Film Room: Bud Dupree Flashes In Season Debut

It was certainly a pleasant sight to see Pittsburgh Steelers third-year outside linebacker Bud Dupree back out on the field after he sat out the season opener. It was even more exciting to see him out there and playing well.

Not that he turned in a flawless performance, and he can still stand to generate pressure at a greater rate of frequency, but he is clearly coming along, cutting out some of his failings and improving upon some of his strengths, both as a pass rusher and as an edge defender against the run.

And the Steelers did not use him conservatively, as he played all but two snaps during the game. Officially, he was only credited with two tackles during the game, but he also recorded his first sack of the season and also batted a pass down at the line of scrimmage.

His first big play of the game arrived late in the first quarter on third and 13. After the tight end released him, the right tackle was out of position and Dupree beat him to the inside, helping to influence an errant pass.

A bit later, early in the third quarter, the Steelers moved to their ‘over’ front with Dupree lined up at linebacker depth behind the defensive line. At the snap, he rushed through the gap and made early contact, making the tackle after a two-yard gain. It was a solid play in isolation, but unfortunately it came on third and one.

Toward the end of the first half, the former first-round edge rusher showed off how bend, dipping the shoulder under Mike Remmers, the right tackle, and taking a sharp cut into the pocket. While this ended up in a six-yard reception, it shows off the progress he has made as a pass rusher.

He finished off the job two plays later on third down, catching the tackle slow off his kick slide and simply winning the arc with his impressive speed. It seemed to happen all too quickly for Case Keenum, who could do little but flinch and duck in taking the sack.

Late in the game, he was able to race around Remmers again, but this time the lineman decided to take matters into his own hands—literally—dragging him down. The officials saw this and docked him for a holding penalty.

Several plays later on the same drive, Dupree cut his rush to the inside. The line seemed to inadvertently leave him somewhat free, and as a result he was able to get up and bat Keenum’s pass back into his face.

It was a good first showing of the season for the starting left outside linebacker, though some further honing is never a bad thing. We can only hope that he is past the shoulder issue and ready for a strong season.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    These are some excellent gifs! I’m really cheesing right now looking at them!

  • The Tony

    Completely agree!

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    From where he was as a rookie even in his college tape I was very skeptical that he would get it, but his measurables are threw the roof so they could translate!
    Alvin & Watt = $$$

  • Thomas

    Really nice, love to see that quick dip off the edge, great awareness in traffic too 🙂

  • falconsaftey43

    By far the best his dip around the edge has ever looked. Real progress there. He now seems to have his go to move that is really effective. Showed some nice inside counters. I do believe Dupree has arrived.

  • David Shoff

    FINALLY he is leaning into the offensive tackle. He almost got there on the first series of the game by leaning in and refusing to be pushed past the QB, and he got a holding call because he did the same thing later. I swear, it looked like he was always trying to get around the tackle without getting touched, and that will almost never work in the NFL.

  • RickM

    I thought it was a really good effort. His conditioning was limited due to the injury, yet he played all but two snaps in his first outing. And as you say he showed some progress in his pass moves. Very encouraging.

  • Nathanael Dory

    Nice! now if he can just have an inside counter, that would be beautiful!

  • srdan

    THis game is the first time I saw enoguh to say taht he will develop it. Not that I saw a counter, but he seems to have a plan.

  • barry foster

    Front 7 looks insane !!!

  • Zhan 使美国再次伟大

    On that last one, Heyward just bull rushes the guard straight back, the center has to slide over to help, and Dupree takes advantage by quickly moving in.

    Terrific play by both guys…

  • Sam Scalleat

    The off-season training he’s been doing seems to be paying off. He definitely looks like he has some more tools in his pocket than before. The real test will be against a better O-line, when there won’t be so many of these mistakes and free gaps. The front 7 looks realllllly good

  • Steelgator

    On the 6 yard reception I found myself thinking at the time “he’s going to get the ball one of these times if he keeps doing that,” looks so different from when he used to get run 5-10 yards past the QB all the time.

    My thought watching it just now was “look at the size of that chunk of turf he ripped up on that cut!” That’s some nice explosiveness there.

  • RMSteeler

    Yeah, Heyward’s interior pressure kept him from stepping up and he gave up. That’s a way to boost sack totals.

  • Kevin Schwartz

    Yup, my takeaway from last game was that this is the first time in years I’ve been excited to watch the defense. I watched the shortened game they have on Sunday Ticket, and I was actually looking forward to watching them play.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    It took a near swan dive but he finally was able to dip under a tackle.

  • Jaybird

    Look at Hargrave on that last Gif. Watch him cover the RB out of the backfield. He’s like a big cat- agile as all hell for a man his size. They gotta get this guy in there more. It’s a crime he’s only playing 25-30 snaps a game.

  • AndyR34

    Impressive athleticism on this play by Bud…changes of direction, elevation…it’s all there!

  • AndyR34

    Great recognition by Hargrave…I don’t think he was really supposed to cover him, but he recognized there was no one out there.

  • Zarbor

    Always believed in Dupree and if he stays healthy he will be great. This should be his coming out party. I really want to see it in the playoffs.

  • MC

    When Hargrave blew up that screen against the colts last year. I knew we had an agile guy with good recognition skills.

  • MC

    Heyward was bullying linemen all day