I’m sure no one will consider hiring Dick LeBeau as a head coach. I’m also sure he would do a better job than at least half the head coaches in the NFL. No one would hire LeBeau because he is way too old, having been born Sept. 9, 1937. So what if John McCain -- born Aug. 29, 1936 -- was young enough to run for president?
I’m sure no one will consider hiring Dick LeBeau as a head coach. I’m also sure he would do a better job than at least half the head coaches in the NFL.
No one would hire LeBeau because he is way too old, having been born Sept. 9, 1937. So what if John McCain -- born Aug. 29, 1936 -- was young enough to run for president?
LeBeau is the best defensive coordinator in the NFL. His zone blitz stays ahead of the curve while a league full of offensive geniuses try to guess who the old dog will send next.
This year has to be his master stroke. The Steelers have an offensive line that at times couldn’t block a beach ball, but the team thrives behind that defense.
Mike Tomlin can forget about the 2009 playoffs if he doesn’t keep LeBeau.
One of the younger head coaches you’ll ever see, Tomlin is to be commended.
The fire coming out off his face spreads to the employees the way it did when Bill Cowher was breathing flames. Tomlin has the requisite natural charisma.
Still, he doesn’t have the second-best record in the AFC without LeBeau.
Pittsburgh arguably has the best defense on earth since LeBeau took it over in 2004. The 2008 Steelers rank first in run defense and first in pass defense.
Your offense may be a Whopper. He makes it look like a White Castle hamburger with a bite chomped out of it.
Poor LeBeau. He didn’t get a shot at head coaching until later in life, and it came where the sun don’t shine, Cincinnati.
He was 12-33 with the Bengals at a time Vince Lombardi would have been what -- 12-32-1?
Given who he is, the head coaching experience would only help at this point.
A bonus: He’s a nice man. He’s only tough when it’s time to start punching noses.
But what’s the point? He’s 71. He’ll never be asked. Maybe there should be a Rooney Rule for old guys.
Future is now in Miami
I knew Tony Sparano when he was a Browns line coach in 1999. He seemed like a nice man. One time he apologized that he couldn’t be interviewed on the record -- his boss, Parcells disciple Chris Palmer, didn’t like the assistants talking.
Who knew Sparano would be back in a Parcells-style camp with Parcells himself.
Sparano the surprising new head coach has been as much a revelation as Miami the undead team.
Parcells has something to do with this, but give Sparano credit. He had the gumption not to hide behind a three-year plan. He said a team that went 1-15 in 2007 could win now.
“Coming in here,” Sparano said this week, “the natural reaction was that you were going to maybe rebuild and all those things.
“Well, I know I don’t have the patience for that. I know Bill Parcells doesn’t.
“I made no bones about saying that the first time I met the team. They don’t give you any trophies and you don’t get anything accomplished with six wins.”
Sparano’s team and the Patriots both are 6-4 heading into the weekend’s most interesting matchup. The Dolphins won the first one, and this time it’s at Miami.
The War Room scouts of The Sporting News have doomed the dregs to their final draft spots and assigned 2009 picks.
The way they see it:
- Georgia QB Matt Stafford goes to the Lions at No. 1 overall.
- Georgia Tech DE Michael Johnson becomes a Chief with the second pick.
- The Bengals get Alabama left tackle Andre Smith at No. 3.
- Cornerback-happy Al Davis brings Ohio State’s Malcolm Jenkins to the Black Hole at No. 4.
- Remembering where they were before Orlando Pace wore out, the Rams tap Mississippi left tackle Michael Oher at No. 5.
These guys are pretty thorough.
They have the Giants taking Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis at No. 31, and the Titans coming off a Super Bowl win by snagging Missouri wideout Jeremy Maclin at No. 32.
A surprise: The War Room sees Ohio State’s Beanie Wells sliding to No. 9, to the Chargers.
It’s a tad early for this kind of stuff. But for some fans with teams on the skids, it beats paying attention to 2008.
The agony of defeat
This isn’t the Rose Bowl. It isn’t even the Rose Colored Glasses Bowl. It’s the Roughing the Eyeballs Bowl, Texans at Browns.
These are the NFL’s last two expansion teams.
Since coming back as the team in orange helmets in 1999, the Browns are 54-100 -- make it 54-101, if you count the lone playoff appearance.
Since kicking off in 2002, counting a win over Dallas in Game 1, the Texans are 36-71 and haven’t sniffed the playoffs. Not to say they haven’t smelled.
- Teams have taken on players with rap sheets as troubling as Michael Vick’s. In a business whose losers get flash fired from their jobs, someone will find Vick more appealing than what is on board. If Vick expresses remorse, we have no trouble with that. If it’s clear he’s faking remorse, it’ll be sad day for the team that takes him.
- What’s the point in all that marching? The Saints lead the NFL with 411.5 yards a game but have just a 5-5 record to show for it.
- The league’s top 10 defenses all have winning records.
- Rams guard Richie Incognito has criticized Rams fans for a lack of passion. Has he checked the standings since 2006?