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Thread: Can the Steelers defense be legendary in 2012?

          
   
   
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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Can the Steelers defense be legendary in 2012?

    Is this Steelers defense for 2012 capable of being "legendary" ? That's what they are striving for this season. This article from Alan Robinson from the Trib. talks about the players and their expectations.

    There are alterations all around them, yet nothing has changed for the old-reliable Steelers’ defensive regulars. They don’t expect to be good, they expect to be the best. And they certainly anticipate being better than last season, when they were No. 1 statistically in the NFL.

    “We are striving to be legendary,” safety Ryan Clark said of the defense’s not-immodest expectations.

    They still have an age-old problem; with an average age of 30, they could be the NFL’s oldest defense. They might start the season in less than two weeks without injured outside linebacker James Harrison, the disruptive pass rusher whose edginess not just personifies the Steelers but energizes them.

    They also are without James Farrior, the longtime captain whose retirement has stripped them of some of their character, continuity and cohesiveness.

    Regardless, the Steelers still believe in coach Mike Tomlin’s oft-repeated mantra: The standard is the standard. And for the Steelers’ defense, that is being the NFL’s gold standard, no matter the season or the personnel.

    In separate interviews Monday, both Clark and Troy Polamalu mentioned how the Steelers have been frustrated at not being able to play up to the level of the 2008 defense, which was Steel Curtain-like in its dominance despite taking on one of the toughest schedules of any Super Bowl winner.

    To Polamalu and Clark, that is the standard.
    “I don’t remember that defense doing much wrong,” Clark said. “But last year’s defense, even though we were No. 1, it didn’t look like that and that’s what we are striving for.”

    “We could run the same defense 10 times and change positions and make it 10 different defenses to a quarterback,” Polamalu said.

    This defense’s development is being overlooked in part due to all the scrutiny of new coordinator Todd Haley’s offense. But defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau is designing some new gimmicks too, his players say, even as outside linebacker Chris Carter, nose tackle Steve McLendon, cornerback Keenan Lewis and nickel back Cortez Allen all see their roles expand greatly.
    Clark likes how a defense that had a franchise-low 15 turnovers in 16 games last season has forced seven in three preseason games, three against Buffalo on Saturday.

    “Where we’ve gotten better is the Ziggy Hoods, the Steve McLendons and these guys picking up their play and putting more pressure on the quarterback and making plays,” Clark said. “I think the youth movement has helped us.”




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    Head Coach LatrobePA's Avatar
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    NO!

    Harrison, Clark, Ike worry me! Yes Ike!!

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    Assistant Coach Real Deal Steel's Avatar
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    I'm definitely concerned about this side of the ball. Hood, Timmons, and a couple of the other young guys have got to show us more. I like the fact that the secondary will be tested right out the gate against Manning so at least going against a future Hall of Famer should have everybody's attention.
    The Steeler way...is the only way.

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    Head Coach LatrobePA's Avatar
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    I'm also worried about Troy... I'd say this is the year we'll need to score points to win 12 games..

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    Banned K Train's Avatar
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    id expect it to be top 5, its consistently there

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    If there are anything less than top 5 I'll be surprised, dare to say shocked even. As Ktrain said that's a consistent thing every year.

    The pass defense I think will be solid, the depth is nothing short of awesome so far. The run defense is where I'm anxious to see the biggest improvement.

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    Starter steelcitysfinestXL's Avatar
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    Legendary? Not if Woodley, Harrison and Troy dont play every game, and thats not looking good. Harrison and Woodley MUST play the majority of games together for that to happen. They'll be a better defense than last year (which was still top tier), but Legendary is something different!

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    2nd String Root4Stlrs's Avatar
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    I agree - I don't think legendary unless the young guys raise the level of their game a few notches. I have to say though that Ike getting a pick 6, preseason game or not, may foreshadow a different type of season for the defense. I think they were chagrined by their lack of turnovers last season and embarrassed by their performance (or lack thereof) in the playoffs. We'll see whether they have it in them still to respond to that.

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    Rookie Free Agent Steelers/PSU Fan's Avatar
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    First game of the year will be the litmus test for this defense, let's just hope they are awake this time, I don't want to see a repeat of last years 1st game where the Ravens embarrassed us. BTW, how did we lose to Tebow again? After watching him play for the Jets, I just don't understand how he played so well against us and threw all those passes.....guess he just got lucky.

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    Starter cmerrifield's Avatar
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    Re: Can the Steelers defense be legendary in 2012?

    They have the chance to be. Foote is faster than Farrior, Allen is better than Gay/Lewis combo we had last year, Hood is better, Woodley is healthy, Harrison will be, and the whole defense is driven this year. So, they have the chance to be.

    sent from my Galaxy SIII using tapatalk 2

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