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View Full Version : Cowher put "shackles" on LeBeau


tony hipchest
08-25-2008, 10:06 PM
pat kirwan has attended many steelers camps. he commented on how they had players moving around and lined up everywhere moreso than any camp he had ever witnessed. there are alot of exotic schemes in the works and many of those were worked on and implimented in the OTA's.

the topic turned to whether cowher held the reigns too tight. kirwan noted cowhers conservative nature both offensively and defensively. now kiwan works with cowher every weekend and we all know bill is a student of "marty-ball" so its not like pat was talking out of his ass.

anyways, i read on this board that lebeau always shows his hand in pre-season and what we see (now) is what we get. i hope all the other teams count on it. the players have noted he is able to open it up due to their experience (all starting 11 have been in the system 1 year or longer). woodley is the virgin of the group having never started.

the consesnus was that tomlin is going to unleash lebeau and his creativity. we saw a bit of that sat. with the 5 men with their hand down formations and 1 man- hand down. weve seen quite a few safety blitzes this pre-season and i expect townsend/or ike will be rushing the qb too (possibly from the safety position).

kiesel and polamalu can both be rovers and a player like timmons can drop into coverage. the only problem addressed with this discussion was a "mad scientist" getting too creative, and outscheming himself by not keeping it simple. i would agree if our players werent so experienced and ready to accept their expanded roles and the study that goes into it.. either way it should be fun exciting football to watch.

Black@Gold Forever32
08-25-2008, 10:17 PM
There was an article last year after Tomlin was hired about Tomlin "Turning the Wizard Loose"........I don't know if anybody ever posted this article here...But here it is....

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07263...?cmpid=HBEHTML
Quote:
Bill Cowher auctioned off some personal possessions when he quit as Steelers coach and left town for Raleigh, N.C.

One thing he apparently took with him was the leash he held on defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.

The Steelers' defense, still conducted by LeBeau under new coach Mike Tomlin, is performing more exotic maneuvers than ever, players say. And they say there is one reason for it -- LeBeau has more freedom under Tomlin to do what he wants than he did under Cowher.

"I think he does way more than he did [before], actually," safety Troy Polamalu said. "I don't think they've put any reins on coach LeBeau from what I know of. I think from the past, I think now he probably has more control of the defense."

Players and coaches, on and off the record, say LeBeau has the freedom to call what he wants, when he wants under Tomlin, a freedom he did not previously have under Cowher.

"I do, I do," defensive end Brett Keisel said. "I think he's getting to call whatever he wants, and the call is sticking."

So is his defense. After two games, the Steelers rank third overall in yards allowed -- fifth against the run, third against the pass -- and they are No. 1 in points allowed and first downs allowed.


They also have 10 sacks and rank second in the NFL in sacks per passing play. That gives them a jump on blowing past their 2006 season total of 39, which tied for third-fewest under Cowher.

The Steelers long had a dominant defense during Cowher's 15-year reign, so whether he held more control over what LeBeau did or not may not matter to the bottom line. But there's no denying LeBeau has more freedom to call what he wants this season than he did before.

Part of the reason for the increase in sacks, players say, is the movement of the defenders. LeBeau has players running all over the place, more so than before.

"Yeah, I think we're a lot more active," Polamalu said. "We're not as conservative. We're kind of initiating what the offense needs to do and not reacting to what they are doing."

No one jumped around from place to place more often than Polamalu in previous seasons; now, he's not the only one doing it.

"I think it means more running around for everybody," Polamalu said. "Guys are moving around more, we have new packages. Guys are feeling a lot more comfortable with everything."

LeBeau was unavailable for comment yesterday, but Polamalu suggested one big reason for the freedom his coordinator has this year:

"New coach, I would think."

Among the differences on defense this season are the rotation of the defensive line, the use of Keisel in different spots, a true four-man line of down linemen on occasion, cornerbacks playing safety and safeties playing cornerback, and the movement of various players as Polamalu suggested. For example, one of Clark Haggans' two sacks came in Cleveland when the left outside linebacker lined up on the right side and rushed from there.

"I wouldn't say it's a lot of different things," linebacker James Harrison said, "just putting people in different places than where they were before, moving them around and not seeing the same guy come every time."

That's reflected in the sack total, too. Nine players share the 10 sacks, led by Haggans' two.

"I think everybody's expected to be a pass rusher," Polamalu said.

Linebacker Larry Foote, like most starters, has one sack.

