Kozora: Don’t Give Up On Bud Dupree

Bud Dupree is off to a, let’s say less than stellar 2017 season. And Steelers’ Nation has taken notice, placing him in the dreaded Jarvis Jones category.

As Lee Corso would tell ya, not so fast, my friend. 

I admit I’ve been one of Dupree’s biggest supporters from the beginning. Yes, I proudly shouted he was in for a 12 sack season. That’s…not going to happen. But I haven’t abandoned hope. I’m the dude who’s still trying to sell you on buying a Hummer (they look so cool!). Hear me out.

Box score scouting is inherently dangerous – I get that. But the guy still has five sacks this season. That’s only one fewer than T.J. Watt, who (rightfully) is praised by the fanbase. Based on my charting, Dupree actually has more pressures than Watt too. 25.5 to 20.5 on my latest count. And he’s dropping into coverage at a pretty decent clip (though no, not as often as Watt).

Don’t misunderstand me. Ask me who is playing better, Watt or Dupree, and it’s Watt. Clearly. But that might just mean Watt is special, not that Dupree is dismal.

As the coaching staff has endlessly repeated, rush and coverage go together. And poor coverage has robbed Dupree of putting up better numbers. One relevant example from Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.

That’s not a great pass rush rep by any means. Dupree is pushed upfield, gets knocked off balance, but is able to recover and change directions. If Mike Wallace isn’t wide open, odds are good he gets home to Joe Flacco. If Dupree had another two sacks, I don’t think we’re having this “end is near” discussion that’s dominating Twitter. He’d be close to a ten sack season. The chances have been there.

Of course, he is not without faults. I think I grilled him pretty hard a month ago, writing up a complete breakdown on his pass rushing tendencies and where he’s failing. Stats alone don’t tell the story. He should be playing better than he is. Expectations were, and have always been, high. He hasn’t lived up to them yet.

Injuries shouldn’t be an excuse but shouldn’t be forgotten. Even though he’s long removed from an injury report, Dupree’s been banged up all year. A shoulder ailment has been most frequent and I can’t help but wonder if it’s still bugging him.

When he’s said he’s felt healthy, he has gone out and performed. I’m just throwing stuff at the wall but he could wind up being one of those guys having offseason surgery that no one is expecting. Remember this tweet from Jeremy Fowler back in October? Dupree told him he needed painkillers just to be able to lift his arm.

Maybe the shoulder has gotten better. But do you really think it’s completely healed? It’s just more wear and tear on his body as the weeks add up. You don’t go through consecutive weeks playing Cincinnati and Baltimore and come out feeling good or anything resembling such.

Steelers’ Nation is writing off Dupree like he’s Enron stock. Maybe he’s not Bitcoin but there isn’t this crash and burn that people argue exists. There’s context and nuanced that’s being missed.

Bottom line. It’s reasonable to ask and want Dupree to play better. No argument here – I’m asking for it. But he’s not Jarvis Jones. And not every pass rusher who doesn’t become utterly dominant is. One more sack in 2017 will give him as many as Jones had in his entire career. Dupree’s above average against the run, though his technique has to be improved. He’s not Watt in coverage but holds his own there, too.

Dupree is a hard worker, athletic freak, and we’ve seen flash that success fans demanded since he was taken in the first round.

I’m not guaranteeing success.

I’m just saying to have a little patience.

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.
  • falconsaftey43

    I re-watched the entire Baltimore game’s All-22 with a focus on Dupree. I’ve got to say, he had a pretty decent game. So many fans want to blame the OLBs any time there is an outside run that’s successful, but that’s not always (and not even usually) the issue. Especially now that this team is much more of a one-gapping defense. Dupree was slanting inside a lot with MLBs and S responsible for scraping over, they’re the ones that were usually failing. Dupree did a good job of keeping contain when that’s what his job was. He also had some really nice coverage reps, especially on some RB and TE wheel routes, just blanketing the guys way down field. His pass rush was pretty typical Dupree, a lot of running up the arch when going outside, but he did have multiple clean wins outside where the ball just came out. He’s also stunted inside a lot on E-T games where he’s the crasher looking to free up Tuitt around the edge, there isn’t a large chance on success for Dupree on those plays because that’s not what they’re trying to do. Dupree isn’t dominant, but he’s also not a problem out there. One thing I’d like to see him stop is running so far upfield on run plays. They got caught a couple times doing that. Shouldn’t be more than a yard deep into the backfield on a run play

  • melblount

    “AK: Full-time blogger from mom’s basement…”

    Alex, apparently your Mom never told you what my Mom always told me:

    “You can’t polish a turd.”

    Nice try though.

  • JNick

    No need to be harsh. It’s a well thought out article. I’m willing to bet Alex has put a ton more time into studying Bud than you have. You can disagree without that tone.

  • Chris

    Allow bud to play out his rookie contract and move on. Obviously, he hasn’t produced how the team was anticipating when selecting him in round 1. He is a very average starting nfl football player, who doesn’t seem to be improving much year to year. Might as well get another desirable rookie contract to replace him when his deal expires.

  • Jason Vancil

    Reminded me, at times this week of Jason Gildon. Uh-oh…….

  • CP72

    I’m wondering if it’s fair to say that Bud lacks football awareness. Bud has everything you want athletically. Where he may be lacking is the neck up.

    Look at Bud’s rush technique for example. Run the arc and get pushed up field….run the arc and get pushed up field…wash, rinse, repeat. How about a swim, bull, or a spin? He just lacks creativity. He doesn’t seem to have a plan.

    Football instincts and IQ are difficult to quantify. I can tell you with some certainty TJ Watt has them in spades. I’m worried Bud never will.

  • EdJHJr

    Most noticeable is the defensive backfield basically letting a guy behind them….again. who is that running in and turning around. You must be kidding

  • falconsaftey43

    Interview with Tomlin
    Q: “How would you evaluate your three young outside linebackers – Bud Dupree, T.J. Watt, and Anthony Chickillo”
    A: “It has been exceptional play. We’re getting quality play from those guys”

    Sounds like Tomlin disagrees. He’s not one to say guys are playing well if he doesn’t think they are (just see comments on TE’s being “JV”). I think you can expect Dupree’s option to be picked up.

  • steelburg

    I think Bud is similar to Jarvis Jones. I think he is a little better as a pass rusher and maybe a little better covering guys out of the backfield. But I think he is about equal with Jarvis on holding the edge. The one thing that Jarvis showed a lot of improvement on while with the team was his run defense IMO. You highlight that Bud has more sacks then Jarvis did and I think that is purely because of his athleticism. My view of Bud right now is that I view him as an athletic Jarvis Jones and in the NFL you can get by with just pure athleticism for awhile. If he doesn’t develop more as a pass rusher I say move on or sign him back as a back up on a VW, AM type of deal.

  • Chris

    When I think of “exceptional” play it reminds me of James Harrison and Lamar Woodley during the Superbowl season. I guess it’s all relative, Dupree is exceptional relative to Jarvis Jones I suppose.

  • FATCAT716

    If that shoulder is really an issue, I’m sure things like a swim move or a bull rush is difficult. I also has been waiting on him & thought to myself he looked so active last year when he came back what happened? Did he forget how to play? Do line men have him figured out? Not sure of any of it but it is strange

  • falconsaftey43

    They’re asked to do a lot of different things compared to the defense back then. Yes, those guys were better pure rushers and players overall. They were pro-bowlers, and Dupree isn’t. I probably wouldn’t go “exceptional” with Dupree, but he’s been quality. Certainly a guy worth a 2nd contract IMO.

  • I never did.

  • Zarbor

    First off, the work Alex does here and on Youtube is impeccable and better than most when it comes to the Steelers. At least he isn’t writing from your momma’s outhouse like you. Your momma should have teached you some other things.

  • Chris

    He’s worth 4mm per season in my opinion. He is going to demand 8-9 if his 5th yeAr is picked up. If Pittsburgh gives him a 5 year 40 million dollar deal then I will have to disagree with their decision. He can’t cover like watt either – he doesn’t seem to be nearly as aware when playing zone as TJ.

