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 Post subject: Re: One player away from a 4-3?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:59 pm 
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Stosh-67 wrote:
I think it was Inside the NFL that had Ray Lewis shaking his head on how the PS failed to give proper attention to Gronk on that last drive.

He said the Ravens would line up a big body / DE on Gronk at the line and bang him good before releasing to rush the QB.

That there should have been the plan.
If he is left, Dupree bangs him with enough speed to then make a bee line to the QB.........maybe the RT loses Dupree in the scuffle
If he lines up right, its Watt he bangs with him with enough speed, motor and instincts to go after the QB after release.

I think Sean Davis would have a hell of a much better assignment after Gronk was continually harassed at the line.
Less head of steam for Gronk.
Maybe pushed off route and timing with Brady, etc.
And most likely not getting behind Davis as much.

Its not rocket science.
But they could have at least tried

Agree with this - very passive off the line. Same w Burns - no bump


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 Post subject: Re: One player away from a 4-3?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:01 pm 
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bradshaw2ben wrote:
SP wrote:
I hate this discussion. Go look at the Eagles depth chart for instance. Good 4-3 defenses have two full waves of front 4 players. At best the Steelers have one and that counts Bud Dupree as your top edge rusher. They are far away, especially given Shazier's status.

Exactamundo. That's either three years or a post-Ben $$$, Jacksonville-like signing spree on defense away from where we are now.

Wher we are now - SUCKS


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 Post subject: Re: One player away from a 4-3?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:24 pm 
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I disagree that we are so far away from a switch to a 4-3. Looking at Philly is a great example. Philly, like many 4-3 teams are taking basically 3-4 OLBs and using them as defensive ends. Curry, Graham and even Barnett, those guys are built like 3-4 OLBs, 6'3, 260 pounds, Graham is only 6'1. These are not overly athletic freaks, that are 6'5" with super long arms or special in terms of speed.

Philly does not waste time dropping them into coverage, or pretending that they are anything other than what they are, pass rushers. So, they have 4 DEs and the heaviest among them is Chris Long, who is 275. But they rotate them, they keep them fresh.

Brandon Graham, 70%
Vinny Curry, 54%
Chris Long, 46%
Derek Barnett, 45%

So, for people to say, hey we don't have enough defensive linemen to make it work, I think you are just discounting that these other teams are using our 3-4 OLBs AS defensive ends.

Yeah, we have Cam, Hargrave and Tuitt, but don't discount Alualu and especially LT Walton. Walton has made himself a lot of money down the road by how he has played this season, I have been very impressed with what he has done and how much he has grown. 5 defensive linemen right there and Cam has 10 sacks this season in 14 games, you are telling me he wouldn't be even more productive in a 4-3 where he rotated and was more fresh in the game?

You are telling me that Hargrave inside, lined up in that Warren Sapp role wouldn't just kill it?

Dupree and Chickillo can be part of the defensive line and be DEs. Dupree if you distill everything down for him, keep it simple, don't drop him in coverage just tell him to rush the passer and he rotates and plays 60% of the snaps, he wouldn't be much better for it? Wouldn't be a better pass rusher? Chickillo has shown to have some talent pass rushing.

That is 7 players right there for the D-line, missing just two players. Those can easily be added in the draft, and you don't have to spend a 1st or 2nd to find them.

Jacksonville took a player in the 2016 draft that I liked quite a bit and the Steelers showed interest too, Yannick Ngakoue. He has 19 sacks and 10 forced fumbles in 29 starts for the Jaguars. He is a DE for them but he is only 6'2" 250 pounds. Again, not to belabor the point, but 4-3 DEs found by teams taking our 3-4 OLB prospects and using them the right way. They are not wasting time dropping them into coverage or trying to overload their minds with bullshit. See QB, destroy QB, and if it happens to be a run, then try and tackle the RB on the way to the QB. Simple. And don't make him play every snaps, they have him taking 75% of the snaps and don't play him much on special teams.

What did Jax spend to get Ngakoue? Was it a first rounder? 2nd Rounder? Nope. He went 69th overall, early 3rd round pick. These guys are available EVERY draft in the late 2nd/early 3rd round portion of the draft, no need to continue to spend 1st round picks. Be it Nagakoue, or Seattle's Frank Clark, or Arizona's Markus Golden, or hell, Cincy's Carl Lawson, they spend a 4th round pick on him and don't pretend to use him as a 3-4 OLB, he is a pass rusher, a DE, 7.5 sacks on the year.

I see it very doable to spend two picks in the upcoming draft on 250-260 pound pass rushers and only spend say a 2nd and 4th on them, that is all it would take. You would then be up to 9 defensive linemen and would be able to rotate and do anything that you wanted.

I have hope that Shazier will make a full recovery, if that happens, to have him and Watt as two of your starting LBers is a great start for a 4-3. Finding coverage LBers in every draft is relatively easy, finding smaller, quicker LBers that can play has always been easier. Only the Steelers waste their time and first round picks chasing this holy grail of trying to find that perfect Linebacker that can have 16 sacks in a season, play the run like a NT and also be a shutdown CB in coverage. It is lunacy.

