Most of the talking heads applaud Pete Carrol and his staff for the unique style of play, using their big corners, like the 6’3″ 195 pound Richard Sherman.
Steeler nation knows that the 6’3″ 205 pound, hall of famer, Mel Blount was beating up receivers long before anyone in the Legion of Boom was even born.
This year’s Superbowl was a real snoozer, but I was personally happy to see that defense can still rule in a game where every change is made to favor the offense.
Plenty of teams have copied from the Steelers defenses over the years, and the Steelers would be wise to do that now.
I’ve heard a lot of people whine that the Seattle defenders get away with a lot of grabbing in the secondary.
I’ve read some interesting takes on that lately, that look into why they get away with it (and it’s not some bias towards the Seattle Seahawks), and it’s kind of genius.
Former NFL VP of officiating Mike Pereira described it saying “[The Seahawks] look at it and say, ‘We may get called for one but not 10.'”
Pereira says that basically, if Seattle holds on basically every play, the referees become reluctant to throw a flag on every play.
It’s the same idea as when people say that holding could be called on every single NFL play.
Kevin Clark of the Wall Street Journal wrote an article near the beginning of January on the subject. Clark pointed out that since 2001, teams that have 20+ defensive holding/pass interference calls in a season have all been successful defenses.
This season Seattle lead the league in pass interference(15) and defensive holding penalties(11).
I bring this up because the Steelers secondary is in the midst of a major overhaul, and it might be time to start implementing a game plan once in employed by Mel Blount.
Cortez Allen is big enough the frustrate receivers. He famously shut down the 6’6″ 265 lbs. Rob Gronkowski in Cortez’s rookie season.
Allen is essentially the only CB on the roster guaranteed to be around for a while. Kevin Colbert should consider getting some big, physical cornerbacks when they re-stock the position.
In my first posted mock draft of the year I have the Steelers selecting Stanley Jean-Baptiste in the second round for the reasons listed above.
With a Steelers pass rush that’s in flux, using some “dirty” tactics on the back end could help with getting guys like Jarvis Jones more time to rush the quarterback.
This is just me, I doubt anything like this would happen… but I would love to see Mel Blount come to training camp for a few days in camp this Summer, to teach our secondary a few things about his playing style.
Mel Blount famously changed his style of play when the “Mel Blount Rule” was implemented during his career. Mel could likely teach a guy like Cortez Allen how to be physical and how to do it without getting caught.
Some people might see that as underhanded tactics, I call it toeing the line and realizing you’re going to get burned here or there, but in the long run it creates an attitude that equals success.