  • Zarbor

    One to two tackle a game from Dupree is not “exceptional.” Tomlin is looking at them as a unit and if they are producing to his standard.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Lets go back in time to the day we drafted Bud Dupree. April 30, 2015. Our defense was REALLY struggling. We desperately needed a starting caliber OLB and a shutdown CB. People like me were praying Marcus Peters would fall to us. Others were hoping Vic Beasley would fall. Rather than trading up, Colbert stayed put at 22, and those guys were gone.

    That was mistake number one. When you have a glaring need, and you have a premium prospect within reach, go get him. Even if it costs you a 2nd rounder (which turned out to be Senquez Golson) you have to pull the trigger. But the Steelers have gotten very conservative lately, and in this case it hurt them.

    So we end up drafting what Colbert called the “best player available in an area of want.” That was mistake number two. Dupree was not the best player available. He was the best ATHLETE available. He had no technique and very poor production in college. He was a project that was at least 2 years away from contributing and everybody knew it. But after whiffing on Jarvis Jones who had great production but no athleticism, they decided to go in the opposite direction and it cost them again. Meanwhile guys like Preston Smith and Frank Clark were taken in the 2nd round, who were both projected as more “ready” to contribute as edge rushers.

    My point is, the Steelers scouting staff is simply not very good at evaluating premium edge rushers. They are fantastic at evaluating WR’s and OL, but for whatever reason they are not evaluating and projecting what it takes to get after the QB at the NFL level at that position.

    In my opinion, Bud Dupree is what he is. A good athlete with poor technique. Doesn’t mean he’s a “bust.” But I have seen enough to know he’s not going to be the star edge rusher some were going for when they drafted him 22nd overall. I personally would consider having him drop weight and move to ILB because he’s so fast out in space (but that is a topic for another day).

  • falconsaftey43

    stats do not tell the entire story. and Dupree is about 50% of that “unit” in terms of playing time.

  • steelburg

    Your 100 percent on the money IMO. You can’t tech instincts and awareness. When a player senses the other team is running a screen based off the linemen movement around him and he sniffs it out before it gets going that’s showing instincts and awareness, Bud lacks both and thats a trait I think can’t be taught.

  • Intense Camel

    He lost his size.

  • Mark DeSevo

    I would agree with this. My question is, at what point can you start pointing to coaching to help him out? I mean Porter HAS to notice the same thing we do.

  • gdeuce

    that’s Sean Davis, besides his interception it was probably his worst game of the year

  • Phil Brenneman II

    Well presented Alex and you make fair points but the worry is still high because he is a first rounder. I am putting a lot of my hopes in the fact that he has been frequently injured and if he can get over the injury hump he will be what we hoped for.

    The thing is, that you would think the injuries would slow down his athleticism or effort but not his progress as a pass rusher and it appears to me that his only move is to try and run as fast as possible around the tackle. Where are the other moves? If he developed a good spin move you would think he would be unstoppable because the tackle has to cheat wide to counter his speed.

    Meh…..who knows.

  • Zarbor

    Stats? You’re an OLB dude…Go look at his minutes. No way you go a whole game with one tackle as an OLB!! Not to mention, the Ratbirds ran the ball mostly to HIS side.

  • Jason Dock Dudley

    Jason Gildon..Please clarify because Jason Gildon was a monster and if steelers get Jason Gildon out of Dupree=Beast

  • gdeuce

    He also worked with a pass rush specialist in the summer that said he has the capabilities of Von Miller and would be a DPOY candidate. It’s like he completely forgot what he learned or is still dealing with that shoulder injury.

  • falconsaftey43

    And watching the All-22, he did his job on the large majority of those runs to his side. He filled his gap correctly. MLBs and S not scraping over the top was the issue on almost all those big runs. It’s very possible to do your job and not register any stats.

  • Jason Dock Dudley

    TJ Watt??????

  • Kevin Reich

    If he’s hurt he should sit and get healthy. That is why we have Harrison and Chic.

  • melblount

    I’ve posted this before but it’s worth repeating.

    DuPree is a guy that I just can’t take my eyes off when I watch the Steelers play. He’s THAT BAD. (I used to NOT be able to take my eyes off The Great One at Forbes and 3Rivers, but that was because he was THAT GREAT.)

    On EVERY defensive snap, my eyes go to DuPree first. Within the first two seconds of MOST snaps, DuPree is OUT of the play.

    He does NOT have the upper body strength to consistently beat ANYBODY. He has ONE move that the NFL knows how to easily negate/void. He canNOT set the edge.

    His stats (which I posted last week and are readily available at NFL Reference) for a starting NFL LB are horrific.

    If you carve into the sack stat that Alex pointed to in his article as perhaps something redeeming about him, you’ll find these were mostly late-game, meaningless sacks that help with the old saying, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

    His ONLY (sic) value is being able to get near the pile AFTER contact is made and get himself in the frame so that his momma can see him. He has turned that trait into a personal art form.

  • John Noh

    And the fact that Senquez Golson, Sammie Coates and Doran Grant were the team’s next three selections puts even more, arguably undue, pressure on Bud succeeding. That class is being held up by a fishing line by Jesse James and LT Walton being contributors.

  • Jason Vancil

    Gildon was ok. He also loved taking the wide loop around the QB too often. Lets just say Bud is still in development.

  • melblount

    How much time do you think I’ve spent studying DuPree? Check out my reply to “Zarbor.” to get a clue.

    BTW, I’m on my 3rd viewing today of the entire Ravens game. I’m a little behind this week as I’m usually on my 4th viewing by Wednesday.

    FWIW, I thought my initial post was mild criticism.

  • Sam Clonch

    So….do you give him the 5th year option or not? What kind of contract do you try to work out with him either way? First rounder, but not top tier, so what does that look like?

  • Sam Clonch

    By your logic we never draft Cameron Heyward in 2011, or Juju this year. I’ll stick with KC’s decisions over yours.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    I just think his ceiling is a lot lower than first anticipated. Injury or not, he’s looked like a similar player for most of his time out there to me.

    The knock on Jarvis, in the end, was his inability to get pressure on the QB. I would argue that Bud has not been much of an upgrade in that department. Little better maybe, but.. a far cry from the feeling that exists on 3rd and long when you know the OLBs are coming hard and the QB will be rushed to throw or sacked.

    The light can always come on for a player, but I’m not seeing a guy on the cusp.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Thankfully, there’s time on that one.

  • Chad Weiss

    Man I wanna see this kid get better. He has the tools and hasn’t put it all together yet.

  • steelburg

    Let’s not forget Chickillo I think he is a good special teams player and a solid rotational player at OLB. I think they have already got a return on him even more so then Walton IMO.

  • Sam Clonch

    It’s a question for after the season, but before the start of next year. If you give him the option, then he has good leverage to ask for an annual salary equal to it. I don’t see him worth that kind of scratch right now. Eh, we’ll see how it shakes out I guess.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Completely agree on moving up that year. I really wanted Peters too.

  • treeher

    I was going to say some stuff, but I think other commenters have hit most of the points: (1) We have good back-ups. If he’s hurt, sit him until he’s healthy, but it’s beginning to sound suspiciously like one of those off season surgery things (2) He’s a 1st rounder and that raises expectations (3) His pass rush is fairly one-dimensional (4) It’s not just about pass rush and I don’t agree that his run defense has been above par.

  • ThePointe

    With the epic defensive turn around that this front office just pulled of in the space of 2-3 years through the draft forgive me if I have a bit more faith in the scouting staff and the GM than you do. Your little rant here make little sense on multiple levels.

  • Chad Weiss

    Seven games this year with one tackle or less

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    And let’s not forget the post draft press conference where Colbert felt they were lucky that so many great players fell to them.

