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 Post subject: Re: One player away from a 4-3?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:30 pm 
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Stosh-67 wrote:
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I'd rather draft a stud ILB and a FS, with OLB depth later, figure out a way to keep Haden, and get Sutton/Allen/Burns in competition for one spot-- easier path to improvement.


If I recall....you were high on Allen pre-draft?

Is he a candidate, with his speed, size and length to make a switch to Safety?

I think he's a straight up man corner with unbelievable length, cover skills, and a willingness to hit/tackle-- Richard Sherman. If they don't give up on him and can develop him... sky's the limit. I think he could play some safety but it would be a waste.

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 Post subject: Re: One player away from a 4-3?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:33 pm 
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I'm with you in exploring Watt to the inside. We just don't have enough scary edge rush talent for either 3-4 or 4-3. Maybe that's the problem.

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 Post subject: Re: One player away from a 4-3?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:44 am 
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I don't know if that is the case B2B. Look at Philly, here they were running a 3-4 of sorts, they were using Brandon Graham as an OLB and some of the other DE types that they had as OLBs. Not really anything special, Graham was not really playing to his potential.

But then fast forward to Jim Schwartz taking over as the DC in 2016. Now instead of Connor Barwin and Brandon Graham masquerading as OLBs in a 3-4, now they are DEs, pass rushers in a 4-3. And they are part of a rotation where they are being kept fresh. Graham in particular starts to play well, he has 9.5 sacks so far this season in 14 games and has 15 sacks in his two years with Schwartz, and with him officially moving the team to a 4-3.

You look at Mike Zimmer in Minnesota with that defense. Look at his DEs, Griffin, Hunter and Robison. Griffin is in that 275-280 pound range, Hunter is 240-245 pounds and Robinson is 255 pounds. Griffin and Hunter are the starting DEs and average roughly 75% of the defensive snaps and Robison spells them both and gets roughly 50% of the snaps. Robison is 6'2 255 and has 10.5 sacks for the last two seasons with two games remaining. That is their rotational DE and he does not have elite measurables. If you squint, I don't know, I see a player like Anthony Chickillo who can become Robison for us. Dupree, he doesn't remind you of Danielle Hunter?

I just can't help but feel that if Mike Zimmer had Dupree and Chickillo on his team he would know exactly what to do with those two players, how to maximize their skill sets as pass rushers.

I think scheme and rotation can really elevate your defensive ends and have them play well even if they are lacking elite talent.

I am also not so down on Cam and Tuitt being able to play DEs, sure they would both look great inside next to Hargrave, and that trio would be incredible in a rotation, but look at Cam, 10 sacks with 2 games remaining, as a DE in a 3-4. Tuitt is even bigger, quicker and faster than Cam and I think he has more potential as a sack artist, even thought the numbers are not there right now.

The talent is there for a 4-3. All they need are just a few pieces here and there and that can happen easily in one season.

Look at what happened this season as proof of what is possible. We got a really good starting CB in free agency in Joe Haden. We got a damn good slot CB in Mike Hilton. And then we got an outstanding OLB in TJ Watt. We also picked up a really good free agent DL in Tyson Alualu. It is amazing what can be done in just one short year.

Last season we were depending on the likes of Ross Cockrell, Ricardo Matthews, Jarvis Jones, etc.

I see no reason why the Steelers couldn't pursue two mid-tier free agents, and spend two high draft picks and then have the personnel to make a switch happen, or at least have more hybrid looks where they do play more, genuine 4-3 defense against certain teams. Have their defense morph and flow to match the offense/QB they are up against.

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 Post subject: Re: One player away from a 4-3?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:45 am 
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Look at what happened this season as proof of what is possible. We got a really good starting CB in free agency in Joe Haden. We got a damn good slot CB in Mike Hilton. And then we got an outstanding OLB in TJ Watt. We also picked up a really good free agent DL in Tyson Alualu. It is amazing what can be done in just one short year.


That's a lot of change in one year. And add that to last year's influx of talent on defense with Burns, Davis and Hargrave.
That's 6 starters swapped out in two off seasons as the PS have changed out...
CB, S, NT, OLB, CB and Slot CB in Burns, Davis, Hargrave, Watt, Haden and Hilton...
With Cam Sutton and Alualu as added depth . That's 8 players in two off seasons with the promiss of Allen to boot.

Give me another off season of FA and draft and we can continue to build this defense.
Shaz was a huge hit.

Draft needs of FS, ILB and pass rushers.
And like you say....
Pass.
Rushers.

A FS that can cover ground with ball skills......or play awareness and recognition would be a HUGE upgrade over Mitchell.

A Hybrid ILB / SS type at ILB with coverage skills as best trait.

And pass rushers in third and later rounds.

I know I'm not devoting much of draft to offense....
But I expect Ben back.
I think if Ben is back..they Franchise Bell to have one more run with Ben.

A 3rd or 4th round RB or TE.
Or an upgrdade at those spots in FA.
A pass rushing 20-25 snap FA to replace Moats.

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 Post subject: Re: One player away from a 4-3?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:53 pm 
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No doubt Stosh, I can see this team being stocked on defense to the point where they can switch and evolve the defense.

Also, let us read the tea leaves shall we?

They did not draft a Casey Hampton type of NT. No, Hargraves is a 4-3 DT, a Warren Sapp/Aaron Donald/Geno Atkins type of pass rusher.

They continue to look at smaller OLBs, like a Travis Freeney, not your prototypical 3-4 OLBs. They keep sniffing around at college LBers that are destined to play in 4-3 defenses. And they also continue to look at and scout these S/LB tweeners that would really only work as 4-3 Will linebackers.

The whole Donta Hightower thing. Was the initial plan, if he was signed, to play him inside? If they switched to a 4-3 he could probably man the middle and Shazier would have been that weak side, Will outside linebacker. Ryan could have had so much freedom to use that super speed to just blow plays up. Watt being bigger could man the strong side with Dupree as a DE.

They keep saying how they want to get pressure and sacks with just 4 rushers. They (Tomlin/Butler) keep saying how they want to blitz less. They talk of how they want to play more man to man.

I don't know, if you ask me, it seems like they sure are going down the path of slowly moving this team to a 4-3 defense.

If you are not blitzing, playing more man to man, have an anti-Hampton NT in Hargrave, and want to get to the QB with just 4 rushers, what in any of that says 3-4 defense?

It is like they are trying to tear off that Dick LeBeau band aid off a little bit at a time, like they are trying to agonizingly, slowly make the switch over 3 or 4 years. Enough of that! Shit or get off the pot. Take that band aid and rip the damn thing off already. Yeah, there will be some initial growing pains but so what? It will be worth it.

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