LeBeau: “If I’m coaching, it will be the Pittsburgh Steelers”


ESPN’s Chris Mortensen says there’s a better than 50% chance Dick LeBeau could coach in Arizona next season.

LeBeau says it’s closer to zero.

“I promise you, if I’m coaching, it will be the Pittsburgh Steelers,” LeBeau told the NFL Network Wednesday.

We noted in our post earlier Wednesday that Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com reported LeBeau already committed to the Steelers for next season.

“With this defense, with this group of men, they’ll have to run me out of here,”  LeBeau said.

Well, that settles that.   (Although LeBeau will probably have to answer the question throughout next week anyhow.)

50 responses to “LeBeau: “If I’m coaching, it will be the Pittsburgh Steelers”

  1. He knows that when you have an easy job you stick with it…

    This guy might have the best job in the NFL..

  2. If sports reporters want to talk about something interesting regarding LeBeau and the Super Bowl, they could discuss his coaching background with Dom Capers and the similarities in these two defenses (and no, I don’t mean the long locks of Matthews and Polamalu). Otherwise, Steelers fans already knew our 73-year-old DC wasn’t likely to leave us for anything but retirement.

    Mort used to be more careful about his credibility.

  3. As usual, a report from Chris Mortensen has zero merit or any basis in reality. He really needs to retire.

  4. With the oldest defense in the NFL (and the oldest team in the NFL) plus low draft choices, expect LeBeau to pull a Farve after the next season –> “I stayed too long”

  5. Thank God! I respect Mort, but he was so far off here. That defense is composed of 11 of LeBeau’s children. That’s the love and respect that is there.

    And just the fact that Tomlin is a 4-3 guy, the fact that he has embrced the 3-4 with LeBeau tells you how he feels about his DC.

    LeBeau stays!!

  6. It seems like everyone hates Mort. Am I the only one who actually likes him?…..

    ….Cause I do, well, more than that pudgy, bald goober Jay Glazer anyway.

  7. “’I promise you, if I’m coaching, it will be the Pittsburgh Steelers,’ LeBeau told the NFL Network Wednesday.”

    LeBeau wants to be the Steelers’ head coach?


  8. In other news, Mike Tomlin sighed in relief that he can continue to ride on someone’s back and try looking tough in the process.

    I’m sure he made the little nerds do his work for him when he was a kid, too.

  9. Better watch out, Steelers, or you’ll lose the “privilege” of having Mortensen run stories past you for comment.

  10. Mort is getting his information from AZ Cardinals who are 100% sure they want LeBeau to join them. Averaged with the 0% chance that he will, Mort arrives at a 50% chance that the move happens. Maybe Mort’s been spending too much time with the BCS mathematicians.

    Final word: there’s a greater chance that the Monongahela makes it to AZ than coach LeBeau.

  11. Man, I miss Fred Edelstein.

    Thank God we have those female sideline reporters who come on going into the second half with gems like “coach said in order to win they had to score more points than the other team when the clock expires.”

  12. I have no dog in this fight. I root for the same teams every year in every sport except NFL where I follow Boldin. I still kind of like Arizona, though.

    Whisenhunt may like to deflect blame for their terrible season because he’s got an ego and knows some of his decisions and evaluations are really to blame but he is desperate to turn things around.

    I don’t think Dick Lebeau is a Monte Kiffin-type but he might like the idea of turning around a bad defense.

    I’m pretty sure he’ll be back with Pittsburgh but if he is contemplating leaving, he certainly wouldn’t tell the media that AND we won’t know if Mort was wrong until after the Super Bowl.

  13. RE: Tomlin’s keeping LeBeau…I thought that he was told LeBeau was staying before he was hired…he had no choice.

    I love LeBeau..respect him tremendously and I am a Pats fan.

  14. E!SPiN strikes again. Sports journalism is at rock bottom right now across the board. Zero journalistic integrity anymore. Just a bunch of blind folded idiots throwing darts at the board and hoping to hit something.

  15. paulnoga says:

    With the oldest defense in the NFL (and the oldest team in the NFL) plus low draft choices, expect LeBeau to pull a Farve after the next season –> “I stayed too long”

    Just because you can type it doesn’t make it true.

