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Old 12-13-2010, 10:23 AM   #1
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Default Hats off to Dick LeBeau

Hats off to Dick LeBeau
By John Harris, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, December 13, 2010
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_713526.html

If you didn't know any better, you could have sworn Dick LeBeau switched places with Bruce Arians and became offensive coordinator for a day.

LeBeau, the Steelers' acclaimed defensive coordinator, drew up two interceptions for touchdowns on the grease board -- the team's only touchdowns in Sunday's 23-7 win over the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field.

Extreme? There's no other way to describe how the defense saved the offense for the third consecutive week.

"Our defense is something else,'' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said.

It's the eighth time this season the defense allowed only one touchdown. The Steelers are 8-0 in those games.

"We held up our end,'' said free safety Ryan Clark, who finished with eight tackles. "That's the big thing, just keep holding up our end and making these games big games. The more games you win, the bigger the games get. That's how we're looking at it.''

The Steelers improved to 10-3, courtesy of their fourth consecutive win. They've won the past three despite the offense scoring two touchdowns in 13 quarters.

Does the offense need to score more?

"We would like it,'' Clark said. "We know we need to be a balanced team -- offensively, defensively, on special teams. We know everybody needs to play well.''

If the touchdown drought continues, kicker Shaun Suisham, who's 9 for 9 on field goals since joining the Steelers three games ago, will wear out his right leg.

"Buffalo (a 19-16 overtime win), we were clicking, just weren't getting the ball into the end zone,'' Clark said. "Then you look at the Baltimore game -- you take what you can get against an offense like that. But we know we need to score more points.''

Strong safety Troy Polamalu's sack and strip of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, and outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley's fumble return to the Baltimore 9 with 3:13 to play, set up the Steelers' lone touchdown.

Clark believes the offense is ready to explode, just like it did by scoring five times in a 35-3 win over Oakland on Nov. 21.

"It's crazy because we move the ball on people,'' Clark said. "We clearly have the talent. I think they'll get it going.''

Even if Polamalu didn't return a Carson Palmer interception 45 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter yesterday, and even if Woodley didn't run back another Palmer interception for another touchdown in the fourth quarter, the Steelers would have won, 9-7. That's how dominant the defense was after allowing Cincinnati to score on the game's opening drive.

Couldn't you just hear LeBeau on the sideline drawing up both interceptions intended for Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco?

"Troy, you know that Palmer locks onto T.O. from the moment he leaves the line of scrimmage, so stick to him like white on rice. Read Palmer's eyes if you have to. Just make sure that you break hard on the ball. It's an easy six points if you do.

"LaMarr, expect Palmer to throw your way because he doesn't think you can cover Ochocinco. Remember that there's coverage support behind you. It'll be like taking candy from a baby.''

For 3 1/2 quarters, the defense held the Bengals in check. Late in the game, Owens short-armed a Palmer pass across the middle and dropped the ball because he didn't want to get hit. LeBeau and the Steelers defenders were inside Owens' head all afternoon.

"We've got a good defense,'' defensive end Brett Keisel said. "We pride ourselves on being tough and physical and making plays when they're there to be made. Troy's play and LaMarr's play were both huge for us.''

Hats off to LeBeau for countering Cincinnati's early play-calling success. The Bengals took a 7-0 lead on a trick play when Palmer tossed a 1-yard touchdown pass to tackle Andrew Whitworth.

"I think they had a scripted set of plays,'' Keisel said. "They fooled us on the offensive lineman catching the first touchdown. We knew we were going to get some tricks and things like that. Once everyone settled down and stuck to their keys and what their job was on defense, it was tough for them to move the ball against us.''

They'll be no stopping the Steelers if their offense can get on the same page as the defense. With three games remaining, the offense can't turn it around soon enough.
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: Hats off to Dick LeBeau

i wonder if kiesel being back and healthy has anything to do with the defense's resurgence. it's possible.
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: Hats off to Dick LeBeau

You bet your ass it does! And wait til Smith gets in there(hopefully)!!
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Hats off to Dick LeBeau

With Keisel back it seems like the blitzer gets to come in unblocked!

Is it me or should Gay blitz every time and not allowed to cover anyone?
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: Hats off to Dick LeBeau

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Originally Posted by Whodis View Post
With Keisel back it seems like the blitzer gets to come in unblocked!

Is it me or should Gay blitz every time and not allowed to cover anyone?
gay is pretty good in the nickel and probably our best blitzing db. hard to see him coming, he's good at hiding behind the linemen and shooting the gap.

i must be one of the very few ppl on this site who think gay is doing a good job
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Old 12-13-2010, 01:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Hats off to Dick LeBeau

As long as he isn't an every down CB he does fine by me!
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Old 12-13-2010, 01:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: Hats off to Dick LeBeau

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gay is pretty good in the nickel and probably our best blitzing db. hard to see him coming, he's good at hiding behind the linemen and shooting the gap.

i must be one of the very few ppl on this site who think gay is doing a good job
And I'm the other dissident. It's possible he's capped out on his potential, but as a role player I think he's pretty darned good. I just don't understand how the same people giving him hell can give McFadden a free pass.
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Old 12-13-2010, 01:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: Hats off to Dick LeBeau

Yep - LeBeau still can draw up the schemes, as evidenced by this story today on how the Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Caneron was blindsided by the scheme that freed up Troy on the Flacco sack-fumble.

You're looking at the guy responsible," Cameron said. "There was a flaw in that protection. We don't have a protection where [No.] 43 [Polamalu] comes unblocked. We don't have a run play where 43 comes unblocked in that game. There are some cases where guys can be unblocked -- [but] not him.

"There was a flaw there that I did not catch for some reason. In 25-plus years, I have never seen that happen, and it showed up at the worst possible time it could have, and it's my job to catch that flaw. That flaw has been corrected. … Next time you see a guy unblocked in that protection, it'll be where the quarterback's expecting it to be unblocked."

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/r...,1569323.story
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Old 12-13-2010, 02:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: Hats off to Dick LeBeau

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Originally Posted by ricardisimo View Post
And I'm the other dissident. It's possible he's capped out on his potential, but as a role player I think he's pretty darned good. I just don't understand how the same people giving him hell can give McFadden a free pass.
I'm with you here. I get frustrated more with the "soft nickle" coverage (the sit back crap). I'll give a free pass when our blitz gets picked up and the db gets beat in zero coverage.
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Old 12-13-2010, 02:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: Hats off to Dick LeBeau

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Originally Posted by ricardisimo View Post
And I'm the other dissident. It's possible he's capped out on his potential, but as a role player I think he's pretty darned good. I just don't understand how the same people giving him hell can give McFadden a free pass.
they both suck ass ...... there, ya happy now ?
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