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2008 Defense and Coaching the Still Mailman

March 01, 2009 by Guest

 Hello  fellow Stiller brethren,

 2008 Defense and Coaching Grades    by the Still Mailman

      -          First, in response to the concept that I graded too high last time. THIS TEAM WON THE SUPER BOWL.


-          NT  Hampton clogged the middle and had something to do with the great run defense. That being said, Hoke could take his place for a lot cheaper price tag if the Steelers need to save cap money.  Casey needs to play pissed off all of the time, not just when he gets called for defensive holding.  Hampton B-    Hoke C   Paxson  INC


-          DE Aaron Smith gets an A for playing in the Giants game after dealing with his son�s leukemia. He had a quiet post-season but during the season he did his part to help the defense be number 1. Keisel played okay when he was healthy and probably led the team in batted down passes. Kirchke filled in when needed and was always hustling to the ball. Eason was just a big body. Roye came back to win the ring that Cowher screwed him out of. The 3-4 defense is set up to make stars out of the linebackers, not the linemen. This group did what they needed to do. Smith A,  Keisel B-, Kirchke B-   Eason C   Roye C


-          ILB Potsie captained the best defense in football. He missed some tackles and got burned in coverage a few times but overall he gave a B effort. Would you rather have Ray Lewis? Foote was the weak link of the linebackers as we all know but he still played his role. Timmons had a number of big plays coming off the bench. Let�s hope this will continue if he is given the starting job. Fox played mostly in garbage time and earned his keep on special teams. Farrior  B, Foote C Timmons B [ He needs to learn how to take INTs the whole way to the endzone like Harrison] Fox C


-          OLB Harrison gets an A for his performance, playing hurt and not dancing like a fool when he makes a play. Woodley was a great bookend for Harrison and is only getting better. His arms are freaking huge. Bailey was a force on special teams and won the Steelers rookie of the year. Woods looked good on special teams before he got hurt. Davis is a project. Frazier also looked decent on special teams. Poor Arnold Harrison got hurt in the preseason again and put on IR. Harrison A+, Woodley A, Everyone else the jury is still out on defense. Their combined special teams play A.


-          S Polamalu was healthy and it showed. He made his trademark spectacular interceptions but had too many kamikaze missed tackles. Missed tackles aside, he is still the best [ sorry Ed Reed ] and he sealed the deal against the Ravens in the AFC Champ game. Some fans don�t like Clark�s hits on Welker and McGahee but that is called intimidation. Those hits bring back memories of Thomas Everett, Gary Jones, Mel Blount and all of the other great Steeler hitters. Clark isn�t the greatest cover man but he works well with Troy. Tyrone Carter brings depth but I only like to see him in garbage time. Anthony Smith is most likely on his way out. He couldn�t beat out Carter for playing time. That isn�t a good sign. Polamalu A-,  Clark Coverage C Hitting A,  Carter C, Smith D, Mundy  INC


-          CB  Ike had a decent season as the shutdown corner. He needs to improve his tackling and his brick hands. McFadden was playing great before breaking his forearm. That opened the door for William Gay who had a breakout year and should be able to replace McFadden. The crafty old veteran Townsend was solid as the nickel corner and had the big interception against the Cowboys. Madison is a special teams demon but hasn�t played much defense yet. This group benefitted from the pass rush and made plays. Ike B, McFadden B, Gay B, Townsend B, Madison and Roy Lewis INC


-          HC Mike Tomlin made a lot of gutsy calls this year and has the respect of his players. I still think   he should have gone for the touchdown on the first drive of the Super Bowl. He took over a good talented team just like Cowher did. The difference is that Tomlin didn�t have numerous playoff failures before winning the big one. When Tomlin was on the podium with the trophy he was already talking about next year with a different group of players. He doesn�t sound like he rest on his laurels. Tomlin A-


-          OC Arians F-    The fact that this team won the Super Bowl with him is amazing.


-          DC LeBeau coached the number one defense this year. I think he shouldn�t have changed defenses in the second half of the Super Bowl. Outside of that, he made the right calls and now needs to be in the HOF.  LeBeau A-


-          ST Bob Ligashesky What a turnaround by the special teams. Except for a couple of Jim Leonhard returns it was a solid year for the return defense. Santonio needs to be replaced on punt returns for two reasons. He calls too many fair catches and he is now the number one receiver. Someone also needs to be brought in to return kickoffs. I think half of Steeler Nation would have had heart attacks if Russell had took one back for a touchdown. Ligashesky B


-          Have a good off-season and enjoy the spring and summer.


 Yours in Steelerism,


       The Still Mailman

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