clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Steelers Defensive Maestro Dick LeBeau Looks To Maintain Edge in his 70s

I'm a few days late on this one, but defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau was showered with gifts on his 70th birthday this past Sunday. First, his defense suffocated the Cleveland Browns, sacking Browns' QBs 6 times and hauling in 2 INTs. The defense's performance would probably have been a good enough gift for LeBeau, but his players showed their love and respect for the man by doing what they do best: buying an expensive Rolex for LeBeau. They also bought him a framed poster containing the poem 'Twas the Night Before Christmas', which LeBeau recites to his players every Holiday Season. Quick side thought: how come NFL players only give Rolexes to each other. I always hear about running backs buying their offensive linemen Rolexes. Now the Steelers D buying LeBeau one. Anyway, still a nice, if not imaginative, gesture by the players for a man they call 'Coach Dad'.

LeBeau, of course, was predictably self-effacing, saying:

"I told them that you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, but they dressed me up pretty good," said LeBeau, showing off his new trinket.

Brett Keisel said the unit's performance was only a small sample of what LeBeau has in store for the rest of the season:

"We had probably only shown about 20 percent of our defense," said Keisel of the preseason. "We showed a little bit more today, but we're not even close to having shown everything."

The fact that Dick LeBeau is still doing his thing at age 70 after 49 years in professional football is astounding. He obviously lives and breathes for this stuff, but to get ready week-in and week-out for NFL offenses is no small task. It takes an incredible amount of energy, hard work, and intestinal fortitude. Clearly James Farrior and the rest of the defensive players take notice and play hard for him:

"We love that guy to death. We'd do anything for him."