Charles Richard LeBeau (/ləˈboʊ/ lə-BOH; born September 9, 1937) is an American football coach and former cornerback, who was last an assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League (NFL). He was active at field level in the NFL for 59 consecutive seasons – 14 as a player with the Detroit Lions and 45 as a coach. He is considered to be one of the greatest defensive coordinators of all time. Considered an “innovator” and “defensive football genius”, LeBeau popularized the "zone blitz" when he was defensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals in the late 1980s.
On February 6, 2010, LeBeau was selected into the 2010 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The entire 2010 Steelers team attended the induction ceremony.
LeBeau (center) during Super Bowl XLIII parade in February 2009
|No. 24, 44|
|Position:||Cornerback, free safety|
|Born:||September 9, 1937|
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||185 lb (84 kg)|
|NFL Draft:||1959 / Round: 5 / Pick: 58|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
|Coaching stats at PFR|
LeBeau attended Ohio State University playing for famed coach Woody Hayes, and was on the 1957 national championship team, playing as a halfback on offense and a cornerback on defense. Also in 1957, playing both sides of the ball, he scored two touchdowns as Ohio State came back to beat Michigan 31–14.
He was initially drafted in the fifth round in 1959 by the Cleveland Browns but was cut in training camp. A few months later, he was signed by the Detroit Lions. He played 14 seasons in Detroit and was teamed with Hall of Famers Dick "Night Train" Lane, Yale Lary, and Lem Barney as part of a Detroit secondary that was one of the most feared in the NFL. Johnny Unitas always had respect for him, stating, "Dick is a good corner. I am just glad Night Train Lane is gone."
LeBeau is widely considered to be one of the greatest defensive backs in Lions history. He recorded 62 interceptions for 762 yards and three touchdowns. His 62 interceptions are still a Lions franchise record, and he is tied for seventh all-time in NFL history. His 762 interception return yards ranks third all-time in team history.
LeBeau was also one of the most durable players in the league. In 14 years, he played 185 games – placing him fourth on Detroit's all-time list. He is third all-time for most seasons played (14) and previously held the NFL record for consecutive appearances by a cornerback with 171, which has since been broken by Ronde Barber. He also recovered nine fumbles, returning them for 53 yards and a touchdown.
During his career, he earned three trips to the Pro Bowl (1964–1966). In 1970, LeBeau established a career-high nine interceptions (tied for sixth on the team’s all-time single-season interceptions list). He was a major defensive contributor to the Lions finishing with a 10–4 record that season. The Lions finished second in the NFC Central and earned a berth in the playoffs.
LeBeau was honored by the Lions and inducted into the Pride of the Lions in 2010.
After retirement as a player, LeBeau immediately went into coaching with the Philadelphia Eagles as a special teams coach under coach Mike McCormack, spending three seasons in Philadelphia. In 1976, LeBeau coached the secondary for the Green Bay Packers under Pro Football Hall of Fame QB Bart Starr. In his first season, Willie Buchanon, Johnnie Gray, Steve Luke, and Perry Smith combined for 10 interceptions. In 1977, Mike C. McCoy replaced Smith, and that quartet combined for 11 interceptions. In 1979, Estus Hood replaced Buchanan, and the secondary combined for another 11 interceptions.
In 1981, Cincinnati had an outstanding defense that had not given up more than 30 points in any of their regular season or playoff games. Their line was anchored by defensive ends Ross Browner and Eddie Edwards, who were effective at stopping the run. Cincinnati's defense was also led by defensive backs Louis Breeden and Ken Riley and linebackers Bo Harris, Jim LeClair, and Reggie Williams, who intercepted four passes and recovered three fumbles. The Bengals intercepted 19 passes for 318 yards and also recorded 41 total sacks. The Bengals played in their first AFC Championship Game, defeating San Diego 27–7, limiting the Chargers' offense to only 7 points. In Super Bowl XVI, the Bengals trailed 20–0 at halftime and lost to San Francisco, 26–21.
