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Thread: The one play the Steelers defense can never stop

          
   
   
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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    The one play the Steelers defense can never stop

    The bain of the Blitzburgh 34 defense; the only type of play that has given the Steelers vaunted defense fits no matter who runs it. Dating back to the Cowher years this play has been the achilles heal of our Steelers.

    The Stretch play:

    How does the stretch play work?

    Basically, it involves the offensive lineman running toward the sideline, parallel to the line of scrimmage. The more the offense runs laterally to the perimeter, the more the defense gets stretched and the more the gaps grow.

    It also prohibits defensive players from getting their shoulders square to the ball because they're running sideways, making it harder to react to a cutback. For the Steelers, that is a particular problem because they are accustomed to playing a two-gap style in which their shoulders are square to the line of scrimmage and they read and react to the run.

    "We want to stay square," said backup nose tackle Chris Hoke. "When they try to run, we're trying to shuffle and stay square. It's tough."

    Ideally, as the flow moves toward the sideline, the offense wants to use the backside guard to cut-block the nose tackle and the backside tackle to cut the defensive end.
    For example, on Foster's 42-yard touchdown that gave the Texans a 17-10 victory, nose tackle Casey Hampton and defensive end Aaron Smith were cut to the ground by right guard Mike Brisiel and right tackle Eric Winston, respectively, creating the backside opening that Foster needed when he cut back to the right. That left outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley as the lone defender on that side, and he got caught too far upfield and missed the tackle.

    And, against the stretch, if one guy gets out of position, it can create a gap as wide as the Ohio River.

    "A lot of times, we sometimes are too aggressive, we over-run the play, and they cut it back on us," said inside linebacker James Farrior, who got blocked by tight end Owen Daniels on the touchdown run. "Sometimes guys can cut off on the backside, a lot of times they're fitting in a lot of holes. If the running back is patient, he'll eventually try to find a hole and that's what they've been doing to us."

    Looking for a sure bet? Expect the Steelers to see the play today against the Titans and Chris Johnson, another cutback runner who is probably the fastest running back in the league.

    "Obviously, it's a play that can be stopped because, if not, everyone would run it," said safety Ryan Clark. "When you play teams where that's what they do, they're going to stick with their plays. That's the system they have. They didn't put it in to play against us."

    It only seems that way.

    "As long as we stay gap-sound, technique-sound and learn from the mistakes we had, we'll be OK," defensive end Brett Keisel said. "We're going to get it until we stop it."
    That's what Bill Cowher used to say, too.

  2. #2
    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Gerry Dulac does a nice job of explaining just why the stretch play works. If you have an offensive line that knows how to execute it and a good back that has the vision to find the creases in the stretched out defense, it's a killer.

    The reason not every team runs it is because not every team has the personnel on offense to do it. All the good teams that run the ball and have the top flight RB do it.

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    Starter DIESELMAN's Avatar
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    The defense has got to be disciplined in their assignments and trust the other guys to be where they are supposed to be. Otherwise it's going to be a long day.....


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    Draft Pick pimplydan's Avatar
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    blithrock its amazing , i was just telling my cousin yesterday that I was afraid of that type of run. the Ravens and the Titans both hit us with 2 long cutback runs , 1 for a td last week .

    Watch out for Johnson he cuts back in a heartbeat ...................................

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    The players have talked about being gap sound all week long; they seemed convinced they can stop this type of play if they stay disciplined. We've been hearing that for decades now, lets see how they do today.

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