2010 Playoffs

Dick LeBeau Press Conference Transcript Wednesday Super Bowl XLV

Dick LeBeau Press Conference Transcript Wednesday February 2nd Super Bowl XLV



(on if he enjoyed playing or coaching in this league more) “I think anybody that has ever played would rather play because it’s associated with you. If you can’t play, coaching is the next best thing.”

(on the differences between the defense this season and last time they were in the Super Bowl) “Not very much, really. A few different people, but the same package. They play hard. They manage to win a few games, enough to get us here.”

(on the secret to the Steelers defense) “Well it’s easy. We have good players. Really good players.”

(on how much the continuity of retaining key players has helped the team) “Oh I think it’s very important. In the National Football League you have turnover and we have had turnover, but we’ve been fortunate to keep a pretty solid core of guys that have played a lot of years for the black and gold. That helps us as coaches tremendously.”

(on what it was like playing cornerback in his days compared to now) “Well to be honest with you, I can’t even remember when I played. Really, believe it or not, there is not much different except the game is more open. Of course, in the early days, we had 31 or 32 squad members, so there weren’t that many varied formations. There weren’t that many wide receivers. There was a limit because of the personnel cap. But as the squad size gradually grew, they could carry more specialists and skilled people. The quarterbacks have become more gifted and the game is wide open. It’s more spread and a lot more pass. I think in the Lombardi era, his formula was 60-65 (percent) running and 35-40 (percent) passes and pretty much everyone subscribed to that balance offensively. They ran the ball more than they threw it. Now, it’s more like 57-43, (percent) pass to run.”

(on if there is a player on his roster that is tailor made for the zone blitz) “There are four linebackers out there. I think the advantage of the 3-4 is that you’re looking for players that are in the 230 to 260 pound range that have pass rushing ability and can get out in space and cover some ground. When you have the 4-3 line, that fourth guy has got to be a 300 pounder. It’s easier to find gifted 250 pounders than it is to find gifted 300 pounders. There are more of us. There are more Americans who don’t weight 300. There are still plenty to fit both styles. I think for us, of course, the guy that’s not quite big enough for the 4-3 fits us fine.”

(on what he recalls about Mike Tomlin when they first met in Cincinnati) “Well Mike has always carried the reputation of a very talented young coach. Coaches, for the most part, will help each other. That’s all that is.”

(on how James Harrison has been able to maintain a high level of play throughout his career) “There are two age categories. There is physiological age and there is chronological age. James, obviously, chronologically is a very veteran player, but physiologically he maintains the physical capacities of a very young player. He does that by training constantly. He takes very little time off. When this season is over, he’ll probably take seven to 10 days off, two weeks at most to get his breath, and then he’ll start right back into training. He does a lot of aerobic training, a lot of running. James can tell you exactly what he does, but it’s definitely the right thing for people who want to have an extended career in professional athletics because he hasn’t lost a step or a second of reaction time in the time that I’ve had him, and that’s seven years.”

(on how Harrison’s game has evolved) “He’s always been a great player. He was a first round draft choice coming out from the University of Virginia. I remember going down there to work him out and I said, ‘Man, there aren’t too many linebackers that can run like this guy, and I can still say the same thing. He’s been a blessing to us. He’s just a wonderful athlete to coach. He’s our captain and our leader. He sets the tone for what we do. He’s the best.”

(on the development of Lawrence Timmons ) “He should improve significantly for three or four years. I think your first four to six years is your biggest growth period. You should continue to grow throughout your career. Lawrence is still pretty much a young player who is tremendously gifted with a burst. He’s as fast as any linebacker playing and he gives us great speed in that area of our defense. He’s an impact hitter and in the last two years, continued to grow and improve. I think you’re going to see that on into the future. I think the sky is the limit for this guy. He’s good. He’s a great athlete.”

(on how playing in the NFL shaped his coaching philosophy) “I think we’re all a product of how we grew up and our working experience. I wanted to be a coach and so I observed my coaches throughout my career. The biggest thing that helped me as a player was that I made myself a promise that I would treat the players I coached like I wanted to be treated when I was a player. I made myself a promise if it ever got to a situation where that was not the case, then I would no longer coach. That’s been the one thing I’ve held myself to throughout my career. I set the standards but I try to treat them the way I wanted to be treated when I was a player. I wasn’t always treated that way.”

(on how much of a factor are the coaches in the Steelers personnel department operations) “We all contribute. We all work. I think the real credit goes to Coach Tomlin, Kevin Colbert, our director of football operations and the ownership, the Rooneys, for providing the environment that they all can work in and pick their draft choices. They’ve just done a tremendous job continually throughout the years and they’ve hit with draft picks.”

(on the strengths of the Packers’ wide receivers) “The numbers say the whole story for their success and where they are. All of the yardage that they have piled up offensively in recent years, that’s a reflection of the talent of the quarterback obviously, but also the skill people around him. They’ve got everything.”

(on how well Aaron Rodgers plays against the blitz) “He’s a challenge, no matter what you do. Like I say, the numbers speak for themselves. The record speaks for itself. His production speaks for itself. Yet it’s not successful to sit back and let him throw because he’ll cut you up there too. We’ll try to move him off the spot a little bit, hold down their running and try to keep the score where our guys can win it.”

(on his first impressions of Mike Tomlin) “Like I said earlier, Coach Tomlin has always had a reputation as a very, very gifted young coach. I think the way his career has played out substantiates what he was then and is now.”

(on if he thinks it is going to be a low scoring game) “I hope it’s going to be a low scoring game, but many games today are not. You’ve got two great offenses and so there may be some points scored, but for my comfort zone, I hope it’s a low scoring game.”

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