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View Full Version : LeBeau confident in 'Cover 2'.....



DIESELMAN
01-31-2007, 02:26 PM
The concept of "Cover 2" is neither the polar opposite of the way Dick LeBeau likes to play defense nor foreign to the Steelers' unit he coordinates.
"We've always been a pretty big 'Cover 2' team," LeBeau said Tuesday. "At one time, we probably were a 'Cover 2' team. For the last three years, we've been close to a 50-percent 'Cover 2' team."

"Cover 2" was originated by then-Steelers defensive coordinator Bud Carson in the 1970s. The basic idea was to prevent big plays by positioning a pair of safeties, each responsible for 50 percent of the field, in deep coverage.

Former Steelers safety and former Steelers assistant coach Tony Dungy expanded "Cover 2" into what has become known across the NFL as the 'Tampa 2' during his days as the head coach of the Buccaneers (1996-2001). Dungy's innovation was to assign the middle linebacker deep-middle coverage responsibility in "Cover 2."

Dungy's Colts and Lovie Smith's Chicago Bears meet Sunday in Super Bowl XLI. Smith is a former Dungy assistant in Tampa. Both defenses feature the "Tampa 2" version of "Cover 2."

The Steelers are famous for using a zone-blitz, which LeBeau created in Cincinnati in the 1980s.

But that doesn't mean the Steelers haven't been well-versed in the principles of "Cover 2" all along, both in recent seasons and during LeBeau's first tour as an assistant under Bill Cowher from 1992-96.

"Hopefully, we've disguised it well enough that you can't tell before the ball gets snapped," LeBeau said.

Thus, if new Steelers coach and former Dungy disciple Mike Tomlin wants to emphasize "Cover 2" over the zone-blitz or the 4-3 front as opposed to the Steelers' standard 3-4, LeBeau believes the Steelers will have that covered.

"The head coach is going set the overall tenor and philosophy of our team," LeBeau said. "Whatever he would decide to do is what we're going to do.

"Now, you might say I'm a little bit of a 3-4 guy and our guys are 3-4 guys. And I think that will come into consideration, but it's up to Mike. Philosophically, whether it's the 3-4 or the 4-3, I don't think we'll have any trouble doing what we want to do, which is put pressure on the quarterback."

The Steelers' zone-blitz approach has always endeavored to do so by surprise because the Steelers have always favored a three-man line.

"In a four-man line, you're saying 'Here are our linemen and these are our linebackers,'" LeBeau said. "Now, you can still rush linebackers and drop linemen, but your linemen are identified as four down linemen in the 4-3. In the 3-4, you're saying, 'Here are our three linemen. You figure out which of our linebackers is going to be the fourth, or the fifth pass-rusher.'

"If we're going to go to 'Cover 2,' we'll only have four rushers. If we're going to a zone-pressure (zone-blitz), we'll have five or more. But we can still play some '2' coverage concepts behind a five-man rush."

LeBeau maintains the Steelers are capable of playing a four-man front because of the versatility of defensive ends Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel and the presence of backup nose tackle Chris Hoke.

And LeBeau considers "Cover 2" capability a necessity in today's game as a method of combating offenses that spread the field in search of the big play.

"I think you gotta play some '2' coverage," LeBeau said. "It would be very hard to find any team in college or pro ball that doesn't play some sort of 'Cover 2.'

"I don't think that anybody plays any coverage all the time. The quarterbacks are too good. Even Indianapolis, you might say, is a 'Cover 2' team. Probably (the Colts') run to the Super Bowl has come from the way their defense has played down the stretch, but it hasn't been all 'Cover 2,' I can promise you that."

By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
The old man still has tricks and schemes up his sleeve, now with Tomlin in there and both of them putting their heads together.....Look out NFL!!!!!

Friday133
01-31-2007, 02:45 PM
I think we'll be fine. Too many fans blew the whole 3-4, 4-3 out of proportion.

TEEMONT
01-31-2007, 02:57 PM
I think we'll be fine. Too many fans blew the whole 3-4, 4-3 out of proportion.

ummm ya

BlackGold4vr
01-31-2007, 03:05 PM
LeBeau maintains the Steelers are capable of playing a four-man front because of the versatility of defensive ends Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel and the presence of backup nose tackle Chris Hoke.

