There is always room to improve. The Pittsburgh Steelers‘ defense takes that to heart. How could a defense that has finished the best in the league two years in a row get much better? Plus a secondary that finished number one overall. Easy, attack the ball.
Defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau has the defense doing more ball drills early in OTA’s to emphasize attacking the ball. Cortez Allen told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
“We’re working on it everyday, doing more ball drills, more emphasis on attacking the ball so we can do better in that category,” Allen said.
If we look at just the cornerbacks, as I said in an article on Sunday, the last time the Steelers sent a cornerback to the pro bowl was in 1997 (15 years). To add to this, Russell Baxter of Pro Football Guru enlightened me yesterday via twitter that Steelers cornerbacks have just 15 interceptions dating back to 2009.
Can that change? “Absolutely that can change, and I’m going to do my best to be a factor in that,” Allen said. “That’s always our goal. We finished No. 1 in the secondary two years in row, No. 1 as a defense two years in a row. We’d like to be No. 1 in every category.”
Looking at the defense as a whole, they finished 27th in interceptions with 10 while opponents had 14. The defense forced 15 fumbles but were behind again when opponents forced 20. The Steelers finished -10 in turnover ratio on the year.
This is another area the Steelers plan on correcting for the 2013 season. If the Steelers defense can add this to their high profile defense, we could see them finish first for three consecutive seasons. Early on this seems like a good philosophy, attack the football.