Categorized | 2014 Draft, News

Mike Mayock Cold On Louis Nix For The Steelers, Hot On Kyle Fuller


On Tuesday, NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock held his first conference call of the offseason with the media prior to the Scouting Combine taking place and late in the session he was asked to give his thoughts on Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix III. While Mayock does list Nix as his top rated defensive tackle in his first position-by-position rankings for the upcoming draft, he doesn’t sound totally convinced right no that he is a top 20 selection.

“Regarding Nix, some teams and general managers really like him as a prototypical nose tackle,” Mayock said. “[He’s a] big kid, he’s got good, short area quickness for a 330-pound guy. He had a knee [issue] last year, flashed but didn’t play at a high level all the time. He’s got to be a little bit lighter. He’s got to play at 330, so the question is can he gain an edge and push the pocket. If you believe in that, then he’s probably a top-20 pick. If you don’t believe that, he’s probably not a top 20 pick for your team.”

Mayock continued.

“One of the keys is keeping that weight where it belongs. He’s a better player at 330 than he is at 350. When you put all the composites of Louis Nix together when he’s healthy and in shape, when he plays with leverage and doesn’t stand up, when you put that together, he’s a top-20 pick. When you say he wasn’t healthy and because the knee was hurt he wasn’t in as good shape, there are teams out there that really like him and teams out there that say, ‘No, I don’t really see it.’ The good thing for Louis is it only takes one [team]. I think teams are going to look real hard at him, what kind of kid are we getting, what kind of work ethic are we getting? He is a good kid and I think he will check out.”

As far as the direction that Mayock thinks the Pittsburgh Steelers should go with the 15th overall selection, he doesn’t sound totally sold on the idea of Nix being the pick.

“If you’re going to live at 3-4, which they do, the nose tackle position is pretty important,” said Mayock.  “They like [Steve] McLendon.  He’s a pretty interesting guy.  The only guy that’s even worth looking at that early would be Louis Nix and you have to buy into the fact that you’re going to get a significant number of snaps from him and I’m not sure you can.”

So who does Mayock like better for the Steelers at 15? Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller.

“Kyle Fuller makes a lot of sense for what they do and how they do it,” said Mayock.  “He plays a lot like the kid [Keenan Lewis] they lost to New Orleans as a free agent. Fuller makes a lot of sense.”

Throughout the conference call, Mayock sang the praises of Fuller, who he currently has listed as the No. 3 cornerback on his list of top draft prospects.

“The Fuller kid I really like,” Mayock said. “I have got him as my third ranked corner. I think he’s a first round talent. He’s long, he tackles, he has ball skills. I think the key for him is what he runs that 40 in. If he comes in as a sub four, five, I think he’s a first round lock.”

Maybe Mayock’s thoughts on Nix will finally cool Steelers fans on him. As I have stated all along, I will be surprised if he’s the pick and won’t be shocked if they don’t draft a nose tackle at all. As for Fuller, I want to watch some more tape on him before declaring him a top 20 prospect. I will try to do that over the course of the next few days.

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About Dave Bryan

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

    very interesting

  • Brian Tollini

    I must be missing something with Kyle Fuller, I didn’t see him as first round talent.

  • lefnor

    Fuller’s game tape versus the Georgia Tech triple-option is very interesting. He played a role similar to Polamalu’s when he plays from the box and attacks the backfield. Fuller had the physicality and instincts to play that.
    He is a good hard hitting off cover CB but he can be an adequate FS too.
    He would be a good day 2 pick but I like more Bashaud Breeland who is the typical day 2 Steelers CB with perfect size, body control, tackling ability, press cover skills and huge upside. Breeland’s tape vs Virginia is fantastic.

  • 20Stoney

    Too many “if’s” with Nix. If this happens and that happens he could be a player. Too much risk for my liking.

  • kev4heels

    love mayock. the guy REALLY knows his stuff and is passionate. charles davis is the same way. the NFL network hit home runs with those two.

    with nix’s injury, i doubt he goes top-20. just not sure he checks out medically enough to warrant 1.15. now, in trade down, it might be worth it. just not sure today’s NFL requires a dominant NT. teams trot out 01 personnel all the time…just too many 3 WR sets for me to take a NT in the 1st.

    still thinking it looks like this at 1.15: evans, benjamin(although he looks to be slipping a bit), marqise lee, kouandjio or mosely. i honestly would love a trade down to pick up an extra 3rd.

