LeBeau Has to Be Held Accountable Too

LeBeauThe vast majority of what I read yesterday from Pittsburgh-Tribune Review writer Joe Starkey I agreed with in regards to the decline of the Steelers’ defense.

The unit has lost speed, athleticism and is basically a shell of what it once was but Starkey let Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau off the hook. My question is and has continued to be “Why?”

For whatever reason, LeBeau has this ‘bulletproof’ aura surrounding him in the media that even coaches like Bill Belichick, Mike McCarthy or Mike Tomlin don’t even have.

No one questions his Hall of Fame resume as a player or his greatness as a person nor should they. But when writers continue to give him the ‘get out of jail’ free card all the time it gets to be ridiculous.

Starkey says this regarding LeBeau:

“The ill-informed want to indict coordinator Dick LeBeau. But you can’t blame the chef when the food’s gone stale. The culprits are poor drafts, poor talent evaluation, age and injury.”

Starkey is absolutely right about the drafts, evaluations and injury. The problem is that LeBeau can’t be totally dismissed from the talent and draft portion of that statement.

While General Manager Kevin Colbert, the scouting department and Mike Tomlin bear a great deal of responsibility, LeBeau has to have input on these players that the Steelers are drafting and signing in free agency doesn’t he?

If he doesn’t have any input in the process then there is and of itself is a serious problem. Don’t bank on that though. Not involving your coordinator in the scouting and drafting process is like the chef not being able to shop for his own groceries.

The point is this; we need to stop leaving LeBeau out of the discussion when talking about the demise of the defense. He bears responsibility too.

Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 730pm ET talking Steelers and is a blogger for ESPN 970 in Pittsburgh.

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3 comments on “LeBeau Has to Be Held Accountable Too

  1. The chef analogy seems way off-base here.

    Sure, it takes talent but isn’t a coodinator’s job essentially to play to his players’ strengths (or find players that fit his scheme)?

    Dick Lebeau was famous for taking “tweeners” like Joey Porter and making them stars. At the time a guy like Joey Porter would’ve been considered “spoiled food” because he wasnt big enough to play end.

    It’s a sin to praise Haley, but he took basically the same OL Arians was working with and went to a quick passing game to help keep Ben clean… He adjusted… DL needs to do the same.

    • My point with the chef analogy is that DLB cannot be immune. If I expect a great meal from a chef and he did a poor job of selecting the ingredients then that’s on him. I have to believe DLB has a great deal of input when selecting the ingredients he wants for his defense.

      I have always had great respect for DLB and while I don’t really like Haley, I have no problem giving him props when called for. I believe objectivity is always the best approach when discussing coaches.

  2. Seems LeBeau has lost his ability to Adjust to what the other team is doing.They use to be a great 2nd half defense…bit then again he had a healthy Smith a younger Hampton and Keisel up front..with Harrison and a Healthy Woodley. I said last year he needs to give it a rest and let Ray Horton step up

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