Film Room: Steelers’ Stunts Take Over In Second Half

Quick film room for you guys today. The Pittsburgh Steelers sacked Andy Dalton four times this weekend. Two of those came off identical concepts, T/E stunts that sent the outside linebacker crashing up the middle and into the arms of the quarterback. Let’s look at the two, one by T.J. Watt and the other by Bud Dupree.

The first by Watt. T/E stunt between him and Cam Heyward. Watt crashes down the B gap first with Heyward looping over. There’s no stunt to the other side, they play it straight up. This is a little sloppy but Watt’s athleticism lets him shoot the gap and the tackle isn’t sure if he’s trading him off or not. Watt barrels into the guard as he’s falling down but manages to wrap Dalton up and drag him down.

The second sack, by Dupree, is a little more conventional. Same idea, T/E stunt with Tyson Alualu while the other side plays it straight up. Alualu, the looper, goes first and acts as the contain player. Dupree rushes second, they do that so the two don’t get bunched up, and crashes in from behind to target the A gap.

The right guard and right tackle don’t communicate the stunt effectively, both sliding towards Alualu when the guard has to pass him off. Dupree is free up the gut and chases Dalton down. Another sack.

Two effective playcalls. Good contain on each side, that’s really critical anytime you run one of these “games,” and the crashers do their job. Another effective way to get home with just a four man rush, maximizing pressure.

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.

  • derp_diggler

    I think some of the credit for the second one has to go to Heyward. The center chooses to dbl up on him instead of waiting to see if Dupree loops in, and that’s probably because Cam is damn disruptive

  • colingrant

    The right guard brought back memories of Chris Kemoeatu. Kemo had trouble with stunts. Mauler inside though. Could hang with the stoutest nose and defensive tackles. Back then everyone had a monster on the defensive line.

  • Alan Tman

    The offense putting up 29 had a lot to do with the blitz calls too. I’m excited to see what happens if a game gets out of hand early what Butler unleashes.

  • falconsaftey43

    Are we sure the first is a called stint and not Watt just using an inside rush? Could be either I suppose, but I saw it as just an inside rush because normally you see the crasher try to engage the OL more and Watt more looks to be avoiding him. Work well either way.

  • Charles Mullins

    Yeah it would be a bad stunt if it was one. Maybe he saw something earlier in the game/on film where he saw something and said screw it I am going for it. Inside guy definitely loops out.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    The first gif: Beastly by Watt; The type of play need to handle Brady.
    Second gif: Athleticism by Alvin; The type of play that shows what should be the norm for him. *Remember* Dalton has pretty decent wheels and for Bud to get to him that quick speaks volumes to me!

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Yeah, I kinda think he just went for it.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    I’m starting to wonder if stunts are going to be the only way that Bud’s going to get to the quarterback.

  • Sdale

    I’m thinking it’s a called one only because Heyward works right to maintain the edge. If Watt just did it, I don’t think Heyward would be working to his right.

  • MC

    Dupree runs up the arc far too often, everybody sees it. I honestly think he is averse to contact with tackles. I remember when I first played football I was an OLB and I too tried to get around tackles far too often and step inside. I admitted that I tried to avoid the tackle as I was an undersized guy who was fast. At the pro level and at the pos we drafted Bud, this is inexcusable. He needs to know how and when to put his foot down and drive the tackle back. With his speed and power he can do it, he just doesn’t think he can. Tackles watch film and can see that he always goes outside so they kick back for that, this should give him opportunity to spin or swim inside but he rarely does it.

    The only sack this game he got was from an inside stunt which utilizes his speed and requires not pass rush move technique. The almost sack he got was when he was matched on a smaller RB. He absolutely needs to learn how to beat a tackle one on one, Watt is already better than him in that regard with much less experience.

  • Steve

    The center was not very smart going after Cam, with Dupree looping back.

  • Steve

    If it was not a stunt, Watt better watch they don’t run outside of him getting some Big yardage.

  • Steve

    We will see who the better OLB is. Seems computation is bringing out the best of the bunch.

  • Alex Kozora

    Pretty sure it’s designed. Heyward doesn’t rush as hard and lets Watt take the gap.

  • Dshoff

    MC, your second sentence says it all. Dupree is averse to contact with the tackle. It’s a mental thing with him. He tries to get around the tackle without begin touched and that just isn’t going to happen in the NFL. If I were training him, I would do drills where he would rush up the arc just like he does so well, because he is so fast, and then demand that he SLAM into the tackle so he doesn’t get pushed past the qb. Harrison leans so hard into the tackle that I swear if the tackle went backwards fast Harrison would probably fall down. The sad thing is that Dupree already can do the toughest thing which is beat the tackle because he is so quick. Now all he has to do is not be afraid to engage the tackle and go into him HARD. I swear that he would have more than doubled his sacks over the last 2 years if he would be doing this.

  • Jonas

    It’s especially effective vs. a team that rotates its linemen.. good call, I like it.

  • Brenton deed

    That quick step to change direction by TJ was wicked. It totally flummoxed the LT and the guard seemed confused for a split second. I wonder if his quick change of direction was learnt/helped from learning routes as a TE?

  • Brenton deed

    Well he’s not the terror that we hoped for yet but he has improved. I’m not giving up on him improving more. Maybe it’s a cumulative thing… if you establish a few “go to” moves that people respect then you have the confidence to try other (in his case power based) moves.

  • Brenton deed

    BTW Chick and #92 aren’t bad depth!!!

  • capehouse

    Stunts are the best way to use Watt and especially Dupree. Allows them to use their athleticism and they don’t get run up the arc.

  • falconsaftey43

    Yeah good points, Heyward does cover. Just a different look than usual. I’m used to seeing the crasher engage the OL and the looper look to come in free. This is more of letting the crasher shoot the gap and looper just keeps contain.

  • MC

    Im not giving up either, I really want the guy to be the guy we all hoped for but his tendencies are alarming given its his third year. He needs any moves at this point because he has none that has worked (power or fines). We all know he has the speed and athleticism and its surprising he hasn’t tried to stop on a dime and step inwards or spin inwards since the tackles are always preparing for an outside rush.

  • MC

    I hope the coaches are addressing this because we could get so much more production out of the defense if he was getting more pressures/sacks. There is a video of Harrison from years ago explaining how he does it; run upfield, plant the outside foot and drive into the guy but with bud he definitely appears to keep the tackle at arms length and play paddy cake. Its worrying for a guy in his third year to be doing this.