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Steelers Film Room Preview vs. Browns: Defensive front needs to dominate

We take a look ahead at the Steelers vs. Browns game in this week's film room preview.

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers' defense had some problems last week when they faced the Baltimore Ravens, but at different times this season they have showed prowess in their abilities to shut down the ground game and bring heat on opposing quarterbacks.

As the team prepares to face Austin Davis and the Cleveland Browns, we take a look at what they did right against Johnny Manziel and the Browns back in week 10.

First Play:

Dominating the line of scrimmage is a big way how to force a backup quarterback to have to play at a higher level. Steve McLendon does that here when he changes the line of scrimmage and shuts down the run before it can even set up. The defensive line will probably be playing angry this game and we could see a few plays like this.

Second Play:

Bud Dupree's production has slowed down since the start of the season, but it would be nice to see fundamental football like this again when the Steelers take the field. Notice how Dupree identifies the play almost immediately and does not go too far in to the point he gives up the outside. True to the role of an outside linebacker, he engages the blocker who has a clear shot on him with his inside hand, leaving his outside shoulder free for him to take away the sideline and force the runner back to the inside where there is help. Some more light like this would be a nice way for Dupree to end his rookie regular season.

Third Play:

The Steelers seemed to tone back the blitz last week, which in retrospect seems to have been a mistake. Look for defensive coordinator Keith Butler to dial up the pressure with great blitz schemes like this one to limit Davis' time in the pocket. Notice how the play keys off the attention which Cam Heyward and Stephon Tuitt command from the offensive line as Lawrence Timmons slips by unnoticed with his delayed blitz for the sack. Seeing more of this would make it a harder time for Cleveland to have high third down success rates.

Wrap Up:

While everyone is worried about whether the Buffalo Bills will beat the New York Jets, Pittsburgh still has business to handle in the form of a win against the Cleveland Browns. While the offense will need to get back in gear after its poor performance last week, it would be nice to see the defense show some improvement and play a complete game like it did the last time the team faced Cleveland weeks ago.