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View Full Version : Get ready for camp: Steelers defensive preview



THE PEOPLE
07-22-2008, 04:13 AM
http://www.realfootball365.com/index.php/articles/steelers/12138

The Pittsburgh Steelers are under a week away from training camp, and the NFL's best defense during the 2007 regular season has 10 starters returning. That doesn't mean there won't be some big defensive decisions made at camp. Here's a quick look.

Defensive line

All three starters on the D-line are expected to be healthy and ready to go. Left end Aaron Smith is said to be completely recovered from biceps surgery. Nose tackle Casey Hampton and right end Travis Kirschke join him in the trenches. They're aging but solid, and backups Nick Eason and Chris Hoke are both capable veterans.

Linebacker

If Penn State is called 'Linebacker U,' then the Steelers should be referred to as 'Linebacker Inc.' Pittsburgh's system is about to produce the next generation of the Steel Curtain linebacking corps, one that could come to define the Mike Tomlin era. The most exciting battle at camp is at inside linebacker between established vet Larry Foote and Tomlin's first draftee as head coach, last year's first-rounder, Lawrence Timmons.

LaMarr Woodley, a second-year player who had four sacks in 80 defensive snaps as a rookie, is poised to become a starter at outside linebacker. Now a starter, this camp could see the birth of a new Steeler star.

Pro Bowler James Harrison and defensive captain James Farrior round out the starting four. The trio of Harrison, Woodley and Timmons could be the identity of Blitzburgh for years to come. Another linebacker who will be interesting to watch this camp is third-round rookie Bruce Davis, who played defensive end at UCLA and was great at getting to the quarterback. Fans will soon see if his stunning first step translated to the pros; watch for him this preseason as a rusher in some dime packages.

Cornerback

The biggest camp battle in the secondary will center on the No. 2 corner position, and the two combatants are 11-year vet Deshea Townsend and fourth-year defender Bryant McFadden, who has all the tools to be a solid starter. McFadden has good size (6-0, 190), excellent speed, incredible leaping ability and a fierce attitude. The problem is that he hasn't put it all together over the course of an entire season. McFadden was a nickel back during his rookie campaign, playing in the final 13 games and making a season-saving deflection (here@2:05) against the Colts in the playoffs. McFadden won a starting job toward the end of his second season, but when Tomlin took over in 2007, he chose the more consistent Townsend. McFadden has been taking this battle seriously this offseason, joining teammates Taylor, Farrior and Santonio Holmes at Tom Shaw's training camp in the offseason.

Compared to McFadden, Townsend doesn't have high-end speed, great athleticism or towering size. But he makes up for it with his head and heart. The Steelers have drafted a few corners over the years to replace him, but Townsend has held them all off. In his 11 years with Pittsburgh, he's been a starter for the last four and has had seven seasons with multiple interceptions and five with multiple sacks. Even if McFadden wins the starting job, Townsend will have a chance to excel as a nickel back and could even play safety in the event of an injury. A young corner to watch this camp is William Gay. As a rookie, he played in every game and contributed on special teams.

Safety

Pro Bowler Troy Polamalu doesn't have to worry about losing his starting job at strong safety this camp, but he has plenty to prove to himself. Last season, injuries forced Polamalu to miss five games and affected his performance even when he was able to suit up. He had no interceptions or sacks in 2007 and underwent knee surgery in the offseason.

Free safety could get a little interesting. Ryan Clark is expected to be back as a starter after having his spleen removed at midseason. During his recovery he lost 30 pounds, but Clark recently said he was almost back to his playing weight. Pittsburgh's secondary coach says Clark hasn't done anything to lose his starting job, and backup Anthony Smith was an inadequate replacement in Clark's absence. Even still, it remains to be seen if Clark is at full strength. Rookie Ryan Mundy is worth watching. The sixth-round pick out of West Virginia could take the roster spot held by veteran backup Tyrone Carter.

myqntab
07-22-2008, 10:21 AM
dam...i cant wait!

CubbieSteve
07-22-2008, 11:09 AM
Nice to see some competition going on at camp. I'm anxious to see what McFadden has added to his game. I've always liked him, I really have never though Townsend should start. Hopefully Bryant has brought more consistency to his game because he's got the talent.

jmiller26
07-22-2008, 12:18 PM
Are You Ready For Some Footballlllllll!

Steelersbud420
07-23-2008, 09:13 AM
I'm soooo ready for football. The wife and I are going to training camp on aug6th it'll will be our first one so we're pretty hyped. Can't wait to see some of those battles in person.

bmorningstar
07-23-2008, 09:19 AM
ill def be there saturday aug 2nd- no real reason, just off work

dantheman90
07-23-2008, 02:07 PM
defensive line- SMITH/ HAMPTON/ EASON

LB'S- WOODLEY/ FOOTE / FARRIOR / HARRISON WITH TIMMONS AND DAVIS SOLID BACKUPS

DB'S- C'S MCFADDEN/ TAYLOR FS- MUNDY SS-TROY
TOWNSEND NICKLE BACK

GET READY NFL

countrycasanova
07-23-2008, 11:12 PM
POINT-BLANK-PERIOD...we need both our lines to play steeler football, berger not to throw debilitating int's in playoff games, let the line backers loose, and our special teams to earn their money..lets go STEELERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!

steeler_stev
07-24-2008, 03:36 AM
"Defensive line

All three starters on the D-line are expected to be healthy and ready to go. Left end Aaron Smith is said to be completely recovered from biceps surgery. Nose tackle Casey Hampton and right end Travis Kirschke join him in the trenches. They're aging but solid, and backups Nick Eason and Chris Hoke are both capable veterans."

Travis Kirschke? Are you serious? Brett "the Diesel" Keisel is the starting RDE

bmorningstar
07-24-2008, 09:42 AM
actually im more worried about the d- line than the o-line- everyone saw what happened when a.smith wentdown. and i dont think the diesel is nothing more than just an average d linemen- booger would of been a great pickup for depth- does anyone know if we are lookin for depth still?

steeler_stev
07-24-2008, 04:27 PM
actually im more worried about the d- line than the o-line- everyone saw what happened when a.smith wentdown. and i dont think the diesel is nothing more than just an average d linemen- booger would of been a great pickup for depth- does anyone know if we are lookin for depth still?


That's funny that you ask that question I was browsing over on nfl.com the other day and i was looking at the Steelers page and under Veteran Additions is says Anthony McFarland, DT I don't remember the Steelers signing him after all, I remember they were in negotiations but never sealed the deal...


http://www.nfl.com/trainingcamp/story?id=09000d5d8094d0bf&template=with-video&confirm=true

NYMetros
07-24-2008, 07:17 PM
actually im more worried about the d- line than the o-line- everyone saw what happened when a.smith wentdown. and i dont think the diesel is nothing more than just an average d linemen- booger would of been a great pickup for depth- does anyone know if we are lookin for depth still?

I don't know about that. If Aaron Smith goes down, then it will be a problem. But as of right now I like the way the defensive line is looking. They are a little old, but this can be fixed through the draft.

dmx1684
07-25-2008, 10:48 AM
defensive line- SMITH/ HAMPTON/ EASON

LB'S- WOODLEY/ FOOTE / FARRIOR / HARRISON WITH TIMMONS AND DAVIS SOLID BACKUPS

DB'S- C'S MCFADDEN/ TAYLOR FS- MUNDY SS-TROY
TOWNSEND NICKLE BACK

GET READY NFL

Umm..well in response to the article, I thought that Kiesel was the starter. Although Kiesel is a solid guy, I see him more as a role player, I really don't think he is a GOOD 3-4 d end. Also, McFarland would be a great addition and I am not aware of any current negotiations to sign up.

I am all for the best man wins the job. Especially this year. It seemes that our schedule will be brutal so maybe a rotation would be good. It seems we have the most depth in RB, WR and LB. Parker, Mendenhall, Moore, Russell should all be good and we should be top 5 in rushing. WR, Ward, Holmes, Sweed, the underrated Nate Washington and maybe Dallas Baker. LB we are totally stacked, I truely do like all of our linebackers. If Timmons can unseat Foote, then good for him, but I wouldn't give him the starting spot just beacuse he was a first round pick. Foote is a capable linebacker and could start in any number of teams. I see Bruce Davis coming in and being a very solid role player and getting us some sacks. Hopefully James Harrison can keep up last year. Maybe I am one of the few that believe that Ryan Clark is a solid guy who does a good job of holding the backfield while Polamalu roams the field.

SwaggaIke
07-25-2008, 11:47 PM
One thing I love about Tomlin, nobody is safe. Competition is key.

myqntab
07-26-2008, 12:52 AM
this is the one thing i hate about summer (besides the 100 degree heat with high humidity)......

waiting..........:sigh: