Originally posted on Steelers Depot  |  Last updated 10/22/13
By Matthew Marczi As the season goes on, Dick LeBeau and the Pittsburgh Steelers continue to implement and deploy small-bodied sub-packages as their go-to defense, rather than the base, or even the nickel, as they had six defensive backs on the field nearly 75 percent of the time against the Baltimore Ravens. Out of 65 total defensive snaps, rookie starting inside linebacker Vince Williams played just 18, a week after playing only 26 snaps, which was already a steep decline from them 43 (out of 52) snaps against the Minnesota Vikings. On the other hand, nickel back Cortez Allen logged 51 snaps in this contest, while defensive back Shamarko Thomas played a career-high 50 snaps, with both having strong afternoons. Out of the starting secondary, only William Gay ever came off the field, as he was on the sidelines for three snaps. I do not believe it is a coincidence that the prevalence of the dime and quarter package has really blossomed over the past two games. It just so happens to coincide with the Steelers beginning to play with the lead and forcing their opponents to be one-dimensional more frequently. In truth, however, the primary driving force behind the high number of sub-package snaps against the Ravens was Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco relying heavily on the no huddle offense, which prevented the Steelers from changing around their personnel as often as they would like. In fact, nose tackle Steve McLendon played just 17 snaps, and as previously mentioned, Williams played just 18. Reserve lineman Al Woods did not even see the field for the first time all year. The return of Gay and the rapid acclimation of Thomas into the defensive system has been key to allowing the Steelers to be able to match up to the increasingly spread out offenses, a transition that really began in earnest in 2010 when Allen was able to make an impact as a dime back in his rookie season. More than that, however, the single biggest reason that these sub-packages are able to work against so many offensive looks—and thus be used with such frequency—is the versatility of Troy Polamalu and the fact that he is healthier than he has been since at least the 2010 season, when he just so happened to be named Defensive Player of the Year. On a number of snaps, Polamalu plays the role of a roaming linebacker who can easily swing into coverage if the play calls for it. Polamalu plays the run about as well as any other safety in the league, and the Steelers are often at their best when they have the luxury of getting their All-Pro talent around the line of scrimmage. Adding additional defensive backs allows LeBeau and Polamalu to move around a great deal more, adding an extra layer of unpredictability for the quarterback to contemplate before the snap. Polamalu The Engine Driving Sub-Package Football For Steelers is a post from: Steelers Depot
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

49ers’ Anthony Davis officially applies for reinstatement

Jordan speaks out against shootings, donates $2 million

Report: Cromartie may be forced to retire due to hip issue

Greg Jennings announces retirement from NFL

Vikings OT Phil Loadholt retires after seven seasons in NFL

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Yankees, Cubs in 'final stages' of Chapman trade

Report: Fitzpatrick got ‘multiple contract offers’ from Jets

A-Rod: Ortiz deserves Fenway statue, street named after him

Report: Bosh's camp 'angry and suspicious of Heat's intentions'

JJ Watt pens dramatic letter to fans about back injury

Le’Veon Bell vows to win appeal: ‘I’m not going to miss games’

Cubs to acquire Aroldis Chapman from Yankees

Aldon Smith denies appearing in video with marijuana blunt

Twitter signs deal with to stream live MLB and NHL games

Julian Edelman is dating Adriana Lima?

NFL reportedly determines Peyton Manning didn't use PEDs

KD, Draymond Green booed in L.A. during Team USA exhibition

Top storyline for each NFL team heading into training camp

Eight MLB veterans that need to be traded before deadline

Andre the Giant drank six bottles of wine before match?

Cristiano Ronaldo spars with Conor McGregor in gym

Adam Silver is the new standard-bearer for league commisioners

Iowa football player held at gunpoint by police while playing Pokemon Go

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker