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RG3 Will Test The Dominance That LeBeau Has Had Over Rookie Quarterbacks


By now you all should be well aware of the record that Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau has against rookie quarterbacks since his return to Pittsburgh in 2004. If you are not, it is 14-1.

When LeBeau was the Steelers defensive coordinator the first time around in 1995 and 1996, he was 2-0 against the two rookie quarterbacks during that span of time, so essentially his career record in Pittsburgh is 16-1.

The lone rookie quarterback to beat LeBeau was Troy Smith when he was with the Baltimore Ravens back in 2007. That win really deserves an asterisk, though, as it happened in the final week of the season in a meaningless game that saw the Steelers holdout Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu in preparation for the playoffs.

Even though Smith got credit for the win, his numbers were not spectacular in that game as he was 16-of-27 passing for 171 yards with 1 touchdown.

When you look at the numbers the quarterbacks have put up in those 17 games against LeBeau led defenses, you can see just how dominated they were. The defenses in those games allowed only a 51% completion ratio and a paltry 5.44 yards per attempt. They also managed to rack up 63 sacks in those games which equates to 1 sack every 9 drop backs.

Of all of the rookie quarterbacks that LeBeau has faced, he hasn\’t faced one like Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins, who will be coming to Heinz Field on Sunday. Griffin III has competed 70.4% of his passes so far this season for a very healthy 8.5 yards per attempt number. His 101.8 passer rating is the 3rd best in the league currently and he has chipped in another 468 yards on the ground on 64 rushes for good measure. Oh yeah, the rookie has only been intercepted 3 times so far this season in addition. That is all pretty impressive indeed.

The Redskins rookie signal caller heads into his first meeting against the Steelers and LeBeau with quite a bit of buzz surrounding him, and with good reason.

Just as it is every week, shutting down the Redskins running game on Sunday will be the number one priority for LeBeau. That includes not letting the mobile rookie out of the pocket on passing plays in addition. LeBeau wants to force the rookie to beat the Steelers with his arm. Only 3 of the 17 quarterbacks that LeBeau has faced in all of his time in Pittsburgh has thrown for more than 200 yards in a game and only 2 of them have failed to be sacked.

While Griffin III certainly could have more success on Sunday than any other quarterback on the list below, he doesn\’t play on defense, and that could be a huge factor working against him and his attempt to become only the second rookie quarterback to beat LeBeau during all of his time in Pittsburgh.

The odds are certainly in the favor of LeBeau heading into this game and those odds point to RG3 ultimately becoming L17 on Sunday at Heinz Field.

Rookie Quarterback Stats Versus Dick LeBeau In Pittsburgh

YEAR QUARTERBACK TEAM W/L COMP ATT COMP % YDS YPA TD INT SACK S/DB RATE
1995 Eric Zeier CLE L 3-20 7 19 37% 67 3.53 0 1 4 5.8 25.5
1996 Tony Banks STL L 6-42 16 35 46% 184 5.26 0 2 6 6.8 38.3
2004 Eli Manning NYG L 30-33 16 23 70% 182 7.91 2 1 0 0.0 103.9
2005 Kyle Orton CHI L 9-21 17 35 49% 207 5.91 0 0 3 12.7 67.2
2005 Charlie Frye CLE L 0-41 20 39 51% 183 4.69 0 0 8 5.9 64.4
2006 Bruce Gradkowski TAM L 3-20 20 34 59% 175 5.15 0 3 5 7.8 35.8
2007 John Beck MIA L 0-3 14 23 61% 132 5.74 0 0 4 6.8 76.7
2007 Troy Smith BAL W 27-21 16 27 59% 171 6.33 1 0 2 14.5 90.2
2008 Joe Flacco BAL L 20-23 16 31 52% 192 6.19 1 0 5 7.2 81.7
2008 Joe Flacco BAL L 9-13 11 28 39% 115 4.11 0 2 2 15.0 22.2
2009 Joe Flacco BAL L 14-23 13 30 43% 141 4.70 0 3 3 11.0 18.2
2010 Colt McCoy CLE L 10-28 23 33 70% 281 8.52 1 2 5 7.6 80.5
2010 Jimmy Clausen CAR L 3-27 10 23 43% 72 3.13 0 1 4 6.8 33.2
2011 Colt McCoy CLE L 9-41 20 41 49% 209 5.10 1 3 4 11.3 41.6
2011 Blaine Gabbert JAX L 13-17 12 26 46% 109 4.19 1 0 5 6.2 70.8
2011 Andy Dalton CIN L 17-24 15 30 50% 170 5.67 2 2 0 0.0 61.8
2011 Andy Dalton CIN L 7-35 11 24 46% 135 5.63 1 0 3 9.0 77.6
TOTALS 16-1 257 501 51% 2725 5.44 10 20 63 9.0 57.5

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