Fear, the missing motivator at camp Cowher, spawned better play out of Dewayne Washington and Brent Alexander, each collecting an interception. But the story is the new guy. Deputy Ike. He is developing some swagger out there. You can actually see his head growing into the position. He still has to "keep the bullet in his pocket" though.
Ike again provided very good coverage and is the best "break down" tackler in the secondary, leading the effort with four unassisted tackles. Anyway, Taylor needs to see more of the field. He has an edge to him, something this team lacks. Next camp you will probably hear Ike Taylor, Chris Hope, and Troy Polamalu harmonizing a quick verse of "Last year I was thinking a lot, this year I'm just reacting."
Fans should be looking forward to hearing that, along with some tackles of authority. When the Raiders switched to a power running game, Mike Logan and Alexander both received at least as much punishment as they delivered, we need youth.
Pittsburgh is probably a second round draft pick away from weaning themselves out of the stone ages and creating one of the NFL's better secondaries.
How about that defensive line?
Hampton was a beast, but he was bull rushing himself out of running plays. A huge gap was left on either side of him. In smarter defenses past, Bell would have been flying through them to the ball. What ever happened to that? I miss that run-blitz.
Kimo bolstered my desire to go 4-3 with three sacks. Thank goodness the linemen have retaken the team lead in sacks to shine some light on this. Note to self: that Raiders offensive line is actually worse than ours.
I watched the New England game, which followed. I would like the Steelers to emulate that defense. They switch 4-3 to 3-4 in stride. It is the personnel we lack to run the 3-4 exclusively. Even with Ted Washington and Richard Seymour, the Patriots needed to add 1st rounder Ty Warren to the mix to steady the line pressure. That defense is still getting better this year, creepy. Big Ted was second on the team with 7 tackles, FYI.
What about that linebacker?
Allow me to "lie down on the couch" for this one. Jason Gildon may actually be what is nudging me into some 4-3 fixation. It's just this gnawing sensation of knowing full well that we do not start our best seven players up front that gets to me. In a desperate attempt to remove him from the team, I am willing to scrap the very system that sustains him.
OK, enough of that.
How about the Bus?
You can't say he's lost his running instincts. Jerome Bettis made a home between those two guards we use on the left side of the line. Maybe we should eliminate these tackles that cause us such grief, and just use guards? He got that 100 yards and it looked like he was going for Franco's record while he was at it.
It was nice to see him interviewed after the game, what a stand-up guy. After becoming the 9th all time rusher he had linemen "reminding" him of the fact that he had 90 some yards. This line had not produced a single 100-yard running back all season.
Then again, all of this was against a team that has hit bottom and begun to dig? They do have me looking forward to next week.