    Steelers are actually the 6th oldest team in the league, and 5th oldest defense.

    The oldest team in the NFL is the Patriots with an average player age of 28.7 years old.

    As for draft position, the Steelers always draft in the bottom 10 spots so it’s nothing new.

  16. Mort just wanted to take the focus off Tom Jackson, … when does embarrassing that ESPN has people who are clueless, when it comes to talking about football?

  17. Laxer good post. Funny how you simply post the facts and someone gives you a thumbs down. The jealous haters are hilarious.

  18. there is more to dick lebeau’s brilliance then just play calling. he, like tomlin, embodies the essence of the steeler nation.

  19. Do people actually think Tomlin is riding Lebeau… Really, Geez Tomlin is a great coach nothing out of Lebeau he is great but Tomlin is a great Players coach. This might be the best coaching tandem since … I dont have one.. This to me is a perfect storm.. Not a steelers fan but dont bet against the Steelers, they do one thing and thats win superbowls..

  20. @shadowgm1 ….

    Let me guess … you play Scrooge in the Pack fans’ annual Christmas pageant. You’ve sure got that nasty part down. “Tomlin likes Little House on the Prairie Tomlin rides on LeBeau’s back. Bah Humbug!” 🙄

    @mammothfan …

    LeBeau was head coach of the Bengals from 2000-2002 but he wasn’t successful in the position (or maybe he just fell under the Bengals curse 😉 )

    Now he’s 73, and the time for taking another head-coaching has passed. He was with the Steelers for five years in the early to mid-1990s and was DC of the SBXXX team. He’s been back with us as DC since 2004 and coached all three of the 2000s SB defenses. He’s extremely close to these players, who call him “Dad.” I expect he’ll stay with them until he retires.

    @CKL …

    No … the Rooneys gave Tomlin the freedom to hire his own coordinators and to switch to the 43 if he wanted. But they did give LeBeau a strong recommendation 🙂

  21. As a NYG fan, I love LeBeau. I think he’s a phenomenal defensive mind & gets the best out of his players. With Ben out to start the year, everyone knew that the defense needed to play big & win those games for them. Well, they certainly did, starting 3-1 without Ben & the defense played weeks 1-4 like they were in mid-season form. If they win in Dallas on the 6th, the defense won them the SB during that 4 week span. If they didn’t play like they did, the Steelers could have started 1-3, or even 0-4. With the AFC’s 6 seed being 11-5 this year, a loss or 2 during that 4 week span could have sent their season in an entirely opposite direction that where it is now.

    Despite that, I have to take issue with Laxer37’s post. The Steeler’s defense is old & regardless of who is coaching them, this is a young man’s league. While the Steelers may only be the 6th oldest team in the NFL, the age of the defense is significantly higher than the age of the offense. Outside of Ward & Flozell, the Steelers offense us relatively young. It’s not the age of the player as much as it is the years he has been playing. The average years played for the Steelers starting 11 on offense is 5.45 years. 5 of the 11 have been in the NFL 3 or less years (Mendenhall – 3; Johnson – 2; Wallace – 2; Pouncey – 1; Foster – 2), and only 2 players have been playing for over 8 years (Ward – 13; Adams – 13). On the other hand, the average years played for the starting defense is 7.54 years. Only 1 player has been in the NFL for 3 or less years (Hood – 2), and 7 players have been playing for 8 or more years (Hampton – 10; Keisel – 9; Farrior – 14; Harrison – 9; Clark – 9; Polamalu – 8; Taylor – 8). According to the NFLPA, the average length of a NFL player’s career is 3.5 years. That takes into account all the wash-outs & never-was guys, however the “age” of the Steelers defense is more than double the career expectancy of an NFL player. The Steelers have invested heavily on the offensive side of the ball in recent drafts & they have the reputation of pumping out above average talent at offensive skill position via late round picks and undrafted FAs. Nevertheless, their attention paid to adding depth on the defensive side of the ball has been negligible. These guys won’t be performing at an All-Pro level for much longer and the Steelers don’t have that guy who’s ready to step in. One injury could prove devastating, i.e., Polamalu’s injury late this year. Another factor to take into account is the style of defense the Steelers play. They play smash-mouth, beat your a$$ defense. That takes a toll on these guys physically. Comparing the Pats & the Steelers because the Pats are the 5th oldest team & the Steelers the 6th, is like comparing apples and oranges. The age of the Pats is on the offensive side if the ball with Brady, Branch & the OL whereas their defense is lined with young up & comers such as Mayo, Spikes, McCourty & Merriweather. The Pats play a fast paced style of offense that consists to short passes & limited physicality; that is the complete opposite of the Steelers defense. So Laxer37, the Steelers defense is old. As a team they may not be the oldest, but the age gap between the offense & the defense is huge. It was the defense that got them where they are today & where they have been over the past 6 years. As great as LeBeau is & as great as some of the players are, the age will catch up soon and I don’t see this specific group sustaining such a high level of play beyond this year; the odds are against them. Savor this moment, it might be the last for a few years.