In 1984, LeBeau was promoted to be the Bengals' defensive coordinator. His defenses rarely allowed more than 30 points in a game to an opponent. In 1984, his first season as defensive coordinator, the Bengals dropped from the top-ranked defense in 1983 (when they were coordinated by Hank Bullough) to 13th, allowing 339 points all season. In 1985, they dropped from 13th to 22nd. In 1986, points allowed were cut to 394 and the team finished with the 20th-ranked defense in the NFL. In 1987, they cut the points allowed to 370.
In 1988, the Bengals defense ranked 17th in the league, allowing 5,556 yards and 329 points during the regular season. Cincinnati had a superb defensive line, led by pro bowl defensive tackle Tim Krumrie, along with linemen Jim Skow (nine-and-a-half sacks), David Grant (five sacks), and Jason Buck (six sacks). Pro Bowl defensive backs Eric Thomas and David Fulcher (the world's biggest free safety) combined for 12 interceptions. The team won the AFC Central Division with a 12–4 record but lost Super Bowl XXIII to the San Francisco 49ers for the second time in franchise history. The following season, 1989, the Bengals defense was 15th in the NFL, an improvement of two spots and was in the top half of NFL defenses due to LeBeau's scheme. In 1990 and 1991 the Bengals' defense ranked 25th and 28th respectively, out of 28 teams, and the team made a change in defensive coordinators.
LeBeau was hired by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1992 as the secondary coach. In 1994, four defensive players were called to play in the 1995 Pro Bowl (Kevin Greene, Carnell Lake, Greg Lloyd and Rod Woodson). As a secondary coach LeBeau strongly influenced Lake and Woodson.
In 1995, LeBeau was promoted to be the defensive coordinator and the 1995 Pittsburgh defense ranked third in the league in total yards allowed after they had finished as the second ranked defense in 1994 in that same category, so the drop off was minimal with LeBeau at the helm. They did allow 327 points in 1995 as opposed to 234 the year before when the Steelers defense was coordinated by Dom Capers, but they got to the Super Bowl in 1995 with a much improved offense. Pro Bowl linebacker Kevin Greene led the team in sacks with nine, while Pro Bowl linebacker Greg Lloyd led the team in tackles with 86. The secondary was led by Pro Bowl defensive backs Carnell Lake and Hall of Famer Rod Woodson. The Steelers lost to the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XXX, making it the third Super Bowl loss for him.
In 1997, LeBeau returned to the Bengals as defensive coordinator. The defense was ranked 25th in 1996, and in his first year back they dropped to 28th and allowed just over 400 points. In 1998 they remained 28th in the NFL (of 30 teams) and allowed 452 points. In 1999 the zone blitz scheme began to take hold and although the Bengals defense allowed 460 points, they improved to 25th in the NFL (out of 31 teams).
LeBeau was named interim head coach for the Bengals in 2000 following head coach Bruce Coslet's resignation during the 2000 season. Following the season, he was named permanent head coach.
Despite LeBeau's considerable defensive coaching talent, his offenses were not nearly as successful as head coach, and his teams finished 4–9, 6–10 and 2–14, respectively, in his three seasons. His overall record as a head coach was 12–33. He was fired after the 2002 season.
Shortly after being fired by the Bengals, LeBeau was named the Buffalo Bills's assistant head coach.
LeBeau returned to the Steelers in 2004 as their defensive coordinator. He was the Steelers defensive coordinator until 2014. During this time frame, LeBeau coached the Steelers to 3 Super Bowl appearances, winning 2. LeBeau was named "Coordinator of the year" by the Sporting News for the 2008 season. On January 10, 2015, LeBeau resigned as defensive coordinator of the Steelers.
On January 20, 2016, the Titans officially named LeBeau assistant head coach/defensive coordinator after the departure of Ray Horton to the Cleveland Browns. Said LeBeau, "I like Tennessee a lot. I really love being here." On January 22, 2018, it was reported that LeBeau was considering retirement after not being retained after head coach Mike Mularkey and the Tennessee Titans agreed to part ways and Houston Texans' defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel was hired as the new head coach. Although LeBeau was open to returning to the Titans under Vrabel, the Titans decided to not invite him to be part of their new coaching staff.
