It’s all Me & You this morning:
--- YOU: With the lack of production from the outside backers, do you see Coach Lebeau having to modifiy his strategy a little to perhaps put an equal emphasis on getting a pass rush from the inside backers, especially as they may be younger, more talented and perhaps less injury prone??
ME: Blitzes used to come from the linebackers in a 4-3 defense. The front four would rush and one or two linebackers would blitz, sometimes a corner or a safety. In the zone blitz, you never know from where they are coming. It could be three lineman, one outside linebacker and an inside linebacker, etc. The two outside linebackers are the main blitzers. However, they also drop into pass coverage in the zone blitz scheme and, say, Lawrence Timmons or Larry Foote will rush the QB instead. Timmons, in fact, tied for the team lead with 6 sacks, the first time that’s happened in Steelers history that an inside linebacker has led them. But if LaMarr Woodley or James Harrison are not getting pressure on the QB, then you are in trouble, which was part of their problem this year. They must pressure the QB or go find someone else to put out there.
--- YOU: With Ray Graham’s injury history, do you think he might last into the later rounds of the draft where the Steelers might be willing to take a chance on him??
ME: I would say it’s possible, but the last thing the Steelers need right now is to start drafting players with injury histories. They have enough of those now.
--- YOU: It seems to me that if you make the Pro Bowl once, especially on a high-profile team, as a lineman that you can pencil in several more. That’s not to say Pouncey isn’t great, but it’s hard for me as an average fan to assess line play—can you give me some perspective on how good Pouncey actually is?
ME: It’s hard for me to judge interior line play. Pro Football Focus hires people to do it. They rank Maurkice Pouncey 12th among centers in the league with a 9.5 ranking. Minnesota’s John Sullivan was first at 27.2. Mike Pouncey was rated 8th at 17.6.
--- YOU: Drew Butler did not have a great year (26th in avg, 25th in net, 18th inside the 20, but 12th in Touchbacks)--will they look for a replacement?
ME: They always bring two punters to camp.
--- YOU: Is there a place to look up NFL assistant coach salaries? It is none of my beeswax, but I always wonder what guys like Kugler or Keith Butler or T. Haley or Kirby Wilson or any other coaches make.
I'm not sure that that info is disclosed the way player salaries are since there is no coaching staff salary cap.
ME: No, there’s not even a head coaches salary lookup. Some people get that information from agents, etc., but it’s spotty. Assistant coaches’ salaries also can vary widely from team to team.
--- YOU: Does the fact that the Steelers have given permission to Haley to talk to the Cardinals a professional courtesy (not standing in the way of a better opportunity) or is it indicative of their opinion of his performance?
ME: A courtesy. Teams are obligated to allow other teams to interview their assistants for a head coaching job. Al Davis was famous for interviewing many just to pick their brains. Also, even if an assistant is under contract, he can leave for a head coaching job. Any other job, he must receive permission from his current team if he is under contract.
--- YOU: Ed, from all the hype on Steve McLendon by John Mitchell and the local media at training camp, Steeler Nation was expecting big things from him. To my eye, he looked very good on the few snaps he had. Obviously, the coaches preferred a diminished Casey Hampton. What are McLendon's perceived weaknesses?
--- ME: They do like McLendon. They liked Hampton better. They used McLendon the way the way they used Chris Hoke, whom they also liked. If they don’t bring Hampton back, McLendon will be their man.
--- YOU: If Tom Brady played with a top 3 defense year in and year out he'd have 8 Super Bowls by now. What do you think of them playing at a much quicker pace like the Pats do? Not necessarily no huddle, just faster.
ME: Ben Roethlisberger likes the no-huddle, which he ran in college. He’s done it successfully here on many occasions. But even his buddy Bruce Arians did not go to it often. I can only conclude they do not think the faster pace is something that would suit their offense on a consistent basis.
--- YOU: Any idea what they expect from Spence—do they realistically think he could be an ILB starter next season?
ME: Sean Spence must first overcome that terrible knee injury from the preseason. He’s a long way off.
--- YOU: I know the Steelers are never going to sign a top-tier young free agent to his second NFL deal for huge money, but…any chance they go after a second-tier FA, maybe a veteran for 2-3 years? Specifically maybe at RB? A known commodity would go a long way in that backfield, in my opinion.
ME: Yes, they have experience doing just such a thing. That is how they acquired Mewelde Moore, for example.
--- YOU: The issue of upgrading the quarterback position seems to elicit a general "Problem? What problem?" attitude. Really? Has anyone on the current Steelers' roster played LESS than Byron Leftwich? Is there anyone on a current NFL roster who is OLDER than Charlie Batch? And is there any so-called "franchise" quarterback playing who has been hurt as often as Ben Roethlisberger?
Why this collective hands-off approach to the QB position?
ME: The Steelers in all likelihood will keep one veteran backup and find a young quarterback to be their No. 3, perhaps put him on the practice squad so they can save a roster spot on the 53. If you are playing your backup or No. 3 for long, normally you are in trouble. Quarterbacks get hurt all the time and Ben Roethlisberger has a good track record for playing.
|< Prev||Next >|
You must be a registered user to post. Commenting system instructions