Steelers Vs Bengals X Factor: Bud Dupree

As we will do every Saturday to get you ready for the week’s game, our X Factor of the week. Sometimes it’s a player, unit, concept, or scheme. What will make or break the Pittsburgh Steelers as they play host to the Cincinnati Bengals.

X Factor: Bud Dupree

After missing Week One due to injury, Bud Dupree got off to a hot start. But he’s waned over the past few weeks, perhaps because of a shoulder injury that he’s admitted it likely to nag him for the rest of the season. But he needs to get back to what he showed off in Week Two (six pressures) against the Minnesota Vikings.

There’s been excuses over the last two weeks. In Week 5, the Jacksonville Jaguars didn’t have a good reason to throw the football. Lats week, he had a tough matchup in RT Mitchell Schwartz. This week, however, is an easier matchup. Dupree will fact Andre Smith, brought back after a short stint in Minnesota, and is considered one of the poorest athletes at the position.

Getting after Andy Dalton will still be tough. The Bengals’ offense isn’t humming but singing a better tune since they made a switch at offensive coordinator. Dalton has a history of getting the ball out quick, too. But the Steelers, as we’ve seen, and as is the obvious, are at their best when the front four gets home. The Bengals’ offensive line is in tatters compared to a year ago, losing their two best players – Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler – to free agency. In its place, they’ve put in backups and offered rotations at tackle, as Matthew Marczi wrote about earlier this week. 

For Dupree, that’s likely to mean matching up against Jake Fisher, too. He’s much more athletic but inexperienced and hasn’t played nearly as well as expected when he was drafted out or Oregon.

Bottom line. Dupree has to show off this week. He has to be able to convert speed to power and have a better pass rushing plan. Do that and he’ll have a field day. And the Bengals’ offense will regress in a hurry.

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.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    I just don’t see it. Dupree is a good athlete, but he doesn’t appear to be a natural pass rusher. Nothing really jumps out about this guy otherwise. He’s usually not heard of very much.

    The Bengals are likely going to run the ball and use TE’s to open up the passing game. My vote for x-factor is Mitchell.

  • Steeler Nation!

    Dupree appears to be the great physical specimen with all the measureables. But he’s lacking the instincts, flexibility, and quick twitch reactions necessary to be to an elite pass rusher. Better than Jarvis, but might not be worth the high cost we’d have to pay.

  • ryan72384

    It’d be nice if he had a breakout game. We’ve been waiting. I thought he was going to have a big year but he looks so average at times. Just doesn’t look like a passrusher. Many plays he just crashes into the tackle and flails around. Remember that spin move that Jason Worilds had developed when he finally became a starter? That last half of what 2013 or 2014 Worilds was a beast. Why can’t Bud develop a spin or something? He is just as athletic as Worilds. Maybe a step slower but looks like he has more of a burst off the line.