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  1. Mack Wilson

    Here's what I gathered about Mack Wilson: + superb in coverage, pro-ready. + size/athleticism suggests he will get better + hard-hitting + is a Blitzer - Happy feet in the run game - Played behind the superior line, unsure how he'll battle at the line of scrimmage - Not the best sideline to sideline tackler of the class - Not an effective pass rusher People may grade him as a 2nd round like they did Lavonte David. Doesn't mean he's not going to be a pro bowler. Players like him have MORE value for us than other linebackers would. If he's there, you take him. Players like him don't get to be available in any class often. He may be the best coverage LB coming out of Alabama ever.
  2. Pre-Super Bowl Mock

    You aren't wrong on the 2-4-5/4-2-5 part, but in NFL you have to mask your defense, that's Tomlin (or Butler) thing. You could see a 2-4-5, but the assignments are like a 4-2-5 or vice versa. My argument for this is we have been playing a 4-2-5 with the personnel of 2-4-5, I do think we are restricted to closing the edge and 2 minutes drill pass-rushing because of this. I'm just saying who I feel and what role I think would benefit the Steelers greatly, of course, that's much different from what they will do, or your preference. For example, your mock draft and listed free agents consist of 3-4 pass rushers. True, it's a shallow class, but the 4-3 defensive ends aren't. There are some good FAs we can get for dirt cheap. What the Steelers will want is a pass rusher who dropbacks (ugh) because our inside linebackers couldn't. What I want for us to force ourselves get a true Cover LB, albeit Mack Wilson via the draft. This means getting a pass rusher who is good against the run, not necessarily to drop in the coverage. Here's why I think it works; with our multiple packages, the 4-3 pass rusher type would play as much as Hargrave (43%) so I'm expecting the player (x) to play at least 40% of the snaps. That's not full-time playing time. This is, of course, FACTORING in Dupree being back (he will be) with his snap count % should be much lower (played at 83%). Having a player who can compliment Dupree just makes more sense to me, at least I think. Thoughts?
  3. Pre-Super Bowl Mock

    I agree with the sentiment we are going to play with 2-4-5 more (or 4-2-5, whichever, it's practically the same) that being said, I'd think getting a free agent defensive end/pass rusher makes more sense than drafting ANOTHER one. It's like drafting cornerbacks and none of them succeed, so you do it again. Defeat the purpose of the draft. Sweat is a really good player, but his ceiling isn't where Darius Leonard is (senior players who can continue to grow).
  4. Linebacker. !!!! Bush

    Devin White is easily the best linebacker for the draft (some would argue Josh Allen is, not me) but I'd argue Mack Wilson is more valuable to us than Devin White would be. How many coverage LB you can find in the draft? Somebody who can be multi-faceted in coverage? Also... TACKLE well? If Mack Wilson maxed his potentials, that's fine we need him for the exact player he is and it would push our scheme toward more of 4-2-5.
  5. Argument for 4-2-5 defense

    Even if he's not the starter, he'll offer plenty of value as co-starter. He's somewhat an injury-prone, but on good days he's very productive. It is what it is.
  6. Argument for 4-2-5 defense

    Finding a run-stuffing defensive tackle, whether that's as an NT or 3-tech is easier to find today, you don't want a full-time player for that. Fortunately, it's actually a good free agent class for run-stuffing DT/NT. One idea that got my attention: Antonio Brown to 49ers. I think I would be okay with the trade and here's why; if there were a trade to be made, they are likely to send over a player with a contract the 49ers would like to dump. The likely player of this scenario is Malcolm Smith. He'd be a perfect LB for this scheme even. Look, I'm not saying 4-2-5 will definitely happen, but the moves (Letting Joey Porter go, promoting Karl Dunbar), repeated schemes nearing the end of the season (as evidently of versus the Patriots and Saints), and Antonio Brown may indicate the new majority scheme. Just saying!
  7. Argument for 4-2-5 defense

    There's also this read. https://steelersdepot.com/2019/01/how-steelers-next-olb-coach-may-be-karl-dunbar/ Karl Dunbar is likely to take over the OLB duties. This is a strong indication. If I'm right, it's why they are willing to trade Antonio Brown. He can give you a draft pick and really good pass rusher (think Broncos). I see people saying we need a nose tackle; for the 4-2-5, you don't need a full-time nose tackle. Not always, there's a formation then alignments. Would Hargrave's talent be wasted? Maybe... Maybe not, after all, he is more likely to get more playing time. Yes, I fully acknowledge that Stephen Tuitt may be an outcast, honestly he is little overpaid for what he does and this coming from the person who really likes him too. It's definitely doable, not that impossible. As long we ensure the alignments and coaching aspects are there, we can make it work. Front 4 FA/DRAFT - Hargrave - Heyward - Watt Vince Williams/FA - Morgan Burnett/FA/DRAFT The safety position is becoming the premium pick now, I think the teams may overdraft them now, which may allow us to draft a decent pass rusher in 2nd.
  8. Argument for 4-2-5 defense

