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FSUBoo
12-10-2008, 11:11 PM
http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d80d33311&template=with-video-with-comments&confirm=true


Steelers do LeBeau proud

By Ray Didinger | NFL Films

When you watch this Game of the Week, pay particular attention to Troy Polamalu's interception. It is a marvelous play. The Pittsburgh safety fully extendeds to pull down Tony Romo's pass and raise his league-leading interception total to seven.


Steelers 20, Cowboys 13
NFL Films takes you inside the sights and sounds from the Steelers' Week 14 win over the Cowboys.

But it doesn't end there.

The NFL Films long lens camera shows Polamalu catching the ball and getting both feet down before stepping out of bounds and into the embrace of defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. Look at the joy on LeBeau's face as he congratulates Polamalu. It's the best part of the shot, because it tells you everything about one of football's most enduring figures.

This is LeBeau's 50th consecutive year in the National Football League. Think about that for a moment. He has been in the game as a player and a coach for half a century. Dwight Eisenhower was president when LeBeau broke in with the Detroit Lions. Bert Bell was the NFL commissioner. Babe Ruth still held all the home run records.

All those years, all those games, yet it is clear that LeBeau enjoys it as much today as he did when he was a 6-foot, 185-pound cornerback picking off passes thrown by John Unitas and Norm Van Brocklin. Football has been his whole life. The game is richer for it.

LeBeau played 14 seasons and set the league record for most consecutive games played at cornerback (171). His 62 interceptions ranks eighth on the NFL's all-time list. It is an impressive resumé, one that puts LeBeau among the best players of his era, yet he is even more accomplished as a coach. He is one of the game's great innovators, the creator of the zone blitz which he introduced more than 20 years ago.

LeBeau stepped directly from the playing field to the coaching ranks, retiring as a player following the 1972 season and taking a job as special teams coach with the Philadelphia Eagles. In the 36 years since then -- as a defensive backfield coach, coordinator, assistant head coach (Buffalo, 2003) and head coach (Cincinnati 2000-02) -- he has worn many hats.

It is fitting that in this, his golden anniversary year, LeBeau is having his best season. His Pittsburgh defense ranks first in the NFL against both the run and the pass (no defense has done that for an entire season since the 1991 Eagles) and slso leads the league in fewest points allowed (183).

No wonder the Steelers are 10-3 and leading the way in the AFC North.

LeBeau has produced a top 10 defense in each of the past six seasons while coaching for three different teams. The address may change, the players may change, but with LeBeau calling the shots, the results are the same. He has been to four Super Bowls -- twice with the Bengals, twice with the Steelers -- and finally won his first ring in 2006.

In this Game of the Week, a 20-13 win over Dallas, LeBeau's defense gave a glimpse of what could be another championship season. On a frigid day at Heinz Field, the Steelers shut down the Cowboys, forcing five turnovers and sacking Romo three times.

Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who has flourished in LeBeau's zone blitz scheme, tied the club record with his 15th sack of the season. The winning touchdown came on a 25-yard interception return by cornerback Deshea Townsend. Some called it an ugly win, but the look on LeBeau's face said otherwise.

To the old cornerback, it was a thing of beauty.

XxKnightxX
12-10-2008, 11:45 PM
LeBeau is an ageless wonder who still has the fire in him, I would guarantee that this guy will be the first HOF to go in as a assistant coach , something that has never been done.

SteelCityKingsVP
12-10-2008, 11:49 PM
LeBeau is an ageless wonder who still has the fire in him, I would guarantee that this guy will be the first HOF to go in as a assistant coach , something that has never been done.

LeBeau is more than likely the best assistant coach out there. And no one deserves an honor like that more than him. I mean he INVENTED the zone blitz for petes sake!

Galax Steeler
12-11-2008, 04:49 AM
We could set here and talk about LeBeau all day long but we all know that he is the best deffensive coach in the league and there will be a place for him when he retires.

markymarc
12-11-2008, 09:19 AM
It will be a sad day when LeBeau decides to leave the NFL.

TeeJay
12-11-2008, 02:08 PM
This is LeBeau's 50th consecutive year in the National Football League. Think about that for a moment.


That's just f**king awesome! :thumbsup:

Just wish it had been 50 years with The Steelers!

WisconsinSteelerMan
12-11-2008, 02:52 PM
It's funny when I read that... For some reason, you feel like Lebeau has been with the Steelers for his entire career. It just seems so natural for him here. I hope that he can stay a LONG time in this league and with our team...

Mike in La Crosse, WI

hindes204
12-11-2008, 03:46 PM
I think Lebeau was some sort of genetic experiment, mixing a human with a super computer that only knows how to calculate defenses and tear apart offenses

BlackAndGold4Ever
12-11-2008, 04:11 PM
LeBeau is a legend, and the greatest asset we have. It's going to be a sad day when he decides to retire

TeeJay
12-11-2008, 04:33 PM
LeBeau is an ageless wonder who still has the fire in him, I would guarantee that this guy will be the first HOF to go in as a assistant coach , something that has never been done.

Agreed. :thumbsup:

But by rights, he should already be in there. :tt03:

SteelCityKing
12-11-2008, 04:48 PM
Dick LeBeau IS the Steelers defense and he's definitely heading to the Hall of Fame. too bad he doesn't really have a number to retire with...but i guess his clipboard and headset might work. haha!

an icon and a legend. i hope he stays with the organization for...well...forever. *sigh*

=)

Steelman16
12-12-2008, 02:47 AM
I've wondered recently if Tomlin might just completely burn out any notion of a 4-3 Cover 2 that might be left in his brain.

I think he's learning all he can from LeBeau, which is an awful lot. LeBeau's probably forgotten more than Tomlin knows. :chuckle:

The Steelers have thrived in the 3-4 zone blitz scheme for many years now, and I hope we continue it for a long time.

It will be a sad day when Coach Dad retires. I cannot think of anyone else who deserves a special place in Canton more than he does.

:tt02: