When people think of the Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s, they typically think of the Steel Curtain and the 4 Super Bowl victories in 6 years. When thinking about coaches, the emperor, Chuck Noll, is typically the main topic of conversation. However, it should be noted just how important Bud Carson was to those vaunted teams.
You don’t know who Bud Carson is? He essentially built the Steel Curtain people use in their everyday vocabulary when talking about the black and gold, and he is also the man who won a Lifetime Achievement award by the Pro Football Writers of America recently.
“Bud Carson, the architect of the Steel Curtain, won the 2017 Paul “Dr. Z” Zimmerman Award. The award, announced Monday, is given by the Pro Football Writers of America for lifetime achievement as an assistant coach.”
Carson passed away in 2005, but this award given to assistant coaches, when no other major organization recognizes the quality work done by assistant coaches, might have another Steelers face next to it in the not-so-distant future, in the form of Dick LeBeau.
While Carson built the Steel Curtain, LeBeau was the one who truly revolutionized the Steelers’ 3-4 zone blitz scheme which frustrated opposing offenses for many, many years. LeBeau had a shot as a head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, but will go down in NFL history as a Hall of Famer for his play with the Detroit Lions, but also as one of the greatest defensive minds of all time.
(Editor’s Note: It appears LeBeau won this exact award already. A fact which doesn’t diminish his impact on the Steelers 3-4 defense, or the entire NFL. In fact, if LeBeau hadn’t been inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player, his consideration as a coach (albeit an assistant) would certainly be Hall-worthy, in my opinion.)