  • kev4heels

    love fuller as our 2nd round pick. not sure if he will be there though. he is a prototypical DL CB. great in run support, could coverage guy and decent ball skills. Labeau will have his ability to diagnose and run/hit.

  • ATL96STEELER

    No…you’re not…I’d like to think he’s a 2nd round guy. I will say this about him…he took the #1 WR in the 3 games I saw, a willing run support guy on the edge…I like the player for PIT @ 46.

  • ATL96STEELER

    Assuming he can get his knee back 100%, I think Nix will be a very good 1st down run stopper. Quick for his size, but he’s not the 2nd coming of Hamp…I can’t get off the Bama NC game…they ran it up the gut a lot and he nor, Tuitt represented themselves well imo…not worthy of the 15th pick

  • Luke Shabro

    I’ve been cool on Nix since forever. Would I love a dominant nose tackle? Absolutely. But Nix is not Dontari Poe and he sure isn’t Casey Hampton. And as has been noted before, the base defense has decreased a lot and you’re rarely going to keep your NT on for all three downs. Outside of Poe are there many dominant nose tackles in the game right now that people think of? Mount Cody didn’t work out that amazingly for the Ravens, Aubrayo Franklin used to be that guy for the Niners. I could be wrong, easily, but it really seems like the prominence of those guys has gone down. I certainly don’t want to spend a first round pick on a guy with weight and knee issues who isn’t going to make a big difference. I’d take Mosley, Benjamin, Clinton-Dix, Fuller, Ebron or really about anybody outside of a QB over Nix.

  • steeltown

    Not sure either is a 1st Rd talent… and I like Fuller

  • steeltown

    Agreed. I really like Fuller, but there’s just no way he’s a 15th overall pick. I think he’ll run one of the fastest 40s if not the fastest of all the top CBs but we all know that wont sway the Steelers opinion of him. Would love to get him in the 2nd or a trade back.

  • Luke Shabro

    I haven’t seen much on Evans honestly so I’m uninformed but everything I’ve read is that there are questions of his work ethic, that for as big as he is he isn’t very physical and he doesn’t high point the ball well at all. I’d take Benjamin over him. Kouandjio is a specimen but honestly I think with Munchak being on board he can coach up Adams, Gilbert and Beachum enough to not need to draft anyone.

  • 243546

    Unless the second coming of Rod Woodson is available in this draft, I’m going to assume the Steelers won’t go CB for now. I think the coaching staff is confident in their ability to develop CB’s, and will stick to their MO of developing mid round talent. We’ll see what happens between now and the beginning of FA, because there’s always the possibility that Ike could become a cap casualty. Even then, that still leaves two players that the team trusts as starters, with Gay and Allen. That might present a challenge at NB, but I can’t see the team allowing Ike to walk, and then failing to add a CB in FA. Also, Shamarko Thomas is a player that they think can cover the slot as a NB.

  • Callentown

    It’s not about Nix for me. As I mentioned just recently, I have not really seen the guy even play.

    It’s that if the Steelers will continue to play this 3-4 defense, IMO, they need a true NT. I believe Mac would be a very good DE.

    So, if not Nix, then who?? And when?

  • 243546

    Today’s NFL doesn’t require a dominant NT, but it does require a dominant D-line. A dominant NT is a nice thing to have, but the key is not having to make a huge investment to get one, unless you’re getting a guy who has some versatility beyond just being a run stuffer. Haloti Ngata comes to mind.

    Personally, I think the DE position has more value. I would rather spend a first round pick to get the next Aaron Smith, than the next Casey Hampton. If a 3-4 team has two studs at DE, then you can plug a guy like McLendon or Al Woods in at the nose, and be just fine.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I am with you but my problem is Nix isnt the guy and there isnt a real good one in the draft. I believe Mc will be our NT this coming year not because he plays the position great but because we have no choice in the matter unless we find someone FA which I doubt.

  • 243546

    I remember the ‘Bama game too. I seem to recall Tuitt getting most of the double teams, and Barrett Jones taking Nix one-on-one.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    The guys that would most likely excite me in the first that should be available to us would be Gilbert CB, Ealy DE and either 1st round TE prospect Ebron or Amaro. I am not in love with most of the WR’s but could live with Lee.

  • 243546

    I agree. If we were talking about a Haloti Ngata type player, it would be a different conversation. I think anytime you’re talking about a high first round pick, it needs to be spent on a complete player. If there was an elite run stuffer, who was also an option to rush the passer in sub-packages, then going NT in round 1 would be a no brainer.

