A few strategies the Steelers could use on defense to help prevent the big gains that have pushed them from a high-end defensive unit into the lower portion of the league.

Keep doing what you're doing and you'll keep getting the results you're getting.

The Steelers defense has simply allowed too many big plays to be considered an outstanding overall unit. They've played four games and allowed 491 rushing yards. The 122.8 yards per game they've given up is 29th in the NFL but the 3.8 yards per carry is 10th overall. Take out the 55-yard run by Bears RB Matt Forte and the 60-yard run by Minnesota's Adrian Peterson the team is allowing 94 yards a game (would be 8th in the league) and just south of three yards per carry which would be tied at the top of the league.

They're only allowing 6.8 yards per attempt which is less an indication of the effectiveness of a defense and more the game plan of opposing offenses to chip away at them down the field.

Simply put teams are running their heads into the Steelers' proverbial brick wall because they feel they will eventually break through for a big play. They're peppering their defense challenging their tackling ability and waiting for an opportunity to make a big gain.

There's little doubt Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau has some ideas in mind how to counter these strategies. We put our LeBeau hats on and schemed up to areas to emphasize leading into Week 6.

These aren't revolutionary "blow everything up and start over" kinds of ideas and in fact they're not even "ideas" as much as they are things the team has done in the past to maximize their advantage in certain situations and seem like things this team could do now.