Originally Posted by tanda10506
The type of stats that the author is using points out how the bed was shat in 2009, 2011, and this year. Nearly all the examples given were from those years. So while it's true that the team was not good in 2009 or 2011, that doesn't mean the defense has been overrated since 2007. I assure you that the 2010 defense, and especially the 2008 defense, was not overrated.
As for LeBeau, it's the same question that everyone asks of all the greats: "was it them or there players". The question is asked about the Pats w/ Brady and Bellicheck all the time. A great coach can do a lot but if there is a huge lack of talent on the field then the team will likely still struggle, and if a talented team is not coached properly and not disciplined then they will struggle too.
I think it's just as much about "right place, right time" as it is about coaching and talent.
My personal favorite Steeler Defense in the post-Noll era would be the early 90's teams under Dom Capers and my second favorite would be the late 2000's teams under LeBeau.
But would either coach have been as successful if it weren't for the personnel they had to work with?
Capers had Kirkland, Lloyd, Lake, Woodson, Perry and then later Greene, so it could be argued that Capers would have had a great defense even if his play-calling was mediocre. As for LeBeau, I think his biggest achievement was his "Zone Blitz" which was revolutionary at the time but just as with Capers, you have to wonder how much of his success had to do with great talent versus great planning.
And what about when we didn't even have a Defensive Coordinator?
After Haslett left, Bill Cowher was running the defense himself for three years and we had some solid seasons without a DC at all.
Belichick is another story altogether and I've always said that if our coaching staff studied what he does, we'd have far fewer problems overall. Belichick does a few things that other coaches don't seem to do one of which is preparing his 2nd and 3rd string players as if they were starting every game and another is detailing a specific game plan to each team he faces and not relying on "what's been working" or worse yet - on reputation.
I think my biggest problem with LeBeau and coaches who are either from his era or who follow his style is that they seem to come from a school where intimidation and brute force was the name of the game and guys like that are falling behind in today's game -- especially since many rules have been changed to discourage hard, injury-causing hits. Back in LeBeau's day, as long as you could hit hard enough to lay someone out, you really didn't need a whole lot in the way of game-planning or technical savvy. If a receiver came across the middle, you just made sure that you hit him as hard as you could so that he'd be looking over his shoulder instead of looking for the ball.
But today, with all the rules protecting receivers and QB's, it's all about finesse and tactical prowess and I don't think it's easy for someone who has spent his whole life teaching "hitting" and preaching intimidation to suddenly change gears and start treating the game as if it were being played on a chess board instead of a football field.
The Steelers are one of the few teams (if not the only team) that still carries a reputation for defensive punishment despite the fact that the teams which created that reputation are decades in the past. I sometimes wonder if the F.O and even the coaches realize that Lambert or Lloyd are not going to be running out of the tunnel anytime soon and that the game has changed quite a bit from the days when defenses were measured by how many times a game was stopped to bring a stretcher onto the field for one of their "victims"?