Pittsburgh Steelers: Getting a new defense, schemes and players
The Pittsburgh Steelers held their ground against the Cleveland Browns, and despite walking away without a win, they showed a lot of promise in Week 1.
The Steelers played their first regular season game with high expectations for a much maligned defense to be ready for a great season. Aside from a few mishaps (Sutton what were you doing on those two plays?) and the short side of the field they had to defend constantly (thanks offense for nothing), the new defensive schemes were very effective while incorporating new/old players into different positions.
Even in a minor monsoon, players acquitted themselves quite nicely in comparison to opening games of years past. I know a tie is a loss to us for a team that year in and year out have Super Bowl aspirations, but the defensive system and the coaches good play calling were on display on all three levels of the defense.
The “D” line, Linebackers and the secondary are showing signs of a maturation process that began towards the end of last year and are trusting that process. Except, now they have better players and they are in the right positions to pull off the defensive game plans. All afternoon, Keith Butler was in Toad Haley’s head (no Freudian slip intended) with his system and the players executed with vigor. Again, one game a season does not make, but the groundwork is in place for the defense to have its best season both statistically as well as with game results in years.
As long as Butler and his staff keep pushing the envelop to be creative yet effective, with the health of the players being a major part of the equation; look for this unit to get mad props as the season goes on and well into Super Bowl contention.