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Thread: Is it time for Dick LeBeau to step down?

      
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    Default Is it time for Dick LeBeau to step down?

    Dick Exposed....By His Own Players...

    It’s rare indeed to obtain solid, quality sports analysis from the local Pittsburgh media. Most of it is watered-down pabulum fit only for bird cages or kindling.

    The Trib Review did, however, have a superb article in the Tuesday edition, titled “Harris: LeBeau made right call: listening to players”.

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_712537.html

    The thesis of the article was flawed, but the exposure of Dick LeBeau was spot on.

    Below are excerpts from the article. I’ve used underlines and bold to add emphasis where it made sense to do so, as well as short comments in parentheses:

    Players play and coaches coach, but Steelers defensive captain James Farrior and his teammates had seen enough Sunday night.

    No more sitting back and taking it.

    Enough with Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco picking the secondary clean like a leftover Thanksgiving turkey. If the Steelers were going to win the AFC North, someone was going to have to take a bullet for the rest of the team.

    Someone was going to have to tell defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau to call more blitzes. (Gee, no kidding?)

    Who better than Farrior? He's one of four co-captains and old enough (35) not to care what people think.

    It wasn't easy for a popular veteran like Farrior to make suggestions to his coach, especially during a game. To Farrior, though, the alternative of losing was too unflattering to consider.

    "We definitely felt we could get some good pressure. We just had to get the right calls in,'' Farrior said in the afterglow of the Steelers' gritty 13-10 win.

    "That's what our guys were preaching on the sideline to the coaches. If we were gonna go down, we were gonna go down blitzing. We definitely didn't want to sit back. Coach LeBeau listened to us.'' (finally)

    In the first half, Flacco had his way with the Steelers. He navigated the longest scoring drive of his NFL career -- 92 yards. He completed passes of 61 and 67 yards and was 9 of 14 for 179 yards and a touchdown with a 131.5 passer rating.

    Other than a first-quarter sack by defensive end Ziggy Hood, Flacco was rarely under duress. He was on his way to another score and a career game when momentum shifted.

    On third-and-15 from the Steelers 32 in the second quarter, cornerback Ike Taylor caught Baltimore with a surprise blitz and sacked Flacco for an 11-yard loss. The play knocked Baltimore out of scoring position. Instead of trailing 14-0 or even 10-0 at halftime, the Steelers faced only a 7-0 deficit.

    In the second half, the tables turned. The Steelers had their way with Flacco, who was 8 of 19 for 87 yards with a 65.8 passer rating, mainly due to a better pass rush making it difficult for him to step into his throws.

    With LeBeau dealing out blitzes like a blackjack dealer shuffles cards, the Steelers overwhelmed Flacco with pressure.

    "When you dial up the blitz, it's usually hit or miss,'' Taylor said. "We hit (Sunday) night.''

    That's a gamble outside linebacker James Harrison wants to take more often.

    "I'm of the feeling if you're gonna kill me, kill me at what I like to do and that's blitz,'' said Harrison, the Steelers' sack leader this season with 10.

    "In earlier weeks, we were dropping in coverage (instead of blitzing). (Gee, no kidding.) At the end of the Buffalo game last week, we dropped a whole lot more (and nearly dropped the game) . This game we brought a lot more pressure than we did in the first (Baltimore) game.''

    Flacco threw the decisive 18-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh with 34 seconds left in the Ravens' 17-14 win over the Steelers on Oct. 3. The Steelers didn't blitz on the play, and Flacco was free to throw without pressure.

    Two months later, the Steelers defense didn't repeat that mistake when Flacco faced second-and-5 at the Baltimore 43 late in the fourth quarter.

    Trailing 10-6, the Steelers' defense needed to make a big play or lose any realistic chance of winning the division.

    Strong safety Troy Polamalu delivered, sacking Flacco from the blind side and forcing a fumble that led to the Steelers' winning touchdown.

    "We felt like we could disrupt, get in Flacco's face, if they gave us an opportunity,'' said Farrior, who recorded a team-high seven tackles and sacked Flacco in the fourth quarter.

