Casey Hampton Thinks Dick LeBeau Will Be Back Next Season

There is quite a bit of speculation being made by the fan base this week that Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau will not, or should not, be back next season and there is nothing to suggest right now that he won\’t return.

Nose tackle Casey Hampton was asked by the media today about the status of LeBeau next year and he stated that he believes the Steelers coach will be back in 2013 and that LeBeau hasn\’t said anything to him to the contrary, according to Mike Bires on Twitter.

The Steelers defense heads into the final week of the regular season ranked first overall in yards allowed per game, yards allowed per play, passing yards allowed per game and first downs allowed per game. In addition to those top rankings the unit is currently ranked second overall in rushing yards allowed per game, rushing yards allowed per play and passing yards allowed per play.

If there were two areas of the defense that certainly suffered again in 2012 it was sacks and turnovers. A lot of that goes on the personnel, however, as much as it goes on LeBeau. Let\’s be fair here, outside linebackers James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley both never seemed completely healthy all season for starters. Turnovers in the LeBeau system are a result of good consistent pressure and we haven\’t seen that for two seasons now. These players are just not getting home and winning their battles up front.

The defense also only managed to have Harrison, Woodley, Ike Taylor, Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark on the field at one time this season for less than 30 defensive snaps all season due to injuries.

The Steelers offense didn\’t help the defense out this year as well as several turnovers gave opponents short fields to work with. Several times this was even inside the Steelers own 20 yard-line.

Keep all of the above in mind before you run off to get your pitchfork and join the mob in trying to get LeBeau run out of town. The problem is not him or his scheme but instead the players executing it below the standard.

  • WilliamSekinger

    I generally agree the Lebeau and his scheme are great for the Steelers (When all the stars are on the field). Where Lebeau’s system is somewhat lacking is when a few stars get injured we hear how the backups haven’t been able to “pick-up the nuances” of the defense because they haven’t played very often. The defense just shouldn’t be so diffucult to learn that it takes 3-4 years for players to be effective in it. To me the defense is limiting itself.

    I’m not saying run Lebeau out of town if he wants to continue, but I would have liked to see Keith Butler pick up where Lebeau left off and perhaps simplify things for some of the younger talent.

  • zyzak

    I think LeBeau should retire and bring in a new guy with new ideas.

  • SteelerFanInMD

    I agree with simplifying defense. Other teams play their #1 draft picks, but Steelers sit them for a couple of years unless one of the starters gets hurt. The Steelers have to inject younger talent into the lineup faster and not depend so much on players from Bill Cowher’s years. Those players are Polamalu, Clark, Taylor, Harrison, Foote, Keisel and Hampton.

  • Garrett Hunt

    So I was right.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Wow! #1 defense and all I see is what I percieve as negative comments! We are truly spoiled when people want to see a new DC. Things can ONLY get worse! Simplifiing the defense would make it easier for other QB’s to pick us apart but I do agree he downside is that it takes too long for younger players to get it down but this defense won us a couple of SB’s plus many playoff spots with our offense very bland and predictable. CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR!!!

  • carl j.

    Keep Le Beau. We need to match his prowess with a “genious” OC!. Go get Norv Turner or Chan Gailey. They should soon be available!

  • TJimmy

    Lebeau is the last man you want to see go. The problem this year was the offense. To have so many 3 and outs yet still have the best defense is an amazing achievement.

  • mokhkw

    I agree, but that’s the way it’s been since LeBeau returned to the Steelers & I can’t see anything changing in that regard. – and why should it when you have the #1 D again? When that day does come – and I think it will be after next season – you’ll see a lot of veterans let go and a lot of younger players stepping into new roles.

    For 2012 I expect we’ll see Hampton, Foote, Will Allen etc. all return. The only thing we need for the D is (1) health and (2) more turnovers. A full season from Troy, Harrison and Woodley plus a starting role for Cortez Allen would solve most of those problems.

    I do expect you’ll see players like Worilds, McClendon, Heyward, Robinson, Carter, Spence etc. all start to receive more snaps so as to keep the vets healthy but until they prove they can outplay the older guys then the Steelers will return this group mostly intact for another run.

    D isn’t the issue here, the O is – and it’s not Haley imo.

  • Fu-Schnickens

    Look, it’s real simple….unless Lebeau decides to leave on his own, the conversation should, instead, be how many more games Haley will be given before he can no longer call Pittsburgh “home”. I’m pretty sure that the conversation between Haley and Rooney will be REAL short and, at the same time, very one-sided.

  • steeltown

    I was a huge Haley supporter at the start of the year… not so sure anymore.. my guess is they might and thats a very slim ‘might’ give him one more year with Ben and this Offense.

  • steeltown

    Defense was GREAT this year… enough said… yes, not alot of turnovers, but damm those top guys only saw 30 snaps together on Defense ALL YEAR!?! The problem this year was Offense and Special Teams