"The first game, a lot of guys were coming free, a lot of schemes were getting to him," Foote said. "But last week, the DBs were doing an excellent job. I remember the one I had, he tried to throw the ball, check down, and Deshea [Townsend] jumped the receiver, so he had to hold it and I got the sack. The DBs are doing a great job back there."

Foote also figures LeBeau has more freedom to run his 3-4 defense, but also received different input from Tomlin, whose previous experience was coaching a 4-3 defense with a cover-2 philosophy.

"I don't really know if coach Cowher used to hold him back like people said, but you never know," Foote said. "This is his defense, and Tomlin's never really been in the 3-4 fire zone defense, so I'm quite sure it's LeBeau's show. He put new wrinkles in that Tomlin helped him [with]. They're both defensive guys so they're putting stuff together.

"Dick LeBeau's the wizard of defense, everybody knows that."

And now, apparently, a wizard unleashed.

19ward86
08-25-2008, 10:41 PM
I would love for us to blow away the opposing offensive coordinators mind next season when we do something on a crazy person would do and it be successful.

tony hipchest
08-25-2008, 10:53 PM
i remember that article dan, and i was kinda bummed that alot wasnt seen (although i think tomlin played it a bit conservatively, and we did have the #1 defense for much of the year).

just like we were a year late on ben breaking bradshaws td record, i think that article was just a year ahead of its time! :cheers:

:tt02:

jjpro11
08-25-2008, 11:13 PM
our defense was as good as it gets last year until our guys started dropping like flies. at the beginning of the season, they were on pace for numbers better than the steel curtain.

Preacher
08-25-2008, 11:17 PM
Just remember....

we are going to have to take the blown schemes with the great schemes... So either you boo the entire style, or accept it.

Personally, I am a high-risk, high-reward person. So I can't WAIT to see these schemes coming out.

WWIIOwheelz
08-25-2008, 11:50 PM
our defense was as good as it gets last year until our guys started dropping like flies. at the beginning of the season, they were on pace for numbers better than the steel curtain.

I've got a really good feeling about this defense. I don't want to jinx them, but I'm looking forward to that aspect of the team more than anything else this year.

Blitzburgh_Fever
08-25-2008, 11:51 PM
Just remember....

we are going to have to take the blown schemes with the great schemes... So either you boo the entire style, or accept it.

Personally, I am a high-risk, high-reward person. So I can't WAIT to see these schemes coming out.

I'm fine with high-risk, high-reward...but does anyone else get nervous when we're at a 3rd and 10+? It seems we screw those up more often than 3rd and short. I'd imagine it's a combination of players not executing and the scheme itself, but we always seem to do something stupid like a five man rush and leave the sidelines open.

That's really been my only complaint over last season and this preseason, aside from sometimes we drop the ball against the pass and give up huge consecutive pass gains, but most teams do that from time to time.

Steelman16
08-26-2008, 12:15 AM
I'm all for anything that might help out our offensive line in some way, in this case terrorizing the opposing team so Ben & Co. can quickly score and let the D back on to keep up the work.

:thumbsup:

MACH1
08-26-2008, 12:21 AM
As long as they get better defending those third and long plays. Thats my biggest worry.

Galax Steeler
08-26-2008, 04:45 AM
I like LeBeau alot I just don't think he will show everything in preseason I can't wait to see our deffense in full stride this year and everyone being healthy.

stlrtruck
08-26-2008, 10:33 AM
I remember this conversation last year and I was excited about it. However, I don't recall seeing much of it during the season. Matter of fact, I was disappointed that the pre-season article mentioned it but it never developed on game days.

I'm all for it but at least let me see it this year!!

Dino 6 Rings
08-26-2008, 12:35 PM
A lot of Dick's success as D Coordinator this season will be determined by Troy's play. If he can use Troy anyway he wants, and let the monster lose, he can then do a lot more with the rest of the roster as well. If Troy is down, and we have to play more reserved with our back-up safety, then the defense itself will be limited.

There is nothing like have your d-coordinator be the guy that invented the 3-4 zone blitz scheme...pretty awesome that.

tony hipchest
08-26-2008, 12:51 PM
A lot of Dick's success as D Coordinator this season will be determined by Troy's play. If he can use Troy anyway he wants, and let the monster lose, he can then do a lot more with the rest of the roster as well. If Troy is down, and we have to play more reserved with our back-up safety, then the defense itself will be limited.

