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View Full Version : Steelers Must Address Defensive Secondary in 2015



fansince'76
12-09-2014, 08:34 PM
By Perry Biggerstaff
December 9, 2014

Week by week, we suffer through some terrible defensive football. We have seen deficiencies at virtually every position at one point or another this season.

But there is hope at most of the defensive positions due to new or young players who seem to have flashes of legitimate talent, even as they stumble through the expected first year mistakes of a complex defense. Tuitt...McCullers...Shazier...Moats. All these players have shown something that can make Steelers fans look forward to their second year in Pittsburgh.

That is the good news.

The bad news is that we have a secondary that can be upgraded at EVERY position. Both of our starting cornerbacks and our nickel corner have spent this entire season getting beat like they stole something. Yes, they have helped eek out wins. Yes, they have had a good play or two per game. But cornerbacks that have a good play or two a game are called "backups" on most teams. Ike Taylor wasn't good last year, yet we convinced ourselves to be optimistic about his return from an injury. Cortez Allen has imploded and nothing short of a change of scenery might motivate him into finding that player that teased us with hints of being special. I want to like William Gay. He is obviously a good person. He has made some memorable plays for us this year and if you are a stat watcher he appears to be an above average player. The problem is that he is a good "nickelback" that has been forced into the #1 and #2 cornerback positions in which he is woefully inadequate to handle. He is 5'10" and doesn't have quick twitch reflexes or straight line speed. Short and slow are not conducive to success as a starting NFL cornerback.

And yes, I know I said EVERY position in the secondary can be upgraded. Mitchell has yet to be the player that all of us were hoping he would be when we picked him up. Poor tackling and poor field awareness have been the norm more often than not. We can also add a fiery and immature temperament to the equation, that has cost us field position with stupid penalties.

Now we come to Troy Polamalu. I love Troy. I appreciate the fact that he is one of the best that has ever played the position. I appreciate the fact that he has given us a lifetime of plays that can only be called supernatural. But Troy v.2014 isn't the same player that he was a few years ago. It pains me to watch this version of Troy, who is not only out of position more often than I care to admit but it has become obvious that we have built this defense around some of his deficiencies. Quarterbacks used to fear Troy. They avoided his side of the field and they lived in fear of not knowing where he was. Now, not only does he not shut down his side of the field, he is rarely asked to cover at all.

I have hopes for Shamarko Thomas and I pray he becomes a starter. I occasionally like what I see in Brice McCain and Antwon Blake, but when I take off the black and yellow glasses, I realize that I often give them more credit than they deserve. They are wave players. It's only through the low standards that this secondary has given us over the last two years that I find myself excited about players that are probably little more than decent nickel cornerbacks on most teams.

In this next draft, and through free agency, the Steelers need to focus on bringing legitimate young talent into our secondary. There is zero possibility that we draft less than two cornerbacks in 2015. There is a better than average chance that we try and lure a seasoned vet or two to the friendly confines of Heinz Field. Both of those options are probably more likely than anyone in our existing defensive backfield having the light bulb suddenly go on. So start your search among the upcoming free agents and scour the notes of your favorite draftniks. More importantly, pray that the front office is doing the same.



© 2014 Steelers Universe

salamander
12-09-2014, 10:10 PM
They should've addressed it in this year's draft. But hey, let's keep drafting LB's and waiting until the 5th round to draft a CB who isn't even with the team anymore. I fear that as long as Tomlin and Colbert are around, it'll be more of the same every year in the draft and until they prove otherwise, I will continue to feel this way.

LLT
12-10-2014, 10:19 AM
They should've addressed it in this year's draft. But hey, let's keep drafting LB's and waiting until the 5th round to draft a CB who isn't even with the team anymore. I fear that as long as Tomlin and Colbert are around, it'll be more of the same every year in the draft and until they prove otherwise, I will continue to feel this way.

I think their will draft an OLB at some point, and it will be warranted, but CB will be the priority. And although I didn't talk about offense, We will be looking hard at running back.

zulater
12-10-2014, 10:27 AM
I think their will draft an OLB at some point, and it will be warranted, but CB will be the priority. And although I didn't talk about offense, We will be looking hard at running back.

If they draft a running back before the 5th round I'll tear out every hair from my head! If we go offense it will be TE for Heath Miller's eventual replacement.

st33lersguy
12-10-2014, 10:29 AM
The more I watch Mike Mitchell, the more I want a free safety in the draft. CB is obvious, and if there is any value left on the board, I think they need to draft CB in round 1

LLT
12-10-2014, 04:05 PM
If they draft a running back before the 5th round I'll tear out every hair from my head! If we go offense it will be TE for Heath Miller's eventual replacement.

If I had to guess on a RB...I would say 4-7 round. There are a couple of good 2nd a 3rd day TE's in this draft

GBMelBlount
12-10-2014, 04:22 PM
If I had to guess on a RB...I would say 4-7 round. There are a couple of good 2nd a 3rd day TE's in this draft

Don't you think the value added by bringing in a top shelf TE is greater than upgrading one offensive line position when we are arguably a top ten offensive line already and still improving?