As an assistant coach he is credited with inventing the "Fire Zone" or "zone blitz" defense, which employs unpredictable pass rushes and pass coverage from various players. His defenses typically employ 3–4 sets, with any of the four linebackers (and frequently a defensive back) among the pass rushers, while defensive linemen may drop back into short pass coverage zones to compensate for the pass rush coming from other positions. The design is intended to confuse the opposition's quarterback and frustrate its blocking schemes. Since zone blitzes don't identify any of the prospective rushers, the offense may be unsure on each play of which defenders will rush the passer and which will drop into coverage. While often described as a "blitzing" scheme (implying more than the typical number of four pass rushers used by most defenses), the call on any particular "zone blitz" play may involve only three or four pass rushers but from unpredictable positions and angles.
LeBeau is beloved among his players, many of whom refer to him as "Coach Dad." Steelers players have given him many gifts, including a Rolex watch.
|Won||Lost||Ties||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|CIN||2000*||4||9||0||.308||5th in AFC Central||-||-||-||-|
|CIN||2001||6||10||0||.375||6th in AFC Central||-||-||-||-|
|CIN||2002||2||14||0||.125||4th in AFC North||-||-||-||-|
*Interim head coach
LeBeau acted in the 1970 movie Too Late the Hero, where he played Michael Caine's double in a scene. LeBeau is said to regularly recite A Visit from St. Nicholas by heart to his players every Christmas season. LeBeau credits his London High School coach, Jim Bowlus, with influencing him to taking up coaching after his playing years ended. LeBeau says seeing the effect that Coach Bowlus had on him and his teammates clinched it for him at that point.
Dick has four children with his first wife, Phyllis Geer LeBeau, who passed from cancer in 2002: Richard Jr, Linda, Lori, and Fe. He has been married to his current wife, Nancy, since 1973 and they have one son together, Brandon Grant LeBeau.
The 1958 Ohio State Buckeyes football team represented the Ohio State University in the 1958 Big Ten Conference football season. The Buckeyes compiled a 6–1–2 record.1964 All-Pro Team
The following is a list of players that were named to the Associated Press All-Pro Team in the NFL in 1964. Players from the first and second teams are listed, with players from the first team in bold, where applicable.1965 All-Pro Team
The following is a list of National Football League (American football) players that were named to the Associated Press All-Pro Team in 1965. Players from the first and second teams are listed, with players from the first team in bold, where applicable.1972 Detroit Lions season
The 1972 Detroit Lions season was their 43rd in the National Football League (NFL). The team improved on their previous season's output of 7–6–1, winning eight games. The team missed the playoffs for the second straight season. Linebacker Wayne Walker established a new team record for games played at 200. It was also the final season for longtime defensive back Dick LeBeau.2000 Cincinnati Bengals season
The 2000 Cincinnati Bengals season was the team's 33rd year in professional football and its 31st with the National Football League. Corey Dillon would rank fifth in the NFL with 1,435 rushing yards and set a franchise record for most rushing yards in one season. On October 22, 2000, Dillon set a franchise record by rushing for 278 yards in one game.
After being shut out in two of their first three games and a home loss to the Browns 24–7 in week 1, Coach Bruce Coslet resigned; he was replaced by former All-Pro Detroit Lions DB and Bengal defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. Under LeBeau, the Bengals dropped their first three games, with an eventual long losing streak finally coming to an end on October 22 against the Denver Broncos at the new Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals defeated the Broncos 31–21 as RB Corey Dillon set a single-game record by rushing for 278 yards. The Bengals used it as springboard to win their next game in Cleveland despite not scoring a touchdown. The Bengals offense would continue to struggle as 2nd year quarterback Akili Smith, the team's No. 1 draft pick out of Oregon, was overwhelmed by the NFL game. Corey Dillon set a team record by rushing for 1,435 yards, but with Smith's struggles as starting quarterback, the team floundered with a season-ending record of 4–12.2000 NFL season
The 2000 NFL season was the 81st regular season of the National Football League. The season ended with Super Bowl XXXV when the Baltimore Ravens defeated the New York Giants 34–7 at the Raymond James Stadium.
