LeBeau, Steelers scouring for that next great defender

MOBILE Ala. — Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau is considered one of the best coaches of all time, and is earning Hall of Fame consideration for his outstanding play as a defensive back with the Detroit Lions.

He has presided over top-ranked defenses throughout his career, and his unit led Pittsburgh to a victories in Super Bowl XL and XLIII.

This past season, however, the Steelers were not quite as formidable defensively as they have been in seasons past. They still ranked fifth overall, and second in sacks, but they gave up crucial fourth-quarter touchdowns at key points throughout the year.

LeBeau, however, seemed undaunted when I spoke with him here at the Senior Bowl.

“We had some games in the fourth quarter that we just didn’t execute the way we should have, and gotten off the field the way we have in the past,” LeBeau said. “We’re looking to improve those situations, and that’s one of the reasons we’re down here looking at the players here in the Senior Bowl, and looking at some good young talent coming out.”

LeBeau added that there is a strong core already in place, and expects the Steelers to be right in the mix next season.

“I think we’ll be a very competitive defense, and I think our team is going to be very competitive,” LeBeau said.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was also here at the Senior Bowl standing on the sidelines intently watching the action. With LeBeau’s experience, and Tomlin’s passion, it figures Pittsburgh will find a future standout here at the Senior Bowl who will help the Steelers become a contender again in no time.

Jason Feller

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