Steelers Defense Best in NFL 2012
Remember last year when pundits like Warren Sapp criticized the Steelers’ defense for being too old? Now people are singing a different tune. In this piece by Cian Fahey of Bleacher Report, the Pittsburgh Steelers are predicted to have the best defense in the NFL in 2012 because of some of their offseason moves. He thinks they have a better secondary that have the ability to shut down receivers, which allows Pittsburgh to be more versatile with their other players like Troy Polamalu.
Because the team’s cornerbacks have the ability to play both man and zone coverage, the Steelers can mix more complex coverage schemes without exposing anyone, as they did in the past with William Gay and Ryan Clark.
While Clark will remain deep in zone, Troy Polamalu will be able to move closer to the line of scrimmage with more regularity this year than last.
Quarterbacks fear Polamalu, and when he is closer to the line, it is more difficult to see what he is going to do. Quarterbacks will generally check where he is after the snap when he is closer to the line.
The result of that? More hesitation. Meaning more time for the Steelers’ pass rush.
Larry Foote’s presence on the field will improve the defense as a whole and allow the Steelers to blitz the explosive Lawrence Timmons more often.
Both Timmons and Foote are versatile enough to blitz or drop in coverage so the unit as a whole will be less predictable.
In addition, recent draft pick, Sean Spence, adds a whole new dimension to the Steelers defense. With new players and stars like James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, and Troy Polamalu healthy this year, the Steelers’ defense should be one of the most feared in the league. Let’s not forget the man in charge, Dick LeBeau’s influence as well.
“The versatility of the Steelers defense entering this season is phenomenal. With a mad scientist like Dick LeBeau running the group, the prospects of what the Steelers will do this year makes me quiver slightly.”
Check out the rest of the article here.