ShareThis Page
Steelers’ success on defense a total-team effort |

Steelers’ success on defense a total-team effort

Jerry DiPaola
| Tuesday, November 30, 2004 12:00 a.m

Steelers outside linebacker Joey Porter made an interesting observation after the Steelers manhandled the Washington Redskins’ offense.

“You don’t have to do anything spectacular in this defense,” Porter said.

Maybe that’s true. A total of 13 players in the NFL have more sacks than the Steelers’ leaders in that department, Porter and defensive end Aaron Smith (seven).

But everyone must do everything well, and that is what has helped the team ascend to No. 1 in the NFL in overall and rushing yards allowed (244.2 and 75.4) for the first time this season. Plus, no team has more sacks than the Steelers’ 36, a total achieved after 11 players have recorded at least one.

“The best defense you can have is a good pass rush,” strong safety Troy Polamalu said. “And that’s what we live on.”

The Steelers are slightly short of a pace that would end up breaking the team sacks record of 55 set in 1994 and 2001. But they continually force the quarterback to throw the football before he’s ready. Redskins quarterback Patrick Ramsey was the latest victim, coming out of the 16-7 Steelers victory with a meager passer rating of 63.1.

“Throughout the game, we made them throw some balls in the dirt,” Porter said, “just because there was pressure. Our pressure was too good for him.”

Porter agreed that the Steelers’ defense is playing more aggressively under coordinator Dick LeBeau

“Yeah, we go at them a lot,” Porter said. “This is a good group we have here. We have guys doing the things that LeBeau wants to do.”

“I think everyone is unselfish,” said linebacker Clark Haggans, who is second on the team with five sacks. “Everyone knows their job.”

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review pitt football reporter. You can contact Jerry at 412-320-7997, or via Twitter .

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.