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    Default Steelers' defense gets back to business

    Steelers' defense gets back to business
    Intelligencer Journal
    Lancaster New Era
    Oct 14, 2009 09:42 EST
    MI, Detroit

    By MATT PAWLIKOWSKI, Correspondent

    For a few moments during the fourth quarter of the Steelers' 28-20 win over Detroit on Sunday, it felt like a giant case of déjà vu.

    The reason was simple.

    Following a somewhat disturbing trend in the first five games, one that actually dates back to last year's Super Bowl, the Steelers found a way to allow another team — this one sub-par at best —to get back into a game in the fourth quarter.

    "Forget about us being the Super Bowl champions, this is the '09 Pittsburgh Steelers," safety Ryan Clark said. " And we have been having trouble in the fourth quarter. Teams are coming at us, believing they can win games in the fourth quarter."

    Twice this season opponents have done just that, as both Chicago and Cincinnati pulled things out in the end.

    "Last year we had maybe six or seven close games and we came out on the top end of it," linebacker James Harrison said. "This year the few close game we have had, the defense hasn't finished as a unit and you have to come through. It's about being able to finish."

    Sunday, however, there was no déjà vu. Instead, a message of sorts that the Steeler defense is still a force to be reckoned with in the NFL.

    Harrison, last season's NFL Defensive Player of the Year, played a huge part. Not only did he have eight tackles and a forced fumble, but he also recorded three of the Steelers' seven sacks. Prior to the Detroit game, the team had just eight sacks in four games.

    "They couldn't block James," said Clark, who suffered a stinger during the game. "He was putting pressure on all day and that got (Daunte) Culpepper kind of antsy, and that got them out of their game. They were running a lot of screens and running a lot of draws."

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has called it situational football and a matter of paying attention to details in the two previous meltdowns.[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    With another game on the line against the Lions, the defense gave notice that not only could they weather the storm without All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu, but also that they still can put fear into an opponent's head.

    After Pittsburgh took a seemingly comfortable 15-point lead into the fourth quarter, the Lions mounted an 82-yard drive to make it an eight point game. Then following a Steeler three-and-out, Detroit had momentum and the ball on the Steeler 21 with just 1:54 remaining.

    That's when the Blitzburgh Steelers returned, sacking Culpepper four times during the Lions' final series.

    Ike Taylor, who had one of those sacks, broke up Culpepper's desperation pass into the end zone from the 45-yard line on fourth down, and the Steelers eked out their first road win of the year.

    "We were able to get in there and make sacks," linebacker LaMarr Woodley said. "Not only were they losing downs, but they were also losing yards and getting further away from the end zone."

    [HIGH-LIGHT]Tomlin said he was pleased with the defensive scheme in the final minutes.[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    [HIGH-LIGHT]"Blitz packages, closed calls, communication, proper rush lanes, coordinated with good coverage makes things happen," Tomlin said. "I liked what I saw."[/HIGH-LIGHT]

    But he wasn't afraid to add there is still plenty of work to do.

    "It was far from perfect, we acknowledge that, and we'll get back in the lab and evaluate," he said. "But on Sundays we play, we don't evaluate.

    "We'll continue to search for the seal on some areas that need improvement, and that's OK. As long as we acknowledge that, continue to work at it and find ways to win along the way, we'll accept that."

    I would like to think that MT isn't telling DL how to run the D, so it makes me uneasy thinking about how we have had close games in the 4th, has DL changed his philosophy, or was it because he didn't have Troy?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bleedBnG58 View Post
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    [HIGH-LIGHT]Tomlin said he was pleased with the defensive scheme in the final minutes.[/HIGH-LIGHT]
    Everyone was pleased with that series. It's the other 25 or so minutes of play that was disturbing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetchuck View Post
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    Everyone was pleased with that series. It's the other 25 or so minutes of play that was disturbing.
    You notice...he always says the right things....wonder if he practices using the football terminology and cliches...for pressers and post game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bleedBnG58 View Post
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    You notice...he always says the right things....wonder if he practices using the football terminology and cliches...for pressers and post game.
    That's one thing that impresses me about Tomlin, he doesn't come off like a schmuck in front of a mic. Weather or not he rehearses it - I dunno, but he has said some pretty thoughtful things off the cuff when reporters are chasing him down on the field at halftime or after the game.