You know the depth by position better than I do for the 2015 draft (which is why we picked up a steal with Bryant last year for example) but all other things being equal I honestly see more value being added with a top shelf TE for quick passes and the red zone.

LLT
12-10-2014, 04:26 PM
The more I watch Mike Mitchell, the more I want a free safety in the draft. CB is obvious, and if there is any value left on the board, I think they need to draft CB in round 1

Lots of talent in the 2nd and 3rd rounds this year...Keep an eye on Wake Forests CB Kevin Johnson.

LLT
12-10-2014, 04:37 PM
Don't you think the value added by bringing in a top shelf TE is significantly greater than upgrading one offensive line position when we are arguably a top ten offensive line already and still improving?

You know the depth by position better than I do for the 2015 draft (which is why we picked up a steal with Bryant last year for example) but all other things being equal I honestly see more value being added with a top shelf TE for quick passes and the red zone.

That depends. I don't think the FO is aiming at the offensive line in the first or second round. They will most likely look for value at the end of the 2nd day or beginning of the 3rd.

BUT....if Brandon Scherff of Iowa ...La'el Collins of LSU...or Andrus Peat of Stanford are on the board late in the late on the first day...you HAVE to think the FO will give serious consideration to upgrading our tackle position.

I guess what Im saying is that regardless of age....our starting TE is better at his position than either of our Tackle positions. So if I had to choose between a Tackle and a TE of equal talent level....I would take the Tackle.

Dwinsgames
12-10-2014, 11:35 PM
That depends. I don't think the FO is aiming at the offensive line in the first or second round. They will most likely look for value at the end of the 2nd day or beginning of the 3rd.

BUT....if Brandon Scherff of Iowa ...La'el Collins of LSU...or Andrus Peat of Stanford are on the board late in the late on the first day...you HAVE to think the FO will give serious consideration to upgrading our tackle position.

I guess what Im saying is that regardless of age....our starting TE is better at his position than either of our Tackle positions. So if I had to choose between a Tackle and a TE of equal talent level....I would take the Tackle.

agree ...

Dwinsgames
12-10-2014, 11:45 PM
Lots of talent in the 2nd and 3rd rounds this year...Keep an eye on Wake Forests CB Kevin Johnson.

also

Lorenzo Doss , ( 2nd -3rd )

Shaw and Rowe 4th ....

would not be shocked to see the names of one of these guys called either at FS ... Holliman , Smith , Prewitt , Drummond ( all 1-3 kind of players )

but remember at some point a DE /OLB has to be taken as well because Moats , Worilds and Harrison all could be gone at seasons end leaving just Jarvis Jones as the only incumbent OLB would love to hear Ray , Kikawa , Mauldin , or Orchard name for that spot

Devilsdancefloor
12-11-2014, 09:53 AM
pj williams!!! gotta throw my guy in there!! :P

Dwinsgames
12-11-2014, 09:57 AM
pj williams!!! gotta throw my guy in there!! :P

also like PJ ... he is thought of as a second rounder at this point in the process and I did not name him because ultimately I believe he will go in the first round with Peters, Waynes and Olomu

LLT
12-11-2014, 03:53 PM
also

Lorenzo Doss , ( 2nd -3rd )

Shaw and Rowe 4th ....

would not be shocked to see the names of one of these guys called either at FS ... Holliman , Smith , Prewitt , Drummond ( all 1-3 kind of players )

but remember at some point a DE /OLB has to be taken as well because Moats , Worilds and Harrison all could be gone at seasons end leaving just Jarvis Jones as the only incumbent OLB would love to hear Ray , Kikawa , Mauldin , or Orchard name for that spot

I like Doss and Rowe, but Josh Shaw scares me a little in regards to maturity and off field situations. Here is a sleeper for you...DE Zach Wagenmann of Montana. Small school stud who has had 20 sacks and 29.5 tackles for loss in the past three seasons. Projects as an OLB at the next level...serious pass rushing skills.

LLT
12-11-2014, 04:03 PM
also like PJ ... he is thought of as a second rounder at this point in the process and I did not name him because ultimately I believe he will go in the first round with Peters, Waynes and Olomu

Agreed. he may be the 2nd rated CB by the time the combine ends and everything shakes out.

Texasteel
12-12-2014, 10:54 AM
Right now I think I would go CB (PJ), OT, FS if we get a 3 round comp, and TE.

Texasteel
12-12-2014, 09:36 PM
If I had to guess on a RB...I would say 4-7 round. There are a couple of good 2nd a 3rd day TE's in this draft

Kroft, Heuerman, and Bibbs, should all go in the 4th round. Kroft is the best all around, and most fits the Steelers. Heuerman is the best receiver.

Dwinsgames
02-09-2020, 11:07 AM
has ANYONE heard from Ed ?

86WARD
02-09-2020, 01:38 PM
Thank GOD they didnít go with PJ Williams...lol.