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Steelers | Defensive Note

As the Steelers gather for their five-day minicamp next Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports not to ask Steelers defensive coordinator Jim Haslett if the defense will be better in 1999. He'll probably answer with an irritated yes because he believes the defense was not that bad in 1998. "I believe we played pretty well last year," Haslett said. The Steelers did drop from the sixth rated defense in the NFL to the twelfth best. The defense was the victim of a struggling offense and also the fact that Carnell Lake had to play the whole season out of position at cornerback. "People keep saying, `Are you getting better?' '' Haslett said. "We played good defense last year. It is not like we went from sixth in the league to 30th. We dropped a few spots, but I think that was a combination of different things. We were on the field a lot more than usual." The Steelers feel they have improved their secondary's athleticism by signing Travis Davis (JAX) to replace Darren Perry who left for San Diego and also the return of Chad Scott from injury to replace Lake at CB. The team is looking for Mike Vrabel to push for more playing time at outside LB. Haslett finished by saying, "I believe we have more depth right now than we have had. We have some young guys who are willing to learn and be pretty good football players, speed-wise we are better than we have been the last couple years. Athletic- wise we are better. We will play good defense. We always have."

1999-06-05 21:40:00 | Source:

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