A theme of Steelers Film Room this year has been to examine the development of some of the younger defensive players on the Steelers. Much has been written about the development of Cameron Heyward this year, and that is because he has been a beast in both the run and the pass game. The Steelers have been lining him up all over the place and allowing him to create havoc on offenses. Here is a great example of just that:
Both Heyward and Jarvis Jones walk the offensive linemen directly into the lap of Jason Campbell. There is nothing that a quarterback hates worse than immediate pressure in his face. This play is the very definition of a collapsed pocket.
I thought LaMarr Woodley was playing very well in his last game before his injury. Woodley also has a history of coming on later in the season. The combination of pressure from our outside linebackers with Heyward collapsing the pocket in the inside is tantalizing. Moreover, who says we can't play Jones in the middle with Jason Worilds and Woodley coming off the edge on 3rd and long?
Here is a great example of the Steelers exploiting something that dogged them during the beginning of the year: Not paying attention to details. Haden is getting sloppy with his technique, and the Steelers make him pay for it. There is no excuse for Haden to get beat outside. Contrast what he is doing with the other corner. Once Haden loses outside leverage, he is in trouble.
Then, inexplicably, when he is beat, he looks back towards the ball. That is why Brown is able to get separation from Haden. Those are two bad blunders from Haden. I almost expected him after the game to proclaim that he was planning on starting a land war in Asia.
Last week's Steeler's Film Room featured the play of the year (so far) for the offense. The defense must have been jealous:
As you can see from these GIF's, Jason Campbell was let down by the rest of the Cleveland offense. How do none of the receivers break off their route? Not one realizes that they are hot?
This may be the next wrinkle in the zone blitz package. We have been conditioned to see defensive players dropping on the side of the blitz, but I can't ever remember seeing players drop from the other side of the formation. A combination of speed and savvy from the defense is what allows this play to happen.
Keep in mind, this is analogous to a QB threading the needle in a tight window and getting all kinds of kudos. If the pass is completed, it's a great throw. If it is intercepted, it is a terrible decision. Same thing here. If the receivers and the quarterbacks are on the same page, this could be a big run and catch by the offense.
Such is life in the NFL. However, the Steelers did not grind out a victory against the Browns. They did not rely upon a big play late in the game to pull out the victory. Instead, they made numerous big plays on both sides of the ball in order to dominate the game. In the past three games, the Steelers may have produced more splash plays then they did in the previous 10 games combined. We know that the Steelers can win ugly, but I am feeling good right now because I see this team can also win with some style.
More from Behind the Steel Curtain:
- Steelers vs. Ravens: News heading into Thanksgiving Night's game
- Defense showing the value of the "finish" over the "start"
- Kirby Wilson running out of time
- NFL Week 13: Steelers vs. Ravens Preview
- Wreck It Cameron
- What in the Worilds will the Steelers do?
- Steelers Injury Report: Keisel, Woodley must practice Tuesday to play Thursday
- Character (Ac)Counts: Steelers Center Fernando Velasco
- Big Play William Gay