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Old 12-30-2006, 12:18 AM   #1
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Default Steelers' subpar season doesn't deter LeBeau

Steelers' subpar season doesn't deter LeBeau

By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, December 30, 2006

Dick LeBeau is 60 minutes away from completing his 48th season in the NFL, which means he's achieved something in 2006 even if the Steelers haven't.

"I'm still on the right side of the grass," LeBeau said.

LeBeau, 69, is still getting a charge out of coaching, even if his responsibilities this week consist of coordinating the Steelers' defense for a season finale in Cincinnati with little meaning.

"This is just a great bunch of guys to work with," LeBeau said. "We all think we should have done better, and that's going to be our goal from here on out. But as far as working with the men, they're a joy to work with."

LeBeau said he hasn't given any thought to Sunday potentially being coach Bill Cowher's final game with the Steelers.

"None whatsoever," LeBeau said.

His concern is the Bengals, and of what can be done to prevent the Steelers from having to play a meaningless game at the conclusion of the 2007 campaign.

"We just got into too big a hole in the first part of the season," LeBeau said. "All I told our guys on defense was, 'We gotta do everything we can possibly do in the ensuing months to not get in this situation again.'

"I'm talking from this week on doing everything we can to not get in this situation again."

The Bengals game will conclude LeBeau's third season as defensive coordinator in his second stint as an assistant to Cowher.

LeBeau arrived with Cowher in 1992 as the Steelers' secondary coach and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 1995 when Dom Capers left to become head coach of the Carolina Panthers.

LeBeau left in 1997 for Cincinnati, where he served as defensive coordinator, assistant head coach and head coach (his tenure running the Bengals began three games into the 2000 season and ran through 2002).

LeBeau spent 2003 as the assistant head coach in Buffalo before returning to the Steelers.

His defense this season failed to dominate statistically as it had in the prior two, but LeBeau still has faith in his zone-blitz scheme and the staff's ability to evolve the concept as necessary.

"We think we give our players an opportunity to make plays," LeBeau said. "We'll look at it and try to make sure we stay competitive."

One such tweak this season resulted from the Steelers having to continually compensate for injuries in the defensive backfield.

The Steelers countered by going with five defensive backs more than they had in the past, which meant that inside linebacker Larry Foote got a chance to play on passing downs as something other than a replacement for fellow inside linebacker James Farrior, the lone standup linebacker in the once standard six defensive backs alignment.

"We were short DBs quite a bit, but beyond that we think Larry Foote is a pretty good player," LeBeau said. "We don't think we suffer at all when we leave him in the game."

LeBeau said the pressure the Steelers were able to generate was "pretty consistent" and their overall performance on defense this season was substandard.

"Quite frankly, we'd like to do a little bit better," he said.

LeBeau is looking forward to doing what he can to glean a little more from the next defense he coordinates in NFL season No. 49.

"I still think I can make a couple pars," he said.

Particularly from this side of the grass.

LeBeau's legacy
Dick LeBeau's Steelers defenses by the numbers:
Season - Overall ranking - Rushing - Passing
2004 - 1 - 1 - 4
2005 - 4 - 3 - 16
2006 - 10 - 4 - 18

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_486335.html
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Old 12-30-2006, 02:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers' subpar season doesn't deter LeBeau

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Originally Posted by 83-Steelers-43 View Post

LeBeau's legacy
Dick LeBeau's Steelers defenses by the numbers:
Season - Overall ranking - Rushing - Passing
2004 - 1 - 1 - 4
2005 - 4 - 3 - 16
2006 - 10 - 4 - 18


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_486335.html
Yeah... Our Passing defense is just great!!! 16th and 18th in the league.

Zone blitz scheme ONLY WORKS WHEN IT SHUTS DOWN THE OFFENSE.

