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Steeler Hitman

The Curious Case of OLB Bud Dupree

Will Bud Dupree make a positive impact in 2019 on the Steelers Defense?  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. Will Bud Dupree make a positive impact in 2019 on the Steelers Defense?

    • Yes, Bud will have his best season yet and be signed to a long term deal
      2
    • No, 2019 is the last hurrah for Bud
      3
    • Bud will have a typical Bud year (not great and not horrible), but the team will still sign him to at least another year.
      9


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Over the past few days and throughout the off season, I have seen articles questioning Bud Dupree's ability as a starter, whether he was worth the fifth year option, and comments comparing his play to Artie Burns (another topic altogether).  I realize that Bud Dupree has not come close to resembling the second coming of Jack Ham, Mike Merriweather, Greg Lloyd, Jason Gildon, Kevin Green, James Harrison or any other great OLB that wore the Black N Gold.  He also has not resembled Jarvis Jones at his worst in my humble opinion.

Bud has some outstanding traits.  For starters, he is a high character guy on and off the field.  He has quietly and very under the radar like shown some leadership in defending the the HC, organization teammates and even criticized former NFL SB Champ and DPOTY James Harrison for his behavior on the team and subsequent comments later. Bud is an athletic freak with size, strength, speed and the ability to rush, drop or play the run.  Bud's problem has been consistency putting it all together for more than spurts.

https://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2018/7/6/17533476/a-singular-statistic-which-demonstrates-bud-duprees-struggles-with-the-steelers-nfl-draft-bust-nfl

In 2017 Bud Dupree participated in 354 pass rushing snaps and had 40 pressures and 6.0 sacks. As stated in the article, the positive was that he got nearly half of his career pressures by the of the season (total of 83 pressures and 14.5 sacks before the start of the 2018 season).

Since his rookie season in 2015 up through the 2018 season, Bud has a meager total of 20 sacks in 54 games and 39 starts.  However, I saw some things that his 2018 5.5 sacks did not produce.  I don't want to be a complete stat geek and use his pressures and times held in 2018 versus last year, but in the 2018 games; Bud seemed to make a much more significant impact in the pass rush at various times during the 2018 season.  While TJ Watt was deserving in making the Pro Bowl, improved his overall game, pass rush and run defense.  At times, Bud seemed to be wrecking more havoc on many plays that he did not record the sack a la 2017 when he missed so about four sacks that he had his hands on the QB.  TJ had some multiple sack games in 2018, but at times seemed to disappear completely.  While he did not go tackle-less for the stat sheet like bud did at times in 2018, he had two-three game stretches in which he did not produce a sack and his pass rush was very limited and less than impactful.  Maybe it is my imagination, but Bud seemed to generate more consistent pressure in those six games and was held much more than TJ was many times. in 2018  I also recall Bud being held on a play that resulted in a two point safety for the defense. While this will not show up on the stat line as a sack, it essentially was and ended in points for the team.  Maybe Bud has some bad luck.  I believe that luck is where preparation, opportunity and results meet on the football field. Bud has a say in that stat line.

I am not delusional in thinking that Bud resembles Kahlil Mack or even a young TJ, but he has been trending upward and I believe he is on the verge of "finally" breaking out. Bud has teased us at times with some solid plays, but his problem has been consistency.  After making one of the more memorable hits in the 2017 play-offs against the Dolphins, his play tailed off against the Chiefs some and then some more against the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.  I think Bud has double digit sack ability.  However, ability does not always equal production as is the case of Bud throughout his early NFL career. 

Many look at Bud as being a glass half empty or glass half full type of comparison.  However, Bud needs to get out of the middle and get past that halfway mark.  In 2018 Bud had five games in which he had one tackle or less and yet still produced some QB pressures, was held and had 1.5 sacks over that span as well. In the 80's the Steelers had an undersized OLB who was Mr. Hard Work named Bryan Hinkle. Hinkle was not a first round draft choice nor was he blessed with great size, strength, speed, or even instincts.  In Hinkle's best season, he put up 5.5 sacks and had 3 INT's.  Yet he always seemed to make an impact on the team despite his lack of gaudy numbers.  Hinkle did not have the same pressure as Bud who is a #1 draft choice and a player with a decent sized salary as a #1 with his fifth year option.  There is no doubt that 2019 will make or break Bud's Steelers career.  Many have made arguments that the Steelers should not have paid Bud and let him go as the Jaguars did when they decided to move on from Dante Fowler Jr. who came out a year after Bud. Fowler who was recovering from a college injury, recovered the next season, teased with 8 sacks as a part time pass rusher and then cooled severely. Now he is set to make up to $14 million with $12 fully guaranteed from the Rams in 2019.

Maybe I am in the minority, but I would prefer Bud  over Fowler. I definitely prefer Bud's nearly $10 million salary compared to what the Rams are investing/betting on from Fowler. Can Bud take his game to the next level in 2019? Does all the off season work with pass rushing specialist coach and former Falcon Edge Chuck Smith pay dividends to the Steelers sack totals and pass rush? Or is Bud destined to be an under-achiever in the eyes of most Steelers fans and hover around the workman and hustler, but less physically gifted Bryan Hinkle like stats of 5.5 sacks per year? Most sporting/betting people would put the over/under of Bud's sacks at 6.0 in 2019.  And mind you that 6.0 sacks would tie his career best of 2017.  I am willing to bet that he goes over six and I will say he will need to be between 8.0 and 10.0 sacks.  I believe that he will need to get the type of money that I know he wants from his second contract.  Whether he gets it or remains a Steeler going forward  will depend largely on his 2019 productivity and consistency. If he improves as he did at times in 2018, I think he will make it.  I am not the only one as Kevin Colbert has again thrown support for keeping Bud around and him making an impact in 2019.

https://steelersdepot.com/2019/04/gm-kevin-colbert-defends-bud-dupree-steelers-presumed-lack-of-olb-depth/

 

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Posted (edited)

Bud's biggest problem has been staying on the field. When you're as big of a project and have as bad of technique as him, you have to be able to stay on the field to improve. He has also played through some serious injuries which clearly hasn't helped either. It's hard to focus on improving your technique when you're constantly playing injured. 

When he has been on the field, he hasn't shown the ability to win WITH TECHNIQUE against tackles with any level on consistency. That is the difference between him and TJ Watt and why the general fan's perception of them is different. TJ has a decent variety of pass rush moves and the majority of his sacks come from beating the tackle he's going up against. Not to mention he's better against the run and in coverage. A lot of Dupree's sacks are either "clean up" or "coverage" sacks. That or he gets a free run to the QB due to OL mis-communication or the scheme setting him up to do so. 

Edited by bigben07MVP

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he is a back up at best, as in #3 or on a good team a #4 OLB. I forget who said it here, but he more of a 9 tech than a OLB .  Porter might have been a bad coach too, who knows.  Dupree has had more than enough time to prove his skillset and hasn't done  well at all.  What bothers me is how colbert makes us watch his bad picks continue to start while he lets quality UFA's sign with another team when they could be here. 

1 hour ago, bigben07MVP said:

A lot of Dupree's sacks are either "clean up" or "coverage" sacks

aka garbage. Yes thats what those are, and thats when stats are misleading. If there was a stat u4vOT (under 4 seconds vs OT) he would have one of the lowest totals

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https://youtu.be/1ChVLohiz7M

 

I hope the link isn't ghetto

This is good. Bud Dupree is where I was going next.

2:16 - The first play I like is piggybacking the wide 9 technique mentioned above. He looks strong in the four point stance pre-snap, and post-snap, he has him on a spin when he drives him back on his toes with that get off. (The guy is in bad shape immediately and he eventually gets there with no technique). This can be taught - the spin. Really he should learn it himself. But it can be taught. As well as other moves when you get a consistent jump off the line. It's almost like choreography. Poetry in motion. Poop like that.

 

3:30 - If you can't get the Bud Dupree "lean" to work, consider putting him in space and utilize his 4.5 speed to blitz with a running start. He's not agile side to side quickness, so you can't put him in at ILB with responsibility to cover ground, but what you can do is stand him up at ILB "with his friends" to confuse the OL and have him blitz with a running start. He doesn't break down here but he gets there so fast. Devin Bush would look good with him on the fire x blitz with Bud as the wedge (basically like a FB) and Bush slipping right in there for the sack.

 

Status quo. I know what I'm getting and what you see in the video. The Bud Dupree "lean" is his best move. And only move. Back heel load and times the snap. When he does it, it can't be stopped bc of his height-weight-speed. When he doesn't he's irrelevant (no technique). Problem is I've only seen it once. It's like Haley's comet. It happens so quick and so infrequently you might miss it. He's also behind the eight ball bc we have two LOLB. We don't have that beast. Since he fits the role of beast more than Watt, he gets the LT. There's a ton of strip sacks with the Bud Dupree "lean" at Kentucky. I'm not even sure we have a strip sack as a team. It's like a mirage. Was that a strip sack or did I just imagine it?

 

Next time I'll share Sean Davis. 

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The reason the Bud Dupree "lean" isn't as effective in the pros

1) NFL QBs are mindful of the snap count

2) Better competition. Bigger. Stronger. Faster. 

3) Plays ROLB instead of LOLB

 

Therefore, you combat these deficiences with scheme and versatility. Move him around. Find his niche. To maximize your talent.

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On 5/2/2019 at 2:46 AM, Money said:

https://youtu.be/1ChVLohiz7M

 

I hope the link isn't ghetto

This is good. Bud Dupree is where I was going next.

Thanks for your input. I am sorry that I am so late in responding as I have been dealing with a sick and aging relative. I did review the video and looked up a few more (although I was surprised at how few) as well.

2:16 - The first play I like is piggybacking the wide 9 technique mentioned above. He looks strong in the four point stance pre-snap, and post-snap, he has him on a spin when he drives him back on his toes with that get off. (The guy is in bad shape immediately and he eventually gets there with no technique). This can be taught - the spin. Really he should learn it himself. But it can be taught. As well as other moves when you get a consistent jump off the line. It's almost like choreography. Poetry in motion. Poop like that.

I like Bud, but here is where he kind of has me scratching my head.  As you mentioned, he should be able to be taught some nuances to help with his already imposing and physical stature.  He has been working with former Falcon's Edge Chuck Smith the past few seasons, as well as having been coached by DC Keith Butler, J-Peezy who was no slouch rushing the passer and was in the same locker room for a few years with former NFL-DPOY James Harrison (sleeping in meetings aside).  He at times got upfield in a hurry. There is not a lot of video to show the pressures, holds and chaos that he caused at times rushing.  However, Bud's biggest issue is consistency and that is probably due to the lack of a pass rushing repertoire.  This is Bud's craft and career, so hopefully he is busting his tail adding to it. Without adding more moves and versatility, he will be extremely limited.  This is what helped Harrison who was not the athlete or physical specimen that Bud is, but learned to use his lack of height, strength, quickness and mobility to attack larger, stronger and even athletic OT's.

On 5/2/2019 at 2:46 AM, Money said:

3:30 - If you can't get the Bud Dupree "lean" to work, consider putting him in space and utilize his 4.5 speed to blitz with a running start. He's not agile side to side quickness, so you can't put him in at ILB with responsibility to cover ground, but what you can do is stand him up at ILB "with his friends" to confuse the OL and have him blitz with a running start. He doesn't break down here but he gets there so fast. Devin Bush would look good with him on the fire x blitz with Bud as the wedge (basically like a FB) and Bush slipping right in there for the sack.

Interestingly, I remember the Steelers doing this with Chad Brown in the 90's.  Brown was a much more natural pass rusher than Bud, but again Bud is bigger, stronger and had more straight line speed.  Where a lot of people miss it is the difference between speed and quickness. Many fast athletes do not have a lot of fast-twitch.  This is why some football players study boxing and martial arts. It helps to develop the fast-twitch muscles and reflexes of your hands.  Despite being pedestrian in terms of speed compared to Bud, look at how explosive Vince Williams is on Fire Blitzes.  If you remember Larry Foote and Potzy were both effective as cross blitzes despite not being the fleetest of foot. The physical tools are there, but can Bud hone his game and improve upon those skills?

On 5/2/2019 at 2:46 AM, Money said:

Status quo. I know what I'm getting and what you see in the video. The Bud Dupree "lean" is his best move. And only move. Back heel load and times the snap. When he does it, it can't be stopped bc of his height-weight-speed. When he doesn't he's irrelevant (no technique). Problem is I've only seen it once. It's like Haley's comet.

What makes players relevant or irrelevant is consistency. It is all whether you consistently make good plays or fail to consistently make plays.  We have seen flashes of both from Bud.  At times he has looked like he was on the verge of turning the corner and going to the next level and at other times, that Bud Dupree sack comes like Haley's Comet. That is not good for an Edge Rusher in a defensive scheme that is predicated on its LB'ers being it's heartbeat.

It happens so quick and so infrequently you might miss it. He's also behind the eight ball bc we have two LOLB. We don't have that beast. Since he fits the role of beast more than Watt, he gets the LT. There's a ton of strip sacks with the Bud Dupree "lean" at Kentucky. I'm not even sure we have a strip sack as a team. It's like a mirage. Was that a strip sack or did I just imagine it?

You are correct.  It is not only the OLB'ers getting strip sacks, but also the defense as a whole creating turnovers.  When our defensive scheme was in its heyday of the 90's, it created sacks and forced turnovers.  We didn't have nearly as strong of an offensive juggernaut that could put up points in bunches.  If they could have gotten a few more turnovers, it probably would have put the Steelers in the play-offs.

On 5/2/2019 at 2:46 AM, Money said:

 

Next time I'll share Sean Davis. 

Look forward to it.  I have some opinions regarding him as well.

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QI'd be interested in seeing those 40 supposed pressures.  As stated, his sacks are pretty much never a result of him straight up beating a lineman.  He gets coverage sacks, unblocked sacks and blown assignment sacks....and that's where most of his pressures come from.  He isn't Jarvis Jones bad, but he is pretty much a clone of Jason Worilds, especially in regards to Steeler fans wishful thinking that he was going to break out every year.

Didn't happen for Jason, and wont happen for Bud.  Bud is a career backup who we foolishly tagged and grossly overpaid.  Says more about our front office than Bud.

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2 hours ago, FourThreeMafia said:

Bud is a career backup who we foolishly tagged and grossly overpaid.  Says more about our front office than Bud.

So what was the right answer for how to approach the off-season by adding OLB to the list? 

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15 minutes ago, Dcash4 said:

So what was the right answer for how to approach the off-season by adding OLB to the list? 

Umm, that would be a start. How about not franchise tagging Dupree and settling for mediocrity? They've done this before. Last year they said they didn't draft an outside linebacker because we had keion Adams. Give me a ******* break. I'm not saying I have all the answers, but most of this is common sense... Or at least you would think it is.

It's one thing to try and fail... It's another thing entirely to be complacent, or simply not understand how big a need is.

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15 minutes ago, Dcash4 said:

So what was the right answer for how to approach the off-season by adding OLB to the list? 

It was to actually treat it like it was an issue to begin with because this FO certianly didn't.  Rather than taking a project TE they could've taken any number of half decent OLBs still on the board.  Vosean Joseph would've been an excellent pick up in the 5th round imo.  Instead we took a TE that won't make it on the roster through his rookie contract.

Is a 5th round pick an answer? Maybe not, but is Bud Dupree much better than a 5th round pick? Probably not.

He isn't a very talented player.  He is a step up from Jarvis Jones and that's not a compliment.

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14 minutes ago, FourThreeMafia said:

I'm not saying I have all the answers, but most of this is common sense

I’m not saying I have any answer either, but  you call it laughable, pathetic, and now common sense...that alludes to their being an extremely simple thing we are missing. So what is that?

What does “trying” mean? Should we have paid guys who are at best just as good as Dupree? Should we have broke the bank and made cuts to compete against a team with $100M in cap space? Should we have not drafted our ILB, CB, or RB? 

I don’t argue that we made the RIGHT choice, I argue that there is a completely reasonable reasoning for the Bud being here at the money the NFL designated the 5th year option

20 minutes ago, wwhickok said:

Is a 5th round pick an answer? Maybe not, but is Bud Dupree much better than a 5th round pick? Probably not.

But we also needed a tight end, and that’s my problem with looking at this like it’s a simple solution. A 5th round pick isn’t the answer. Saying we shouldn’t have drafted a position of need, but instead should have drafted another position isn’t the answer. Had we cut Dupree and took OLB first in the first everyone would complain we didn’t fix ILB. 

I understand if people want a better life than Dupree, but I have looked at this and see no simple, easy solution for having done that and everything else in one off-season. 

As I mentioned above, it seems completely reasonable to go down this road, retool ILB, and CB, solidify RB and OL, cover WR for at least 2 seasons, and completely overload this position next year after going a year with a knowingly average player instead of an entirely unknown situation. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, FourThreeMafia said:

Bud is a career backup who we foolishly tagged and grossly overpaid.  Says more about our front office than Bud.

exactly, can't fault bud for signing such a nice deal thats for sure. Colbert though, didn't do the right thing did heo.O

 

1 hour ago, wwhickok said:

Is a 5th round pick an answer? Maybe not, but is Bud Dupree much better than a 5th round pick? Probably not.

