Defense trails 0-1 in goal line drill


LATROBE, Pa. - Joey Porter's analysis was as succinct as the first goal-line drill of training camp was one-sided:

"We got bullied today."

Porter, the Steelers' outside linebackers coach, was assessing the performance of the defense in the much-anticipated drill.

The offense managed five touchdowns in six snaps from the one-and-a-half yard line.

The Pittsburgh Steelers welcomed the players' and coaches' families to Saint Vincent College to watch practice.

Running back Le'Veon Bell ran for one touchdown.

Running back Cameron Stingily ran for two.

Even running back Jawon Chisholm managed to cross the goal line, and he'd only been on campus at St. Vincent for a number of hours.

"We were amped up for it," Porter said. "The offense is a pretty good offense. It's not to our standards, how we played that goal-line period. They truly won it and we can't wait to get the next crack at it.

"We pride ourselves, that's the one drill we wait for. And to lose that drill the way we did, for them to get five out of six is just not how we want to play football on defense."  

The offense also converted four of six third-and-1s in a preceding period.

"The ones that really count are the goal line (runs)," Porter continued. "Those were touchdowns and you gotta minimize those. You gotta stop them and make them kick field goals down there.

"I don't care if you're on the 1-yard line, the half-yard line, the mindset, you gotta keep 'em out of the end zone and we didn't."

The lone stop for the defense in the goal-line drill occurred when linebackers Vince Williams and Lawrence Timmons combined to blast Stingily in the backfield.

The offense also scored on a play-action pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to tight end Matt Spaeth, which also disappointed Porter.

"We're trying to get ready to stop our run," he maintained. "Now, I know passing is part of the game. But we're trying to sharpen our iron on iron and trying to get our offense better scoring (rushing) touchdowns and make our defense better run-stoppers. That's what we want as a defense. That's what we want to see down there. We want to see runs.

"If we can stop that, that's going to make us good. If they can punch it in on us, that's going to make us good. I know what our quarterback is; we have one of the best quarterbacks in the league. I know we can score when we get down there.

"But that's just true grit, good on good, iron on iron, who can bully who, and we got bullied today."

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