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Old 09-09-2011, 09:18 PM   #1
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Default Dick LeBeau

no one is wishing him a happy birhtday he turns 74 today !!!

c'mon people!!!
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Dick LeBeau

here is an article i wrote about mr lebeau upon his induction to the HOF-

Dick Lebeau- Paying it Forward

In less than 3 weeks, Dick Lebeau will take that hallowed walk onto the stage of the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in his home state of Ohio. Indeed it is long overdue. In recent years many have lobbied for him to be enshrined as a player/coach, hoping that his accolades as a coach would boost the fact that he had been overlooked as a player for so many years, and garner him extra consideration.

Dick Lebeau will finally be inducted, and some think of it as a testimony to his playing career that he is ensrhined as a player alone who doesnt need to lean on the crutch of his coaching career. This is almost bitter-sweet because if there is anyone who deserves to be inducted twice, it is "Coach Dad".

His career is stellar. He was a National Champion at OSU under legendary coach Woody Hayes as a 2-way player. It comes as no suprise he learned much more from his coach than just X's and O's. Woody once misquoted Ralph Waldo Emerson’s ancient concept of "paying it forward"-

"You can pay back only seldom. You can always pay forward, and you must pay line for line, deed for deed, and cent for cent." He also shortened the misquotation into "You can never pay back; but you can always pay forward".

Yes, Dick was a damn good player. Still to this day, his career holds up to one of the best at his positions, but he was an even better coach, and if there were ever a Hall of Fame induction for some of the greatest people of all time, he would surely be in on the 1st ballot.

There is no better testimony to this than the words and actions of 2 of his greatest pupils. Rod Woodson was a 1st ballot Hall of Famer, who donned the yellow jacket just last year. On a day that should be all about him and his accomplishments, he made a sincere plea to the HOF voters to put his coach in where he rightfully belonged. He basically asked them to bring him home. 6 months later, his emotional plea was answered almost immediately after over 30 years of neglect.

Nothing speaks louder than the recent words of Troy Polamalu, who has been instrumental in earning Coach Lebeau the only 2 Superbowl rings of his illustrious career-

"There's no question that he is the greatest coach of all time," Polamalu said, sounding as definite as a very soft-spoken guy can be, "and there's no question to me that he is the epitome of what a Hall-of-Famer should be. You're talking about a guy who played in the NFL and was very successful, with 63 interceptions - he reminds us of that all the time (laughs). He had the most consecutive starts at cornerback - over 100 games. He's been a special-teams coach, a coordinator, and a head coach. He's been part of the game longer than anybody who didn't own a team. So, to me, he's the most deserving guy ever, and the Hall of Fame people are lucky to have him as part of it."

When asked asked about their successful dynamic as player/coach, this was his response-

"It's a level of trust, communication and understanding, most importantly, That's the relationship that Coach LeBeau and I have."

Then there is the scrappy underdog Deshea Townsend who stuck around with the Steelers for so long. What he lacked in talent and skill, he made up in brains and the knowledge of the game. Lebeau has praised him as one of the most intelligent and savvy players he has ever coached. Is it any surprise that his charitable endeavor committed to improving the quality of life for disadvantaged youth and adults is named the Pay it Forward Foundation?

Coach Lebeau couldn’t pay back what he learned from Woody Hayes but he most certainly paid it forward. Rod, Troy, and Deshea are doing the same. Its funny how things come full circle. If it werent for Rods impassioned plea, or the support that Dick has always received from all of this players, he may not be stepping on this stage in less than a month.

Was there anything more special and touching, than when the entire Steelers defensive unit arrived in Canton for their Hall of Fame game in '07 sporting throwback #44 Detroit Lions jerseys? Is it any wonder that the Steelers defenders who helped him win his 2 rings say they play so hard for the coach just to not let him down?

NFL Network has named Dick Lebeau's "Fire/Zone Blitz" as the #1 innovation in all of football. This ranked higher than the offensive mastermind George Walsh's "West Coast Offense". The 49ers are often regarded as the greatest dynasty of all time. They brutally rolled over teams they faced in the Superbowl, all teams without Coach Lebeau on the staff, that is. The Bengals gave those teams all they could handle and more. Over a span of a decade it seemed that the defense that Dick had invented was the only one that could slow them down.

The early 90's Cowboys were regarded as another great dynasty, yet it was a Dick Lebeau defense that had them on the ropes; However, he never cashed in on his near success. He never became Bill Walsh, Bill Parcels, or Bill Belicheck. His only stint as a head coach was with the Cincinatti Bengals (the place where he earned his "stripes" as an assistant) and it was pretty much a failure when they were at the bottom of the league.

Despite his failure in the Superbowls and as a head coach, he was afforded the opportunity to pay it forward once again, with the Steelers. In 2004, is 1st year back as an assistant under Cowher, he helped lead the Steelers to an all time AFC best record of 15-1. The following year, his defense marched on the road and shut down the top 4 offenses in the league en route to his first Lombardi win. 6 years later, another superbowl win, and consistantly dominating the league defensively he has reached the status of a living legend. The coach who recites “Twas the Night Before Christmas” from memory, for his players who attentively watch like children, now has almost half the league employing some form of his 3-4 defensive scheme. When he takes the stage in Canton Ohio, it is likely to be the most thunderous applause and loudest cheers the town has ever heard. When all is said and done, his bust will finally rest with the likes of not only Lombardi, Walsh, Shula, and Noll, but all of the NFL players who made this game so great. 30 years from now, visitors to the hall will see Noll, Cowher, Tomlin, and Lebeau’s bronze likeness and think what great coaches the Steelers had as they move on to view all the busts of their pupils, such as Rod, Blount, and Troy.

While nobody really remembers Ronnie Lott’s or Deion Sander’s coordinators, everyone will remember Dick Lebeau. Not just for his playing days and not just for his coaching, but what he was able to overcome, accomplish, and ultimately achieve by paying it forward.

It’s about time it is finally paid back.
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:34 AM   #3
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Default Re: Dick LeBeau

Outstanding article about an outstanding man. If I didn't follow football . I didn't know the Steelers and met Dick Lebeau I'd probably mistake him for a high school math teacher or something like that. He's about as mild mannered as Troy but we all know the fire is there. "COACH DAD" is a fitting nickname.
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Old 09-10-2011, 03:39 PM   #4
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Happy B-day young man!!!!!
We don't buy NFL stars...........WE MAKE THEM!!!
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:00 PM   #5
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY COACH !! And I hope you have many, many, many more---and I hope you are still coaching with the Steeler's while doing so .
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:04 PM   #6
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Happy Birthday Coach!!
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:14 PM   #7
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Default Re: Dick LeBeau

The best assistant coach of all time and a heck of a player in his day too. And a great guy. Happy B-Day Coach LeBeau.
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Dick LeBeau

outstanding article Tony

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Old 09-10-2011, 08:43 PM   #9
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Didn't know you were a writer, Tony. Very eloquent of you.
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Old 09-11-2011, 06:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: Dick LeBeau

Wow, Thankyou, that's some good reading here Tony.
Sometimes, we all need to remember and self-appreciate our's, and other's accomplishments (big or small). So that the dismal "failures" of today can be more easily "conquered" tomorrow !

Long live Coach LeBeau.

Last edited by Kanata-Steeler; 09-11-2011 at 07:02 PM. Reason: i dunno
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