    ...Have any of you guys really dug into the 4-2-5 concept? I mean, we are just a 4-3 defensive end away. In the scheme, you want one 5-tech on the end, it's actually similar to Gus Bradley's 4-3 only it's with more safeties. I see people argued against Defensive backs, I'll give you on the cornerbacks' depth, but we DO have safety depth. If anything; we probably should draft a 5-tech defensive end ALSO.
  9. Argument for 4-2-5 defense

    Which is why I stated I really like Omenihu, he's a 4-3 DE. I think the difference between 2-4-5 and 4-2-5 is really this: blitzing vs pass rushing. Derrick Morgan is a free agent, I'd like to have him as well.
  10. Argument for 4-2-5 defense

    Good point. I do sometimes wonder if the Steelers elected to keep Butler around because they didn't feel like there wasn't any good option as a defensive coordinator. This off-season definitely looks like a good season to get a defensive coordinator.
  11. Argument for 4-2-5 defense

    While I agree, by toward of the ending of the season, I saw more 4-2-5 look out of our defense. If it was still a 3-4, we would have seen more of Hargrave and we didn't. I think Dupree even took fewer snaps and Watt spent more time pass-rushing. the 4-2-5 defense is with 3-4 personnel and I think while we may keep 3-4 around, I most definitely can see us go 4-2-5 more too. the difference between 3-3-5 and 4-2-5 is blitzing vs pass-rushing. 3-3-5 would work well if we had really good corners, we don't, hence why I mentioned going the route of drafting Press CBs. It's a good class for that too.
  12. Now, I am well aware any conversations regarding this would be moot if we don't make the change, that being said, I have noticed our best defense package came out of 4-2-5 heavily toward the end of the season. I did some homework and found some really interesting information. You could see the correlation between Watt thriving and the struggles with Mike Hilton. Hilton is a really good blitzing corner, but he's always a mediocre cornerback, his range is strictly zone, he's not do-it-all. As Watt was asked to pass rush more, Mike found himself more exposed, hence Sutton. I thought it also was interesting that our pass rushing was actually improved in the last 7 weeks versus the first 10 even though the number of sacks totals dropped on average. What does this tell me? We still don't have the personnel. Dupree, as much I wouldn't mind having him back, not for the 9 million. No way, either he signs for cheaper or let him walk. Fortunately, as I saw- wow, the free agent class for pass rushers is DEEP with veterans we are probably better off signing at least one. Off the top: Ezekiel Ansah, DeMarcus Lawrence, Clay Matthews, Cameron Wake, Derrick Morgan, K.J. Wright, Thomas Davis, Brandon Graham, Allen Bailey, Dante Fowler, Jadeveon Clowney, and the list goes on. Even D. Buccanon is a FA. Source: https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/free-agents/all/edge/ Just sign one or two pass rushers via the free agency, then treat a prospect as a luxury if you need to. past two years, sign him and let him compete with Sean Davis. Worst scenario, Sean Davis starts and Tre Boston can play Nickel, he actually can. I found it interesting that when I looked at the class for inside linebackers via the draft and free agents, it's not really a good class. Aside from Mack Wilson who is a perfect Cover 2 LB who can play in any coverage, the other inside linebackers are strictly zone LBs. My proposal? Start Morgan Burnett at ILB, MACK. He already has been playing from the position not just for the Packers, but for us too. You'll notice this a lot in the later part of the season. What is a 4-2-5 concept? Do we play it at all? Yes, actually we have. I just think we should make this our permanent scheme, even with the 3-4 personnel it's better. Below is the image: The functioning of 4-2-5 is mostly to stop the spread. It's much more efficient because it's much less reactive and more about duties, the two inside linebackers would be watching the tight end and running back. If one of them stay home, you blitz. I did some digging at a gimmick list, mostly only the Seniors or FAs, as after the Senior Bowl, Combine, and the Pro days we will have a better idea but here's the list I got. My rule: if you aren't master at anything, you ain't on the list. If some preferences are highly ranked but the player has the ability to do else that could help us, I put him on the list. Here it is: ILB Mack Wilson (ANY) Ben Burr-Kirven (zone) TJ Edwards (zone) Devin White (zone) S Jonathan Abram (Press) Juan Thornhill (Man) CB (this class is actually deep with Press corners, gratefully) DeAndre Baker (Press/Man) Byron Murphy (zone) Amani Oruwariye (ANY/IQ, Townsend 2.0) Pass Rushers Oshane Ximines (Rush moves) Chase Winovich (Watt 2.0) Charles Omenihu (Violent hands) First, the Steelers HAVE to decide what defense they want to do. When they drafted Burns, it wasn't that they overdraft him; he's strictly either man/zone, now we have Joe Haden which is forcing Burns to play more Press, not his specialty. Do we compliment Haden NOW? Get DeAndre Baker. Unsure what to do? Amani Oruwariye. Both of them could slip out of our slot in the first round, doubtful but that's the corners we have now. Secondly, with supposedly a FA, we can draft an immediate pass rusher or a project (I rather that we draft a project with ONE mastery at least). Should be able to get one in 2-4 rounds. I like Oshane Ximines to Ngakogue. He's small but he's very intelligent and already has the moves that you don't have to teach at next level, perhaps more conditioning. NOT like Jarvis Jones who was master of NONE. While I want to detach to the idea of Chase Winovich (he'll rise on the board) to the fact we already have TJ Watt, but if we want to counter to running QBs, Winovich would be perfect. Watt is more aggressive than Winovich, but the skillset is there. Charles Omenihu, I actually like him a lot. I think he's a perfect compliment to Watt. Forget asking our pass rushers to drop back, that shouldn't be their problems anymore. Omenihu is a 4-3 DE, very long and his hands are so violent he usually sacks or tackles players with a blocker STILL on him. Raw with moves but his speed to power converting is really great and he's already a good run stuffer. Lastly, the area of focus is linebacker position. In the 4-2-5, ideally one inside linebacker would be a "Cover 2 LB" and other would be a Mike (staying home, play in the zone, and blitz upon duties). It's getting harder to find an inside linebacker who can play Cover 2 well, in a variety of duties. I was so mad when we got Edmunds over Darius Leonard, I projected him to go in first but he fell to the 2nd round and was practically a pro bowler. Anyways, I don't see anyone who could replace Vince Williams other than Devin White and he'll be gone by then. This means we are more likely to look at a tough safety who can study Burnett and take over eventually, that player I really like is Jonathan Abrams. No, Abrams isn't playing linebacker; Edmunds would be, Abrams is just a guy who would replace Edmunds at the strong safety position, his strongest suit is the coverage anyways. We are more likely to look to find a backup LB to Williams in the draft than we are to find a starter (this is telling you something) with Mack Wilson, the ideal Cover-2 LB for us, is likely to return for his Senior year (darn it) TJ Edwards and Ben Burr-Kirven look like a good developmental prospects, albeit Williams type. After doing all of this, I'm getting a really good feel in what is the strengths and weaknesses of the draft class, I could tell where we would be needing to target whom at where and which. You guys would notice that I didn't mention Josh Allen. If we do get him, he'll just drop in the coverage more and we would encounter the same issue again, not just- he's gone for sure by our pick. Any prospects you think would be a good Cover-2 LB? Any late-round pass rusher? Any thoughts on the 4-2-5 scheme?
  13. jags 5up 5down

