Steelers Reactions to LeBeau Departure


This morning’s edition of the Steelers Morning Huddle has got to be dedicated to the legendary Dick LeBeau. The man certainly has left this legacy on the organization and the city of Pittsburgh. Here’s your Steelers Morning Huddle for Sunday, Jan. 11th.

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Dick LeBeau has long been considered the architect of the zone blitz defense. A defense that the Steelers used dominatingly during most of LeBeau’s 11 seasons as the coordinator. LeBeau, enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a player in 2010, had a close relationship with his players to the point where the team loaded up on a bus from training camp in Latrobe to attend his enshrinement ceremony.

You have to wonder, if this is the last of Dick LeBeau in Pittsburgh, could that also mean the end of the era for players like James Harrison, Brett Keisel, Ike Taylor, and Troy Polamalu? LeBeau thrived with those players and others like Casey Hampton, Aaron Smith, and Joey Porter in their primes but has been criticized for his resistance to play younger players sooner.

The LeBeau defense is often described as such a complex scheme that it takes longer for younger players to learn their roles and excel in the system. The Steelers have spent their last two first-round draft picks on linebackers in Jarvis Jones and Ryan Shazier. The two have started in a combined 16 games over the past two seasons, in part due to injuries but also because of their slow introductions into the LeBeau defense.

Still, LeBeau’s legacy here in Pittsburgh is a strong one. He’s known for being a father figure and mentor to his players. From the recital of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ every Christmas Eve to his close relationships with his players LeBeau will be missed by Steeler Nation. He was instrumental in the Steelers’ win of two Super Bowls and will be forever loved by Steeler Nation.

Here are some of the reactions to the news of LeBeau’s departure from the Steelers:

Next: Steelers and LeBeau Part Ways