The Need to Stockpile DE & LB’s

With the arrival of Mike Tomlin and his cover 2 scheme the question that will be answered in the upcoming 07 season is can Mike Tomlin and Dick Lebeau co-exists? As it stands now the Steelers personnel is obviously built for 3-4 scheme but with some help they do have the players to make adjustment. In the upcoming draft the Steelers most likely will stockpile their defensive ends and linebackers but what do they do if USC wide receiver Dwayne Jarret falls to them at #15? Let’s not forget the offense stills needs some weapons.

1. Secondary: A cover 2 scheme will benefit the young secondary. With a new sheriff in town Deshea Townsend better send his resume around the league or live with the fact of being a backup. It’s time for him and the Steelers to part ways. Ryan Clark could also be sent packing as Anthony Smith will be the starting FS. This years secondary will be young but a cover 2 scheme will give more structure and will help Ike Taylor get out of his funk.

LCB Taylor
RCB McFadden
SS Polamalu
FS Smith

2. LB’s
The major concern for the teams switch to a 4-3 will be the play of its linebackers and this will be a concern unless Kevin Colbert and Co address the need through the draft and free agency. What does the team do with Joey Porter? What about James Farrior as he is getting up there in age. Is James Harrison just a solid backup or does he actually have starting potential. One thing for sure is Larry Foote is a sure thing for next season. Farrior will be back. Joey Porter or Clark Haggens could be on the outs because of their cap numbers. Word is the Steelers most likely will retain both but if it comes down to one or the other they will keep Porter. Overall the Steelers need to get younger, faster, and more depth at linebacker in the coming future.

Possibility: The Steelers make a splash in free agency and sign free agent to be Adalius Thomas. Thomas, a Pro Bowl linebacker, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this spring. Thomas had 83 tackles in 2006 and was second on the Ravens with 11 sacks.

Defensive Line: Aaron Smith and Casey Hampton could play the 4-3 with zero problems and Brett Keisel could also possibly slide over. For the Steelers to get back to having a dominant D they need to draft a dominant defensive end.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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