I do not want to rehash an old argument but there it is, the exact thing I said to you. Smith, Hoke, Hampton, Kiesel That would be the 4 they played in a 4-3 defense and I believe they could put plenty of pressure on QB's. According to the article in that first post we will see some of this formation this coming season. Wouldn't surprise me either to see a DT drafted in April to help out playing a "cover-2" 4 man front. You can use a LB as DE in a pinch so I think DT would be the position needing filled to create depth behind Hoke & Hampton. Not to just pick and choose the part of the article that supports my claims I also saw the first part where Lebeau talks about the team being built for the 3-4. Kinda funny that the article hits on both of our talking points.

:tt02:

DIESELMAN
01-31-2007, 03:16 PM
Theres a few of us who think we're not that far from converting to 4-3, whats up in the air is if we will do it soon or possibly never. What we do in the draft will dictate whether we stay 3-4 or switch in the coming years to a 4-3. Either way I'm not leaning or favoring one over the other. As long as we got LeBeau scheming we'll still be creating chaos for the opposing OC's.

Black@Gold Forever32
01-31-2007, 03:19 PM
I still like the idea of trying to mix both defenses in. That way you confuse the **** out of an offense. Thats why drafting guys that can be both 4-3 and 3-4 guys would be sweet.

BlackGold4vr
01-31-2007, 03:38 PM
I still like the idea of trying to mix both defenses in. That way you confuse the **** out of an offense. Thats why drafting guys that can be both 4-3 and 3-4 guys would be sweet.

I expect to see us use both fronts in this coming season. And I also think that between Lebeau's defensive genius and Tomlin's experience with the "cover 2" that we will see a very versatile defense! I myself cannot wait to see it in action!

:beer3:

BlitzburghRockCity
01-31-2007, 03:45 PM
I do not want to rehash an old argument but there it is, the exact thing I said to you. Smith, Hoke, Hampton, Kiesel That would be the 4 they played in a 4-3 defense and I believe they could put plenty of pressure on QB's. According to the article in that first post we will see some of this formation this coming season. Wouldn't surprise me either to see a DT drafted in April to help out playing a "cover-2" 4 man front. You can use a LB as DE in a pinch so I think DT would be the position needing filled to create depth behind Hoke & Hampton. Not to just pick and choose the part of the article that supports my claims I also saw the first part where Lebeau talks about the team being built for the 3-4. Kinda funny that the article hits on both of our talking points.

:tt02:


Man you do like debating dont you :lol: Yes it is interesting how touched on both of our points. You and I definately dove into this argument full bore. I can see us drafting another DE or picking up 1 in FA to help with depth if we're going to run this more. I hope they do some type of hybrid scheme incorportating both like we had been, but with Tomlin's expertise combining with Lebeau's expertise it could be something super special.


"In a four-man line, you're saying 'Here are our linemen and these are our linebackers,'" LeBeau said. "Now, you can still rush linebackers and drop linemen, but your linemen are identified as four down linemen in the 4-3. In the 3-4, you're saying, 'Here are our three linemen. You figure out which of our linebackers is going to be the fourth, or the fifth pass-rusher.'

"If we're going to go to 'Cover 2,' we'll only have four rushers. If we're going to a zone-pressure (zone-blitz), we'll have five or more. But we can still play some '2' coverage concepts behind a five-man rush."

I think that part of the article really hits home with what you and I were talkign about and it supports both of our theories. I bow to Dick Lebeau, he is the man; if he can take both the Cover 2 and Zone blitz and incorporate it even more then we could downright awesome on defense.

DIESELMAN
01-31-2007, 03:51 PM
One word for y'all.....Okoye....Hes going to be a beast.

Black@Gold Forever32
01-31-2007, 03:55 PM
One word for y'all.....Okoye....Hes going to be a beast.

Hell yes he is and he should be the pick if he is there at 15. Put him in the rotation at Dline when we go to a 4-3 front and thinks would get nasty.

BlackGold4vr
01-31-2007, 04:06 PM
One word for y'all.....Okoye....Hes going to be a beast.

I would be very pleased to see this young man in black & gold. He comes from Africa and played for Louisville at age 16. He is now 19 and watching him play at the senior bowl he is going to be special! What he lacks in size he makes up for in determination. I know this the South O-line had a helluva time trying to block this kid! He just keeps coming. I think he reminds me of a young Joe Greene! I saw on NFL.com or it might have been ESPN.com a mock draft had him going to Cincinatti. I definitely do not want to see that! I think this kid will be a huge star in the NFL barring any career ending injuries.
Can't let him go to a rival! I believe this is one of those guys that if you don't pick him you will live to regret that decision. Its a no brainer if he is available on your turn!

