Saturday, January 10, 2015

End of an Era: Dick LeBeau Resigns

The Urbana Daily Citizen in Ohio broke the news today that Dick LeBeau has resigned his position as defensive coordinator of the Steelers.  This marks the end of an era in Steeler history.
At least LeBeau got to say for himself that he's resigning instead of having the Steelers announce he's retiring, as they did "on behalf of" Bruce Arians, who promptly went on to find gainful employment has since gone on to win NFL Head Coach of the year honors.

As reported in the newspaper: “I’m resigning this position, not retiring,” LeBeau, 77, said in an exclusive interview with the Daily Citizen. “I had a great run in Pittsburgh. I’m grateful for all the things that have happened to me and thankful for all the support I had in Pittsburgh.”

It's sad that the revered LeBeau, a Hall of Famer as a player, coach and person, was unable to go out on top, as Super Bowl Champion.

In other ways, it feels right: The one thing we've been uneasy about for some time is that LeBeau would linger on and on and on to the point of irrelevance -- to the point of becoming embarrassingly, there is no other word for it, elderly, like Joe Paterno.

The lack of talent on defense this past year was indisputable -- the Steelers just don't have the same quality or depth that we're used to seeing. LeBeau could only do so much with the talent that was made available to him.

By the same token, it's fair to point out that the Steelers' defensive schemes have gotten a bit stale or predictable. It seemed like opposing offenses knew how to attack the Steelers, and nobody feared this defense over the past couple of years, at least.

All the same, fare thee well, Dick LeBeau, and many thanks for the incredible legacy you built in Pittsburgh. It will be tough to find as fine a gentleman or as smart a defensive coordinator.

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