June 4, 2008

The Godfather [featuring Dick LeBeau]...

Dick LeBeau a.k.a The Defensive Guru a.k.a Mr. 3-4 a.k.a Captain Blitz a.k.a Da Ice Truck Killa!

It seems LeBeau is up to his old tricks again. Creating nasty blitz formations, and adding wrinkles week by week to confuse opponents.

In an article from Monday's Post-Gazette, Ed Bouchette details the latest on the Godfather of blitz. Bouchette's main premise, and rightfully so, was - the defense must pressure the QB. In discussing this, Bouchette relates that both Brett Keisel and James Harrison are going to be moved around the formation more this year in order to confuse the opponent's offense, and create more pressure on the quarterback.

This got me thinking.....Keisel is a defensive end...so, where would the Steelers move him in the defense? He is definitely not going to play nose tackle. He could play either right or left defensive end. But does this mean LeBeau and Head Coach Mike Tomlin are putting their giant brains together to sprinkle in some more 4-3 defensive schemes? Maybe make the defense more of a hybrid style, where the base could be either the 3-4 OR the 4-3?

I trust in anything Dick "The Godfather" LeBeau creates. Either way the Steelers defense is going to be fun to watch again this year.

What do you guys think? Do you prefer a 3-4 or a 4-3? How do you feel about the prospect of moving Keisel around? And really, how old is Dick LeBeau?

Main Objective: Defense Needs to Pressure The QB [Post-Gazette]


Burgher Jon said...

I think this is a great idea. Keisel has the size to play LT or RT and I don't think Casey is too slow to play the other position. Then you just slide one of our outside linebackers down and essentially play 4-3. It'd be awfully rough on an offensive coordinator to not know wether he's going to be looking at a 3-4 zone blitz or a 4-3 Tampa 2.

marc said...

I think that Keisel as a hybrid would work, but he's really not fast enough to cover TE#1 such as a Heap or Winslow2. I'm excited for whatever LeBeau does, hopefully less MLB blitzes, b/c they didn't seem to work as well last season, but Troy being hurt really limited our packages. I think a healthy Troy will impact us more than a hybrid DE/LB.
I want to know what would happen if we line up Casey at RE a play or two just to see him attack.

tobiathan said...

Brett Keisel was routinely the fastest guy on our ST packages back when he did that stuff. People either forget or don't know that the guy, at 6'5"/300#, can run with most LBers and TEs. Seriously. I've always thought he was under-utilized at DE. He even practiced at OLB in some packages while a backup.

I'm a big fan of the over-sized SLB. Look at what Dallas has done with Greg Ellis, or the *Patriots with our castoff Vrabel(6'4"/265). Lots of teams are finding big, tall, speedy guys to play a hybrid DE/OLB position. No reason to think SuperDick won't give it a shot.

And as far as Troy goes: i think that Anthony Smith has the same potential Polamalu had in his youth. Maybe not quite the intelligence, but with more discipline we might easily have the two toughest, hardest-hitting safeties in the game. And what's up with Ryan Clark? Is he OK or what? He's good, and adds a whole other level of safety to the position..:-)

My thinking is that we'll see Troy and Brett alternating in LB slots in various packages. The game today doesn't really allow any team to depend too heavily on either the 3-4 or 4-3 for too many plays. Thje ability to switch from an extra LB with speed to one with size and strength at any point in a game could really confuse opposing offenses. And we need more of that.

Mostly we need that free-agent pickup at pass-rusher though. Without that we'll struggle to get at QBs again i'm afraid.

Cotter said...

I have always liked a team's ability to confuse an offense so mercilessly that they have nothing. I'm not necessarily advocating a hybrid defense. But definitely more surprises for an opposing offense.

How about this one, though? Where's Aaron Smith right now? I don't think it's OTAs. What do we do if he isn't 100% when the season begins?