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Total Team Effort Needed From Steelers To Contain Cam Newton



Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers were successful in defeating the Detroit Loins this past Sunday (NFL Week Two). Newton has won 13 of his last 18 starts (including playoffs). If Pittsburgh is to prevent win number 14, a total team effort is needed from the Steelers to contain Cam Newton.


Newton clearly has potential to make a big play from anywhere on the field, so the Steelers offense will need to control the time of possession. Less time for Newton to operate could very well throw the Panthers offense off rhythm. Also, it will allow the running back combination of Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount to wear down the Panthers defense. The Steelers offense will need to be more aggressive in their play-calling in order to pick up steady yards on each possession.

When it comes to the point in which the Pittsburgh Steelers must kick the ball away, punter Brad Wing must be efficient in his hang time and getting great distance downfield. The special teams coverage must not allow the Panthers returners to gain efficient yards, in turn allowing the Carolina  offense to have a short field to work with.

When Newton is on the field the Steelers must provide an aggressive pass rush. Newton, who stands at 6’5, 250, is clearly bigger than the average quarterback. It will not be nearly enough just to attempt to arm-tackle Newton. The Pittsburgh Steelers defense has be more stout in stopping the run, which will force Carolina to become more predictable.

Outside linebackers Jarvis Jones and Jason Worlids must be able to pressure Newton and make sure they both don’t over-pursue, allowing Newton to escape and gain rushing yards on the outside. The secondary cannot afford to drop potential interceptions as they did three times during their Week One match against the Cleveland Browns.

The Steelers have not faced a dual threat at quarterback like Newton in quite some time, and a complete team effort will for sure be needed to contain him. If Newton is stopped, the Pittsburgh Steelers will win. If Newton is allowed to play like he has over the past 18 games, then the Pittsburgh Steelers could very well suffer their second loss of the 2014 season.



  1. DrGeorge

    September 16, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Watching Cam Newton on Sunday I was impressed with his poise and accuracy as a passer from the pocket. This is a guy who is blazing fast and used to make his college coach happy by running wild. He can still run, but he’s become more disciplined now and very accurate as a passer. The Steelers defense must get pressure on Newton, for he has the skill to pick the secondary apart. No secondary can cover receivers more than a few second, especially under the new “no touch” Goodell rules. Without a pass rush, we will be in trouble, and I don’t know if we have the talent to mount an effective one. The key for our defense is discipline, carrying out assignments and staying in assigned lanes. But discipline is not an attribute of the young and inexperienced.

    Notwithsstanding the last six quarters without a TD, I am less concerned about our offense, because there we have abundant talent. Sooner or later, the execution is going to improve, and the coaches are going to adapt their plays — running as well as passing — to the new rules. You can see the template for basketball on grass in Seattle, Philadelphia, S. Francisco, and occasionally in New England. All the old power teams — the Steelers, Giants, Packers, and Ravens — are struggling in transition, but they will all gravitate, of necessity, to dink and dunk passing and misdirection running.

    Those of us who played this game wearing helmets with no face masks and balls that really were pig skin, don’t much care for Goodell or his rules. But basketball on grass is what the NFL has become, and the Steelers must adapt to the rules if they hope to win. The last time this kind of transition occurred was in 1979, and it signaled the end of the Iron Curtain era by 1980. It took 26 years before the Steelers won another Lombardi trophy. It may take that long again.

  2. Jay

    September 16, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Good point but in terms of any prognostications about an improved steelers pass rush and run defense, like my grandfather used to say, you can wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which fills faster. I terms of related news, I saw on the post gazette that there was an article with the title revolving around Tomlin saying the def see needing more fundamentals. I didn’t even read the article and it’s transparency because all it is is Tomlin trying to pass the buck again and again. Of course if he going to say that it all comes down to something the players are doing in lieu of anything HE could be doing. Now, I’ve seen the Steelers and obviously fundamentals are lacking but they also look like they don’t care to play for him as much, his adjustments are always nonexistent and he looks like a deer in the headlights….don’t know of too many conte piracy coaches of elite teams that get blown out like Tomlin has lately. I agree with doc George that there’s more talent on the offensive side but if you break it down and youth notwithstanding, there is a 1st and a 2nd on the d line, three 1sts and a 2nd in the linebacking corps and a 1st, two fourths and a free agent acquisition in the secondary. At some point look to the head coach and ask why the talent that was gotten for him is not doing anything.

  3. Jay

    September 16, 2014 at 5:41 pm


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