Skip to content

Steelers players coordinate defense of Dick LeBeau

Dick LeBeau AP

The Steelers gave up 55 points to the Patriots last Sunday, a total that’s out of character with recent Steelers defensive history and which represents the latest degradation in a season piled high with them for the 2-6 squad.

The loss led head coach Mike Tomlin to say that he was angry and disappointed and that the team “will look at every aspect of what we are doing” in an effort to produce better results. According to a couple of members of the Steelers defense, one aspect that doesn’t need any changing is defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.

“Somebody has to take the blame,” linebacker LaMarr Woodley said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “That’s just the way it is when you’re having a bad season. Last season I was the one to take the blame. It comes with the territory. Now people want to blame the defensive coordinator.”

“We know what kind of man he is,” safety Ryan Clark said. “We know want kind of work he puts into us not just as football players but as men. We don’t have to defend him. His resume speaks for itself.”

LeBeau didn’t forget how to coach overnight, but a coach can only do so much when the personnel on hand is lacking. The Steelers defense is a mix of aging stalwarts and younger players who haven’t been able to adequately fill the roles of the players they’re replacing, leaving LeBeau’s unit a lot less fearsome than it has looked in the past.

The team needs to address that problem much more than they need to address any issue with the guy calling the plays.

Permalink 38 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Home, Pittsburgh Steelers, Rumor Mill
38 Responses to “Steelers players coordinate defense of Dick LeBeau”
  1. fartsmella says: Nov 8, 2013 10:22 AM

    Righhht, lets just use single coverage on Gronk… Idiot!

  2. bigbluedeadhead says: Nov 8, 2013 10:30 AM

    Maybe miss James Harrison

  3. Steeler's Didn't-but-Will-eventually says: Nov 8, 2013 10:38 AM

    I can’t lay the entire collapse at DL’s feet, but I’m thinking it might be time for him to hang it up. I’m willing to endure many mediocre to bad years as long as progress towards a strong future is made. As for the high salary cap hits (Woodley, Polamalu, Taylor. etc) it’s best to just yank the band aid off quickly and get it over with.

  4. coachjohnharbaugh says: Nov 8, 2013 10:38 AM

    its time to start calling this guy LeBum

  5. teecouch says: Nov 8, 2013 10:43 AM

    Kind of ironic that Woodley and Clark are the ones to speak up…………..both are stealing paychecks this year.

  6. stillers213 says: Nov 8, 2013 10:57 AM

    Ironic how these articles always quote Steelers’ players who are probably the most responsible for the vomit inducing play on the field. Clark became obsolete when he was no longer allowed to launch his head into opposing players coming across the middle. We need someone who can actually provide protection over the top!
    And Woodley? For a $61M LB, he sure has a difficult time getting off blocks by average linemen.

  7. bobzilla1001 says: Nov 8, 2013 11:02 AM

    Earlier this season, just before the Steelers played the Bengals on a Monday night, Jon Gruden asked a stone-faced James Harrison about LeBeau. Harrison became a bit emotional, then whispered, “I miss him.”
    That was a chilling moment.

  8. bigbenownsthenfl says: Nov 8, 2013 11:03 AM

    You mean the coach of the defense that is always last in creating turnovers? Or the defense that almost blew the super bowl against Arizona if it wasn’t for big Ben? Or the defense that failed to stop numerous game winning drives in the last 3 years after big Ben had given them the lead? Ravens, Oakland twice in 2 years and the Broncos in the infamous tebowd game! Just to name a few. Lebeau has been great but he’s 76 yrs old. Thanks Dick time to go!!!!!

  9. bigbenownsthenfl says: Nov 8, 2013 11:04 AM

    You mean the coach of the defense that is always last in creating turnovers? Or the defense that almost blew the super bowl against Arizona if it wasn’t for big Ben? Or the defense that failed to stop numerous game winning drives in the last 3 years after big Ben had given them the lead? Ravens, Oakland twice in 2 years and the Broncos in the infamous tebowd game! Just to name a few. Lebeau has been great but he’s 76 yrs old. Thanks Dick time to go!!!!

  10. runtheball says: Nov 8, 2013 11:06 AM

    If only Ryan Clark spent as much time working on his play as he does trying to be quoted in every steeler story. He is not Wines Hard, nobody is going to pay him big money in the media.

  11. patriotinvasion says: Nov 8, 2013 11:07 AM

    I’m puzzled. I still saw Polamalu, Woodley, Taylor, Clark, Keisel, Timmons, and others out there Sunday at Gillette. All of those guys have played in multiple Super Bowls and have a ring.