    Cowher was big on cliche during press conferences and **** like that. I guess it's part of the dog and pony show.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetchuck View Post
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    That's one thing that impresses me about Tomlin, he doesn't come off like a schmuck in front of a mic. Weather or not he rehearses it - I dunno, but he has said some pretty thoughtful things off the cuff when reporters are chasing him down on the field at halftime or after the game.

    Cowher was big on cliche during press conferences and **** like that. I guess it's part of the dog and pony show.
    I guess what I mean is I wonder if he is over conscious about his speaking...nothing wrong with that...shows intelligence. I am sure most of the head coaches have seen the beer commercials where some have been made real fools. Romeo cracks me up.

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    How about the "situation" of playing solid for 60 minutes?
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Hopefully both offense and defense will go for 60 minutes. Use the brownies to get right for the Vikes. At this point, the Vikes will be a good measuring stick as to where we are right now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelreign View Post
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    Hopefully both offense and defense will go for 60 minutes. Use the brownies to get right for the Vikes. At this point, the Vikes will be a good measuring stick as to where we are right now.
    Very true... Then it starts to get tougher after the bye.
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    I read this on espn page 2 and I don't know if it's true as I've honestly not paid that close of attention. But if it is true, it could be the answer to why our D has sucked in the 4th quarter.

    Cautionary note: Beginning in the Super Bowl, Pittsburgh has played tight man-on-man coverage in the first three quarters and built leads, then shifted to soft zones in the fourth quarter and squandered leads. This pattern held in the Steelers' Week 4 game against the Chargers and again against the Lions. In two meetings in the calendar year 2009 -- in the 2008 playoffs, and then in the 2009 regular season -- San Diego has scored 17 points against Pittsburgh in the first three quarters and 35 points in the fourth quarter. Detroit looked good against Pittsburgh in the fourth quarter, too

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    Quote Originally Posted by cardiacsteelers View Post
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    I read this on espn page 2 and I don't know if it's true as I've honestly not paid that close of attention. But if it is true, it could be the answer to why our D has sucked in the 4th quarter.
    JFC.If this is true,then why the **** are we going away from whats working???

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    Quote Originally Posted by Les View Post
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    JFC.If this is true,then why the **** are we going away from whats working???
    The bend, but dont break mentality.

    However, the problem is that they HAVE broken this season...TWICE!
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
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    The bend, but dont break mentality.

    However, the problem is that they HAVE broken this season...TWICE!
    That "bend,but don't break" stuff is horse****.They've "broken" in every game this season and the SB last year.I'll never understand why this team seems to love to go away from whats working...............wether it be on O or D.

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    I hated the "Prevent Defense" for years and still hate it to this day. It doesn't prevent a **** thing, except maybe a win.

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    Do they have something against blowing other teams out or winning by more than 10 points. I understand winning the close games builds poise and character, but blowing 15 to 28 point leads when there is no reason to, doesn't inspire confidence.
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    I think it is interesting that Tomlin has talked about being more like the Patriots on offense. I would say I would have no problem being like the Patriots in how we PLAY the game--NOT cheating.

    The Patriots have never had a problem destroying an opponent. They would play offense and defense until the end and if the score ended up 50-0 then so be it.

    We seem to think that 20-0 at half means we need to ease up. The halves of games are game in themselves. If you have a 20-0 lead in the first half it doesn't mean that the next half that you couldn't give up 3 TDs and lose.

    So play the **** game until the end...and if you win the first half 20-0 and the second half 23-10...and thus win the game 43-10...WHO CARES? Because you could easily win the first half 20-0 and lose the second half 21-0 because you didn't keep it up...and thus LOSE the game.

    The Steelers need to take on the Patriot mentality of "who gives a F"? WIN THE GAME! Hell if you're going to let up...then let up when its 50-0 with 1 minute left in the game.

    SLAM THE DOOR!
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