The Super Bowl was not a fun night for Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.
LeBeau said that it hurts to see the Ravens win anything and it was especially painful this year because he thinks there’s very little difference between the 8-8 Steelers and the Super Bowl champs. LeBeau said that he knows the Steelers can compete with Baltimore — a feeling that’s supported by their split of games with Baltimore this season while playing without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger both times — and that breaks didn’t go Pittsburgh’s way in the final weeks of the season.
“Do I feel we could have done the same thing they did? I do. I do,” LeBeau said, via Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “It didn’t break that way. They got the right people back at the right time, and we continued to have more injuries, it seemed like. Many times that decides it.”
You could come up with all sorts of scenarios that lead to various teams finding themselves where the Ravens found themselves at the final whistle in New Orleans, just as you could come up with ways other teams could have won the Super Bowl XLIII instead of the Steelers. The only one that matters is the one that actually happens, though, and LeBeau’s job is to help get the Steelers back to the playoffs and Super Bowl.
Having a healthy Troy Polamalu would help on that front. Polamalu missed nine games last year, but LeBeau felt he was as effective as ever once he returned to the lineup. That doesn’t guarantee anything for 2013 in terms of health, of course, which is why it’s hard to know how the Steelers will rebound from a disappointing 2012.