    I also think to many people are associating size with the ability to be a good NT. Joel Steed was a darn good NT, and he was 300 lbs when he was drafted. Technique and power are more important than mass.

  • James Kling

    Interesting. I watched some Clemson but didn’t really key on Breeland so much.

  • James Kling

    I think Roby is faster, but I like Fuller better. If we could trade back and get Fuller I’d be happy with that.

  • James Kling

    What do you think of Dion Bailey, the FS out of USC? Converted LB, could have some nice upside. I’m thinking of a Fuller-Bailey combo in the draft to add some physicality.

  • 243546

    Justin Ellis, Beau Allen, Villiami Moala, and others. I don’t think anyone is saying that the Steelers don’t need quality at the NT position. The issue is spending a high first round pick on a player who will only be a run stuffer. If Nix offered something as a pass rusher, and was someone you wanted on the field in nickle situations, then he picking him at 15 wouldn’t be a question.

  • dkoy85

    I think right now DE is a bigger need than most think. Hood may not be back and Keisel might be back. I think they will sign Keisel to a minimum but if they don’t sign Hood the need is great. I know there are some guys waiting in the wing, but it is a gamble to assume they can take over. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see them go DL 1st round by adding somebody who can contribute by the end of the year. CB value can be had in the mid rounds and I think they will bring in a replacement for Clark in FA. WR is deep this year as well. Go Dline and give our young linebackers some help. Also value in trading back and picking up a guy like Hageman.

    Two questions: Will Nix be a better NT than McLendon?
    Are there any NT’s becoming available in FA that we could sign and move McLendon where he can thrive at DE?

  • ATL96STEELER

    Trading down…it could happen, but 15 is kind of a weird spot to trade up to. Not high enough to get a QB…the top DEF players worth trading for will likely be gone…unless someone falls in love with Ebron I don’t see a trade partner on the horizon.

    Lee is polished, but imo he’s a slightly bigger A.Brown, RZ production worries me. Kouandjio…he’s a RT in the NFL I think (give me Robinson if you want to go OT) Mosley, not as athletic as Ogletree…not sure he would beat out Williams to be honest.

    I think you take Ebron @ 15, and comeback with Fuller or Pryor @ 46.

  • Callentown

    But see, that’s one of the arguments that I have been debating.

    If you watched the Playoffs this year, you saw that the interior of the Seahawks, 49ers and Broncos defensive lines were what shut down the opposing teams.

    All of this talk about, ‘the game has changed, it’s a passing league now’, are false. The NT may not be on the field on 3rd and long, but if the D-line is strong, 1st and 2nd down causes those 3rd and longs.

    Defense wins championships. Always have and always will.

    If a true NT is not there in the 1st, then we always take the BPA. But the need does not go away and Mac would be better on the end because he gets a push.

  • ATL96STEELER

    I like Pryor a little better than Bailey, but the thought process I like overall…there are a couple of S that should be on the board in the 2nd/3rd…I’m not that high on Clinton-Dix.

  • Steeler Fanatic

    I think if Gilbert or Dennard aren’t there, get the best possible defensive player… If not, trade down, especially since everyone wants Evans… If he is there, let the bidding begin.

  • Callentown

    This may be the year that changes. The need at CB is much higher than previously. I’d be shocked if a DB is not taken in the first two rounds.

  • Callentown

    Lots of teams try to trade down. It’s not as easy as that though. Unless you’re the Cheatriots, who seems to do whatever they like.

  • ATL96STEELER

    I just remember big holes all night, Teo getting flatten in the hole once, and very little mention of Nix…That was a troubling game if you like those 2 players as Jones was a 2nd or 3rd round guy maybe.

  • ATL96STEELER

    NT…look deeper in the draft @ some less known names…Ryan Carrethers from Ark St. or Justin Ellis, LaTech…rounds 4 thru 6…they have the build you want at the position. IMO anybody we get will have to be coached up to start (even Nix) so why invest a 1st round pick when you can probably get similar production later in the draft.

  • srdan

    3/4 NTs are not high picks anymore. Poe being the exception, there haven’t been any drafted. It’s the trend in the league and as long as the rules are stacked to pass teh ball, I don’t expect it to change.

    The only one I can think of other than Poe is Raji, and what has he done? The commercial is pretty funny.

  • 243546

    If you want to use the the 49er’s and Seattle as an example, then let’s look at why those teams are so stout in the middle. On paper, one is a 4-3 defense, and the other is a 3-4. In reality, they are the same defense. They both play an over or under shifted front, which puts the NT and RDE inside at the 1 and 3 technique. Those players are more than just run stuffers. They also have ability as interior pass rushers. The 49er’s have Glenn Dorsey playing NT. Does he look like the prototypical NT? They brought him in so he, along with Justin Smith, could provide an interior pass rush, and fill a gap in run defense. The Steelers already have the guys to be successful in that type of scheme. If we really want to see the forest from the trees, then we also need to acknowledge that the teams you mentioned don’t often ask their D-lineman to be responsible for two gaps. That eliminates the need for a “true” NT (what ever that means).

    Also, debating the need to upgrade at NT, and debating on whether the Steelers should spend a first round pick at the position, are two completely different conversations. The Steelers can upgrade the interior of the D-line, without having to spend a first round pick on the position.

    As far as your comment about playing strong on 1st and 2nd down, the problem with that argument is that there are enough teams that are just as likely to throw on those downs, as they are to run the ball. If the defense is going to play base in those situations, you at least need a player who is a threat as a pass rusher. That’s what gave guys like Ngata and Poe value as high first round picks.

  • 243546

    Exactly this.

  • 243546

    It’s not that a NT can’t be a high pick, but it needs to be a player who provides value defending the run, and as a pass rusher. Poe and Ngata were both that type of player. In many ways, NT has become similar to MLB. MLB had lost value in the draft, because the position was usually replaced by a DB on passing downs. When you did see a team spend a first round pick at the position, it was a player who was good on running and passing downs.

  • 243546

    Why is the need at CB any greater than all of the other years when everyone thought the Steelers needed to draft a CB in the first round?

  • srdan

    We are saying the same thing.

  • ATL96STEELER

    DE…need, yes…but I wouldn’t say bigger…what I see with our DL guys…of the NTs (Woods, McClendon & Fang) Fang is an inexperienced 28 y/o and Woods and McLendon are playing out of position…then we have Nick Williams and Arnfelt…also DEs.

    Hood is really a 4-3 DT as well as Woods…if the draft is not the answer to get a legit NT, maybe should look @ FA options such as Cody or Raji as stop gaps.

  • chris ward

    Mayock is spot on his analysis on Nix, Interesting what Mayock had to say on Fuller and how he fits what the Steelers like to do.

  • dkoy85

    I agree and I like the idea of going after a FA. Of course it probably won’t happen but I think they need to get everybody in the right position and add some depth. Safety and NT are positions I believe they should address in FA- at least one of them.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    Cbs is our weakest position

  • Kyle Owens

    Hey Dave, can you take a look a Mizzou WR L’Damian Washington?

  • 243546

    So what else is new? CB was considered by most to be the teams biggest need in 2011 too. Aren’t you glad that the Steelers opted to take Cam Heyward instead of Ras-I Dowling? Cortez Allen has worked out pretty well too.

  • tim

    IMO..Nix is NOT a 3-4 guy…he is GREAT against one on one blocking but he doesn’t keep his head on a swivel and gets swallowed up quickly when a double team comes, Steelers need a space eating double team taking nose tackle and if you look at the draft stocks there is a few guys that may check out, maybe a Hageman and there are others..

  • RMSteeler

    Every year, it seems Colbert gives a quote that the Steelers identify a “handfull” of “special” players, and hope they have a chance at one. No one seems to know what their definition of “special” is. I would think that most would already be identified by their body of work on tape and by direct observation. Combine measurables may be used to confirm their definition, or change it. Colbert has been quoted as this draft being “very deep” overall. 1.15 seems like a little low for a special player to fall, but every year, some team(s) seem to reach for players in the top 10, so maybe a gift will fall to them. I don’t see Nix or Fuller being 1st round talent, let alone “special”. But that’s according to my definition of special which may be worth squat. With all the underclassmen opting into this year’s draft, I suspect there will be more than a few 4th or 5th round talent that does not get drafted. Here’s hoping the Steelers scouts do guality due diligence and have these players identified and on speed dial to sign as UDFA’s asap after the draft. Especially those who play at positions of the greatest need. Get them to training camp and see what develops. This years draft may be known in the future as having the highest quality UDFA’s in many years.