We are not 2-3 years away from switching, they can do it in one year if they tried. With Harrison and Gay gone next season, what excuses can you offer anymore? The tired old, well, the veterans are so attached to LeBeau's system doesn't hold any water anymore. They will soon be all gone. You have a young, talented team and it really should be looked at as a blank slate, take advantage of it, make a change.

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 Post subject: Re: One player away from a 4-3?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:06 am 
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So, for people to say, hey we don't have enough defensive linemen to make it work, I think you are just discounting that these other teams are using our 3-4 OLBs AS defensive ends.

i think you are discounting how bad our OLBs would be as 4-3 DEs, and how much of a loss it would be to lose them in coverage. Both Watt and Dupree probably better as OLBs in a 4-3 than as DEs.

We don't really have the guys built for that gig.

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 Post subject: Re: One player away from a 4-3?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:42 am 
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When I look at the roster the way it sits now, I can see the potential. Hargrave, Alualu with McCullers and Walton backing them up inside. Tuitt and Heyward ends with Dupree and Chickillo backing them up outside. Another potential end is Farrington Huguenin, could come into play listed at 6'4 268. Inside you have VWill, Watt and a draft pick (if Shazier doesn't come back) with Fort, Matakevich + draft prick, or Keith Kelsey. Also remember Keion Adams is IR'd and Galambos is PS injured. There are a couple more LB'ers to consider. Then you have the really seriously suspect secondary. Glaring need at safety (FS). Hope Wilcox could be an answer there. Possibly back up SS is Wilcox future. In need of corners that will tackle while defending the pass. You can't coach desire/want to. Gotta have corners willing to tackle RB's/TE's every time. That was always the Steeler standard far as I remember. Hilton is my favorite corner as this roster sits right now. Not sure Burns will ever play any better as far as tackling goes. Haden may have a couple season's left. Corner is always in play IMO.

Side note: Looking at the current roster the Steelers have demoted RB Toussaint to PS and promoted WR Thomas to the 53. Does Thomas have any, Ant return ability? That will certainly help the cause as the ST's returns have been ultimately disappointing.


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 Post subject: Re: One player away from a 4-3?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:10 am 
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Tuitt and Heyward are not 4-3 weakside DEs. They're just not explosive enough. I think Hargrave & Heyward would work as 3t and Tuitt
or maybe Heyward at LDE. You're going to ask Chickillo to put back on the weight he took off? Maybe he could hold up as RDE. I'd have to see Dupree at LDE or SAM to believe he could do either better than what he's doing now. Watt is straight up WILL in a 4-3, and would probably be very good at it. VW works as MIKE but IDK about his ability to go sideline to sideline.

Also, someone feel free to correct me, but I think press man with 4-3 is pretty rare. Usually those teams play some version of C2 as a base D, or bring a safety down and go C3.

To switch to a 4-3 you need at least 2 years, especially if Ben doesn't retire and create cap space. You have to draft LDE high (think Derek Barnett). You have to draft late or sign pass rush specialist like the rookie in Jax or, say, Pita Tamoepenu 6th round or later. You're going to need a MIKE to replace Shaz, in all likelihood. You probably need a nose tackle. You're going to be sitting at least one of Tuitt/Heyward/Hargrave at all times, maybe two of them, thus negating the advantage you have now on DL.

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.

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 Post subject: Re: One player away from a 4-3?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:17 am 
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Quote:
Side note: Looking at the current roster the Steelers have demoted RB Toussaint to PS and promoted WR Thomas to the 53. Does Thomas have any, Ant return ability? That will certainly help the cause as the ST's returns have been ultimately disappointing.


This does not make sense.

With Connor gone for the year.
Frenchy to the practice squad
Ridley only on board for the past few sunsets..........

That leaves Bell as the only player on the roster to take a hand off from Ben.
Rosie Nix has ZERO carries in three years.

With the way this staff dials down the game plan for teams that they "only need to score 18-20 points to beat"...........
Is Christmas Day shaping up to be a 30 -35 carry game for Bell.

Even if Ridley gets some offensive snaps.
History shows us Bells back up may get 2 carries at most.

I think these next two games, without AB, teams may stack the box and make Ben find connections with his young guys in Bryant, JuJU, Rogers, James, McDonald and Grimble.

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 Post subject: Re: One player away from a 4-3?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:21 am 
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Quote:
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?

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 Post subject: Re: One player away from a 4-3?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:40 am 
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Stosh-67 wrote:
Quote:
Side note: Looking at the current roster the Steelers have demoted RB Toussaint to PS and promoted WR Thomas to the 53. Does Thomas have any, Ant return ability? That will certainly help the cause as the ST's returns have been ultimately disappointing.


This does not make sense.

With Connor gone for the year.
Frenchy to the practice squad
Ridley only on board for the past few sunsets..........