:beer3:

BBG7
01-31-2007, 04:24 PM
I still like the idea of trying to mix both defenses in. That way you confuse the **** out of an offense. Thats why drafting guys that can be both 4-3 and 3-4 guys would be sweet.

I would love to see the Steelers do something like this. I really think our defense has amazing possibilities next year, and I absolutely can't wait!!! It should make for an interesting season.

DIESELMAN
01-31-2007, 04:39 PM
I think he reminds me of a young Joe Greene!

You hit the nail on the head right there bro, I was thinkin the same thing.


I saw on NFL.com or it might have been ESPN.com a mock draft had him going to Cincinatti. I don't put a lot of stock in mock drafts especially coming from the "experts" BUT they get it right every now and then. Heres to them not getting it right on Okoye :beer2:

Koopa
01-31-2007, 05:55 PM
I would be very pleased to see this young man in black & gold. He comes from Africa and played for Louisville at age 16. He is now 19 and watching him play at the senior bowl he is going to be special! What he lacks in size he makes up for in determination. I know this the South O-line had a helluva time trying to block this kid! He just keeps coming. I think he reminds me of a young Joe Greene! I saw on NFL.com or it might have been ESPN.com a mock draft had him going to Cincinatti. I definitely do not want to see that! I think this kid will be a huge star in the NFL barring any career ending injuries.
Can't let him go to a rival! I believe this is one of those guys that if you don't pick him you will live to regret that decision. Its a no brainer if he is available on your turn!

:beer3:


it would be badass, seeing the opposing team trying to block him and my boy casey.....damn that would be great..................

i was never worried about a possibly change, reading your first post in this thread is pretty much how i feel, we got the guys, everyone was saying keisel is only a pass rusher and will get eatin up on the run, but he proved everyone wrong....smith is great and can adapt, my boy casey is a beast and i don't think ut plays a 3-4 so he knows how to play a 4-3.....and then we have hoke who is good........... so i never really got why ppl worried so much............ and i read some ppls post saying farrior is a natural outside linebacker anyway, so he can be even better...............

so that is why i wasn't nerves at all when we rooney's picked the right person for the job in tomlin............. i think ppl are just afraid of change more then anything else..................

damn i can't wait till next season, get to see some crazy mixture defenses and ****......

BlitzburghRockCity
01-31-2007, 05:58 PM
Stop stirring the pot koopa :lol:

I'd be ecstatic if went for DL in the first round and got this kid. We could use an infusion of fresh young talent in our group to shake things up and push everybody even harder.

Koopa
01-31-2007, 06:00 PM
Stop stirring the pot koopa :lol:

I'd be ecstatic if went for DL in the first round and got this kid. We could use an infusion of fresh young talent in our group to shake things up and push everybody even harder.

lol, yeah ppl are gonna come at me, your to positive about this.........you hate the steelers.............

BlitzburghRockCity
01-31-2007, 06:02 PM
That's because you used to be so negative that we aren't used to seeing such a positive minded Koopa. :lol:

Koopa
01-31-2007, 06:03 PM
That's because you used to be so negative that we aren't used to seeing such a positive minded Koopa. :lol:

lol, no ppl are just so used to only pointing out the negative, but don't say nothing when i'm backing up the oline for next year and the defense like this...........

BlitzburghRockCity
01-31-2007, 06:04 PM
It just takes some getting used too with you man :lol:

Black@Gold Forever32
01-31-2007, 06:54 PM
Amobi Okoye or Adam Carriker would be fine with me with the 15th pick.

58Lambert
01-31-2007, 06:59 PM
A lot of people here are talking about how great it'll be to mix-up the 34 and 43 schemes during a game. Sounds great and I'm all for it to confuse the offenses, but I sure hope it doesn't end up confusing our own defense at the same time. That leads to blown assignments, which then leads to 6 points for the other team.

58Lambert
01-31-2007, 07:08 PM
Amobi Okoye or Adam Carriker would be fine with me with the 15th pick.

I would love Okoye with our 1st pick. Carriker would be good too but not in Round 1. Those Nebraska boys are stout; I followed NU football for quite some time during the Osborne years and they have a state-of-the-art weight room.

Black@Gold Forever32
01-31-2007, 07:11 PM
well after the senior bowl carriker is more likely to go in the top 20.

58Lambert
01-31-2007, 07:13 PM
BTW, how did Poz do in the Senior Bowl? I haven't been following it.