    "We don't question Coach LeBeau and the decisions he makes. (But we should) Sometimes we just try to throw something out there and maybe (just maybe) he'll listen. Everybody has their own idea --what we should be doing, but he's the guy.'' (No, he's the daft simpleton who clearly is past his prime as an NFL coordinator.0

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    There you have it. “We just had to get the right calls in.” ****ing evidence indeed. The earlier loss to the Ravens. The loss to the Saints. The embarrassing ***-whipping received by the Pats. All games in which Dick played soft, cutesy defense and gave the opposing QB eons of time to stand, totally unfettered and unhurried, in the pocket.

    You’ll hear all sorts of babble in defense of Dick. “He blitzed Pola in the 1Q, and we gave up a 61-yard bomb.” Actually, this play had 2 grisly, asinine tactical mistakes by The Great Dick.

    - First off, he did blitz Pola, but instead of from the OUTSIDE -- where he’s got SPACE to maneuver -- he blitzed him right up the GUT, right next to the NT. The congestion, even on a favorable play, is ugly, and the blitz pickup by any half-mediocre RB is as easy as pie. You’ll note the game-changing strip by Pola came on a blitz from the OUTSIDE, not up the gut where there is more traffic than the Ft. Pitt Tunnel during rush hour.

    - 2nd, he placed slow-footed Ryan Clark -- the absolute slowest, worst coverage man of any starting free safety in the entire NFL -- up in PRESS coverage in the face of a slot receiver. Stone stupid. Clark would have a hard time covering a toddler in a sandbox, much less covering a WR in press coverage. And with 3rd & 17, there wasn’t the need for press coverage like this; it wasn’t 3rd down and 4.

    To be sure, there were other foolish, imbecilic tactical blunders by The Great Dick. He often sat the most athletic LB on the team, Larry Timmons, who has been having a MARVELOUS all-around season. Taking your best, fastest, all-around LB off the field is essentially sabotage, no matter how it might be rationalized or justified.

    Dick also had the clever idea, on 3d down & 9, to take hobbling DE Yancey Keisel and have him cover a TE on a downfield seam route. It’s never a bright idea to have a DE cover a TE down the field. It’s an even stupider, drunken-comatose idea to have a DE that missed the past 5 games to a balky hamstring try to cover the TE downfield. Just abject stupidity at its worst.

    Then there’s the babble about, “Dick held the Raven offense to 10 points.” Gee, strike up the band!! Quick -- Hold a parade in his honor! Dick held the Ravens to 10 points!

    After the Ravens were held to 20 points or fewer for the sixth time this season, wide receiver Derrick Mason vented his frustration, saying the offense plays like "the Bad News Bears" at times. Mason publicly and openly RIDICULED the entire Balt. offense after the game.

    Further, although many experts expected the Ravens to develop into a top-10 offense after wide receivers Anquan Boldin, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Donte' Stallworth were added to boost the growth of quarterback Joe Jacco, it simply has not happened. With four games left in the regular season, the Ravens are a middle-of-the-road attack, ranking 14th in yards per game (341.7) and 17th in scoring (21.7). There are 32 teams in the NFL; the Ravens are 17th in scoring. Not impressive in the least, and it speaks to just how average Joe Jacco truly is.

    Then, you factor in the fact that superstar TE Todd Heap pulled his hammy on the game’s FIRST play, and never returned. Then, longtime Steeler-killer Mason got nicked up and missed a good chunk of playing time. Finally, L’ron McClain -- an elite FB -- was injured and did not dress. That’s 2 starters that missed the entire game and a third who hobbled his way amidst missing a chunk of playing time.

    And, in reading the Balt. newspapers, NOT ONE single coach or player cited, "Well, that's a pretty good defense over there....." No one downplayed the weak offensive output by claiming the Steeler defense was the brunt cause of it. Instead, they saw a QB literally SHORT HOP a routine, SIMPLE 2-yard pass to a WIDE OPEN receiver on 4th down and 2, to end the game.

    The point here is that, while Pittsburgh fans are fawning over Dick as though he were the greatest coach to ever roam the sidelines, opponents basically yawn and are blandly dismissive of this all-too-often passive, softee defense.

