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Steelers Vs. Cardinals: Arizona Defense Still Not At 100 Percent Implementation

At the start of the season, Ray Horton put in every part of his Dick LeBeau-style defensive schemes and packages. With a reputation of being one of the more complex schemes to learn, there was expected to be a learning curve of some sort, as the offseason was limited. However, there were way too many mistakes and blown assignments that were leading to big plays down the field. 

That led to the defense being scaled back before the Cardinals played the Seattle Seahawks. After practice on Friday it was revealed that the defense is not yet at 100 percent implementation. 

What is the hold up?

The goal was actually to have things fully in place for the game against Pittsburgh, but instead stays at about 30 percent installed. Kent Somers got the reason why from Horton, who said,  "Mike Wallace, he's a special guy."

He was not referring to the old guy on 60 minutes, but rather the receiver who has 33 receptions, over 600 yards and four touchdowns. 

What would be the purpose of keeping things simple? Well, they see it as being better schematically to have 30 percent of your playbook done and have them executed correctly rather than 100 percent not executed, because when there is lack of execution, the defensive secondary is left hung out to dry and receivers are left wide open down the field. 

Since the playbook is not being fully used, it does put more pressure on the defense to run those plays they do call to perfection. There will less opportunity for confusion with much of the scheme still locked up. 

With a guy like Wallace, it is going to be crucial that Arizona get pressure on Ben Roethlisberger. It will have to come from somewhere, whether it be from the edge or from different blitz packages. That will be a very important piece to achieve defensive success. 

Note that the Steelers' offensive line is not reputed for their great play outside of C Markice Pouncey. If there is a chance that Arizona can create consistent pressure, then this is the chance.

I expect a good game from Darnell Dockett. He has played well against the Steelers every time the Cards face them. It could be a long day for Dan Williams inside. 

What do you expect to see from the Arizona defense and do you predict success against the Steelers?