Friday, May 01, 2015

Steelers' need also was a pass rusher

Thursday, April 30, 2015, 11:30 p.m.

Bud Dupree with Roger Goodell 

This Bud's a “freakish athlete with a chiseled frame.”
At least, that was the first thing that caught my eye while checking out's analysis of Bud Dupree, the Steelers' first-round pick and maybe someday their next great outside linebacker.
Apparently, he can also rag-doll tight ends at will, which sounds menacing, though I'm not exactly sure when “rag doll” became a verb.
I'm completely sure that going with an outside backer was the right pick by the Steelers — even if they need some cornerbacks from this draft, which they do.
See, this Bud, as coach Mike Tomlin said late Thursday night, “has strong comparisons to James Harrison.”
And the next Harrison — at least in terms of attitude, approach and an ability to play angry — is what the Steelers desperately need going forward because the actual James Harrison isn't going to play forever. Set to turn 37 on Monday, Harrison is probably a one (more)-and-done Steeler.
When he's done, somebody has to carry on the scary for a defense that has only really frightened its own offense the past couple of seasons.
Dupree, out of Kentucky, stacked 23 12 sacks in 47 collegiate games.
The guy checks in at 6-foot-4, 264 pounds, so he probably should be expected to rush the quarterback. If only he could be expected to do that right away.
Because other than Harrison, who can?
The Steelers have averaged about 35 sacks each of the past three seasons. That's not good, and it's certainly not Steelers Football.
Since adopting — and at times perfecting — the zone-blitz scheme that Dick LeBeau originated, the Steelers have made their mark by bringing pressure from the outside and, if not getting to quarterbacks, at least forcing them into early and errant passes.
Well, that's how NFL games used to look in these parts.
Everybody has been waiting on Jarvis Jones, the outsider backer picked in Round 1 two years ago, to bring the blitz back to “Blitzburgh.” At this point, it would seem like a win if Jones could simply get on the field.
Harrison shouldn't be the Steelers' best returning outside backer. Not at his age. Not after he unretired.
New defensive coordinator Keith Butler should have somebody to build around at a position for which the Steelers are known.
So this Bud's for Butler.
Now go get him a corner. Or two.
Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.

Read more: 
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

No comments: