Steelers Defense Charting Notes: First Two Weeks

The first edition of our Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive charting. Compiling the first two weeks of data.

– These are out of 130 plays.

Personnel groupings. The total number of snaps is to the right of the percentage.

Nickel: 56.9% (74)
Dime: 21.5% (28)
3-4: 20% (26)
Goal Line: 1.5% (2)

– Steelers have stayed in their “regular” 3-4 more often than not instead of their “over” front.

3-4 regular vs 3-4 over: 73.1%/26.9%

– Steelers have stayed in base just seven times against 11 personnel this season. Comes out to 6.6%.

Keith Butler has blitzed 30% of the time this year. 24 of 80 chances. For comparison’s sake, blitz figures since 2014 (LeBeau’s final season).

2014: 28%
2015% 33.3%
2016: 39.7%
2017: 30%

– By Butler’s blitz standard, sending five or more, he’s done that 18 times. That’s 22.5%. We have the data since Butler’s first year, 2015.

2015: 33.6%
2016: 27.7%
2017: 22.5%

– If you’re interested, he’s sent a three man rush 13 times. 16.3%.

– A DB has come either by himself or in tandem with another rusher 11 total times, 13.8%.

Defensive Line

Tyson Alualu has nearly played as many snaps (106) as Cam Heyward (110).

Javon Hargrave has just 20 snaps in nickel. L.T. Walton has 18…

– DL pressures:

Cam Heyward: 4
Javon Hargrave: 3
Tyson Alualu: 1
Stephon Tuitt: 1

Outside Linebacker

Anthony Chickillo has lined up at 7 different spots this season. Chickillo also has 32 snaps with his hand down, the most of any OLB.

He’s played 63 snaps on the left side, 35 on the right. Mr. Versatile.

Ryan Shazier is one of two players not to miss a snap on defense. Sean Davis is the other.

– OLB drop percentages.

Anthony Chickillo: 23/74 – 31.1%
T.J. Watt: 14/51 – 27.5%
Bud Dupree: 6/41 – 14.6%


Joe Haden and Artie Burns haven’t budged. Haden on the left, Burns on the right. No switching.

– On 1st or 2nd down, Steelers have rolled a safety into the box 18 times. Feels low.

Mike Hilton, who the Steelers like as a blitzer, has done so six times. But he’s yet to register a pressure (Edit:¬†Hilton has one pressure this season).¬†Haden, meanwhile, has a pressure on two of his three blitzes this season.

– Burns has as many penalties (3) as the rest of the secondary combined.

– Target numbers.

Joe Haden: 2/4 36 yards 0 TDs 0 INTs
William Gay: 1/2 13 yards
Mike Mitchell: 2/3 56 yards
Artie Burns: 2/5 18 yards 1 TD
Sean Davis: 3/3 40 yards
Mike Hilton: 2/3 15 yards

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • Jaybird

    Alex, I could have sworn that Hilton blitzed and hit the Viking QB , forcing an incompletion. I think that should have counted as a pressure , right?

  • capehouse

    ESPN stats had Hilton down for 2 QB hits against the Vikings.

  • capehouse

    So there was a lot of talk about the Steelers possibly staying in their 34 defense against 11 personnel. That’s obviously not happening yet, and on top of that the Steelers are not using Hargrave in the Nickel much, at least not using him more than they are Walton, which is a farce. I’m just not understanding what the plan is for Hargrave this year. I thought he’d be in position to have a breakout year, but that’s not going to happen with him only getting 36.4% of the snaps. Steelers have to get a better rotation going.

  • Ike Evans

    Gotta find a way to get wobble in some more…..3 pressures on the limited snaps he gets is very effecient

  • CP72

    Great stuff Alex. Find this type of breakdown very interesting.

    I know people want Hargrave on the field more. Problem is who you taking off.

  • DSG

    Def need tonfind a way to get jwobble on field more.

  • Dshoff

    you are taking off Alu or Walton, or spelling Heyward or Tuitt. Its not that hard to get Hargrave more time, which he DESERVES.

  • Dshoff

    I’m pretty sure that Hilton should have two pressures.

  • Alex Kozora

    You are right, Jaybird. Just checked my notes. I thought I gave the pressure to someone else on that play. I will update the post. Thanks for keeping me honest.

  • #beatthepats

    A linebacker “with his hand down” chickillo 32 snaps with his hand down , those should be hargraves snaps. He is not your large slow nosetackle, he should not come off the field on on passing downs.

  • #beatthepats

    I think with the addition of haden , they should play more of a traditional 3-4 and let the dee line with hargrave doninate. Watt and dupree from the edge and hargrave up the middle could be nasty.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    sean davis needs to get better fast.