I tend to listen when Karl Dunbar, the coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive Line, speaks. The guy is arguably the best defensive line coach in the NFL.
Being an NFL position coach often gives you some degree of anonymity. This is the best situation in both worlds. This means you get the dream scenario of the highest level of coaching, but it’s rarely recognized when you go public with your family. All fame, but no fuss.
Conversely, being an NFL position coach can be the most undervalued and undervalued position in the coaching hierarchy. Everyone knows a head coach, whether the situation is good or bad. Offensive and defensive coordinators are in the infamous next row.
Position coaches are usually only noticed if the results of his group are somehow extreme. Everyone remembers Mike Munchak, but Adrian Klemm never forgets. I would have a hard time naming the person who currently holds that position without most fans remembering the aggressive line coach between those two gentlemen or looking into it.
Karl Dunbar has been very successful in his technique for quite some time, wherever he is. So, as he did in a recent interview, I notice when he said he was imagining Montravius Adams competing for the position of the nose starting in 2022. Dunbar is a hard-headed coach, a man with few words who doesn’t tend to exaggerate.
At first, I struggled with the idea and realized it was very unlikely. But then I remembered.
Stranger Things is happening and is happening.
An interesting story comes to mind. The setting was a fiery hot day at the Latrobe training camp for the Steelers. Some of Steelers’ legendary Casey Hampton teammates were ribbing him about the strength feat of the rookie’s first round pick Ziggy Hood on display in the waitroom. Obviously, Hampton wasn’t very impressed with the youth’s achievements. He said something along with the words, “That’s fine, but I’ve improved human power.”
There is a lot of truth in that statement. There is a big difference between the strength of the weight room and the strength of functional play. It usually takes only a few games for young players to understand the difference.
For defensive linemen, especially 3-4 nose tackles, it’s in the ability to anchor. One thing is that you can crouch an obscene amount of static weight while lifting, as opposed to a double team of 600 pounds or more giving you valuable ground against attacking you from both sides. is. The latter ability is important for 3-4 defense.
Especially if you’re trying to run with two smaller inside linebackers, as the Steelers are trying to do again this season. The result was disastrous last season due to the spread of imagination. It is totally unacceptable and can never be repeated.
Karl Dunbar did a good job because he had to work with him last season. At least half of the Steelers League’s worst run defense responsibilities. It’s still painful to type it, falling at the feet of the Steelers, uninspired, and falling inside a highly passive linebacker. My idea is well known on this subject, so I’ll leave it as it is.
Dunbar helped turn the huge project Isaiahh Loudermilk into the second best defender on the line. He helped Chris Wormley grow into a serviceable starter as needed. Moreover, when he arrived in the middle of the season, he quickly speeded up the aforementioned rookie Adams. Adams contributed quickly and was able to show ample potential for the Steelers to resign him during the off-season. He is firmly committed to improving the Steelers this season.
In a recent article, I speculated that the Steelers could start Cameron Heyward, Tyson Alualu, and Loudermilk across the defensive line. I evaluated the trio to place Steelers’ best run stuffing units on the field to start each contest. Then, as part of the rotation, you can leverage the skills of Wormley, Adams, and Ogunjobi’s Pass Rush in later downs.
Apparently the Dunbar coach has other ideas in mind.
I admire Dunbar’s confidence and trust in Adams at the first level, as well as getting the job done. He sees immeasurable talent and potential in young men. However, Adams plays like a younger Pomelo The Hague than the young Tyson Aral. The main difference is in the ability to fix.
Javon Hargrave has always been a 4-3 tackle trapped in a 3-4 scheme. It wasn’t the ideal fit. Hargrave was a penetrator who aimed to explode from the seam and slide the double team. He played regularly in the backfield because of his quick cramping ability. It’s a perfect comparison for Adams.
Araru, on the other hand, is a classic middle guard that can absorb and fix double teams. So I naturally thought that Araru would be a more logical option. Especially with Miles Jack and Devin Bush’s ability to run and track, the two inner supporters were left to patrol the middle of the defense.
Dunbar seems to suggest that the Steelers may be considering a penetrating and destructive nose revival. Gravedigger style.
If the Steelers had a more physical tandem of interior linebackers, I would certainly feel more comfortable with that possibility.
That said, I’m sure Coach Dunbar is ready to put all his troops into action.