The Steelers’ defense has given up an uncharacteristically large amount of yards thus far on the season. While a team has yet to crack the thirty-point mark against the defense, they still are getting beat with ease and teams are moving the ball down the football field. However, there are things they can do to assuage. One of those is blitz more. Then, the next biggest thing is obviously to force turnovers. For defensive coordinator Keith Butler, forcing turnovers is at the utmost priority.
“We’ve got to get turnovers,” Butler said. “We’ve got to get people to turn the ball over. We’ve got to win the turnover takeaway ratio. I think that will help us a little bit.”
The Steelers have forced three total takeaways thus far on the year, so Butler is certainly right that the Steelers have to force more turnovers. As it stands, the team stands at a -2 turnover differential. However, Butler sees a common thread that could helo fix the Steelers’ lack of producing turnovers.
“I think you’ve got to have a situation where we can get them into position where we can get after them a little bit,” Butler said. “That’s what I’m talking about in terms of the running game. If they continue to get us to third-and-one, third-and-three, all the way up to third-and-five and stuff like that, then it’s gonna be hard to dictate to them what they can do and get after them a little bit. We’ve got to make sure we win first and second down. If we win first and second down and get them in third down, then yes, we’ve got a good chance to create turnovers. We are conscious of trying to strip the ball all the time. Our guys are conscious of that. We drill it all the time. We want to put that out there that that’s what we want to do: get the turnovers. You look at the win ratio compared to the turnover takeaway ratio and it tells you a lot.”
The Steelers could help out their struggling offense with a high-level defensive performance on Sunday. Whether it is Teddy Bridgewater or Drew Lock starting at quarterback, turnovers will be a huge boost to the Steelers’ chances to win any game from this point out.