    Sorry, folks. It's not like Dick limited the '84 Dolphins to 10 points. It’s not like Dick held the ‘94 San Fran 49ers to 10 points. This was Joe Jacco, one of the most average QBs in all of pro football. And it’s not like Balt’s offense benefited from golden FP and a host of turnovers. The Steeler offense had only 1 turnover, which gave the Ravens the ball on the 2 yard line....their own 2-yard line. It truly was no big deal and no Herculean effort.

    Dick got exposed, not only on national TV, but by his own players after the game. Rather sad when players have to beg and plead with the coordinator to make the correct tactical decision. Sometimes, the truth hurts. Perhaps Dick will realize all of this after a long nap. Perhaps, like Dave Wannstedt, Dick will soon realize it’s time to step down.

    http://www.stillers.com/articles/2591.aspx

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    Default Re: Is it time for Dick LeBeau to step down?

    Good article except for all the crap in parenthesis.

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    Default Re: Is it time for Dick LeBeau to step down?

    Harris: LeBeau made right call: listening to players

    By John Harris
    PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Tuesday, December 7, 2010


    Players play and coaches coach, but Steelers defensive captain James Farrior and his teammates had seen enough Sunday night.

    No more sitting back and taking it.

    Enough with Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco picking the secondary clean like a leftover Thanksgiving turkey. If the Steelers were going to win the AFC North, someone was going to have to take a bullet for the rest of the team.

    Someone was going to have to tell defensive coordinator D!ck LeBeau to call more blitzes.

    Who better than Farrior? He's one of four co-captains and old enough (35) not to care what people think.

    It wasn't easy for a popular veteran like Farrior to make suggestions to his coach, especially during a game. To Farrior, though, the alternative of losing was too unflattering to consider.

    "We definitely felt we could get some good pressure. We just had to get the right calls in,'' Farrior said in the afterglow of the Steelers' gritty 13-10 win.

    "That's what our guys were preaching on the sideline to the coaches. If we were gonna go down, we were gonna go down blitzing. We definitely didn't want to sit back. Coach LeBeau listened to us.''

    In the first half, Flacco had his way with the Steelers. He navigated the longest scoring drive of his NFL career -- 92 yards. He completed passes of 61 and 67 yards and was 9 of 14 for 179 yards and a touchdown with a 131.5 passer rating.

    Other than a first-quarter sack by defensive end Ziggy Hood, Flacco was rarely under duress. He was on his way to another score and a career game when momentum shifted.

    On third-and-15 from the Steelers 32 in the second quarter, cornerback Ike Taylor caught Baltimore with a surprise blitz and sacked Flacco for an 11-yard loss. The play knocked Baltimore out of scoring position. Instead of trailing 14-0 or even 10-0 at halftime, the Steelers faced only a 7-0 deficit.

    In the second half, the tables turned. The Steelers had their way with Flacco, who was 8 of 19 for 87 yards with a 65.8 passer rating, mainly due to a better pass rush making it difficult for him to step into his throws.

    With LeBeau dealing out blitzes like a blackjack dealer shuffles cards, the Steelers overwhelmed Flacco with pressure.

    "When you dial up the blitz, it's usually hit or miss,'' Taylor said. "We hit (Sunday) night.''

    That's a gamble outside linebacker James Harrison wants to take more often.

    "I'm of the feeling if you're gonna kill me, kill me at what I like to do and that's blitz,'' said Harrison, the Steelers' sack leader this season with 10.

    "In earlier weeks, we were dropping in coverage (instead of blitzing). At the end of the Buffalo game last week, we dropped a whole lot more. This game we brought a lot more pressure than we did in the first (Baltimore) game.''

    Flacco threw the decisive 18-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh with 34 seconds left in the Ravens' 17-14 win over the Steelers on Oct. 3. The Steelers didn't blitz on the play, and Flacco was free to throw without pressure.

    Two months later, the Steelers defense didn't repeat that mistake when Flacco faced second-and-5 at the Baltimore 43 late in the fourth quarter.

    Trailing 10-6, the Steelers' defense needed to make a big play or lose any realistic chance of winning the division.

    Strong safety Troy Polamalu delivered, sacking Flacco from the blind side and forcing a fumble that led to the Steelers' winning touchdown.

    "We felt like we could disrupt, get in Flacco's face, if they gave us an opportunity,'' said Farrior, who recorded a team-high seven tackles and sacked Flacco in the fourth quarter.