    It was not a good draft. Plain and simple.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Im not giving up on Alvin, but I wasn’t really a big fan coming out of college. His combine numbers are ridiculous for a man his size and that’s always been my hype and hope that he’d put it together. I’ve always seen him as a 7.5 sack kinda guy with glimpses of something more. Maybe it is Injuries. Idk. There’s games he looks phenomenal, but there’s a bunch of games he just seems invisible. We’ll just have to do what it do til we figure it out.

  • ThePointe

    So the comments in this article went downhill quickly. I mean there are ‘Yo mama’ jokes in the comments section. Too funny!

  • Tevin

    I don’t question Bud as a pass rusher, I just question why do they have him out there on running downs when he is a clear liability.

  • falconsaftey43

    he’s really not

  • rystorm06

    thats what she said!

  • Zarbor

    I watch the entire game and focused on him the whole game and I beg to differ. He is not a playmaker and as a first round talent with his athleticism he is flopping all over the place. He may have been in the right spot but he wasn’t making any plays. He was hesitant and whiffed on tackles, his technique on pass rush was not very good getting pushed up the field.

    I give him a little bit of grace not knowing he was battling injury as Alex stated but he is not a playmaker and I don’t care what you say or anyone says. You can’t be an OLB and have ONE tackle the WHOLE GAME….period.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    I don’t either. And when it’s not the guy, sometimes better to replace sooner than hang on and never get there.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Falcon –

    I appreciate your Steeler loyalty but I gotta disagree with your argument on Bud Dupree. You’re trying to make the case that he does a bunch of other things well that just don’t show up on the stat sheet (which is the same thing people said about Jarvis Jones).

    The problem with that is that he still has PLENTY of snaps where his primary job is to sack the QB and he never gets there. If your primary responsibility as a dad is to make money to support your family, and you don’t do that, but you’re really good at mowing the lawn and changing diapers, how much does that really help the family?

  • JNick

    Well since I replied before you posted that. No I did not read your reply. I still stand by my statement that Alex spend a much more time pouring over the film than you or any of us. That doesn’t make his opinion correct, but it does give it weight. You seemed more intent on attacking Alex in your post than providing a response to his article.

  • falconsaftey43

    I watched the game focused on Bud as well (see my other post detailing my takes). I’m not saying he’s a play maker. I’m saying he’s doing his job well. I saw one missed tackled. He had several good pass rush reps as well.

  • falconsaftey43

    that’s not his primary job. It’s part of his job. He also plays the run and is in coverage and even on snaps when he is rushing the passer his job is not always to sack the QB, there can be contain assignments and stunts where his job is to free up someone else. I’m not basing this on “Steelers Loyalty” I have no problem calling out a player I don’t think is doing well. Dupree, IMO from focusing on him when rewatching games, is a good player. He’s not a dominant pass rusher, it’s certainly the weakest part of his game. But he’s not nearly as bad of a pass rusher as many make him out to be. He’s not what you ideally want out of a 1st round draft pick, but he’s a quality starter. Jarvis Jones he is not.

  • nutty32

    I was front seat on the ‘Bud is going to have a great season’ bandwagon, but I’m conceding and taking the L. Bud is just not flashing anything/not beating his man/not helping teammates make plays: point of attack, off ball, v run or pass. He doesn’t do anything eye popping or that can’t be done by any other olb in the league. J.A.G status.

  • Conserv_58

    I’ve criticized Bud plenty and despite his numbers he earned it. I’ve never said that I give up on him, but until I see him actually show me the expected production of a first round pick that’s been coached by Joey, then I’ll give him the credit he deserves. He also has Deebo as a perfect example of a player to emulate.

    That clip above, where he’s getting shoved out of the play, is a perfect illustration of what we’ve seen from him all season long. He rarely, if ever, beats the tackle one-on-one. I’m sure his dinged up shoulder plays a role, but he’s also being cleared to play. It’s not for a lack of trying, because it’s obvious he is. Rarely do we ever see him use a swim move, dip his shoulder to get under a tackle or beat the tackle with a bull rush the way Deebo does? Those are tried and true pass rushing techniques that don’t seem to be in his tool box. I still hold out hope that Bud can find his groove and become a stud both as a pass rusher and a run stopper.

  • Rob

    I haven’t been able to rewatch the All22 yet, but on gameday (and most) i notice he gets pretty decent pressure. Not consistent, and sometimes goes for spells without any, but when he does hes like a second away from a sack. Does much better than his stats show. And in coverage, he’s been above average

  • Conserv_58

    Dang tootin! It seems quite obvious to me that if his shoulder is holding him back from rasing his level of play above barely adequate then what the heck is doing out there? Even with a limited number of reps, Anthony Chickillo and Deebo have shown that they are quite capable of replacing Bud until Bud’s shoulder gets better.

  • Conserv_58

    You can’t put Golson in that category because he never played in a regular season game. The poor guy never got out of training camp before being sidelined for the season with an injury. Now, Coates was a total waste of a third round pick. Colbert has drafted a lot of Doran Grants in his time with the team. Who will ever forget the second round, Limas Sweed pick?

  • Conserv_58

    Kevin has had his share of head scratching drafts.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    See, the problem with your argument is that you’re so blinded with Steeler loyalty, you only see half the picture. You’re probably that dad who watches your kid hit a double in little league and thinks “He’s a star hitter.” And you ignore the fact that he strikes out his next 5 at bats.

    Nobody is saying that Colbert sucks all the time at drafting. Nobody is saying that waiting for a good player to fall to you doesn’t work some of the time. But in 2015 it was a mistake to stay at spot 22. And it was a mistake to draft a project in the 1st round. If you can’t see that (or admit that) then I question your ability to evaluate the draft accurately.

    You obviously have not paid much attention to the pre-draft discussions on this board over the past 6-7 years, because if you did you would see that a lot of us lowly fans have been more accurate than Colbert on our 1st and 2nd round scouting evaluations.

    Let’s look at the last 10 years…

    2008 = Mendenhall + Sweed
    2009 = Hood + Ubrik (trade down)
    2010 = Pouncey + Worilds
    2011 = Heyward + Gilbert
    2012 = DeCastro + Adams
    2013 = Jones + Bell
    2014 = Shazier + Tuitt
    2015 = Dupree + Golson
    2016 = Burns + Davis
    2017 = Watt + Ju Ju

    Out of those 20 picks, I’m seeing 9 star players (maybe 10). That means half of them either didn’t amount to much, or don’t look like they’re going to amount to much. That means on average (with Colbert) you’re getting one good player out of those two picks. So if you’re only getting one good player, why not use the 2nd round pick to trade up and get a star? At least in those years when you have a glaring need?

    I’m sure my argument is falling on deaf ears, because you choose to look at the exceptions rather than the whole picture but I at least wanted you to see the actual stats accurately.

  • Jason Dock Dudley

    Gildon, just ok huh. Up until Harrison who has 80..gildon was the Steelers sack leader…ALL TIME with 77.

  • Ken Krampert

    If Bud played more physical, he could get much better results. He plays a bit soft and doesn’t use his physical tools enough. More desire and effort could go a long way. His rap at Kentucky was taking plays off and disappearing. Seems like this is still a problem.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Nice comeback. How about some specifics? My argument was that (in general) the Steelers scouting staff has not been good at evaluating edge rushers in recent years. Do you have a counter argument?

  • Jason Dock Dudley

    my guess is it is the shoulder, which explains why this year he is not getting his hands up and pushing like he did last year. And I agree we have not seen the swim move (or any moves) which he practiced this summer,. Why would he practice it over the Summer than not try to use it unless there is an underlying issue?

  • nutty32

    It’s easy to blame GM’s by inventing trades…

  • Jason Vancil

    I know, I know. I watched his whole career, including at Oklahoma St.

  • Conserv_58

    Nice comment and I agree with you.

    I too have suggested that it just may benefit Bud and the team if they moved him from Joey’s room to Jerry’s room. Praying that Ryan makes a complete recovery it sure would be exciting to see Ryan and Bud as the starting ILB’s. With their speed they would be down right scary for opposing OC’s to game plan against.

  • hdogg48

    Nice article and well thought out until you said: “Bud Dupree is above
    average against the run.”

    No he isn’t…he doesn’t get ANY penetration tackles, and
    in the last few games, especially after Shazier got hurt he
    flat out sucks when it comes to setting the edge.

    Maybe they can think about moving him inside. As of
    now the only above average part of his game is his
    coverage skills.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Absolutely. When you spend 4 top picks in the 1st or 2nd round, eventually you’d expect one of them to hit. I personally don’t think 25% is a good hit rate, but that’s just me.

  • charles

    Your rant is good. I enjoyed reading it. Individual stats tell only 9% of the story. What Bud Dupre exposes is that 3-4 is nuts. And only works with very special player. Make Bud LB or DL. Clearly he is not excelling at the 1/2 and 1/2 role.

  • Bryant Eng

    If Dupree gets to Brady, and finished with another sack against Houston or Cleveland, are we really considering his season a bust? How would this line look? 15 GP, 7.0 sacks, and 7 TFL – add that to a average (or above) pass coverage rating (per PFF) and I can’t help but think that is a successful (if not underwhelming) season.

  • Bryant Eng

    If Marcus Cannon is out this week, he may have a chance to capitalize on a weak RT. Let’s hope so at least!

  • ATL96STEELER

    I’m not in that camp…I’m still all in on Dupree.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    It couldn’t hurt to at least try. At this point I think we know Dupree is not going to be an elite edge rusher. With a glaring need at ILB we might be able to speed to use in a different way.

    As far as Shazier, I’m praying for him too. From all the medical information I’m reading on spinal surgeries, it’s not so much about how well Shazier recovers, it’s about the risk of what might happen if he injures it again. But again we have limited details on his current condition and prognosis, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

  • Generic Steelers Fan

    Whoever put Bud in the same category as Jarvis is dumber than the comments I make with this satirical account.

    Steelers Nation can be a weird weird place.

  • Jason Dock Dudley

    using your last 8 years provided and first two rounds, the steelers drafted 6 edge rushers at DE and OLB.

    of those 6 ONE has been a bust and that is JJ.
    One retired early and was an average player and thats Worilds

    The rest-Watt,Heyward,Tuitt are studs

    the one in question is Dupree.

    I would say one complete failure out of six is not bad at all and goes against your assessment.

  • Jeff McNeill

    Lol

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Do a little research on the S.F / S.D. trade in 2015. Then come back and debate.

  • Rob

    If every teams first and second rounders were guaranteed to be good to “star” players, the Browns would have won 4 Super Bowls.

    In comparison to team around the league, show me how Colbert has done poorly from 2008 until today. If you are interested in context.

  • Bradys_Dad

    To the extent of lumping Bud in with Jarvis – SHAME to those who would go THAT far. JJ wasn’t just a bust (and not the good find you see in Canton), he was a waste on par with the Boz (ouch).

  • ATL96STEELER

    Good post…generally speaking we live in a knee jerk response world. I don’t have access to All22 and admittedly I thought Dupree has a poor game vs BAL as well. After watching the game again with the sound down. You start to see that some of those runs to his side that were big gainers…his job was not to hold the edge like you mentioned.

    The way Butler plays his OLBs now…it will be tough for a guy to get dbl digit sacks. That said, I would like to see both starting OLBs in that 8-10 sack range.

  • nutty32

    Researching the possibility of inventing trades seems like a waste of time. It’s fair if you have good facts that a specific offer was on the table and rejected. Otherwise, you’re inventing trades aka rosterbating

  • Conserv_58

    Jason was a good player for the Steelers, but he wasn’t the monster you make him out to be. A great many of those sacks were from the benefit of being in the right place at the right time after his teammates flushed the runner into his arms. In the later part of his career he was a pile jumper that got credit for sacks at the expense of others. Whenever the question of who Steelers fans remember as being the Steelers most dominant and memorable LB’s, Gildon’s name rarely, if ever, comes up.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Jason –

    You’re entitled to your opinion but before jumping into a debate you need to study up a little bit on the Steelers defensive scheme. We run a 3-4 defense. A 3-4 DE is not an edge rusher. That’s a 3-4 OLB. Hayward and Tuitt are DT/DE hybrids.

    Our OLB edge rushers were: Jason Worilds + Jarvis Jones + Bud Dupree + TJ Watt

    If you think Worilds + Jones + Dupree are successful edge rush picks, I guess there’s not much point in debating.

  • nutty32

    Jarvis was a 1st rounder who turned out to be a j.a.g. The comparison is vaguely fair.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    So what’s your point? What do the Browns have to do with Kevin Colbert’s choices?

  • Conserv_58

    IMO, he’s not been exceptional or outstanding in any way, for a first round pick. He’s been serviceable up to this point. Greg Lloyd may have played in a different era, but look what he accomplished for being a sixth round pick.

  • Intense Camel

    You mean 5-6 years right? This defense hasn’t been good in a long time.

  • thomas hmmmm

    He has 10 tackles for loss.. Watt has 8.. VW has 10 also and Heyward leads the team with 13. Most of those outside runs that came against the ravens were because of the Safety and CB not doing their jobs.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    That’s a cop out. We know the 49ers were willing to trade down that year. They took a 4th and future 5th to move down 3 spots. If you want to argue they wouldn’t have taken a 2nd to move down an extra 4 spots go ahead. But that goes against every trade that has ever been made in NFL draft history.

    I get your point that we can’t invent trades that aren’t offered. But when a team agrees to trade down with a different team at the exact spot we’re looking at, that now becomes a different argument.

  • nutty32

    In other words you’re inventing trades. I’m very happy for you that you were able to agree on a transaction with yourself to pull off such an epic win for the steelers. You win the fake gm of the year award for your efforts. Congratulations, your mom must be proud!

  • Generic Steelers Fan

    That’s true. We should trade him

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Jarvis Jones stats: 50 games played, 38 solo tackles, 6 sacks

    Bud Dupree stats: 35 games played, 38 solo tackles, 13.5 sacks

  • thomas hmmmm

    Frank Clark? He was in the mix of all sorts of legal trouble for a variety of things. That right there made him a non Steeler prospect. Smith I did like and still do.

  • Mark Cole

    I agree

  • StolenUpVotes

    Bud is going to make a play this post season that will win us a game and people will be back on the bandwagon

  • thomas hmmmm

    I have been saying that for a while now. His speed and skill set seems like he would have more success in the middle. Seems like most of his sacks have came from stunts where he is coming from the middle. Although that is more because the Oline loses track of him and his speed allows him to run through the gap. He would be good on delayed inside blitzes.

  • Alex Kozora

    My momma said if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

  • thomas hmmmm

    2012 is that last year they were #1 in yards allowed including #1 in pass yards #2 in rushing and 6th in points. Hasn’t been that long. 5 years is a very short time for a roster rebuild and turn around. Throw in the fact that the team never had a losing season in that time and it makes it even more remarkable.

  • Alex Kozora

    Hey….don’t break character.

  • Rob

    You concluded that Colbert has done poorly because, in your evaluation, only 9/20 players drafted in the first two rounds are/could be “star players”. If I were to assume that your evaluation of what makes someone a ‘star” player is absolute and true, then i would still need to see how you evaluate the work of the 31 other teams/GMs to determine if Colbert is actually doing a poor job.

    Most people don’t call the draft a crap shoot for no reason. If it weren’t, given that the Browns pick early every year, they would be locks to win the Super Bowl.

    Just following your own line of thought, which no doubt, ignores the late round stars the team/Colbert has found as well over that time span.

