Super Bowl XLV: Steelers on Defense

The Pittsburgh Steelers are known for their defense.  They are gladiators who hit hard and stop offenses with big tackles.  Out of the 32 teams in the NFL, they ranked #2 in total defense.  During the playoffs they led the league in defense.  They are particularly good at stopping offenses that run.  On average, teams got less than 63 rushing yards against them this season.
Pittsburgh’s defense is filled with superstars.  Many of them would go to other teams and be the leader on defense.  The #1 (Troy Polamalu) and #3 (James Harrison) players in the 2010 Defensive Player of the Year contest are on this unit. 
Here are all of the players that will potentially start when the Steelers’ Defense comes out on Sunday. (Go back to the article Defense Wins Championships! to review the roles.)
Tackles and Ends – These guys are going after Aaron Rodgers and his Running Backs.
Ziggy Hood (#96, Left End) – Became a starter in the middle of the season.  Last season as a rookie, he mainly played on special teams.

Casey Hampton (#98, Nose Tackle) – Powerful guy in the middle.  He is the reason teams have difficulty running against the Steelers.

Brett Keisel (#99, Right End) – Really improved this year.  Ended the season with 3 sacks, 2 fumbles and an interception.
Linebackers
LaMarr Woodley (#56, Left Outside Linebacker) – Owns NFL record with a sack in six straight playoff games.  Good at defending passes.

James Farrior (#51, Left Inside Linebacker) – In his 14th season and still had 109 tackles and six sacks. 
Lawrence Timmons (#94, Right Inside Linebacker) – Had his best season this year with 135 tackles.
James Harrison (#92, Right Outside Linebacker) – Pro-Bowl linebacker.  Fearless and aggressive.  Led the NFL in fines for illegal hits.  Had 10.5 sacks this season.  Third in 2010 Defensive Player of the Year voting.
Cornerbacks
Ike Taylor (#24) – Forced a huge fumble in the AFC Championship Game.  Does not have a lot of interceptions, but does stay with receivers.  He will have to defend Greg Jennings.
Bryant McFadden (#20) – Fighting abdomen problem, but should be fine.
Safeties
Troy Polamalu (#43) – Pro-Bowl safety.  2010 Defensive Player of the Year.  Considered the best safety in the league.  Fast, strong and observant, so he takes down receivers and runners.
Ryan Clark (#25) – Hits and tackles well.
This group is going to use speed and strength to handle the Packers’ offense and keep Aaron Rodgers off the field.  Then it will be Big Ben’s turn to lead.  Tomorrow we will take a look at him and the rest of the Steelers’ Offense.
Ciao!
Heels & Helmets®

Posted on February 1, 2011 at 11:37 am

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Categories: The Rules

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Shavannia Williams

Shavannia is the founder of Heels & Helmets and editor of its e-magazine, heelsandhelmets.com. She also writes the football column, Gridiron, for the e-magazine. A sports marketing professional with over 13 years of experience, Ms. Williams has worked with the NBA, NCAA, NFL, NHL, and WNBA. As the owner of a marketing firm, Shavannia’s client roster includes: DC Women’s Business Center, NFL Players and United Way NFL Partnership. Her love for football began at The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, where she worked for Michigan Football and received her B.A. in Sport Management and Communication. She is excited to bring talented women together to provide a resource to help other ladies “join the conversation at the office” and enhance their business relationships. Follow her on twitter @MzGridiron.
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