Black@Gold Forever32
01-31-2007, 07:16 PM
BTW, how did Poz do in the Senior Bowl? I haven't been following it.

I have read conflicting reports on Poz. You know that is. Some say he will be a 1st to 2nd pick. I read one report where he might fall to the third round. Some think he did well and others think he did poor.

BlitzburghRockCity
01-31-2007, 10:12 PM
A lot of people here are talking about how great it'll be to mix-up the 34 and 43 schemes during a game. Sounds great and I'm all for it to confuse the offenses, but I sure hope it doesn't end up confusing our own defense at the same time. That leads to blown assignments, which then leads to 6 points for the other team.

There will be growing pains, you can bet your last dollar on that. No matter how much or little Tomlin and Lebeau incorporate the Cover 2, the Tampa 2, or the John Doe 2 it'll be an adjustment :lol:

The fact that Lebeau has used it in the past will be a big help for us but Tomlin's version mixed in Lebeau's craftiness with create some confusion in the early goings so our DB's will be tested.

Black@Gold Forever32
02-01-2007, 12:21 AM
Look at the Ravens they use the 3-4, 4-3 and even run Buddy Ryan's famed 46 defense at times. Their defense was one of the tops in the NFL. Plus lets look at their players I wouldn't call Ray Lewis or Ed Reed a genius. I think our players would be fine in mixing both defenses.

BlitzburghNation
02-01-2007, 12:33 AM
I would love Okoye with our 1st pick. Carriker would be good too but not in Round 1. Those Nebraska boys are stout; I followed NU football for quite some time during the Osborne years and they have a state-of-the-art weight room.

I AGREE,,,,,,,,,,,,, Okoye :crossfingers:

BlitzburghRockCity
02-01-2007, 01:31 AM
Our guys can handle it, they are tough smart players who have been around for quite awhile in our defense and understand what Lebeau has been doing with all his wild blitz schemes so they can surely do it; but there will be some adjustment depending on how much they throw into the mix in the way of changes early on IMO.

BlacknGold Bleeder
02-01-2007, 01:33 AM
It really don't make any sense about people getting up tight over playing the 4-3, after all one of the best defenses ever was a 4-3! Anyone heard of the...

:tt02: :tt02: THE STEEL CURTAIN :tt02: :tt02:

BlitzburghRockCity
02-01-2007, 01:34 AM
We're done getting uptight about it, that was last week :lol:

DIESELMAN
02-01-2007, 06:59 AM
BTW, how did Poz do in the Senior Bowl? I haven't been following it.
Heres what I got from senior bowl practice notes.

Monday Practice Notes: He is physical and aggressive with excellent footwork. He never quits on a play but struggles to sift through the garbage inside.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Strong, stout and intelligent but did not show much ability outside the box. Forced the action up the field and made a lot of plays against the run but really struggled in reverse. Several times he was beaten by Scott Chandler in scrimmage and could not cover the tight end off the line.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Did a great job against the run today. On several occasions he over ran blocks by bigger linemen and got to the ball. Very intelligent as well. Struggled a bit in pass coverage though not as much as yesterday.
Analysis: Looked like an enforcer in the box and made a lot of plays up the field. Showed terrific intelligence as well as strength. Has limitations in coverage which will hurt his stock.



A lot of people here are talking about how great it'll be to mix-up the 34 and 43 schemes during a game.
I think we'll be crossing a bridge no one has crossed before but don't be surprised if it takes a while for every one to get on the same page.

BlitzburghRockCity
02-01-2007, 10:53 AM
I would absolutely LOVE to get POZ on the first round, please oh please football gods smile on us !

As far as this whole 43 vs 34 thing, this has been probably the most debated topic to date here on SA that I can recall off the top of my head. It all comes down to the fact that a transition to a different defense can be good or can be bad but with Lebeau at the helm and Tomlin working together with him our defense can be something on a truely different level than what anybody in the league has ever seen. It is indeed going to take some time IMO as well, to adjust to it, depending on how much they implement the 2 defensive schemes and much they throw at our players this offseason and camp. How much time is anybody's guess and none of us knows for sure but our guys can do it, we have great players all over this team and we're going to be dominating again that much is clear !

58Lambert
02-01-2007, 12:55 PM
Hey Dieselman,
Thanks for the player notes!! Where do you find those things so I can look those up myself, those are cool!!

POZ is awesome, but I hope his knee if back to 100%.