  • razaard2

    I just don’t see it. For me he is bound to be mediocre. His upside is a top 32 edge defender in this league right. All the physical tools, size speed and strenght, but he doesn’t improve.
    His pass rush consists of running upfield and getting kicked out. No counters, no use of hands whatsoever (Watt is so so much better in this), no bull rush… Maybe he needs to gains 30 pounds and become a one gap DT.
    Not great at coverage either. Not bad, but not great.
    And he is getting worse at run D.
    No hope right now for him. Only hope is that I’m wrong

  • Generic Steelers Fan

    Fire Tomlin! 10-2 is unacceptable with the talent on this team

  • thomas hmmmm

    Worilds was not a bad pick especially when discussing pass rushing. I didn’t think he was good versus the run but his pass rushing was fine. 5 years 25.5 sacks and only started 16 games once which was his last season and he had 7.5 sacks.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    The sad part is… You’re probably one of those guys who accepts the word “can’t” in life very easily.

    Unless someone walks up to me an offers me a better job it “can’t” be done.

    Unless someone walks up to me and offers to train me at a gym I “can’t” lose weight.

    Unless a girl walks up to me and expresses interest I “can’t” get a date.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Wow. That’s some low standards my friend.

  • kdubs412

    Honestly what’s more disconcerting to me than his lack of sacks is how invisible he’s been in the run game. 1 tackle last game when they kept running to the right’s not gonna cut it

  • razaard2

    What about Chickillo? I’m no film junkie but I’ve seen him look better than Dupree on situational pass rush.
    Also with his past of 3-4 de he can’t be too bad at setting the edge

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Do you even read the posts before jumping in?

  • Ring4Shaz

    Strip sack Brady a couple times this week and we’re all good, Bud. Until the Texans game anyway.

  • Michael James

    The thing is this: If you watch Bud’s pass-rushing snaps, what do you see?
    You see a guy, who has zero pass-rushing technique or moves and gets shoved out of the play on nearly every pass-rushing snap. He doesn’t posses a bull rush, he still can’t bend the edge well and he doesn’t have a spin move.
    He might be ok in other parts of the game, but as of now he’s a massive failure as a pass-rusher.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    You mean domestic violence? Like James Harrison?

  • thomas hmmmm

    It’s called numbers. Just because you trade up doesn’t guaranty that your success rate improves. Success increases by having more picks not less.
    By looking at those names it just proves how Great Colbert has been at drafting because that 50% star rate (Pouncey, Heyward, Gilbert, DeCastro, Bell, Shaz, Tuitt) 7 out of 14 is a great rate. Has to be far above the league average. Not including 2015, 2016, or 2017 because it hasnt been enough time to really see how they are.
    Out of those 20 picks he only had 5 duds. Sweed, Ubrik, Adams, Jones, Golson. That is a 75% success rate. Not all of 75%er’s were stars but all of them played their roles effectively. Hood wasn’t a fan favorite but he filled the role of 2gap DE quite effectively seeing how the D didn’t drop when he took over from Smith.

  • nutty32

    Ok. You’re right. Colbert should be fired for failing to pull off your mythical trade and dating ugly chicks.

  • Jason Dock Dudley

    I am well aware of the steelers scheme, old AND new. The Steelers do not use or consider the standard of “edge” rushers any more in the same sense they used to. Butler has said as much so if anyone is expecting 13 -15 sack seasons from olbs, they are probably going to be disappointed here on out. The Steelers once again are evolving the 3-4 and now the Olbs are more than just edge rushers as much as DEs are no longer offensive line occupiers. So while you suggest I study up, I suggest you catch up with the “new” Steelers version of the 3-4.

    I said JJ was a bust. As for woriIds I said he was average and as for Dupree I like most think he is injured. Do you not see the difference in his arm usage from last year. He doesn’t even attempt to bull rush or use his arms. He did last year. Why do you think he doesn’t this year?

  • Jaybird

    Boz wasn’t all that bad. He just couldn’t live up to the incredible hype coming out of college and people only remember Bo running him over. But the Boz was not as bad as some people think. I believe injuries got him eventually as well.

  • Charles Haines

    I agree with you AK, a little bit of technique improvement and he will absolutely be the beast they hoped for.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    The funny part is, based on your argument, it’s actually NOT about numbers. It’s about how you quantify success. How do you determine who is a “dud” or who is a “star?”

    Your opinion is that Ziggy Hood was a success. My opinion is he was not. And it’s no use debating because neither of us are going to change our minds.

    My opinion is we should’ve traded up from 1.22 and drafted Marcus Peters (and I said it at the time, not hindsight). If you want to disagree that’s fine.

  • Rich Stafford

    Forget pass rush the guy is horrible at setting the edge. As far as injury goes if you’re able to play I don’t want to hear about bumps and bruises. Take the needle and play or step aside and let next man up.

  • Jason Dock Dudley

    Coates was not a wasted pick until he broke his fingers. he just became expendable with the addition of Juju and the return of Bryant

  • Jason Dock Dudley

    I consider them equal. Walton held it down last year with Heyward out.

  • Jason Dock Dudley

    Chick as a starter has been sub par and I don’t think he has Buds coverage ability

  • Rick McClelland

    I really think Dupree is hurting. I’ve thought so all year.
    Good time to start Watt and Deebo on the outsides and bring in Bud in relief and let him heal up a little.

  • pittfan

    Phew! For a second there I thought someone hacked your account.

    Sell the team!

  • Rob

    You’ve only followed up questions about your take with more questions. Maybe you should read it.

  • ThatGuy

    I think so too. He has no push power it seems like, one bump to his upper body and it almost completely stops him.

  • pittfan

    maybe a 3rd string long snapper would be fair.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    If you understand the new scheme, then why did you just say the Steelers drafted 6 edge rushers? Heyward and Tuitt are not edge rushers in any scheme. They are hybrid DT’s when we flex to a 4-3 front in sub packages, not DE’s. The OLB’s act as DE’s in those fronts.

    Anyway, I agree with your point that Butler does not draft OLB’s as strict edge rushers. For some reason he thinks they can drop into coverage and defend a WR who runs a 4.4 forty with elite change of direction, and that he will somehow fool Tom Brady by putting them in a spot they’re not supposed to be in.

    I think Colbert has done a marvelous job of drafting talent at the interior DL positions. Hayward + Tuitt + Hargrave are all very good dual threats who can beat their man one on one.

    But whether you call it a 3-4 base or 4-3 sub package, at some point he still lines up an OLB (Dupree) on an opposing OT, and we rarely win that battle. If we did, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    In my opinion, the best defense in the history of the NFL was the Steel Curtain 4-3 front, where all 4 DL could all beat their man one on one. No tricks. No gimmicks. Until we get 4-5 guys who can all get after the QB we’re going to be in trouble.

  • PaeperCup

    I’ve always been a Bud Dupree fan, back from his Kentucky days. I don’t think he’s lived up to my expectations, but I think he’s far from a bust or failure. People are calling him Jarvis 2.0 but I think that’s incredibly unfair.

    He is getting pressure. He is creating opportunities for other players, especially our DLine to make plays. He should have had two sacks against GB, if he didn’t think Flacco had thrown the ball already.

    I don’t think we have anyone better on the team that can do what that position is asked to do. I don’t see the Steelers looking for his replacement anytime soon either.

  • John Noh

    11 and 2. But they haven’t blown anyone out! Fire Mike…obviously.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Seriously Rob, do you read the posts? Did you read the part where I wrote…

    “Nobody is saying that Colbert sucks all the time at drafting. Nobody is saying that waiting for a good player to fall to you doesn’t work some of the time. But in 2015 it was a mistake to stay at spot 22. And it was a mistake to draft a project in the 1st round.”

    This is an article about BUD DUPREE. You’re talking about the Browns and whether we should fire Colbert? Try to read the posts and stay on topic.

  • Kevin artis

    Well, I have been a harsh critic of Dupree and especially after this last game as I thought he was suppose to set the edge. If he’s hurting, and not responsible for setting the edge then I will eat some crow. But I still don’t think he’s as good as you say he is. He’s a just “a guy” at the OLB and just above “Jarvis Jones” but a “Jason Worilds” type player.

  • Kevin artis

    Do we pick up his 5th year option?

  • Justin Byerly

    Wanted Landon Collins at 22 in this draft and still do to this day

  • “You can’t polish a turd”

    I wonder if you are the turn your mom talked about?