You know, I seriously think we need more then "a little tweaking"

We need to bring in a new CB that can do the job.. then create a scheme that takes advantage of having 2 stud safeties and the new CB (Hopefully).
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Old 12-30-2006, 12:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers' subpar season doesn't deter LeBeau

There is nothing wrong with Coach LeBeau's scheme. Our failings are a matter of sub standard personel. (Especially in the secondary)
Whether you run a highly specialized scheme such as ours or a standard 4'3,......if you do not have ENOUGH players with the physical and mental capabilities to do their jobs WELL consistently,.....you are "dead in the water".
This is not "astro physics",.......but yet so simple that many complicate it by disregarding the importance of elite personel in favor of "system",.... or vice versa.
Bottom line,......both scheme and personel must be of equal QUALITY to be truly effective.



"Hail Caesar,........HAIL THE BLACK AND GOLD"
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Old 12-30-2006, 12:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers' subpar season doesn't deter LeBeau

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There is nothing wrong with Coach LeBeau's scheme. Our failings are a matter of sub standard personel. (Especially in the secondary)
Whether you run a highly specialized scheme such as ours or a standard 4'3,......if you do not have ENOUGH players with the physical and mental capabilities to do their jobs WELL consistently,.....you are "dead in the water".
This is not "astro physics",.......but yet so simple that many complicate it by disregarding the importance of elite personel in favor of "system",.... or vice versa.
Bottom line,......both scheme and personel must be of equal QUALITY to be truly effective.



"Hail Caesar,........HAIL THE BLACK AND GOLD"
There were 2 changes in starters this season - Clark and Keisel. I belive Keisel is regarded as having played at least as well as Kimo and Clark drew generally favorable reviews prior to being injured. So I doubt those 2 changes are the problem.

IMHO the drop off is a combination of players having inferior seasons compared to 2005 (Porter, Haggans, Troy and especially Taylor) and the league catching up with Labeau's schemes after everybody broke down the film on the SB champs to both see what they could learn and what they could attack.

Big issue to address is pash rush; with 2 aging outside OLBs that may require new talent more than a new scheme.
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Old 12-30-2006, 01:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers' subpar season doesn't deter LeBeau

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There were 2 changes in starters this season - Clark and Keisel. I belive Keisel is regarded as having played at least as well as Kimo and Clark drew generally favorable reviews prior to being injured. So I doubt those 2 changes are the problem.

IMHO the drop off is a combination of players having inferior seasons compared to 2005 (Porter, Haggans, Troy and especially Taylor) and the league catching up with Labeau's schemes after everybody broke down the film on the SB champs to both see what they could learn and what they could attack.

Big issue to address is pash rush; with 2 aging outside OLBs that may require new talent more than a new scheme.
Good points...I will also point out that in that time period where we went on our run last year...we brought in Tyrone Carter as an extra back...the corners would give a little cushion and Tyrone would jam the primary reciever at the line..then stay in the flat and look for the run.. This served several purposes....1) The jam threw off the QB's timing...2) Tyrone could play the pass and allow more schemes for Troy or someone else to blitz, knowing that Tyrone would fall back with the reciever and the secondary was still covered,which also drove QB's nuts when checking down coverage on their recievers.,..3) He could stay and play the run or blitz which allowed the CB's on Carters side to focus on the WR and QB, with knowledge that run support was lifted from their shoulders

Those of us who were at the Indy Monday night game remember what happened to Ike when he hesitated on the fake...80 yds to Marvin!!!

