Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dueling strategies between LeBeau, Capers

Two of the most impactful performers in Sunday's Super Bowl won't throw a single block or deliver any tackles.
They're Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers, two of the shrewdest defensive minds in the history of the game.
The two old friends and former colleagues used to live together in Pittsburgh when Capers was the defensive coordinator and LeBeau was coaching the secondary.
They built the aggressive 3-4 schemes in a thick playbook drawn up by LeBeau. Both teams run the elaborate defense today.
And LeBeau is the architect of the Steelers' zone blitz schemes.
“I think history has proven that we had some good ideas,” LeBeau said.
The Steelers allowed only 14.5 points per game this season, ranking atop the NFL.
The Packers finished second, allowing a half-point more.
Both have a lot of similar traits in terms of philosphy and personnel.
“This is probably the only Super Bowl ever that the players from either team could jump in the defensive huddle and understand the terminology and probably run the defense,” LeBeau said. “I’m sure the nomenclature is different, but they could figure it out. Certainly if you gave them two days of practice, either team could run the other team’s defense.”
Added Capers: "You just have to try to feature the guys you think have a good chance of winning 1-on-1 battles and of making plays for you,. So we’re still in the process. That is probably the biggest difference between us and Pittsburgh. They’ve been running the same defense since about 1992.”
And the defensive play should make this game worth the price of admission, especially for NFL purists who prefer old-fashioned rock-em-sock-em football.

source:  National Football Post
author:  Aaron Wilson
photo courtesy of Life Magazine,

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