Carter’s Classroom: Pass rush packs punch … but it’s not always easy to see


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Stephon Tuitt looks to be a leader for the Pittsburgh pass rush - Matt Sunday/DKPS

Keith Butler's defense finished with 48 sacks last season, good for third in the NFL. But somewhat unusually, the Steelers put more pressure on the quarterback from the line than the outside linebackers.

James Harrison remains a part of that solution at age 38 behind Arthur MoatsBud Dupree and Jarvis Jones. Dupree and Jones are the first-round picks who are supposed to be the future, but Jones' first three seasons have shown little promise toward being an elite pass rusher, and Dupree had just four sacks in his rookie year. Defensive ends Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt brought the heat. Heyward led with seven sacks, and Tuitt had 6.5.

Last week's preseason matchup with the Saints yielded one sack, but the defense showed a lot of plays that the pass rush disrupted Drew Brees.

We look at three instances when the pass rush of the first-team defense made an impact against the Saints:

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