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Old 02-02-2010, 10:44 PM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default LeBeau's Hall chances looking good

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LeBeau's Hall chances looking good

February 2nd, 2010

FORT LAUDERDALE — This looks like the year that Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau receives his long overdue induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

LeBeau is one of two Senior Committee nominees — Broncos running back Floyd Little is the other — and that makes him a finalist for the Hall of Fame for the first time.

The significance of "getting into the room," as it is called, is a presenter will make LeBeau’s case to the rest of the Hall of Fame voters.

Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News will be able to make a strong argument that LeBeau deserves a place among the all-time greats in Canton even though the latter’s candidacy is based solely on what he did as a player.

Consider the following when it comes to LeBeau’s playing career, which spanned from 1959-72 with the Detroit Lions.

— His 62 career interceptions rank seventh (tied) on the NFL’s all-time list.

— LeBeau was second among cornerbacks in career interceptions when he retired; more than 35 years later he is third in interceptions among those who spent their entire career at cornerback.

-- LeBeau's 171 consecutive starts is still an NFL record for cornerbacks, making that another accomplishment that has stood the test of time.

-- LeBeau excelled late in his career as well as early in it; his nine interceptions in 1970 led the NFC.

Gosselin said LeBeau “slipped through the cracks” for two reasons: he didn’t play on great teams in Detroit and Hall of Fame voters have traditionally favored offensive players over defensive ones.

Gosselin said the Veterans Committee was created to correct oversights such as the omission of LeBeau from the Hall of Fame. LeBeau and the other finalists need 80 percent of the vote Saturday to get into the Hall.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: LeBeau's Hall chances looking good

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Gosselin said LeBeau “slipped through the cracks” for two reasons: he didn’t play on great teams in Detroit and Hall of Fame voters have traditionally favored offensive players over defensive ones.
also, i believe 3 other db's he played alongside are already in the hall of fame. its kinda like all the 70 steelers that are in, yet lc greenwood and donnie shell are locked out because of their teammates who have already made it.

the voters have been instructed to ignore his coaching career, but gosselin speaking up is a good sign. everyone on sirius radio is also calling him a lock based on his playing career alone (including the influetial likes of schein, kirwan, king, and brandt).

throw in his coaching influence and he has changed and evolved the game.

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Old 02-03-2010, 06:52 AM   #3
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Default Re: LeBeau's Hall chances looking good

Why wouldn't LeBeau make it he is one of the best at what he does. If this man don't deserve to be in there then no one does.
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Old 02-03-2010, 07:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: LeBeau's Hall chances looking good

I don't understand why his coaching career shouldn't be factored in? To me the Hall should be about what you meant to the game of football. LeBeau was an innovator, he refined the 3-4, and the zone blitz to a different and higher level. He advanced the game no less than fellow Hall of Famers Sid Gilman and George Allen.
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:03 AM   #5
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Default Re: LeBeau's Hall chances looking good

The master of the 3-4 defense, but it's a shame they are more looking at his playing career and not the coaching as much.
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:09 AM   #6
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Default Re: LeBeau's Hall chances looking good

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I don't understand why his coaching career shouldn't be factored in? To me the Hall should be about what you meant to the game of football. LeBeau was an innovator, he refined the 3-4, and the zone blitz to a different and higher level. He advanced the game no less than fellow Hall of Famers Sid Gilman and George Allen.
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The master of the 3-4 defense, but it's a shame they are more looking at his playing career and not the coaching as much.

Agree with you both on these points.
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:28 AM   #7
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Default Re: LeBeau's Hall chances looking good

His playing career was legendary.

62 interceptions.

He can also be seen in the 1970 movie Too Late the Hero, where he played Michael Caine's double in a scene
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:46 AM   #8
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Default Re: LeBeau's Hall chances looking good

As a player, he was one of the best of his era (and one of the best of all time). IMHO, that is what really should be looked at. He played in an era where most offensive philosophies was run the ball and only throw when you had to. Few teams ran offenses that featured the pass.

As a coach, though that's not supposed to be considered by voters (which they will, kind of like the jury being instructed to disregard something, they don't), he was one of the best defensive minds ever. He refined the 3-4 and the zone blitz and other teams copied. Even today when there are more 3-4 teams than ever, he's still the best 3-4 coordinator in the league.

What got him considered by the Veterans Committee wasn't an "oh crap, we forgot about him" revelation but last year's acceptance speech by Rod Woodson. Much like what got people to look at John Stallworth for the HoF was when Lynn Swann made mention of how deserving he was for the Hall.
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:58 AM   #9
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Default Re: LeBeau's Hall chances looking good

Even if you take LeBeau's coaching career, his playing days in the NFL show he belongs in the H.O.F. And you can't go wrong with one of the greatest defensive minds in NFL history. He changed the defense big time with rolling out the 3-4. IMO he should have 2 busts. One as a player and the other as a coach!
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: LeBeau's Hall chances looking good

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Even if you take LeBeau's coaching career, his playing days in the NFL show he belongs in the H.O.F. And you can't go wrong with one of the greatest defensive minds in NFL history. He changed the defense big time with rolling out the 3-4. IMO he should have 2 busts. One as a player and the other as a coach!
I completely agree!
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