Week 1 of the season reverted to Labor Day weekend in 2000. It would be the last NFL season to date to start on Labor Day weekend. It would also be the last time until 2015 that CBS televised the late afternoon games in Week 1. This was because both Week 1 of the NFL season and CBS’ coverage of the U.S. Open tennis finals would take place on the same day beginning next season.2001 Cincinnati Bengals season
The 2001 Cincinnati Bengals season was the franchise’s 34th year in professional football and its 32nd with the National Football League. In the first full season with Dick LeBeau as head coach, the Bengals abandoned their plans for developing quarterback Akili Smith as their starter by acquiring Jon Kitna from the Seattle Seahawks. The Bengals would win their first two games with Kitna behind center, and sat at 4–3 through the first seven games of the season. However, the Bengals would struggle again, losing their next seven games as Kitna struggled with inconsistency, throwing 22 interceptions while throwing only 12 touchdown passes. The Bengals would win their final two games to close the season with a mediocre 6–10 record, their eleventh consecutive season without tallying a winning record. Despite the team’s struggles, All-Pro running back Corey Dillon had another stellar year, rushing for 1,315 yards.2001 would turn out to be an important year for the team, as players such as Justin Smith, Chad Johnson, and T. J. Houshmandzadeh were drafted, all those players would be important to Cincinnati in later years.2002 Cincinnati Bengals season
The 2002 Cincinnati Bengals season was the team's 35th year in professional football and its 33rd with the National Football League. With a record of 2–14, however, they were the worst team in football in 2002. The Bengals struggles continued as they lost their first seven contests losing by average of 19 points in each game. The Bengals would finally garner their first victory Week 8 by soundly defeating the expansion Houston Texans on the road 38–3. The winning would not last long, however, as the Bengals lost their next six games to fall to 1–13.
In their final game at home, the Bengals would stun the New Orleans Saints 20–13 to earn their second win on the season, but there would be no saving the Bengals from setting a new franchise record for losses as they finished the season with a 27–9 loss to the Buffalo Bills on the road to finish with a league worst 2–14 record. This resulted in the Bengals owner Mike Brown firing head coach Dick LeBeau and replacing him with Washington's defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis.
By being the worst team in 2002, they earned the first pick in the 2003 NFL Draft, which they would use to draft Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Carson Palmer out of USC, and releasing embattled quarterback Akili Smith.2003 Cincinnati Bengals season
The 2003 Cincinnati Bengals season was the team's 36th year in professional football and its 34th with the National Football League. The Bengals hired first year head coach Marvin Lewis, replacing Dick LeBeau, who was fired following the 2002 season after the worst season in Bengals history. The Bengals had the first overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft with which they selected 2002 Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer. After a slow start, the Bengals got hot winning at midseason, winning four straight games to stand at 7–5, entering a key Week 14 matchup with the Baltimore Ravens with a chance to win the division. However in the key showdown for first place the Bengals showed they were not quite ready for primetime as they were beaten 31–13. The Bengals would rebound to win their next game against the San Francisco 49ers, but at 8–6 the Bengals could not get that ninth win, losing their last two games to spoil an effort to earn their first winning season in 13 years, finishing at 8–8.Along with Willie Anderson, Chad Johnson, for the first time in his career, was named to the Pro Bowl at the end of the season.Avery Williamson
Avery Milton Williamson (born March 9, 1992) is an American football linebacker for the New York Jets of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He played college football at Kentucky.Bill Jobko
William Kermit Jobko (October 7, 1935 – December 18, 2004) was a collegiate, and professional American football linebacker who played nine seasons in the National Football League. Drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the 7th round (80th overall) of the 1958 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, he played nine seasons for the Rams (1958–1962), the Minnesota Vikings (1963–1965) and the Atlanta Falcons (1966). Jobko died of an abdominal aortic aneurysm.Casey Hampton
Casey Hampton Jr. (born September 3, 1977), nicknamed "Big Snack," is a former American football nose tackle who played twelve seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Texas, and received All-American recognition. The Pittsburgh Steelers picked him in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft. Hampton was selected for the Pro Bowl five times.Dan James
Daniel Anthony James (born August 10, 1937 in Cincinnati, Ohio) is a former professional American football offensive lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1960 to 1966. He played college football at Ohio State University.