There is nothing like have your d-coordinator be the guy that invented the 3-4 zone blitz scheme...pretty awesome that.there was a play vs. the vikings where tyrone carter (playing troys spot) lined up on the left side of the defensive line. right before the snap, he "went in motion" behind the line much like a reciever does on offense, he circled around the right side and blitzed from there.

i believe this play was where casey hampton blew through the o-line with a quick pre snap shift in stance. carter was creeping so low and quick, im not sure any of the offense even saw him. this was very quick, fluid and obviously orchestrated. it just about worked to perfection as hampton and carter blew up the ball carrier in the backfield.

this was all scheme and all practice. it was something i cant remember seeing before. just imagine how great this is going to be with a quicker polamalu in there!

:tt03:

rbryan
08-26-2008, 01:43 PM
I think thats the kind of play A Smith would also be effective at.

Personal foul for roughing Brady....oops

Clean hit w/ no penalty would be nice, but thats a mistake I could live with.

Steeldude
08-26-2008, 01:53 PM
IMO, the steelers' defense was more aggressive under dom capers than lebeau.

rbryan
08-26-2008, 02:01 PM
IMO the best thing about Lebeau's agressive play calling is that his style doesn't give up as many big plays as when Capers was DC.

That gets frustating when they can't get off the field on 3rd down though and you get some long drives.

tony hipchest
08-26-2008, 02:03 PM
I think thats the kind of play A Smith would also be effective at.

Personal foul for roughing Brady....oops

Clean hit w/ no penalty would be nice, but thats a mistake I could live with.ive counted 5 safety blitzes so far this pre-season (i think 2 were smith) and all seemed executed perfectly. while not always resulting in a sack they have disrupted the qb.

IMO, the steelers' defense was more aggressive under dom capers than lebeau.im curious how capers helps the patriots defense this season. theres definitely alot you can do with a rod roodson and carnell lake. unfortunately we rarely draft in the top 10 to get another cb and even then its highly unlikely they would be a hall of famer like rod.

lilyoder6
08-26-2008, 04:46 PM
the safety blitzes that anthony smith did def disrupted the off plays.. i recall the 1 when smith took out 2 blockers at head steam.. could be effective those safety blitzes, but make sure u have a fast lb to cover "timmons" most likely

steeltheone
08-26-2008, 08:45 PM
our defense was as good as it gets last year until our guys started dropping like flies. at the beginning of the season, they were on pace for numbers better than the steel curtain.

You can't be serious...Our schedule was loaded with cupcake offenses and back up QB'S. If the Steel curtain would have played the likes of Charlie Frye, Alex Smith, John Beck, Kyle Boller, jp loseman and Kellen Clemens games woulda been over at halftime.

fansince'76
08-26-2008, 08:49 PM
If the Steel curtain would have played the likes of Charlie Frye, Alex Smith, John Beck, Kyle Boller, jp loseman and Kellen Clemens games woulda been over at halftime.

LOL - agreed. And they'd still be picking pieces of the QBs you mentioned out of the turf. :chuckle:

Stlrs4Life
08-26-2008, 09:18 PM
Good read, but what happened last year? Why didn't Tomlin do this last season?

Black@Gold Forever32
08-26-2008, 09:21 PM
i remember that article dan, and i was kinda bummed that alot wasnt seen (although i think tomlin played it a bit conservatively, and we did have the #1 defense for much of the year).

just like we were a year late on ben breaking bradshaws td record, i think that article was just a year ahead of its time! :cheers:

:tt02:

I figured you had seen and read the article.......It was a sweet article and I figured since you brought the topic of Lebeau being shackled then I would post it again....:thumbsup:

I think with Woodley and Timmons having a year under their belt we will see some interesting things from the Wizard this year.....I remember reading after draft day 2007 that Coach LeBeau already developed new plays for Woodley and Timmons.....Both young LBs will bring so much to this defense....Especially Timmons who can blitz and drop into coverage...If Troy can remain healthy all year then man this defense will be sick....in a good way...lol

Should be a fun season....

tony hipchest
08-26-2008, 09:23 PM
Good read, but what happened last year? Why didn't Tomlin do this last season?
i think tomlin, being a first year head coach and just dipping his toes in the water, wanted to play it a bit conservative and conventionally himself before he got a better feel for the team. now that he has, i think he will unleash the beast. (woodley, timmons, and harrison emerging as playmakers definitely help.)

steeltheone
08-26-2008, 09:32 PM
Woodley and Timmons will provide a great boost.

tony hipchest
08-26-2008, 09:42 PM
Woodley and Timmons will provide a great boost.


:helmet:...Quiver & Quake vol. II...:helmet:

CanadianSteel
08-26-2008, 09:43 PM
Bring back the Blitzburgh mentality and lets make teams fear our "D" once again....