    When the Patriots core championship-caliber defenders got old (Bruschi, Harrison, Vrabel, Seymour, etc) the Patriots kept winning games and the Steelers are 2-6. The Pats D has never returned to what it was, so that just shows how great Belichick and Brady really are to have been able to keep the ship afloat all these years of transition. This year is showing how much Big Ben relied on a good defense to win. Without one, he’s just a big mistake prone freelancing lug.

  12. thegenoatkinsdiet says: Nov 8, 2013 11:11 AM

    I don’t feel bad for the Steelers or their fans, but I do feel bad for LeBeau. The guy is incredible and will always have my respect.

  13. citizenstrange says: Nov 8, 2013 11:13 AM

    You can blame the Steeler losses to the Vikings and the Patriots on the Steeler defense if you want to but if the Steelers had even average quarterback play they would be 6-2 not 2-6.

    The bar is set so incredibly low for and by Roethlisberger that his three turnover performance against the Patriots was considered a good day.

  14. claudegirwho says: Nov 8, 2013 11:19 AM

    Steelers can’t do anything right anymore. Ever since Tomlin took over the team they have gone down hill. They don’t need a best buddy on the sideline they need a coach who can manage the game and that is one of Tomlin biggest weakness. The Rooney’s are too stubborn that they hired the wrong guy and will continue to get the same results till he’s gone.

  15. nickster31 says: Nov 8, 2013 11:30 AM

    I am a life long Steelers fan, and give LeBeau full credit for the amazing Steelers defenses of the past.

    That being said, it has become painfully obvious that LeBeau can no longer simply out scheme offenses anymore. His in game adjustments are either non existent or simply dont work. His blitzes seem to be easily picked up, almost as if the offenses know what he is going to do.

    The man was the best at what he does for a LONG time, but it is time to ride off into the sunset.

  16. mostlombardisintheleague says: Nov 8, 2013 11:32 AM

    Fire Ben Roethlisberger and the defense will suddenly become ranked #1 in the NFL and we will win every regular season game, qualify for the playoffs, win every playoff game, go to the Superbowl and win the Superbowl.

    - bobzilla.

  17. z06vision says: Nov 8, 2013 11:35 AM

    He has done great in the past when we had the personel but the recent years we have been torched by the great (see sarcasm) QB,s Tebow, Pryor, Gradkowski and others. Time to put Butler in there and go to a 4-3 defense. Recent Lebeau records-Longest touchdown run by a QB -Pryor and Most points given up since 1935 – NE and the Tebow touchdown…Thanks but see ya.

  18. jr4real says: Nov 8, 2013 11:39 AM

    I actually agree with this. It’s not lebeau. It’s….HALEY!!!!! Get rid of him!! NOW!!!

    LOL!

  19. steelerstrong says: Nov 8, 2013 12:07 PM

    He can only coach. He can’t play!!! Where is Casey Hampton? It all starts in the middle of the defense. Goes to show you how great he was.

  20. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: Nov 8, 2013 12:31 PM

    I think any debate over what plagues the Steelers should start with the topic of salary cap management, and also address the need to improve on player talent evaluation, among other areas. It’s downright silly to even remotely suggest that Dick LeBeau, one of the game’s best defensive minds, is the problem in Pittsburgh. Granted, a limited shake-up may be in order for “The City of Bridges” football team, but any house cleaning should NOT include LeBeau.

  21. sixlombardisinyourface says: Nov 8, 2013 1:32 PM

    JETS beat the Patriots with Tom Brady at QB. Steelers beat the JETS with Ben at QB.
    Partiots beat the Steelers with Ben at QB – and the same Steeler defense that played the JETS.

  22. doe22us says: Nov 8, 2013 1:33 PM

    The Steelers suck period, there is no going around it. Aging D, Unimaginative play calling, poor salary cap,, Yeah if you add it all together you get 55.

  23. mikemaric says: Nov 8, 2013 1:56 PM

    If you can’t stop the run then play action will kill you. Steelers need a 350 lbs NT.

    A little edge rushing wouldn’t hurt either.

  24. CKL says: Nov 8, 2013 1:58 PM

    What was telling to me is when the defense that rarely if ever starts rookies went to Jarvis Jones to start for a bit this year. I agree it’s more of a talent issue than a coordinator issue. I do have a great deal of respect for coach LeBeau. I don’t think he’s slipping. After all it was just last year he changed up everything their D normally does and stunned my team, which had no answer for it.

    I also think Tomlin needs to stop calling out his players by name in the press about their play.It’s very bush league, and it doesn’t make players want to play for you. I’ve never thought much of him as a HC anyway and these tough times seem to be bringing out the worst in him.

  25. brendantcashellinsevenitrust says: Nov 8, 2013 2:07 PM

    First of all it amazes me how many fans from other teams waste time posting ridiculous comments about the steelers Worry about your own team the only team right now that can brag are the ravens. Second for all you steeler fan who claim to be diehards blaming ben for all the steelers problems is ridiculous. Did we win anything before he was drafted? No three super bowl appearances and two wins, one amazing throw that noone else in this league would have even tried. He as been sacked more than any other qb in the league and half may be his fault but ben always take ownership of that. Never hear Antonie brown or any other receiver apologizes for drops or running the wrong route. Offensive line has been a joke for the last eight years not once have i heard ben throw those guys under the bus. Ben hopefully has another seven years left, if you thinks it bad now wait till bens is gone it will be another twenty fives years before we win another lombardi

  26. stillers213 says: Nov 8, 2013 2:11 PM

    While Hampton was great, NT is not even close to the biggest area of concern. McLendon has held his own pretty well. Hood is a whole different story though.
    IMO, the loss of Farrior and then Foote hurt the team the most. Williams and Sylvester combined do not have the football smarts and experience in Lebeau’s system to captain the defense. I have never seen more players on D out of position than I have this season – especially Troy. You add in a worthless FS over the top and you have a recipe for 55.

  27. mefolts says: Nov 8, 2013 2:31 PM

    I have been saying this even before the season started. This year would be a “perfect storm” of bad. First but in no particular order, they are in salary cap hell. Secondly, they are very old. Thirdly, the young guys haven’t filled in as replacements. Fourthly, They have been to 3 SuperBowl and how many other playoff games over the last 10 years or so. That is a lot of mileage that other teams don’t often experience. Fifthly, the OL hasn’t come together at all. That is where continuity starts. Injuries(Pouncey), under-performing(Adams) and the loss of Legursky have created this mess and that is why Ben is on pace to be sacked for a career high.

    If you don’t replace guys you lose, stay healthy and have the money to spend to make moves, it will be a long season.

    Don’t do something stupid like fire the head coach or the coaching staff because it isn’t their fault. As Tomlin says, “this will be tough to chew, but we will chew it.”

  28. holeinone09 says: Nov 8, 2013 5:13 PM

    The people that constantly and solely blame Ben for what ails the Steelers are laughable. While Ben is not the greatest QB that ever lived or lives today, if it wasn’t for him they would not have accomplished anywhere near what they have since he has played with them. End of story. He has generally had a poor OL. He is one of the toughest most durable QBs the league has ever seen, and if he wasn’t he would have been on IR year after year (ie go look at Vick, when the wind blows he gets injured). Ben, like most QBs, needs some protection and some running game so defenses don’t key on the pass and turn blitz-happy. When they had Bettis, they were fine, more than fine. So let the people criticize Ben, it makes them happy and everyone should be happy after all. They will talk about his turnovers yet ignore that for example Antonio admits his mistake resulted in the pick in the Pats game. One day Ben won’t be here, and then what will these haters say? These same people will turn to another scapegoat, no doubt. For now, they focus on Ben and ignore the real problems the team has this year, that being poor OL play, lack of a running game, inability of the defense to stop the run, and giving up too many big plays. They will also start complaining that the new QB isn’t any good. SMH.

    LeBeau is not the problem on the defense IMO, it is the weak play of the players on the defense. Sure they have had injuries and some turnover of personnel, but the players they have are having a poor year collectively. Other than Keisel, they have no beef on the front line to stop the run. When was the last time they gave up so many rushing yards, let alone a 100 yard rusher? Hood has done nothing. McLendon can’t match Big Snack. Troy has made some great plays but his coverage seems very shaky this year. Woodley hasn’t done much since he signed his contract; it seems obvious he was much better when Harrison was in his prime and playing on the other side. Timmons has had his moments, but again nothing consistent. Taylor has also had his moments, but he gives too much room to WRs and gives up too many big plays. Clark is invisible this year. Gay?? Don’t get me started. Thomas is too young.

    They need to get back to better drafting of studs. With a higher draft pick this year, maybe they will have more success.

  29. bobzilla1001 says: Nov 8, 2013 6:02 PM

    I’m a little perplexed as to why you Roethlisberger Apologists/Obsessives/Groupies fill the need defend your hero on a thread about Dick LeBeau.
    Your insecurities speak volumes.

  30. holeinone09 says: Nov 8, 2013 6:21 PM

    bobzilla, as Alper appropriately said, “The team needs to address that problem much more than they need to address any issue with the guy calling the plays.” Nuff said.

