It doesn’t take a football genius to know that the Pittsburgh Steelers desperately needed to address their defense this offseason. Consider the “addressing” of the defense done, but things haven’t and won’t stop there.
I found it very refreshing to hear Mark Kaboly’s podcast this week where he discussed exactly what he had seen at the three-day rookie mini-camp. After spending years watching the defense under Dick LeBeau, Kaboly immediately noticed a new drill involving the defense.
The new drill as Kaboly described dealt with the defense reading and trying to diagnose where the ball was going before it actually went there.
This is music to my ears and it should be to yours too. What it means is that new Defensive Coordinator Keith Butler is adamant about reversing a very troubling trend which is all about getting turnovers.
Combine this with the fact the Steelers drafted two guys, Senquez Golson and Gerod Holliman, who accounted for over 20 interceptions last year at the college level and what you have is an organization that is looking to get back to playing “Steeler Football” on the defensive side.
There are no guarantees of course that a couple of rookies and a glimpse of a new strategy will immediately turn this defense into a turnover-causing machine, but you have to like the direction.
If you listen to the podcast Kaboly does a nice job of pointing out that in recent seasons, when the Steelers were in the top 10 in interceptions they went to the Super Bowl. He also points that other recent Super Bowl winners and participants also ranked high in turnovers.
This isn’t rocket science people. The more turnovers you create the more opportunities you provide for your offense to score. I’m not yet convinced that the current personnel will automatically transform this defense but again, the direction is a positive one.
A combination of pressure on the quarterback and athletic, faster guys in the secondary should increase the chances for more turnovers. But we must remember though that how Keith Butler puts this defense together is just as important.
The good news is that the transformation we’ve been waiting for appears to be underway.