fate. That game was close till the end.

    In the super bowl our secondary was shredded. You can say what you want about them being on their game or whatever, but the Steelers personnel doesn't match up well against an elite passing team, it never has.

    Now teams like the Patriots and Packers, who can throw the ball against us at will, it seems like they are just content to let be what it is. I know that's not their mindset but in the end the defense just can't hang with those teams with multiple weapons and a top rated QB. They haven't been able to it since Cowher was there and they can't do it now.

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    Veteran connecticutsteel's Avatar
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    I don't think it will be the same i think lewis and butler will get some reps . how else can they be evaluated not at practice only so i'm not concerned especially because troy will be better this year

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    Yeah I kinda figured we'd have the "same" secondary as last year when we didnt bring in any vets. Not to mention I didnt reall expect the rooks to contribute that much in the first half of the season, now they have been battling tweaks and pulls, putting them farther behind. I just hope we can strike gold with one of the 4 CBs weve drafted over the last 3 years...
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  10. #10
    K Train's Avatar
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    i dont think so, i think we'll see some new faces even if the starters are the same. Butler, Brown, Lewis? maybe?

    no way they roll with clark and bmac full time an no way troy finishes a season

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