PITTSBURGH STEELERS MUST DEFEND AGAINST THE "FLATS APPROACH"
12/3/2010 The Achilles Heel of the Steelers could be against the
opponent's passing approach of aggressively attacking the flats in quick, short,
often crossing routes. It's on the Defensive side in the coverage of short
passing to the flats, employed by the New Orleans Saints and The New England
Patriots and several other teams where people have seen something greater than a
glimmer of hope against the Steelers. When a team does that the Steelers
corners and then the nickel and dime (and sometimes quarter) defensive backs
have GOT to start getting physical at the line, out wide. They need to be
chucking receivers and putting a stop to the approach altogether. The
Steelers have got to take advantage of that five yard window by doing everything
within the rules ('always!) that they can to disrupt timing and mess up the
heads of Wide Receivers.
If and when Joe Flacco does what
Drew Brees, Tom Brady and several teams since have tried in going to the flats
(1 or 2 step drops and bang!) Ike Taylor should try to knock somebody in the
torso with all he has. If Troy Polamalu takes on that role, ideally as the
one to introduce to the NFL that the Steelers won't take that anymore, it could
be very interesting. It would potentially "get in the Wide Receiver's
heads" causing receivers to "hear foot steps". Who knows? It could be
turning a weakness into an asset. What better way to approach it?
I think the Ravens are going to
try the same approach that has worked against the Steelers in the past. I
think they will have their own spin on it, putting their own brand of balance,
in hard running and fluid passing as well as the timing of the "flats approach".
When they do the Steelers need
to be ready to adjust quickly to disrupt the crossing routes and the speedy,
short game of passing that really just resembles the west coast offense.
It's quick passing. It's crossing routes and timing. Often times,
it's to a pre-determined spot. If the DBs can simply disrupt that when
it's employed it can have a great affect. Only one or two receivers per
play have to be chucked for it to adversely affect the offense. Only one
receiver per side of the field has to be disrupted to have an impact. If
the Steelers were to chuck every man, every play, a hole could exist somewhere
for any quick recovering receiver.