At 2-6 and coming off of a game in which his defense allowed a franchise record 610 net yards of offense and 55 points to the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau has come under heavy fire as to whether or not the game has passed him by. On Thursday, LeBeau, responded to that criticism and the vote of confidence given to him Tuesday by head coach Mike Tomlin during his Tuesday press conference.
“I’d rather the situation not be where that type of question comes up,” LeBeau told the media after practice, in regard to Tomlin being asked if he still believes in his defensive coordinator. “But, you know, we are all in this together. If we play bad, and we all have a bad game, I certainly take my full ownership to that. We aren’t going to duck our head. We aren’t going to tuck our tail. This is a league of competitors. We are going out to compete. That’s what we are going to do.”
The Steelers defense was shredded Sunday by Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to the tune of 413 passing yards and four touchdowns. Brady easily found the holes in the Steelers cover-3 defense all afternoon and LeBeau talked about that Thursday.
“We are leaving too many windows, and we are getting hit in some of those windows. We are going to close them up,” he said.
In order to close those windows, LeBeau said the defense has to make sure to get back to the fundamentals and that his players need to be positioned properly.
“In defense you have to be where your supposed to be and see and see what your supposed to see. In that regard, obviously where not doing that consistently enough, because we are giving up big plays,” said LeBeau, whose defense is now ranked 12th overall in yards allowed per game.”
LeBeau would also go on to say that they are going back to page one in order to make sure everyone knows their responsibilities and he calmly stated that we will see an improved defense moving forward.
The window of the Steelers playoff chances at this point is virtually closed so LeBeau now has a half a season to prove not only that his defense still works, but that it can also do so with so many young players seeing playing time in it. If the second half season goes anything like the first half, the window of LeBeau’s career in Pittsburgh might be closed for good.