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James Harrison Says Defense Lacks Communication, Knowledge & Technique


So you want to know what is wrong with the Pittsburgh Steelers defense so far this season? Why not ask linebacker James Harrison?

Mike Prisuta of DVE Radio did just that on Monday and he asked Harrison what is wrong with the defense overall.

"Overall it\'s just breakdowns within the defense," said Harrison. "Not executing. Guys playing different calls than what are actually called. Not getting all-around snap in, snap out execution of the defense."

Prisuta next asked Harrison if it was a communication thing. "Some of it\'s communication," said Harrison. "Some of it\'s knowledge. Some of it\'s just technique."

Harrison was not afraid to point the finger at himself either. Prisuta finished the interview by asking the Steelers linebacker about the big catch and run that Tennessee Titans tight end Jared Cook had on the game-winning drive that resulted in the ball being well within field goal range.

"Bad technique," said Harrison. "I didn\'t get in front of him - he took off and caught the ball. He did his job, I didn\'t."

A few weeks ago defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau commented on players trying to do too much instead of simply playing the defense as called and trusting teammates to do their job.

"If a team is moving the ball just a little bit, they want to do a little bit more to stop them," LeBeau said. "That’s a good problem to have. But it is a problem nonetheless. We can’t do that. We have to trust the defense, trust the teammate, focus and play."

The Steelers take their 0-3 road record to Ohio Sunday night to play the Cincinnati Bengals and if the communication, knowledge and technique on defense does not improve drastically, the team will return home with a 0-4 road record.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Nolrog

    You forgot to mention talent as something lacking.

  • Chris92021

    Hmmm OK, well going off what Deebo says, here’s my two cents:

    DE Ziggy Hood…overestimated his talent. Should be given less playing time in favor of Cam Heyward.

    NT Casey Hampton…35 and coming off another ACL surgery. Nuff said.

    DE Brett Keisel…why he’s captain over Ryan Clark still boggles me. Diesel rocks but he’s not been great thus far. He’s also 34 now too.

    OLB James Harrison…still getting his legs under him but he’s also 34.

    ILB Lawrence Timmons…bad technique, overruns nearly everything. Would be a beast if he ever harnessed his freakish athletic ability

    ILB Larry Foote…solid player but he’s 32 and a bit undersized.

    OLB LaMarr Woodley…not too many splash plays and hugely inconsistent. When he’s on, he good for 9 sacks in a 4-5 game span. Then he’s either injured or completely disappears.

    CB Ike Taylor…bad technique, still not the same since Bay Bay took his swag in Denver.

    CB Keenan Lewis…makes me wish for William Gay sometimes.

    S Troy Polamalu…not what he once was but man do I miss him

    S Ryan Clark…our best defensive player thus far this season. But he’s also 33 now.

    S Ryan Mundy…needs to be cut. Average talent at best.

    CB Cortez Allen…should start.

    OLB Chris Carter…bad technique, average talent at best.

    OLB Jason Worilds…how he has 3 sacks right now boggles my mind.

    DT Steve McLendon…should start but won’t unless Hampton goes down.

    Maybe our defense is just average at best.

  • SteelSpine

    One sentence in there I focus on. After LeBeau implied the problem is players trying to do too much, LeBeau said solution is: “trust the teammate”. How the *#%# can a player trust the guy in back of ya when it’s Ryan Mundy? Does LeBeau think it’s Rod Woodson behind ya? I luv LeBeau but does he think this is 10 years ago? It’s not like it’s Donnie Shell in back of ya & the other LBs are Kevin Greene & Levon Kirkland, & it’s not like this defensive line can catch anyone. And it’s not like our coaching/preparation for this year is a candidate to win any coaching award. So on this year’s team we do need the few stars like Harrison to do too much.

  • Brendon Glad

    Big game James is critical to Steeler success. And I love how self-critical he is. His numbers may not show it, but the defense has a much better look on “the eye test” when he is on the field.

  • Brendon Glad

    Amen. “The standard is the standard” but whoa lord do we take a step down in quality from Troy to mundy….sheesh I know Troy is amazing but mundy makes him look like that colts backup made Manning look last year (smh)…I’m all for will Allen or golden on every snap til Troy comes back

  • Brendon Glad

    Pretty much spot on in my opinion. The only thing I steer clear of trying to figure out are 3-4 defensive ends. Cuz I only see the game once. But when Steeler d dominates as a whole, and the coaches say Aaron Smith is the best 3-4 end maybe ever, yet he’d get 50 tackles and 4 sacks per year…then I just have to accept that. But by same token, I hear no kudos on hood by coaches, nor is the defense dominating…so my guess is u are right on that too…but I still think DE is hard for fans to critique in the 3-4

  • Guest

    I agree with everything except “…makes me wish for William Gay sometimes.” Gay horrible and I thought we should have let him go 2 years ago. I thought Tyrone Carter was a very poor back-up to Troy a few years ago, but Mundy is arguably the worst safety to ever get considerable time in the black and gold.

  • John Hinton

    I agree with everything except “…makes me wish for William Gay sometimes.” Gay was horrible and I thought we should have let him go 2 years ago. I thought Tyrone Carter was a very poor back-up to Troy a few years ago, but Mundy is arguably the worst safety to ever get considerable time in the black and gold.

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