Steelers hope defense can bounce back

Updated: July 9, 2003, 10:33 AM ET
By By Darrell Trimble | NFL Insider
The Pittsburgh Steelers had the No.1 defense in football in 2001, and were only one game away from the Super Bowl. Going into last season, they had lost only one starter from that unit, linebacker Earl Holmes, and were confident that such continuity would help them make the next step in the playoffs.

Unfortunately, familiarity didn't breed success. The Steelers did return to the postseason but saw their defense become more porous than a spaghetti strainer. The Steelers were the 23rd ranked passing defense in the league last year, and they got worse in the playoffs.