  • Generic Steelers Fan

    11 and 2? More like 11 and screwed.

  • #7

    Lots of scalding hot takes in this thread burning my retinas

  • Kevin artis

    one tackle? As much as they were running at him. I would like to know who else had one tackle after playing 90% of the snaps.

  • Kevin artis

    I would say “Jason Worilds”

  • Hyped Up Hypocycloid

    Thanks. That was the pole I needed to grasp to back away from the ledge. Let me see how he finishes the season.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    I remember alot of analysts had us picking him.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    😂😂😂😂😂

  • JNick

    Worilds was a bad pick in terms of value and a bad pick in terms of result. He was slotted as a 3rd -4th round guy and he never really consistently put it together for what you want out of a 2nd round pick.

  • JNick

    No way he gets picked. I’m not a fan if Harrison for his actions, but there is a difference between a star player on your team getting in trouble and picking a guy with a sordid history to be on your team.

  • Jason Dock Dudley

    because he wasn’t a fan favorite, doesn’t make him any less of a dominant player. He was always the “other” OLB, but he was a very good OLB. I am not going to argue the point of how good he was as a 9 year starter or in your words rather or not he was a right place right time player. The guy was flat out a beast. Unfortunately he played in the “between” years just lkie other great/very good players such as Lipps,green,Merriweather,John Jackson,Gerold williams etc……

  • steelersfan

    Steelers should have double dipped in last years draft and picked up Carl Lawson . Huge steal for the bengals and would have been a good insurance policy on Dupree.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    So why did we keep him?

  • Keith Evans

    he is not playing with power, and he is the opposite of Watt in desire to get ones hand dirty.

  • PaeperCup

    Bud Dupree was a top end prospect. His draft position was just about right, there was a lot to like, and a strong number of draft experts felt the same.

    i don’t know why we all think drafting a player is as easy as apple pie. Maybe Bud will turn out to be a swing and a miss, but at the time, this was looked at as a good pick.

    It’s like when people question why Ryan Leaf was drafted at all after the career he had. At the time, everyone whose anyone had him as a top 2 pick. What happens after happens.

    hindsight is always 20/20

  • PaeperCup

    We all did, but there were question marks there too. He wasn’t a sure fire pick. Talent wise yes, but there were other concerns which probably played into the decision not to spend any more than needed. If he fell to 22, then maybe they take him, but was he worth the risk of using an additional draft pick to trade up. Now we can say maybe, but then there were a lot of questions.

    With his recent antics, we see what people were concerned about.

  • Jones

    She was too busy rambling on about your turds to teach you a little basic tact I guess?
    I realize that you made a more substantive post elsewhere after posting this gem, but that doesn’t change the fact that your statement here has no real data and adds nothing to the conversation.
    Nice try though.

  • Kevin78

    I’m on my tenth. Usually, I have reviewed it 28 times by now. I’ve been busy.

  • hdogg48

    They drafted him because of his raw speed and athleticism.

    So from that perspective it was up to Porter and Butler to
    use him and coach him up to where that potential could
    be effectively utilized in a scheme that would realize long term success.

    After 3 years that potential is still that…just potential.

    So Jarvis Jones and Bud Dupree have shown themselves to
    be just prospects.

    The scouting and coaching MUST do a better job on drafting and developing
    first round potential.

  • Jeff George

    Then he’s injury prone. It’s one or the other. A bust or never healthy.

    However, he still has five sacks on the season with three games to go.

  • Justin Byerly

    Yeah, it also frustrated me that we would take 3 LB’s in the first round for 3 straight years when our secondary was equivalent to dog poo. Imagine not having Mike Mitchell, and Landon right now. I know hindsight is 20/20, but I remember this draft. Everyone said he (Bud) was a steal at the time for the position. It was a steal because Shane Ray and Randy Gregory were hit with pot in their system and their stock fell. But yet, Shane was taken 23 by Denver.
    P.S. Why would we take a LB out of Kentucky over a guy that had an excellent career as a S at Alabama?

  • Conserv_58

    Coaches coach and players play. Some players require a lot more coaching than others. Some players have a difficult time processing what they’re being taught. Bud might be one of those players.

  • Mister Wirez

    What bothers me most is when he is rushing the QB, he has ONE MOVE, and he’s forced wide and deep 99.9% of time. He doesn’t have or use a swim, grab, rip, spin, or club moves… If I was an offensive coordinator, I wouldn’t worry much about “Dud” Dupree.

    The other problem with Bud is in the running game. . What bothers me most is when he is rushing the QB, he has ONE MOVE, and he’s forced wide and deep 99.9% of time. He doesn’t have or uWhatse a swim, grab, rip, spin, or club moves… If I was an offensive coordinator, I wouldn’t worry much about “Dud” Dupree.

    The other problem with Bud is in the running game. He doesn’t set the edge well and on outside runs like the Ravens use Bud would get pinned inside the tackle and washed out of the play… I don’t want to say I hope he’s hurt, but if he’s not I think ‘bust’ might be the correct label.

  • Marcel Chris Chauvet

    He’s not setting the edge effectively in the run game. He’s not getting to the QB often enough in the pass game. If he hasn’t developed into a better player than this, he should sit. If he’s unable to play better because of injury, he should sit. All roads lead to Rome. He’s simply not our best option at his current level of play.

  • Jason Dock Dudley

    I think we are speaking in semantics on the edge rusher point. I do agree that the best rush is a winning 4 more rush and I think that is what Butler is leaning towards but with the 4th man being an unknown. I would like to see J wobble needs to be on the field on passing downs and the other rusher being the wild card meaning it could be any of the of the LBs or a db.

  • Conserv_58

    Chickillo doesn’t have the physical attributes that Bud has, but he has shown that he can get of blocks and work his way through the scrum better than Bud has. Bud spends too much energy hand fighting and too little time attacking the QB. Chickillo is a very valuable backup and there isn’t that much of a drop off between him and Bud.

  • steelburg

    Walton played sparingly last year even with Heyward out. Hargrave logged the majority of his snaps not Walton. I view Chickillo as a little more valuable because he is also able to play special teams. With that being said I think both guys have proven to be pretty good depth.

  • Conserv_58

    Thumbs up on your insightful post. 👍

  • SteelersGeek4Lyfe

    I’m on my 37th viewing as we speak. Usually I’m on my 69th by now, but I had to get up to bang Mel’s mom.

  • hdogg48

    All good points, but after 3 years I think of him as
    a college student finishing up his Junior year
    with a borderline GPA with a declared Major.

    With exams coming up…ie the stretch and playoffs
    coming he needs to pull up his cumulative avg.
    or else if and when he graduates…next year
    he won’t get into grad school (his option won’t be
    picked up).

    He needs to show that he fits into our long term
    plans or he’ll be shown the door like Jarvis was.

    We know we need to find Shazier’s replacement
    either by the draft or by clearing cap space
    to sign a F/A. Right now he is on the bubble
    with lots of wood to chop.

  • They should have used Harrison more if he needed his shoulder to rest.

  • BurghBoy412

    The average fan will never understand how well Dupree has played. This isn’t the same position that it was in the past. Its useless trying to explain that to your average moron that only sees sack numbers at that position and bases their assessment soley on that one stat. I’ve come to realize that the average fan is completely uneducated when it comes to X’s and O’s. Therefore most opinions they share are ignorant and should be dismissed. Just as you would dismiss the rantings of an insane human.

  • Matt Manzo

    Hey Alex!
    Did you see the comment in another post, I can’t remember which article, where the commenter said he had inside info that the coaches ask Dupree to take that arc and circle back to try and get the QB to move up in the pocket? Could that be right?

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    Enlightening! It almost seems like has to develop an inside Rip or Spin because we see him running the arc so much.

  • JNick

    Because at that point he was a perennial DPOY candidate. Also Walker was drafted in the midst of the PR issues with domestic abuse. To me it’s an apples to oranges conversation. I don’t agree with it all, but it’s pretty obvious why.