    I'm not defending the performance of Steelers today, but the Jaguars have the exact personnel and scheme to prevent the Steelers from the offense they could. The Jaguars are one of few teams that would completely halt the Steelers- yet we won. The Jaguars actually reminded me of the early 2000's Memphis Grizzlies. Playing old-school, forcing the opponents to slow down. The point is we WON because of our defense which was to be thought as the weakness of the team, I'm seeing more and more of schemes and personnel unfolded under Keith Butler, am under the impression now that he was coaching restricted mainly due to the lack of personnel. It's crazy how much of players could affect the coaching aspect, huh?
  14. Hargrave

    Regarding his position or not; Hargrave most certain should be getting more snaps regardless. He's one of those rare nose tackle who is really excellent at pass rushing, if anything- I'd try to convey our scheme around the defensive linemen we have, especially Hargrave. It just means instead of having a pass rusher at OLB (Dupree) who were asked to drop back A LOT, we could get a Cover 2 off-the-ball linebacker of a safety (Morgan Burnett came to the mind for this season). We could have more production out of this plan because we are consistently allowing our players to get opportunities without losing the functioning of a scheme. Hargrave is probably one of the best pass-rushing defensive tackle I have seen, he just has the knack for being in the backfield, arguably better than Heyward and Tuitt.
  15. Have you seen the draft class or free agency class? Aside from Tre Boston who may or may not be a much of upgrade, would we be able to upgrade Sean Davis? The ball-hawking free safety pool is shrinking rapidly, it's becoming harder and harder to find that talent- WHO can tackle. If you have a choice, would you keep Sean Davis who is decent at everything or get somebody who is a specialty at something?