Dan attended Elder High School and the Center was drafted with the eight pick in the first round of the 1959 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.
He eventually played with the Pittsburgh Steelers and retired in the late 1960s. He then returned home to Cincinnati with his wife and children.Ike Taylor
Ivan "Ike" Taylor (born May 5, 1980) is a former American football cornerback. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL) in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft, and spent his entire 12-year career in Pittsburgh. He played college football at Louisiana-Lafayette.
He was formerly an analyst for NFL Now and other shows on the NFL Network.John Mitchell (American football coach)
John Mitchell, Jr. (born October 14, 1951) is an American football coach and former collegiate player. Over the course of his career, Mitchell has broken several racial barriers, one of which was being the first black player for the Alabama Crimson Tide. Currently, he is the assistant head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the National Football League (NFL).
As a player, Mitchell was the first African-American to play football for the storied Alabama Crimson Tide. In his second year with the program he became the first African-American co-captain at the school. The next year, he became the team's first black assistant coach and also the youngest coach to have ever been hired at Alabama. Later he would break another barrier by becoming the first black defensive coordinator in the Southeastern Conference.
His coaching career has spanned nearly 40 years during which time he has worked with several icons of the football coaching pantheon, including college coaching greats Bear Bryant and Lou Holtz as well as Bill Belichick and Bill Cowher in the pros. Teams he has coached have won championships at both the college and professional levels.List of Cincinnati Bengals head coaches
This is a complete list of Cincinnati Bengals head coaches. There have been nine head coaches for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL). The Bengals are a professional American football team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. They are a member of the North Division of the American Football Conference (AFC). The Bengals franchise was founded in 1968 as a member of the Western Division of the American Football League (AFL), before merging with the NFL in 1970.The most recent head coach was Marvin Lewis, who was hired on January 14, 2003 (following Dick LeBeau after he was fired on December 30, 2002), and departed on December 31, 2018. Two coaches have won a conference championship with the team: Forrest Gregg in 1981, and Sam Wyche in 1988. Lewis is the team's winningest coach and all time leader in games coached, while Gregg leads all coaches in winning percentage with .561 (with at least one full season coached). Dick LeBeau is statistically the worst coach the Bengals had in terms of winning percentage, with .267. Of the nine Bengals head coaches, three have been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Paul Brown, Forrest Gregg, and Dick LeBeau (although only Brown was inducted as a coach, the other two were inducted as players). Two former players have been head coach for the Bengals, including Sam Wyche and Bruce Coslet.List of Cincinnati Bengals seasons
The Cincinnati Bengals franchise was founded in 1968 as a member of the West division of the American Football League (AFL). The Bengals joined the National Football League (NFL) as a result of the AFL–NFL merger prior to 1970. This list documents the franchise's completed seasons from 1968 to present, including postseason records and results from postseason games. The Bengals have played over 750 games in their history, including two conference championships, eight division championships, and 12 playoff appearances.
The franchise has experienced several extended periods of success in their history. These periods came from 1981 to 1990 when the Bengals qualified for the playoffs four times and played in two Super Bowls, and from 2009 to the present. However, during a 14-year span—1991 to 2004—the Bengals did not qualify for the playoffs. During this time, the franchise had nine seasons with 10 or more losses, and three of those seasons the franchise had the league's worst record. Since 2005 the Bengals have been more successful, posting seven winning seasons, three division titles and seven wild card playoff berths (including a streak of five consecutive playoff seasons, a first in franchise history).List of National Football League career interceptions leaders
This is the list of National Football League (NFL) players, who have recorded at least 50 interceptions.Ohio State Buckeyes football yearly statistical leaders
Ohio State Buckeyes football yearly statistical leaders in points scored, rushing yards, passing yards, receptions, and total tackles.
Dick LeBeau—championships, awards, and honors