  • SeventhHeavan

    Jarvis Jones in the making….

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    Not criticizing anyone…Bud was viewed as raw coming in. He’s had some injuries, so next year is a make or break in my mind. I was told that you can polish a turd but no matter how much you polish it, it’s still a POS underneath.

  • Guillermo Garcia-Gomez

    This thread is getting pretty intense, but I want to add my opinion. Although Dupree is extremely athletic, he rushes outside every time which is why he almost never gets home. If he doesn’t even pose a threat to make a move inside, we will keep seeing more of the same numbers from him. Obviously, he’s much better than JJ, but that’s not saying much. I’d definitely steer clear of his 5th year option, as well as any hopes that he becomes a double digit sack guy in the nfl.

  • SteelersGeek4Lyfe

    It sure would be nice to run that Bears game back though, wouldn’t it? Imagine being 12-1 and essentially having the #1 seed locked up regardless of the outcome of the P*ts game

  • Mister Wirez

    Wouldn’t mind seeing Chickillo get in there if Bud is hurting.

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    Agreed! Miost of those runs did cut into the hole off tackle, up and out where the ILB or S is sposed to fill.

  • colingrant

    1) LOL……….178 and counting as I type. Post totals are a clear indicator of the greatness or inadequacy of a player’s performance. Insufficiency however typically garners the highest numbers. Dupree’s quickly entering the Whipping boy category. It’s tough being an outside linebacker with the Steelers. Performance expectations are high and criticism is swift if not met.

    2) Coming out of college, he was known as a well rounded, raw skilled possessing athlete/linebacker. Nothing in his tape suggested he’d be a monster pass rusher. Nothing! His athletic skill package leads fans (me included) to sometimes conjure up, unreachable expectations and that’s probably the case here. I too used to baseline his performance against Watt, but it should be the other way around due to it being Bud’s 3rd year. He’s wasting his money being tutored by Chuck Smith the pass rushing instructor. His best teacher is free and already on the team, James Harrison.

    3) A should injury could possibly be the reason why he appears to avoid contact when rushing. The fact that his pass rush looks similar to his previous two seasons, (before the shoulder injury) might have something to do with fans discontentment. I’m holding out hope due to Jason Worilds had similar pass rushing issues through his first three seasons. In his 4th, he became difficult to block 1-one-1 and unblockable with tight ends. When tight ends can regularly beat athletic pass rushing linebackers 1-on-1 the defense is in trouble. I recall in the 2008 season the Ravens required the right tackle AND the tight end (Tood Heap I think) to block Lamar Woodley, which freed up Troy P to do what Troy did back then, which was wreak havoc where and when he saw fit. Not having to worry about the tight end going out in pass coverage helped this immensely.l

    4) In the clip above, the worst result of his pass rushing technique, or lack thereof is the clear visual passing lane enabling the QB to step into his throws as if it’s a 7-on-7 drill. Un-rushed, clear visual passing lane, the ability to step up and follow through can lead to completion percentages in the 80’s, against zone defenses.

    5) Furthermore, he’s playing the left side and every NFL starting QB is right handed. His best and perhaps only (if you want to call it that) pass rushing technique is to go wide, get pushed out, hope for DB coverage force the QB to hold onto the football and come from behind blindly. That’s not an effective strategy.

    6) On a separate issue, look at the ease in which the Ravens’ fullback or tight end drops Sean Spence. His first game, so I’ll give him a pass, but I’m mid 50’s and pretty sure I could have at least stayed on my feet 🙂 , but that’s just me being a fan. 🙂

  • SeventhHeavan

    I agree. He simply can not get to the QB. All of his 5 sacks were coverage sacks. Not initially beating his guy to the QB. “Atta boy” for hustle. I can bet he won’t even lay a hand on TB Sunday..

  • TroymanianDevil

    I understand your point and in the right situation, sure. And the Steelers did that, Troy Polamalu, but it has to be the right situation like Troy.

    But in general, you’re making some assumptions here too. First, you act like you who Colbert would’ve drafted. It could’ve easily been a different player that didn’t pan out. And at the cost of a 2nd round pick in your example. It’s easy to say, this guy was there in hindsight, why didn’t we trade up and draft him. We didn’t we take Marino. Everyone passed on AB 5 times, including us. It’s not that easy, go look at other teams draft records. 9 stars out of 20 is actually pretty good so you’re proving that the Steelers can actually scout pretty well.

    And that leads me to my bigger point, you’re not taking into account what the average is. There was a well done study, I’d post the link if I could but you can probably find it if you google it, that shows that not only are the Steelers the best drafting team in the last 20 years, but it’s actually by a decent margin. Other studies have statistics that have shown over the last 30 years of NFL draft, finding a star is basically a crapshoot. Obviously the higher the round the better chance of drafting a star. But the better way to get players is actually been shown to be having more darts to throw at the board, so to speak. Which is basically the NE draft strategy. Trade down, acquire more 2nd, 3rd and 4th round picks. And you’ll hit on enough picks to field a good team. We don’t trade picks that often, so I’m ok with just relying on scouting. Again, I think most people agree that the Steelers have the most talented 53 man roster in the NFL and we know almost all of the players are guys we drafted

  • GravityWon

    Dupree needs to be more combative when trying to shed blockers
    Aka linebacker mentality lacking at times.

  • GravityWon

    It could have less to do with awareness and more to do with not having a LB mentality. Some LBs like Porter have a mean streak. Others like Greene are ultra competitive and convinced themselves that nobody could block them.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    I think we fell in love with his measurables. I totally understand the Landon pick. I live in Alabama so I watched a ton of him! I think we were trying to trade up in the second for him. I remember not really wanting Bud, but was okay with it because we needed a OLB and Beasley was gone.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Dupree is like a girlfriend who only knows how to cook one thing. Only wants to watch reruns of ‘Friends.’ And who most of your friends don’t really like but keep giving chance after chance because you appear stuck.

    I’m not saying I’m checking out other girls at the bars in front of her, yet. But as I walk down the grocery aisles, I have to pretend-reach for something on the shelf, just so my head-snap-back isn’t a clear indication that I WASN’T excited about the oatmeal that I just feigned remembrance of and grabbed for.

    I’m not ready to break up with Dupree, but I’m not ring-shopping either.

    However… I’m a good cook, so maybe I’m just not taking the time to teach her very well. I like reruns of The Golden Girls, so I can’t judge. And most of my friends are neanderthals, anyways. 🙂

  • Sdale

    Great article Alex. I think it’s an objective analysis about all of the things that go into having success. The biggest issue I have is, after 3 years (albeit shortened by injury), he still hasn’t developed any techniques outside of the speed rush (where he typically ends up 10 yards up the arc). My biggest question is, why hasn’t he, and can he ever develop even one more technique? I have to put at least some blame on coaching for this, but he just seems like he doesn’t even try a different move.

  • Ichabod

    Bud is pedestrian. Can’t see him as special in any way so far. Not sure he’s worth his fifth year option. But then again, how many 1st round picks should we spend to field a quality pair of OLB?

  • Aj Gentile

    Maybe he does better with a different coach other than Porter

  • Guillermo Garcia-Gomez

    Yeah but who IS gonna sack him? We haven’t done that much over the years no matter who we have.

  • Delboka

    So you’re more offended by him stating that he’s a “blogger from his mom’s basement,” (which he is) than comparing Bud to fecal matter?

  • capehouse

    He just looks goofy when he plays. An insanely athletically gifted goof. Maybe it’s that ugly number.

  • Serious Andy

    I’m new here but Rob is spot on.
    Compared to the rest of the league KC is doing above average and IMO post 2009 he’s been hitting it out of the park….

  • Intense Camel

    Dude do you write for Colin Cowherd or something? lol

  • Alex K

    The thing about Dupree is that he just isn’t showing much improvement year to year. He isn’t developing as a pass rusher. The only difference for him this year is that he has been mostly healthy. He’s way better than Jarvis, but still a let down for where he was drafted. I don’t see him getting the 5th year option but hopefully he finishes the season strong and proves me wrong. He has the physical ability but his football instincts need to be way better.

