Capers talks about time with Lebeau improving the zone blitz

Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau didn’t invent the zone blitz.  The origins of football schemes are rarely that simple.

LeBeau did greatly popularize the concept, with a little help from Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers.  The two men coached together in Pittsburgh under Bill Cowher, and helped to bring “Blitzburgh” to the Steel City.

The rise of the zone blitz is the subject of a fantastic chapter of Tim Layden’s book  Blood, Sweat and Chalk and is running the chapter for free.  (Highly recommended.)

“Those three years were fun years,” Capers said on Wednesday.  “We kind of developed some concepts out of necessity because we were having a hard time getting pressure on the quarterback. I can remember our first year there, we were about three quarters of the way through the season and we started running more zone pressures.”

By year three, the Steelers led the league in sacks. Capers and LeBeau ultimately now run defenses more similar than different.

“You could probably step into the huddle and we could take one of their players and he could step in our huddle and one of ours could step in theirs and there probably wouldn’t be a lot of difference in the calls,” Capers said.

The success of Green Bay and Pittsburgh will undoubtedly inspire copycats this offseason.  That just means LeBeau and Capers will have to go back to work.

“The more prevalent things become, I think sometimes they become less effective, so you have to stay ahead of the curve,” Capers said.

4 responses to “Capers talks about time with Lebeau improving the zone blitz

  1. and like any D, or O etc… u need the right personnel to make it most effective.

    A SD TE ran by aging Pitt DB Tim McKyer years ago on his way to the end zone.

    Pitt’s DBs will get a workout sunday.

  2. I’m currently reading “Blood, Sweat and Chalk” on my Kindle. Great book, I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the history of football.

  3. Really, commandercornpone???

    You are taking a shot at opening the Tim McKyer wound?

    Does it help ease the pain of 6 TDs by Steve Young after all these years?

    Why not just bring up Eric Green and his stupid Super Bowl dance video?

    Why not just bring up the fact that Cowher’s daughter knew they should have run the ball on 4th-and-goal from the 2 because the Chargers were playing pass all the way (as Junior Seau confirmed years later)?

    What’s next? Neil O’Donnell to Larry Brown (The second luckiest man on the Earth after Barry Switzer)? Twice?

    Kordell Stewart and his 6 INTs in AFC Championship Games?

    Troy Brown and his punt return for a touchdown on a re-kick after Troy Edwards drew a penalty by running out of bounds on coverage during the first punt?

    Antwan Harris and his blocked FG return for a touchdown?

    Ben Roethlisberger and his 90-yard pick-6 to Rodney Harrison that pushed the score to 24-3 Patriots instead of potentially 17-10 at the half?

    Why don’t you really reach back there with your Chargers for two fourth quarter Fouts-to-Winslow TDs in the 1982 Wild Card game that signaled the end of the Hall of Fame careers of Lynn Swann and Jack Ham and effectively Terry Bradshaw? Not to mention it was the last playoff game in Pittsburgh for 10-years.

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