    Also, pot, meet kettle. It goes both ways:

    citizenstrange says: Nov 8, 2013 11:13 AM

    You can blame the Steeler losses to the Vikings and the Patriots on the Steeler defense if you want to but if the Steelers had even average quarterback play they would be 6-2 not 2-6.

    The bar is set so incredibly low for and by Roethlisberger that his three turnover performance against the Patriots was considered a good day

  31. firerogergoodellnow says: Nov 8, 2013 6:48 PM

    Thumbs up if you miss Bruce Arians.

  32. bobzilla1001 says: Nov 8, 2013 7:29 PM

    Sorry, but I’m still not understanding your reasons for defaming a Hall-of-Fame coach simply to make Roethlisberger appear to be better than what he is.
    Whatever LeBeau’s defenses do from this point on, that has nothing to do with his past defenses, which have been compared to some of the all-time greats.
    Ben Roethlisberger is a QB who averages 20 TD passes per season. He had a 22 passer rating in Super Bowl 40, and he racked up a whole 13 points through three-plus quarters against the worst defensive team in Super Bowl history in Super Bowl 45.
    Twice in SB 45 the Steelers’ offense faced a first-and-goal, but only once did it score: via a field goal. Meanwhile, the most amazing defensive play in Super Bowl history — Harrison’s 100-yard interception return for a TD — would not have been possible if Roethlisberger hadn’t thrown an interception that gave the Cardinals possession from point-blank range.
    Is it possible that dreamed up all of this?

  33. eightysixisback says: Nov 8, 2013 7:54 PM

    the problem with the steelers isnt dick lebeau, it is the players. he is one of the great defensive minds in the history of the game and i am sorry but people posting here saying that he is the problem have no idea what they are talking about. if lebeau had decent players to work with the defense would dtill dominate. ever notice that when defensive players leave the steelers they arent as good for other teams? he coaches them up. the way the financial part of the nfl works these days might not be the only cause of the problem but it is the biggest. they were very very good for a long time. their players got recognized for it and had to be paid in order to get them to stay. they knew that they had the team to do it and they went for it and had a long run. they knew that eventually it would end and they would have to rebuild. there were some great years and they won two superbowls. personally as a life long steelers fan i think it was worth having a couple of rebuilding years. it sure as hell beats never winning superbowls or even having a shot. the steelers will be back and with the exception of todd haley it would be stupid to fire the coaching staff and act like its their fault when its obvious that they are lacking the talent at most positions. give the coaches they have now the talent and they will win they have already shown us that. (again except haley, dont think he is a good fit)

  34. Deb says: Nov 8, 2013 8:47 PM

    @CKL …

    Thanks for another intelligent post–which was much needed on this thread. Dick LeBeau certainly has not forgotten how to coach or suddenly been ravaged by age. As bob said, it’s sad when one of the true pioneers of the game becomes a scapegoat for people with limited game knowledge and a need to point fingers.

    The Steelers problems aren’t that complicated. Great players have retired, aging players have lost a step, young players have failed to live up to their potential. Our quarterback has always relied on his physcial strengths rather than his mental prowess to overcome the opposition. Now his physical strengths are starting to deteriorate and he doesn’t have the cerebral game to compensate. And the weakened defense can’t take up the slack. Player personnel execs haven’t been living up to their early reputations. And the coaching staff hasn’t responded well to these new stresses.

    The issue isn’t whether we should blame LeBeau. Of course not. The isse is how to effect positive change before next season.

  35. pabrownsfan says: Nov 9, 2013 6:42 AM

    How can anyone blame LeBeau? I lay it on the front office and poor drafting.

  36. troy43mvp says: Nov 9, 2013 9:58 AM

    Number 1 defense last year. No playoffs. Says it all. Who out there is better than DL, that the Steelers could hire? Nobody! That’s who!

  37. recall10 says: Nov 9, 2013 12:32 PM

    Been with my Boys since “72″ this is the worst team I every witness. They look like the Lost Boys. So sad!!!!

  38. steel2372 says: Nov 9, 2013 6:34 PM

    steelerstrong says: Nov 8, 2013 12:07 PM

    He can only coach. He can’t play!!! Where is Casey Hampton? It all starts in the middle of the defense. Goes to show you how great he was.

    I totally agree. Hampton was always great at taking on double teams and really shutting the middle down. Our run defense was much stronger when he was in the middle. Its time to draft some talent and replace the great Steelers that have moved on such as Hampton, Ward, Smith, Wallace, Harrison. Lets face it this team lost a ton of talented players it doesnt just get replaced overnight

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!