    One more thing… The guy who listed the top D coordinators (LeBeau, Capers, Nolan, Williams, Crennel, Fewell), I hope that wasn’t meant to mean ever or modern. The best D coordinator in modern football is also the best HC in modern football – Bill Belichick. BB pretty much invented today’s defensive schemes. He ran a base 4-3, then modified it into a hybrid 3-4 with LT. He patented zone blitzes & disguising LB blitzes. Any 3-4 defense you see today (aside from Rex & Rob Ryan’s) is based off of BB’s Giants days; and that includes LeBeau’s, Capers’ & Nolan’s schemes. Even the Tampa 2 blitz schemes are based off BB’s 3-4 with roving DEs & DL stunts. Williams is more from the ilk of Buddy & Rex’s scheme of blitz more than you can block and hope you hit the QB before he releases the ball. Whether you’re talking current or all-time, it’s hard to include Williams in that group. His defense is too basic & not very strategic. Currently, I would certainly put Rod Marinelli, Ron Rivera, Steve Spagnuolo & John Fox ahead of Williams, with the last 2 being HCs who still control/act as DC.

  22. I am pretty sure that when Tomlin was hired he wanted to keep LeBeau. I remember him saying that “Dick has forgotten more about defenses than I will ever know”. Tomlin is not an idiot, he knows that the players they have are fit to that defense and that the best 3-4 guy out there is LeBeau.

    LeBeau left Pitt back in the Cowher days to be a head coach. He didn’t seem to have the knack for it and went back to being a DC. As soon as Cowher found out he was available he begged him to come back as a DC. From what I understand LeBeau couldn’t get back to Pitt fast enough in his eyes. I have read way too many stories about guys that have left Pitt and still love the guy. Matter of fact, The linebackers coach of the Packers (Kevin Greene) sends him a fathers day card every year. He admitted that a few years ago!

  23. jarrman46 says: Jan 26, 2011 11:18 PM

    He better just leave now before my Packers drop 50 points on that sorry secondary.

    lol u r foolish boy,The Packers will be lucky to get 50 yrds rushing against that D.they are 24th in the league in rushing,i dont think they will get more than 68 yrds rushing in this one and that spells doom for Rodgers

  24. @kappy32 …

    I agree that Belichick is a brilliant defensive coach. As an Alabama diehard, I’m enjoying the fruits of the Belichick tree in Nick Saban, who’s a defensive guru. But Belichick wasn’t involved in the development of the zone blitz.

    Haven’t double-checked this recently, but if you’ll research, I believe you’ll find the origins of the zone blitz go back to Jim Mora’s USFL team where Dom Capers was a coach. Capers and LeBeau then incorporated some of those schemes while Capers was DC and LeBeau was DB coach at Pittsburgh in the early 1990s. LeBeau is generally credited with developing the modern zone blitz as a DC in Cincy.

  25. kappy32, Your post was so damn long…I’m at work and don’t have that much time to read a book. I have to flip back from work screen to PFT 🙂 If only I had a $1 salary like Goodell–then I wouldn’t have to work!

    Deb, LeBeau is credited with the zone blitz, although there are a few other coaches that have created other blitzes (the plain old “blitz” and the “safety blitz”). I credit him as the best DC ever.

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