That leaves Bell as the only player on the roster to take a hand off from Ben.
Rosie Nix has ZERO carries in three years.

With the way this staff dials down the game plan for teams that they "only need to score 18-20 points to beat"...........
Is Christmas Day shaping up to be a 30 -35 carry game for Bell.

Even if Ridley gets some offensive snaps.
History shows us Bells back up may get 2 carries at most.

I think these next two games, without AB, teams may stack the box and make Ben find connections with his young guys in Bryant, JuJU, Rogers, James, McDonald and Grimble.

Ridley is a very, very good KR, and he's a pretty good dual threat RB... if he can hold onto the ball. The Thomas thing is freaking weird to me–– maybe they wanted someone to be the scout team Nuke?

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 Post subject: Re: One player away from a 4-3?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:47 pm 
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I think many are stuck on absolutes when it comes to talking about a 4-3, as if it is just about adhering to some strict guidelines that there is no room for innovation or to do things differently.

I have been saying for a long time that we need to get our big guys out there, leave our big guys out there, have even 4 man lines with all of our big guys out there. There is more than one way to rush the passer, your big defensive linemen can wear down an offensive line, and if you are rotating them, it keeps them fresh. Opposing teams certainly do not rotate their offensive linemen in and out of the game do they?

In the first 13 games of the season we were playing man to man coverages only 12% of the time. This game against NE we played 65% man? And for the vast majority of the game we had our 3 man defensive line out there, not taking one out for that stupid 2-4-5. So, that 3-3-5 was the most successful defense that we have fielded against Brady in a long, long time.

We pressured, him, sacked him and hell even got him to throw an INT. How many games had he gone without throwing an INT against the Steelers?

In terms of other 4-3 defenses not playing man to man. Really? Minnesota they don't play man to man? Zimmer didn't draft Xavier Rhodes to be that huge shut down, man to man corner? Mike's old team, Cincinnati, they don't predominantly play man to man? Every game we face them that sure looks like Pacman, Kirkland, William Jackson the 3rd all playing man to man. Both of those teams are 4-3 defenses.

I just see people making excuses and having a fear of change. Now, with Shazier being injured and possibly not ever playing again, that gives the 4-3 haters just one more excuse. Me? I see it as an opportunity.

We may already have Shazier's replacement on the roster. TJ Watt might be that answer. I just watched the NE game and Brady and company wanted nothing to do with Watt in coverage. And that is very understandable. Watt in coverage was giving up a passer rating of 34.7. From PFF, 154 drops in coverage for Watt, only targeted 17 times and had 4 passes defended and 1 INT.

Watt to me could very well be the next Brian Urlacher. Urlacher was the centerpiece of that Chicago defense, the MLB and he was this mammoth player for an ILB/MLB. 6'4 258 pounds. He was a very good athlete, like Watt, played some on offense in college. Watt is 6'4 252

Urlacher 4.61 40, Watt 4.69
Urlacher 6.94 3 cone, Watt 6.79 3 cone
Urlacher 4.18 short shuttle, Watt 4.13
Urlacher 34 inch vertical, Watt 37 inch vertical

This past game against NE we didn't really get to see Watt used against Gronk, teams can simply avoid Watt if he is just a mere OLB and plays on one side of the field and you do not move him around. The answer to that? Move him to MLB, have him featured in a 4-3.

As a Brian Urlacher MLB, teams would not have the luxury of just avoiding him, Watt would be in the thick of things on every play. And to have 4 big bodies in front of him on the defensive line? To be protected like that and with his range and length and instincts? Watt could be a perennial Pro Bowl MLB for the next decade.

And for those that think the Steelers could never do this or would never think of pulling something like this off. That they would never entertain the idea of a monster ILB/MLB. Well, how do you explain Donta Hightower?

I think the Steelers were genuinely interested in signing him and he is a mammoth ILB who excels in everything. You can try and shoot my idea down of moving Watt to ILB but the Steelers have already been entertaining the idea of having a bigger player inside.

I keep saying this, but this defense is so young with so much talent that they just need to throw away this Dick LeBeau defense and make the switch to something new to take advantage of all of this talent. The possibilities are unlimited once you take off those Dick LeBeau glasses that prevent you from seeing it.

B2B, in terms of Chickillo not being big enough, or not being able to hold up at his current weight, etc. A 4-3 and a rotation along the D-line really eliminates those concerns for me. If you look at the snap count percentages I posted for Philly for example, if Chick is only playing 40% of the snaps, say 24 snaps out of 60, then it becomes a moot point. I watched Robert Mathis of Indy play DE for them and he was only 6'2" 235. They were pretty good at keeping him fresh, he was not playing 90-95% of the snaps either.

I think it would be very eye opening for some if they looked at other 4-3 teams, looked at the size and weights of their DEs and of their playing times, snaps counts. There is this misconception that you need to have a certain body type, certain athletes, etc. I just don't see that at all. Teams are being successful with nothing more than what we currently have on the roster.

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