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Steelers' defense should expect no-huddle attack vs. Ravens

After giving up 24 second-half points to the Cleveland Browns with a quick-hitting, no-huddle offense, the Steelers should expect much of the same this Thursday in Baltimore.

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL is a copycat league. What works against one team will be duplicated until proven no longer effective.

It's nearly a guarantee the Baltimore Ravens' offense watched the Cleveland Browns carve up the Pittsburgh Steelers defense in the second half of Sunday's game for 24 points and saw a blueprint for success against Dick LeBeau's unit.

Whether you stand on the side of the fence that thinks the second-half performance by the Steelers' defense was a fluke, or the side that feels it was a precursor to future performances, it wasn't a pretty picture on Sunday.

"We became a little bit rattled, and we can't allow that to happen. So we're working on it." Dick LeBeau told Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "keeping our poise more than anything. We'll definitely be better on that."

Not exactly a glowing endorsement for the Steelers' defense heading into Baltimore on a short week, but fans should realize if there's any coach that can rectify the situation, it's LeBeau.

As Troy Polamalu told reporters after practice, "Coach LeBeau is the genius of all defensive coordinators and he'll figure it out." "We've shown that if you want to huddle, we will do fine, but this no-huddle has given us some problems. We have to rectify that."

Without question, the Steelers should expect the Ravens to deploy a no-huddle attack to try and wear down the Steelers' defense in all phases and exploit the issues on film in the game against the Browns in Week 1.

This will ultimately be the biggest challenge for a Steelers defense that lacks experience and looked completely winded at times during the second half of the Browns game.

Coming off a short week of preparation, and not a lot of time to prepare for an up-tempo attack, this game could have 'shootout' written all over it.