Great big ‘D’: Steelers host the Spartans, Jordan entering the NFC hall of fame

Former Steelers wide receiver Brad Jordan is getting inducted into the Northern Football Conference hall of fame with a halftime ceremony on Saturday night.
Author of the article:Gordon Anderson | North Bay Nugget
Published Jun 09, 2023

Perhaps Sault Steelers general manager Jon Bujold should get into the sports promotion business because he’s got a story to sell for Saturday night.

The Sault Steelers open the home portion of the Northern Football Conference schedule when the Sudbury Spartans pay a visit on Saturday night.

“(We might have) a generational defence,” Bujold told the Sault Star in a previous interview. “They fly around the field, they dominate and I think they are going to be a really good show to watch. If you are a true football enthusiast, watching this defence is going to be pretty impressive. It’s a special group we have here.”

Last weekend the Steelers picked up a 15-6 win over the Spartans at James Jerome Sports Complex.

Bujold said the team made a change during the off-season to a 3-4 defence, a switch that has unlocked the true potential of the ‘D.’ Thus, the proclamations about the defence being ‘generational’ and a ‘special group.’

Last season the defence was mainly the standard 4-3 setup but the club felt the strongest part of the defence was at the linebacker position and the Steelers didn’t want any of the ‘backers sitting on the bench with their cleats up, so to speak.

Standing on the sidelines is an inefficient way to manage your best personnel.

“We have elite linebackers and that is one of the reasons we made the change as we don’t want to have one of those guys sitting off on the sidelines,” Bujold said. “It also gives us more flexibility to disguise coverage, to disguise blitzes and to stunt on an offensive line and really frustrate them and create extra pressure.”

The GM said the presence of linebacker Michael Reid helped to hastened the switch to a different configuration.

“He’s a borderline coach on the field when it comes to defence,” Bujold said. “It’s something he’s been tweaking and working with. He is the man and we are going to continue to do whatever he thinks is best for the defence.

“And when you have Reid as your anchor on defence, having a 3-4 gives him the ability to move pieces around and come up with new and creative game plans. It’s frustrating to an offensive line when you are not used to practicing against it.”

And with three down lineman on the field, this give the club the opportunity to substitute the line in and out at will, Bujold very high on this particular Sault Ste. Marie group of seven or six.

“(Continuous substitutions) gives us the ability to rotate three defensive lineman and keep relentless pressure on the other team, Bujold said. “It suits the strength and personnel we have. We have depth in those positions. We have the ability to rotate fresh defensive linemen in and we really don’t have one who is a weakness.”

Kick-off is set for 7 p.m. at Rocky DiPietro Field.

“We are pretty committed to the 3-4,” Bujold said. “We are confident with that system and with the personnel we have (playing in that system).”

The local air Jordan

Former Steelers wide receiver Brad Jordan is getting inducted into the Northern Football Conference hall of fame with a halftime ceremony on Saturday night.

“Jordan was the first player to score a touchdown for the Steelers,” Bujold said. “He was a star wide receiver for the team during the 1970s. He was one of the original players on this team and was a star piece to the 1972 national championship group.”

Jordan’s touchdown came against the London Lords at what is now Rocky DiPietro Field back in ’72.

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