Steelers HC Mike Tomlin says 2010 defense changed the entire NFL

When you think of the Pittsburgh Steelers, you think of defense. Going all the way back to the 1970s and the Steel Curtain, the reputation of this franchise has centered on elite defensive play. When head coach Mike Tomlin joined Ben Roethlisberger on his Footbahlin Podcast, Big Ben asked him what his best defense was. The options were 2008 or 2010 and Tomlin gave a perfect illustration as to why the 2010 group was so special.

“I just thought the 2010 group,” Tomlin said. “Beat you up. Let’s be honest, we’re talking about historical perspective. Like, that collection of men created what we know now as the Player Safety Initiative. The powers that be watched them play and said ‘this is not good for football’.”

That 2010 group was first in the league in points allowed and second in yards allowed. The tandem of LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison both had more than 10 sacks, safeties Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark were enforcers in the secondary and three defenders had more than 100 tackles. This group struck fear in other teams and every opponent needed some extra time in the ice bath after they played.

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Story originally appeared on Steelers Wire