Steelers notebook: Dick LeBeau wants to return
Steelers notebook: LeBeau wants to return
By Alan Robinson
Published: Thursday, December 27, 2012
Even at age 76, defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau doesn‘t plan to retire next season after again fielding the NFL‘s top-ranked defense, even during a subpar season.
“That would be up to Coach (Mike) Tomlin. Let‘s just say I really like Pittsburgh and I really like working for the Steelers,” LeBeau said. “Coach Tomlin will tell you if he wants me back or not. It will be up to Mike.”
Nose tackle Casey Hampton doesn‘t believe there is a better-prepared defense in the league.
“I‘ll put our guys up against anybody and against any defense,” he said.
• Win close games, have a good season. Lose close games, have a bad season. If there‘s any theorem that holds up from season to season, this is it. The Steelers have lost five games by three points or fewer, just as they did when they went 9-7 and missed the playoffs in 2009. Their total number of such losses in 2011, ‘10, ‘08 and ‘07? Three. Not surprisingly, they were 12-4 in three of those seasons and 10-6 in the other. “It just shows you the separation, the thin line between being a playoff team and going home early,” safety Ryan Clark said. “We didn‘t win enough.”
• Tight end Heath Miller was voted by teammates as the Steelers‘ Most Valuable Player. Several of them called it an easy choice. Miller is the first tight end selected since the award‘s inception in 1969. The announcement Thursday came on the same day Miller had surgery to repair three damaged right knee ligaments. Miller has a team-leading 71 receptions and eight touchdowns. “I have been saying for years that he is my favorite player, but we just never coached it up to where he got the opportunity to come out and show what he has been able to do,” safety Ryan Clark said. “If you look, game in and game out this year, when he got opportunities to deliver, he delivered.”
• Mike Adams, who started six games at right tackle before injuring an ankle, was selected from an injury-thinned field as the Steelers‘ rookie of the year, an award named for Hall of Famer Joe Greene. The Steelers were 4-2 when Adams started. Nose tackle Casey Hampton was chosen for The Chief Award for media cooperation, named after Steelers founder Art Rooney Sr. Both of those award winners were selected by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America.
• Offensive coordinator Todd Haley understands that change hasn‘t always been easy for Ben Roethlisberger, who spent the previous seven seasons in former coordinator Bruce Arians‘ offense. The quarterback was critical of the play-calling recently. “It‘s not always the easiest thing because it‘s not always comfortable, and you have to adjust. That goes for all parties involved,” Haley said. “But that doesn‘t mean it‘s not right. Coach (Mike) Tomlin made a change. I was fortunate enough to be the guy that was chosen. You want to make your boss right, and I believe we will.”
• Now that he‘s run the offense for a season, Haley feels better prepared for the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine and draft. A season ago, his knowledge of Steelers players was based mostly on watching game video. “You get a much clearer picture of your needs, at least on offense. You have a much clearer picture of the players. I personally have a much better feel for all of the coaches, who I didn‘t know very well when I came here,” Haley said. “I believe we will just do nothing but get better, which is what we have to do.”
• Maurkice Pouncey is the first center in NFL history to make the Pro Bowl each of his first three seasons. Not that Roethlisberger is surprised. “I may be biased, but I think other people are seeing that he‘s the best center in the game,” he said. The most such selections for a Steelers center? Nine, for Hall of Famer Mike Webster.
• Cornerbacks Curtis Brown (ankle) and Keenan Lewis (knee) and receiver Mike Wallace (hip) were held out of practice Thursday for the second consecutive day. Adams (ankle) was out after getting limited work Wednesday.
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Nice feel good article.
Lebeau has had his best season coaching this year. I think what he's done is remarkable.
Glad to hear Haley being positive. Did they drug him? He's talking like he wants to get promoted to HC in Pittsburgh. Haley's done a 18o on his career since coming to Pittsburgh.
Also glad to see Heath getting recognition. Not sure it was entirely thanks to Haley's new offense. I had a feeling Ward had to be gone before Heath would start to get his due. Ward was a WR in a small TEs body. I think Pittsburgh's duo of Hines and Heath gave other teams the idea of getting two great TEs in their offense.
Hall of Famer
Will be interesting with Haley in the fold for the draft. I really think he is getting a bad rap. Ben was having a career season before his injury and a piss poor showing upon his return. We really should of been undefeated if the defense could make a stop in a couple games, prior to Ben's injury.
Regarding DL, he is obviously a solid DC, but I didn't care to hear multiple times this season, the opposition stating that we are doing the same things we were years ago.
Last edited by Mister Pittsburgh; 12-27-2012 at 10:14 PM.
Unlike others, I'd be happy if Lebeau returned.
I am extremely pleasantly surprised with how Haley has conducted himself since joining the Steelers. I think he realizes he has been given a golden opportunity to remold himself into a more balanced and worthy NFL coach. I sense nothing but patience in establishing what he believes is the correct offense for the team (and Ben) going forward. I think the offense is much closer to being a great one than they are to being a rebuild project.
Waiting for Ovi to enter.......
Honestly there is nothing wrong if they are doing something the same. It does not matter, for the defense changes based on what the offense is doing and vice versa. But, really the more comfortable a player is within a system the better the system will run, (as all know). Look at what happened in Philly last year, they bring in a new DC (Castillo), have loads of talent. All you would hear from the players is they just did not understand their assignments and responsibilities. It takes a while for a comfort level to come into play so that the players can do things with their eyes closed (so to speak).
Hall of Famer
I think with Haley it could be a little a little bit of the old 'you don't crap in your own yard' scenario.
Originally Posted by NorthCoast
I believe Dick LeBeau was still DC when that 'same old tired defense' soundly whipped NE and Brady last season, so an old dog can learn new tricks. But I don't think he does it unless he knows the players can execute what is necessary.
Wasn't it HJ Heinz himself who once said to be successful (in business) doesn't mean doing something different from your competitor, but rather requires you do the commonplace exceptionally well? There are at least 25 other teams in the league that would be happy with DL as their DC.
LeBeau is the best in the business, if you had any doubts it was erased this season. Even the injuries couldn't stop this defense in being a top tier defense.
Glad he's coming back!