Edman
08-26-2008, 09:44 PM
The Steelers Defense was having a record season until injuries piled up. You all saw how dominant they were. Then Smith, Polomalu, and Clark went down, and the rest is history.

BozMan
08-26-2008, 11:32 PM
The Steelers Defense was having a record season until injuries piled up. You all saw how dominant they were. Then Smith, Polomalu, and Clark went down, and the rest is history.

Yeah, the D has to stay healthy to have a chance, regardless of scheme. It's especially true on the D-line, where there is little depth. I'd like to see how the D performs with a healthy Troy for an entire season. I don't think he's had a full season with good health since the Super Bowl year in 2005.

i think tomlin, being a first year head coach and just dipping his toes in the water, wanted to play it a bit conservative and conventionally himself before he got a better feel for the team. now that he has, i think he will unleash the beast. (woodley, timmons, and harrison emerging as playmakers definitely help.)

I would have thought that Tomlin, being in his first year and not knowing the team that well, would have given his knowledgeable D-coordinator even more latitude than a coach with experience under his belt would.

BTW, here (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07263/819027-13.stm) is the link to the P-G article from last season: "Tomlin turns The Wizard loose".

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-27-2008, 12:05 AM
He can be the greatest football mind in the world, but unless he can get some pressure on the QB with 4 players, the defense will still look like it has some shackles on it.

tony hipchest
08-27-2008, 12:16 AM
I would have thought that Tomlin, being in his first year and not knowing the team that well, would have given his knowledgeable D-coordinator even more latitude than a coach with experience under his belt would.

BTW, here (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07263/819027-13.stm) is the link to the P-G article from last season: "Tomlin turns The Wizard loose".the rooneys didnt hire the kid coach to just hand over the reigns to the grizzled old vet. if that were the case, they woulda just made lebeau HC.

BurghZ0n3
08-27-2008, 11:50 AM
Yes, talk is CHEAP.....that's what pre-season games for, to see how prepared we really are :noidea: ....more FGs ain't no fun. Just hope Tomlin would really trigger the whole team to excellence this season! Can't wait to see it ...to believe it....:tt::tt::tt:

Dino 6 Rings
08-27-2008, 12:21 PM
He can be the greatest football mind in the world, but unless he can get some pressure on the QB with 4 players, the defense will still look like it has some shackles on it.

I have to disagree with this statement. Yes, getting pressure with 4 would be great, but bringing 5 in critical spots isn't a bad idea either. the Offense can only send 5 guys out on passing plays, we would still have 6 guys covering when we send 5. If they don't keep a TE or RB in to help block, they are in deep trouble. So that means there are only 4 guys going out for passes. In a 3rd and long situation, I'd rather rush 5 and pressure the QB into a quick throw, to one of his short targets as opposed to having 5 or 6 guys blocking 4 and allowing for a 5 or 7 step drop, if not in a shotgun formation. The 5th guy is enough to tip the balance so the offense has to react quick, throw underneath and allow our dbacks and maybe MLB to make a tackle before the sticks.

that's the theory anyway. Execution is another matter.

revefsreleets
08-27-2008, 01:43 PM
I remember a couple years ago comments about how LeBeau had hundreds of blitzes (all different) that he was constantly working on and tinkering with.

Amazing...

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-27-2008, 02:10 PM
I have to disagree with this statement. Yes, getting pressure with 4 would be great, but bringing 5 in critical spots isn't a bad idea either. the Offense can only send 5 guys out on passing plays, we would still have 6 guys covering when we send 5.
.

True that bringing 5 or more at times is a great idea. The Steelers main need to blitz is because they dont get pressure with just 4 or 5 in some cases and need to bring more. If you can keep 6 or 7 in pass coverage it makes it tougher for a QB to read the weak spot in the defense after a good blitz pickup.

My point was not anti-blitzing, but more for needing better talent to collapse the pocket, so that the LB's like Woodley, Harrison, Farrior can get to the QB.

stlrtruck
08-27-2008, 03:22 PM
I'd rather rush 5 and pressure the QB into a quick throw, to one of his short targets as opposed to having 5 or 6 guys blocking 4 and allowing for a 5 or 7 step drop, if not in a shotgun formation. The 5th guy is enough to tip the balance so the offense has to react quick, throw underneath and allow our dbacks and maybe MLB to make a tackle before the sticks.

Over the last few years, the Steelers seem to allow those short passes to happen and then allow the WR or TE or RB to scat for more than enough yardage for a first down. I recall several games were 3rd and 13 or more was reached by the opposing offense. I also remember a defense that use to zone blitz/delay blitz a lot better so there was more pressure on the QB to throw errantlly.