    "We don't question Coach LeBeau and the decisions he makes. Sometimes we just try to throw something out there and maybe he'll listen. Everybody has their own idea what we should be doing, but he's the guy.''

    A smart guy, to be sure. Great coaches aren't too big to listen to their players. To his credit, LeBeau listened.

    John Harris can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 12537.html

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    I don't know if I am ready for a new DC but he really seems to have gotten seriously soft in his old age. Not just in playcalling but everytime he speaks it's something my grandma would say. You gotta love the guy but I would like to see them be a lot more aggressive and even ruthless. You have to get it done with the linebackers. They have done well but IMO could do even better. If Farrior has to say something then there is a problem especially since he turned out to be correct.

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    Default Re: Is it time for Dick LeBeau to step down?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beezy View Post
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    I don't know if I am ready for a new DC but he really seems to have gotten seriously soft in his old age. Not just in playcalling but everytime he speaks it's something my grandma would say. You gotta love the guy but I would like to see them be a lot more aggressive and even ruthless. You have to get it done with the linebackers. They have done well but IMO could do even better. If Farrior has to say something then there is a problem especially since he turned out to be correct.
    I wish I knew how much control a coordinator has? Is he free to run the D however he wants? Is it "HIS" soft D that Farrior and the boys talked him out of?

    And what would we be saying if it hadn't worked?

    Just saying

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    Default Re: Is it time for Dick LeBeau to step down?

    I agree, Lebeau has seemed to soften up with his defenses. He still doesn't know what to do with Brady after all these years.

    The scenario is kind of like diet pop. Remember the Coke and Pepsi commercials that used to ring out their little jingle ( Just one Calorie, Diet Coke ! ) I used to think, " what makes this one calorie so tough that they can't get rid of it ? " Of the 100 calories, ninety nine calories bit the dust but one kickedass ! )

    Today you have pop with no calories, the soda companies finally got their act together. Why can't Lebeau learn to defend the only team or quarterback that kicks our butts each time ?

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    Default Re: Is it time for Dick LeBeau to step down?

    So Tom Brady is the one calorie?

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    Default Re: Is it time for Dick LeBeau to step down?

    Quote Originally Posted by fezziwig View Post
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    I agree, Lebeau has seemed to soften up with his defenses. He still doesn't know what to do with Brady after all these years.

    The scenario is kind of like diet pop. Remember the Coke and Pepsi commercials that used to ring out their little jingle ( Just one Calorie, Diet Coke ! ) I used to think, " what makes this one calorie so tough that they can't get rid of it ? " Of the 100 calories, ninety nine calories bit the dust but one kickedass ! )

    Today you have pop with no calories, the soda companies finally got their act together. Why can't Lebeau learn to defend the only team or quarterback that kicks our butts each time ?
    Mind...there aren't many teams beating the Pats, Brady, or Belicheat.

    I for one am not asking him to step down after this season......we are 9-3...with all 3 losses to quality teams...all more than likely playoff bound. The Pats....lost to the Browns.

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    Default Re: Is it time for Dick LeBeau to step down?

    Quote Originally Posted by fezziwig View Post
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    I agree, Lebeau has seemed to soften up with his defenses. He still doesn't know what to do with Brady after all these years.

    The scenario is kind of like diet pop. Remember the Coke and Pepsi commercials that used to ring out their little jingle ( Just one Calorie, Diet Coke ! ) I used to think, " what makes this one calorie so tough that they can't get rid of it ? " Of the 100 calories, ninety nine calories bit the dust but one kickedass ! )

    Today you have pop with no calories, the soda companies finally got their act together. Why can't Lebeau learn to defend the only team or quarterback that kicks our butts each time ?
    I think part of the reason Lebeau and the Steelers struggle is because we always look back to the last game against the Pats, analyze it, and then try to come up with something to stop it in the rematch. This is what makes Belicheat a better coach then everyone else in the league. You ever wonder why Branch can have 10 catches one game and zero catches the next but the result is the same a Patriot win? Because the Patriots constantly change things up from week to week keeping teams off balance. Game planning, based on a previous meeting with the Pats, is suicide. I think the best way to handle the Pats is on the fly. Figure out what they are doing then adjust accordingly. This is why we are so bad against them. We were bad at adjusting under Cowher and we certainly haven't improved under Tomlin.

    If we spend to much time focusing on what they did last time they are going to kill us again except this time it will be with different players. Our goal looking at film is how to get to Brady and let the rest sort it's self out. We shouldn't be concerned about stopping Brady, no cute defensive schemes, just figure out the offensive lines tendencies and bring more then they can block. EVERY PLAY! and when you get a shot on Brady drill him to the turf. LEGAL OFF COURSE BUT GET IN HIS HEAD! He is definetly a QB that doesn't like any contact and it shows in his play when it happens.

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    Default Re: Is it time for Dick LeBeau to step down?

    What Farrior said "If were gonna go down, we were gonna do down blitzing." is exactly what I've been saying. If the Steelers face the Pats again the gameplan better be to blitz the **** out of Brady.

    Lebeau has gotten soft to a degree, the blitzes haven't been there until recently, but hey, give the guy credit he's ramped it up recently and listened to his players. He's at least adjusted unlike the retard on the other side of the ball.

    I wouldn't mind seeing an assistant to Lebeau that could infuse some new ideas into the defense. The problem is the NFL evolves but Lebeau's defense hasn't for the most part.

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    Default Re: Is it time for Dick LeBeau to step down?

    Quote Originally Posted by JerryGlanville View Post
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    What Farrior said "If were gonna go down, we were gonna do down blitzing." is exactly what I've been saying. If the Steelers face the Pats again the gameplan better be to blitz the **** out of Brady.

    Lebeau has gotten soft to a degree, the blitzes haven't been there until recently, but hey, give the guy credit he's ramped it up recently and listened to his players. He's at least adjusted unlike the retard on the other side of the ball.

    I wouldn't mind seeing an assistant to Lebeau that could infuse some new ideas into the defense. The problem is the NFL evolves but Lebeau's defense hasn't for the most part.
    Yeah pretty much, the NFL has taken his defense and expounded on it to a degree. You have to slow up for a second though because the Steelers D continues to be on top at least statistically. At the same time we are blessed with linebackers. The D-line is pretty good and Troy and Ike is pretty good. There is a lot you could do with that lineup and even disguise our other dbs to a point. Anyway the best part of the story is Farrior is doing his part as the leader of the team. It should be even easier for him the next time.

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    Default Re: Is it time for Dick LeBeau to step down?

    I agree, Bellicheat doesn't keep riding the same wave from week to week. The game plans he puts out there one Sunday will sure be a different plan the following:
    Pressure Brady with the blitzes and he will still makes some passes, points but never fear, keep blitzing and he we crumble.

    Can our run offense put it to them ? If we can have a dominant run game with a few nice passes sprinkled in from Ben then, you take the cheats out of their comfort zone.

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    Default Re: Is it time for Dick LeBeau to step down?

    Is it time for Dick LeBeau to step down?
    Careful what you wish for gentlemen.

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    Default Re: Is it time for Dick LeBeau to step down?

    I simply can't grasp how a guy can compete at the level of defensive coordinator in the NFL, being recognized as one of the best ever.....but "forget" to blitz late in a game......due to his age, or the game passing him by!

    Let's be realistic, the guy is still running some of the most complex defenses in the NFL! Do we really think he still has it all together "except for" that little piece in the 4th quarter?......it just doesn't make sense!

    That's like an aging NASCAR driver leading in every race but then forgetting that he has to pit for fuel......every week! I don't buy it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
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    I simply can't grasp how a guy can compete at the level of defensive coordinator in the NFL, being recognized as one of the best ever.....but "forget" to blitz late in a game......due to his age, or the game passing him by!

    Let's be realistic, the guy is still running some of the most complex defenses in the NFL! Do we really think he still has it all together "except for" that little piece in the 4th quarter?......it just doesn't make sense!

    That's like an aging NASCAR driver leading in every race but then forgetting that he has to pit for fuel......every week! I don't buy it!
    Valid point. I just think it is a numbers game to DL. His less aggressive style is what is getting the results but I think there are time such as the one we are discussing where you have to take a risk and dial it up a notch.

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