He isn't a very talented player.  He is a step up from Jarvis Jones and that's not a compliment.

We will see. I don't really go by what RD the player is drafted  outside if RD1 picks filling serious needs asap.  In the last 30 years, the best OLB's the team has had were:

UDFA Harrison

RD5 then UFA Greene

RD2 Woodley

RD6  (oops, I almost forgot, JPN - sorry !) JPN

RD3 Porter

RD3 Gildon

RD1 Watt

So far 2 recent RD1 picks recently don't meet the Standard above as coach T calls it. 

Something like that, there is the standard int he order I would pick them and the one in 2nd place should be coaching here and is in the HOF.   

As for Jarvis, I am in the same group of people that didn't care for him. From what I gathered, he had a health condition and didn't work out that much. While this appears as a blemish on his work ethic, seeing dupree with similar results while having work ethic is a reason to not get too optimistic about him and not agreeing with the 5th year option. Not jarvis's, but in the overall picture, not much better when considering most of what info is available.  I don't expect dupree to give up and trade his cleats info a job a subway,  but he has to keep improving and coaching should help him.  If he had Greene for a coach, it could have us thinking in a different manner - I don't think porter was a good coach. When dupree went to chuck smith, that said something about porter and it indicates that dupree is dedicated and has ethic.  We might be harsh towards him, but it's not like he hasn't put the effort in, the coaches deserve some blame. 

1 hour ago, Dcash4 said:

So what was the right answer for how to approach the off-season by adding OLB to the list? 

it has been said here a few time: Justin Houston.  He could also mentor Watts, leadership is always an asset to a team with young players that are to be core players for the future.  Also consider that Houston can beat any OT in any number of ways, it would only help Watt.  He wouldn't get coaches pay or a tip pool , but I would expect Watt to improve as a result. The signing would be a win on several levels. I can't believe  even a casual fan wouldn't agree with that. If Houston was recovering from torn Knee ligaments or major surgery, then it would be too much of a risk , but thats not the case from what I gather.  

Oh well, colbert decided not to, lets hope for  the best.  We can't always agree with the FO, but that doesn't mean we are right and we have seen they aren't right all the time. It' start of being a fan, tolerating offseason good or bad. If our new OLB coach is really good, maybe bud will make us eat crow, I have a some champagne waiting to help with that, no problem .  It would be a major help to the team and it would be nice for people here (myself included) to give compliments instead of criticism. 

35 minutes ago, Dcash4 said:

But we also needed a tight end, and that’s my problem with looking at this like it’s a simple solution. A 5th round pick isn’t the answer. Saying we shouldn’t have drafted a position of need, but instead should have drafted another position isn’t the answer. Had we cut Dupree and took OLB first in the first everyone would complain we didn’t fix ILB. 

It's a rick whatever the team does - it won't make every fan here happy. The main gripe people have here about dupree is that it has been 4 years with minimal improvement.   As for ILB fix, Baron helps and then remember colbert signed williams to that deal last year, so he is getting starter pay  and "should" start if history is an indication.   I Like the Bush RD1 move, and am looking forward to an improved D.  Ideally dupree stays healthy and gets good coaching and improves and is a viable "starter" or getting most snaps in a rotation.   At least the team has reserves that should help if injuries occur, unlike in recent years. This D really has issue when OLB rush is lacking. 

 

35 minutes ago, Dcash4 said:

I don’t argue that we made the RIGHT choice, I argue that there is a completely reasonable reasoning for the Bud being here at the money the NFL designated the 5th year option

I think the 5th year option is fair to the players, good for dupree getting the nice deal. The problem is the cap value is set at what I would say a quality starter is at, the player needs to already be that. As a team always out of cap space, this years 5th year option signing is drawing some heat and I am part of that.  It's not easy wining in this league, overpaying a few players every year doesn't help. How often doe BB overpay a few players every year?  

What others have pointed out is that the team previously lacked options for OLB, but finally have some options. In the past it was CB, I'm not sure which hurts the D more in this league, but now colbert had got CB's and more oLB's that should help this D improve. I have not liked watching the team much for the last few years mainly due to the D. This appears to have changed, and I am looking forward to the D being better. I'm not expecting 2008-2011 pass rush or run D, but overall I think it will be a solid D and much better for us older fans to watch. 

Edited by 3rivers

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4 minutes ago, 3rivers said:

Justin Houston

No. 

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