  • JNick

    No. I think both are unequally called for? I’m not offended, just pointing it out. Why?

  • Alex, why did Balt run so consistently and successfully to their right–especially off tackle or wider? Were they attacking something or someone they felt was a weakness, or are they offensively stronger re personnel to run to the right?

  • John Noh

    True and it still stings – if Mitchell just picked that ball off, they would have won that game. However, I also didn’t expect the Steelers to trounce the Ratbirds in Baltimore either.

  • Big Joe

    Thanks. One related topic you can help me to understand Alex is why Butler has him playing a noticeable amount of run or pass rush snaps inside Tuitt vice as outside contain or rush. That schematic move has resulted in numerous successful runs outside, swing passes and screens because he gets trapped inside and the ILBs can’t get out there in time. I’m not quite understanding why we keep running that scheme.

  • Dshoff

    I agree. In fact, I don’t think he really needs to lose weight, he’s fast enough now.

  • Dshoff

    Next year might just be the time to move Dupree to ilb with Shaz probably done. Give him a full offseason and training camp to prepare. But that really isn’t the Steelers way. They’ll probably move him 3 games into the preseason!

  • Rob H

    LMAO!
    I was about to say that I wish I had that kind of free time on my hands, but as I thought about it, I’m really happy I DON’T have enough free time to rewatch a game more than once.

    It’s all good though, since there’s a really good chance that you’re just lying/trolling anyway.

  • Dshoff

    Bingo. It’s not like we don’t have anybody (HARRISON) that they could put out there if he is hurt (HARRISON). We probably have somebody (HARRISON) that we might (HARRISON) want to give some time to.

  • MC

    I’ve given up by seeing his lack of pass rush repertoire of moves since he was drafted. It drives me mental when he consistently goes for the speed rush even though the tackle knows its coming because hey, opponents are going to read scouting reports and watch film. With no threat of an inside move he is completely predictable. On top of that, with how much he runs downfield leaves a gaping hole for qbs to escape though or just clear passing lanes. Have we ever seen bud engage with a linemen and bat a pass down?

    What’s worse is he has no counter to being beat outside. No spin move or bull rush. He just does this little pause and stutter step like that’s going to beat anyone. The only time it was worked is when the qb is flushed out of the pocket or coverage holds up for more than 5 seconds and he’s so unengaged with lineman that he can clean up by using his speed to chase people down.

    Yes he was close in that flacco gif but for a guy drafted where he was you would expect him to be able to beat a tackle one on one from time to time, something we haven’t really seen.
    For the strongside backer they gotta go with a DE in college and convert him like they did with Woodley and Worlids.
    Woodley was absolutely dominant when healthy because he had to hone his rush moves for years plus he was big enough to not get washed out on run plays, something I’ve seen happen to bud far too often. especially in this balt game. I’ve seen Tight ends take Bud off his feet, and that’s another thing, he ends up on the ground so often, no control of his body.
    I really feel like he is averse to contact with lineman because he always attempts to go untouched rather than drive through anyone.

    He also has no instincts to sniff out plays and blow them up. I’ve watched him miss out on sacks when he has a free lane to the qb because of a playaction that’s going to the other side of the formation!!! In that case he shouldn’t hesitate and go straight for the qb since his primary job is contain on his side.
    This guy is an athlete, not a football player.

  • Alex Kozora

    I think I saw it. I don’t know how true that is though.

  • Alex Kozora

    Yes he does.

  • Alex Kozora

    I think they ran the ball with success everywhere. And generally, teams are going to run right because it’s their strength.

  • Kevin Schwartz

    I agree – he’s definitely not Jones. He’s already produced more than Jones did in significantly more time. It’s not clear to me why he hasn’t done much the last few games, because prior to that he was actually pretty productive. If people are right that he only has one move, and people are figuring it out, it could be an issue (though, a fixable one). If he’s injured, that would make sense too. Also could be that he’s dropping back in coverage more, or that sack numbers are volatile and you can’t judge by small sample sizes.

    I’m definitely happy to wait and see.

  • Alex Kozora

    Yeah I don’t always get it either, Joe. I think some of it is to be able to hit the gap, have guys slant, and sometimes, let a bigger guy contain the edge than an OLB. But it doesn’t always work. Alignment has been an issue the last two weeks.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Only in my spare time.

  • Brenton deed

    Well this Sunday would be a good day to take it to the next level.

  • mhurk

    I would not, He is going to want in the range of 7-8 million, I think based on His performance He is worth about 1-2 million, so I would let Somebody else sign Him and get the Comp pick.

  • Jaybird

    I’m just hoping his shoulder is dinged up and that’s why he hasn’t taken that step forward this year.

  • mhurk

    Dupree has 5 sacks in 666 snaps this year, Chickillo has 3 sacks in 237 snaps. I think They keep starting Him to save face rather than sit Him which would expose Him as the bust that He is.

  • Big Joe

    Yeah, just seems very counterproductive at the wrong times. Tuitt is just not fast enough to get wide enough to cover the outside gap opened up. Too many long runs and RB passes on that side as a result. Just don’t think the return on investment on that strategy is worth it. Anyway, good article. Thanks

  • Pghomer

    Just one side note…Mythbusters prove that you can in fact “Polish a turd.”

  • Pghomer

    Hey Alex, just wanted to let you know you can feel a little better. As I responded to MelBlount -Mythbusters proved you can in fact “Polish a Turd!”

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Darth –

    LOLOLOL

  • mhurk

    Let Somebody else sign Him and take the comp pick. His true value is the Vet minimum and Im not sure He is worth that.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Andy. Nobody is arguing that. We’re talking about Dupree.

  • Jason Stahura

    I agree, his biggest issue is like the play above, he tends to get pushed up field way too much. He is way to strong and fast to not have any sort of inside move or even a bullrush where he plows the tackle straight into the qb to collapse the pocket.If he can get any kind of inside move he can still be able to knock down some easy throws with his height and freakish physical gifts. Getting pushed 5 yards past pocket takes him out of play and gives easy passing lanes that could be shut down. Plus inside moves will mean more double teams which gives Heyward or Tuit more one on one which I’ll take any day!! Great article though! Just want to say my prayers are with Shazier and his family, he was born to play LB in Pittsburgh and with God’s will, hopefully he will be back in black n gold next year. STEELER NATION IN FLORIDA ARE PRAYING FOR YOU #50!! WE LOVE YOU BRUTHA!!

  • Michael Cunningham

    This article aside I’m calling Deebo and Watt as starting OLB’s against the Pats
    just like the final series against Flacco ..

  • Todd Borax

    And I wanted to nail this hot girl from high school but that didn’t happen either. Quit talking about the past and get on with life.

  • will

    Yes…that is exactly what Jarvis said…..

  • walter

    The GIF is a good example of Dupree always being late. The RT easily pushed him out of the play. Dupree has a high motor and he keeps trying but he is almost always too late. Alex, is there any chance Dupree could learn ILB? because i dont see him excelling at OLB.

  • walter

    Yes he is close but no cigar

  • Steel Realist PAul

    I just think the Steelers could use a little more boldness in the draft, even tho there are costs associated with moving up – at times a standout player fits the bill. Gotta take advantage of those times (read: D. Revis being scooped up a pick ahead of the Steelers)

  • Jason Dock Dudley

    Chick is a valuable backup. I disagree that there is very little drop off. Both are still developing but chick as a full time starter would not be good.

  • Jason Dock Dudley

    then we are in agreement then.

  • Jason Dock Dudley

    all snaps are not equal so the stats mean very little as a stand alone argument. It’s like the rb that plays majority 1st and 2nd down against stacked fronts and gets 4 ypc, then the backup comes in on passing downs and gets carries against soft fronts/passing defenses and averages 5.4 ypc on less snaps. Obviously theat RB is the better ball carries…of course not.