Last edited by lamberts-lost-tooth; 12-30-2006 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 12-30-2006, 01:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers' subpar season doesn't deter LeBeau

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Good points...I will also point out that in that time period where we went on our run last year...we brought in Tyrone Carter as an extra back...the corners would give a little cushion and Tyrone would jam the primary reciever at the line..then stay in the flat and look for the run.. This served several purposes....1) The jam threw off the QB's timing...2) Tyrone could play the pass and allow more schemes for Troy or someone else to blitz, knowing that Tyrone would fall back with the reciever and the secondary was still covered,which also drove QB's nuts when checking down coverage on their recievers.,..3) He could stay and play the run or blitz which allowed the CB's on Carters side to focus on the WR and QB, with knowledge that run support was lifted from their shoulders

Those of us who were at the Indy Monday night game remember what happened to Ike when he hesitated on the fake...80 yds to Marvin!!!
excellent observation. carter was definitely making plays and getting his name heard down the stretch last year. he showed up big as a reserve.
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Old 12-30-2006, 01:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers' subpar season doesn't deter LeBeau

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Originally Posted by Atlanta Dan View Post
There were 2 changes in starters this season - Clark and Keisel. I belive Keisel is regarded as having played at least as well as Kimo and Clark drew generally favorable reviews prior to being injured. So I doubt those 2 changes are the problem.

IMHO the drop off is a combination of players having inferior seasons compared to 2005 (Porter, Haggans, Troy and especially Taylor) and the league catching up with Labeau's schemes after everybody broke down the film on the SB champs to both see what they could learn and what they could attack.

Big issue to address is pash rush; with 2 aging outside OLBs that may require new talent more than a new scheme.


Keisel is solid and has performed adequately. He is very gifted athleticaly for his size. And though he's reasonably "stout " at the point of attack,......he does not however posses Kimo's strength which allowed him to get a better "push" upfield and henceforth apply "pressure" more consistently.
Clark is solid as well,......but he is not a "playmaker". And though he's a proficient tackler for the most part,.....he has a tendency to get "manhandled" by the better, more "physical" offenses. He also often gets "lost" in coverage.

I regards to the "drop off" in productivity by core players,.....this is where my point about having "ENOUGH" (ie depth) quality players becomes clear. (not bargain basement "project" cats)

As far as teams breaking down film,..... who doesn't ? This is not as big a factor as many would like to believe. Every team knows full well what their opponents are capable of and how they go about doing so. What is of greatest importance is the ABILITY to execute.
"Everybody's got a plan,.......until they get hit"
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Old 12-30-2006, 09:57 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers' subpar season doesn't deter LeBeau

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Originally Posted by Atlanta Dan View Post
There were 2 changes in starters this season - Clark and Keisel. I belive Keisel is regarded as having played at least as well as Kimo and Clark drew generally favorable reviews prior to being injured. So I doubt those 2 changes are the problem.

IMHO the drop off is a combination of players having inferior seasons compared to 2005 (Porter, Haggans, Troy and especially Taylor) and the league catching up with Labeau's schemes after everybody broke down the film on the SB champs to both see what they could learn and what they could attack.

Big issue to address is pash rush; with 2 aging outside OLBs that may require new talent more than a new scheme.
I hope the draft brings the STEELERS some stud LB's ....after WE draft some stud OF linemen..
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Old 12-30-2006, 10:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers' subpar season doesn't deter LeBeau

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Originally Posted by SteelCzar76 View Post
There is nothing wrong with Coach LeBeau's scheme. Our failings are a matter of sub standard personel. (Especially in the secondary) Whether you run a highly specialized scheme such as ours or a standard 4'3,......if you do not have ENOUGH players with the physical and mental capabilities to do their jobs WELL consistently,.....you are "dead in the water"

BINGO! ....


Our secondary was abysmal this year. Polamalu had what was probably his worst year and the chemistry he had established with Chris Hope was now gone. Clark was very inconsistent this year ... some games he played well, some "ok", ... .others he downright sucked!

Point #2 that I didn't see in this thread was the fact that Townsend sucked this year. Totally OWNED every time he went up against a bigger, physical WR (the league is has been going in this direction for some time in terms of this being the new protypical NFL WR). This doesn't bode well for Townsend .... who should be religated to nickle package only next year.


While we've been focusing on the secondary ... it's worth mentioning that our LB's didn't play with near the intensity they played with last year. This also had a lot to do with how things went down this year.
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