  • ATL96STEELER

    IMO…the perfect storm for the DL this season would be to cut Hood, get a FA NT, move McLendon to DE opposite Heyward (back those two up with Woods and whomever the next in line is), draft a NT in the later rounds to back up the FA and eventually take over.

    Now on to fixing the OLB…lol.

  • Ike Evans

    IDC what you guys say about fuller and where he should be drafted….if mayock says he’s going in the first round if he runs sub 4.5 then he is….mayock was the first person I heard say DJ Hayden was a first round pick, that Aldon smith was going in the top 10, that Chandler jones was going top 20, and that decastro might fall to the steelers…i trust mayock in this sense…

  • Iron Cadet

    I’ve been pulling for fuller as our second pick for a while, mayock needs to stop hyping him up so that he will fall. I definitely think he is a 1st round talent though. I think people have questions about his speed like dennard so we will see what he runs

  • RedCarpetDefense

    I’d much rather the Steelers draft Ra’Shede Hageman over Nix. Hageman isn’t a slob like Nix, had good production, physically put together well, terrific run stuffer, offers a pass rush and is a mature person. He is projected to be a zero or a five technique in a 3-4 defenses which would be interesting if McClendon is being considered to play DE. A line with Heyward, Hageman and McClendon with Keisel, Hood and Woods backing up looks very good indeed. Could allow for Timmons and Williams to excel. I’m really warming up to the thought of Hageman or Ebron in the first if both are available I think Hageman is an immediate starter for this defense while Ebron may need to get worked in.

  • RedCarpetDefense

    DANTE MONCRIEF FROM OLE MISS IS A BEAST HE SHOULD THE BEST WR IN THE DRAFT…..

    Ok ok I couldn’t help it just had to poke some fun. I’m a little high (not in the Colorado way) on Ra’Shede Hageman in the first in that he projects well to play any position in the 3-4 DL. I certainly like him better than Nix he even offers a pass rush. I think he can start immediately as opposed to a CB being selected in the first (but I could be wrong).

  • PA2AK

    And McClendon is cheep, doesn’t have a lot of miles, knows LeBeau’s rubics cube…i mean defense, and didn’t actually do that bad in his first year of significant snaps. I think the rookie LB’s and sub packages made him look worse than he actually was. He’s capable of holding it down for 1-2 years if necessary. Not a critical need at this point…comparatively.

  • Jollyrob68

    Why take a D lineman they’re going to strip down and not play. I’d rather have Tuitt if they take a d lineman as he already played in a 34d. However I’m liking the idea of moving back then taking a Wr or DB. Pryor,Dennard,Gilbert.

  • Jollyrob68

    Steelers could move back pickup a second then take Fuller

  • srdan

    I agree that it is interesting that he fits what the steelers like to do. I expected the article to allude to the fact that we may draft in a different direction for corners (man) with LeBeau’s imminent departure. But then again, the incumbent Butler, may stick with the same primarily zone style coverage scheme, and then Fuller would make sense. But I for one hope they go to the more contemporary man press coverage that gives rookie and veteran QBs fits, as opposed to try to bait them into bad throws with the zone.

  • Jollyrob68

    But they don’t start rookie D lineman

  • steeltown

    Agreed… Pryor or Bucannon would be awesome in the 2nd, though I think Pryor will move up draft boards after the combine

  • Jollyrob68

    Arnfelt is who I’m counting on this season

  • Jollyrob68

    Can’t cut Hood he’s a free agent. Signing Cody and moving McLendon is smart plus cheaper

  • alex

    Mayock is the shiznit…

    never really interested in Nix and is it too much of a stretch to go with an economical FA NT for now and put him in the middle with Mclendon and Hayward beside him?

    Woods then another year for Wiliams and everybodys first love Arnfelt, means we got the makings of a nice young hungry DL…

  • Callentown

    A very lengthy explanation that doesn’t include LeBeau’s scheme is of course different from each of the other’s.

    The point wasn’t to say we should do what those teams do. Instead that having a stout interior D-line is still important these days, even with all of the passing, as those playoff games clearly showed.

    I agree that a stout NT can be acquired in a variety of ways. The importance though of having one on THIS team, is as paramount to its success as having OLB that can apply pressure. Therefore, it’s a very high priority.

  • Callentown

    Because we’ve had Ike Taylor for a number of years at that position and we no longer have a clear #1.

  • Callentown

    I like him too. I think he’s a man-child that will only get more dominant once he gets some disciplined coaching.

    Although, I thought he rated more as a DE, no?

  • ATL96STEELER

    Correct…how ever you want to slice it…no more Hood is the objective…tired of just a body out there.

  • Callentown

    The Steelers do not ask their NT to be a pass-rusher. Their assignment is to suck up blocks so others can rush the passer.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Bingo. That is my thinking as well.

    With Ebron you get a very unique player. You have to think of him as a very very big WR. Not a TE. You line him up at the TE spot just so the defense is forced to put a LB or S on him. His abilities in the red zone and on 3rd down give him value at 1.15.

    On the other hand, Fuller and Pryor are great players, but they don’t give you value at 1.15. It’s possible one of them falls to 2.15 but it would take a poor combine showing IMO.

    That is why a trade down scenario is so enticing this year. I’m hoping san Francisco or Cleveland is looking to move up.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Hahaha. Awesome.

  • Shawn S.

    I want the call-in number for that conference call. Dude sounds awesome.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    We’ll have to see if Fuller does well enough at the Combine to rise enough to mid-1st round. As things stand now we have a good chance at picking him with our 2nd round pick. But again, a legit 40 time (for what it’s worth) will increase his demand, which since he is a CB will make his draft status shoot up (see Xavier Rhodes last year).

  • Aric Brown

    I want no part of Kouandijo the man cannot defend a speed rush

  • Craig Ressler

    As a Steeler fan you can’t help but appreciate and covet Pryor’s physical style. I like him a lot.

  • LayDownTheHammer

    My 5 bits of sage advice to Combine-followers:

    1) For every x number of prospects that blows up the Combine, half will make it in the NFL and half will be just “workout warriors.” Accordingly, for every blue-chip NFL player that comes out of this year’s Combine, half will do great and half will put uninspiring efforts.

    2) 40 yd dash, benching reps, etc. mean jack squat for the vast majority of positions (at most DB > WR). More important is technique, form, and ability to learn/adjust to different NFL systems/schemes.

    3) Most important thing to take away from the Combine is who has the most brains and self-motivation. Richard Sherman was absolutely on point when he said the LOB had All-Pro minds as well.

    4) Don’t listen to anyone’s perceptions about the draft (especially Kiper and McShay, though Mayock talks more sense than both put together) except yours. They will all hail each prospect as a franchise-saving prospect with minimal weaknesses who “are able to contribute immediately”. Watch the tape yourself and look for both their strengths and weaknesses.

    5) Because of need in today’s NFL (and historically), the Combine disproportionately helps the draft stock of CBs, OTs, and pass-rushers – so keep that in mind when unbiasedly judging a prospect.

  • 243546

    Nope. When the base D is defending the pass, the Steelers ask their NT’s to shoot a gap. That may or may not result in drawing a double team, but the objective is to get into the back field, and disrupt the QB’s ability to pass the ball. In other words, rush the passer.

    I won’t even get into sub-packages.

  • 243546

    Most years, Ike wasn’t a clear #1.

  • 243546

    LeBeau’s scheme is different from each of the others? He doesn’t shift the line into an odd front, and slide the weakside OLB near the line? He doesn’t deploy a 4-3 under? In sub-packages, he doesn’t line the DE’s at the 1 and 3-technique, and have the OLB’s playing a 5 or 7 technique?

    LeBeau doesn’t have a “scheme”. He has a massive playbook that includes the full range of what can be run from a 3-4 defense. It is very much a hybrid defense.

    The importance for the Steelers having a stout NT isn’t any more or less important than it is for any other team. LeBeau adjusts to the strengths and weaknesses of his personnel. That’s why he expanded the role of the DE’s in the pass rush, among other things. Casey Hampton wasn’t very good last year, which is why he wasn’t on an NFL roster this season. The Steelers still managed to have a strong run defense. McLendon may not be as good as Hampton was a few years ago, but he’s better than Hampton was in 2012.

    I think you have an idea in your head about how the defense is deployed, it’s just not based on what is actually happening on the field.

  • Callentown

    That has not been my understanding of Dick LeBeau’s D and I’ve been watching him since he’s been the DC.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Evans is not very quick or fast either. Looks like he’s running in quick sand. At 6-5 he’s just been the biggest WR on the field in college. Most of the DB’S are probably 6 inches shorter.

  • Callentown

    Dude! You’re just trying to argue now.

    Ike Taylor has been the #1 since 2005 when he was opposite Deshea Townsend for a few years, then McFadden and Gay and Lewis.

  • Callentown

    We will have to agree to disagree then. I see LeBeau’s defense as a scheme – which is why the NT sucks up blocks, and why the OLB’s are key to rush the passer.

    Too many subs to go thru, so I’ll let you do that if that’s your thing.

    DB’s tackle the catch, do not press.
    Zone blitz usage.

    These are all schemes.

    And last year’s run defense was miserable, ranking 21st in the league.

  • 243546

    Why would the O-line block a guy who’s assignment isn’t to rush the passer?

  • 243546

    Ike got benched for 5 games in 2006.

    Ike’s been the #1 CB on the depth chart, but he hasn’t always stood out as the clear #1. Cortez Allen is on his way to being the teams #1 CB. That will likely happen next year, whether Ike is on the roster or not.

  • WIINGY

    This happens every year. You see tons of mocks, and you feel some May be reaches or a value.
    Every year players rise and fall. At this time last year Jarvis was top 5 and Poe was borderline 1st rounder.

  • WIINGY

    The Steelers need a player like Pryor. He would give them some physicality they’ve been lacking.
    It’s just a matter of how much range he has as they play a lot of 1-deep safety.

  • 243546

    The zone blitz is a perfect example. Everyone in the front 7 either drops into coverage, or rushes the passer. There are a limited number of players who aren’t dropping into coverage.

    Let’s use some logic here. If the NT isn’t responsible for rushing the passer, why would the O line commit one or multiple players to block him?

  • Steve

    Better watch – Davy will get ya Axed!

  • Steve

    Wood can play. Hood had a terrible year and Keisel is hurt too much. It will be Wood, MAC and Cam on the DL for the Steelers.

  • Callentown

    So 243546, you seem to know a lot about football, smart guy. And yet, as I look around this board, you seem to jump from post to post to ‘correct’ the fan comment.

    I mean, is that your thing? Is this just about being RIGHT to you? Because arguing over and over starts to feel like posting on a political board and trying to get the right or left to change their opinion.

    You began by suggesting that my comment about Nix was only because I watched highlights and needed to know more before I suggesting what the Steelers pick in the draft. And that wasn’t the case.

    So, what are you after here man?

  • 243546

    Ha! Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

  • Callentown

    Personally, I like to share my opinions and they are sometimes positive and sometimes not. But I will not argue with someone and tell them they’re wrong or that they need to stop only watching highlights before they share an opinion.

    And since this is a FAN board, there aren’t any true experts here, you included. Unless you’re employed by an NFL team or are a Pro scout.

    Are you?

  • 243546

    Feel free to find the comment where I said anything about watching highlights. I think you’re confusing me with someone else. As far as the telling people that they are wrong, or claiming to be an expert, I suggest you look over some of your own comments before making that type of accusation. Also, please don’t accuse someone else of arguing, when you repeatedly keep the conversation going, by attempting to point out why the previous comment was wrong. I would also suggest not injecting snark into the conversation, such as one of your previous comments starting with “A very lengthy explanation that doesn’t include …”.

    As to the rest of your comment, nice ad hominem.

  • Callentown

    I’m certain this conversation isn’t any fun for either of us. So let’s end it and move on with being fans of the Steelers.

    Nobody likes to be talked to in a “I’m going to put you in your place way” and we’ve both been kind of doing that. So peace, whoever you are.

  • Steel Paul

    All you guys arguing aside, it seems the Steelers GM just agreed with callentown:

    ‘Colbert acknowledged that the Steelers only played their base defense about 40 percent of the time last season, and the nose tackle is the first player to come off the field when the Steelers use one of their sub-packages.

    But he dismissed the notion that such math devalues nose tackles, especially on a Steelers’ defense that is predicated on stopping the run.

    “In a 3-4 defense you’re still going to start with a nose tackle,” Colbert told Pittsburgh reporters at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. “You have to get into third-down situations, and those second-and-longs, too. If you don’t have that player help you get to those extended downs then you’re going to have problems.’

  • 243546

    I don’t think he disagreed with anyone, because no one said that the NT wasn’t important. The debate is about whether the team should spend a first round pick in this years draft to get a NT. I named a couple of guys from previous drafts who I feel provided great value as a first round pick. My point is that there isn’t anyone like that in this draft.

  • Steel Paul

    Talking about downs and distance andhow NT plays into it. Heard it on the radio and saw this long thing here.

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