Tuesday, August 25, 2009

LeBeau a Hall of Fame finalist

Cornerback Dick LeBeau, perhaps better known as the Steelers defensive coordinator, and running back Floyd Little have been named by the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee as finalists for election into the Hall of Fame with the Class of 2010.

LeBeau and Little will join 15 still-to-be-named modern-era candidates on the list of finalists from which the Class of 2010 will be selected. The Hall of Fame selection meeting will be held on February 6, 2010, the day before Super Bowl XLIV in South Florida. To be elected, the former standouts must each receive the same 80 percent voting support that is required of all finalists. The Hall’s Board of Selectors can elect a maximum of two senior candidates and five modern-era candidates for a class no smaller than four or larger than seven during next February’s meeting.

LeBeau was originally drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the fifth round of the 1959 draft. After being cut by the Browns, he was signed by Detroit where he starred for 14 seasons at cornerback for the Lions. He intercepted 62 passes which he returned for 762 yards and 3 TDs. His interception total ranked third all-time in NFL history at the time of his retirement following the 1972 season. Today, it remains a Lions team record and is tied for 7th among all-time NFL interceptors.

His single finest season came in 1970 when he intercepted a NFC-leading nine interceptions for 96 yards. LeBeau currently serves as the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator and is entering his 37th year of coaching. As a player he was voted to three Pro Bowls. He received his Pro Bowl nods in 1965, 1966, and 1967.

This likely means that LeBeau will finally get his due and be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Every finalist for the past several years who has been selected by the senior committee has gained induction.

18 comments:

Tim said...

Good.

Collin Williams said...

Good

adamg said...

Long overdue.

BTW, if you've never read it, highly recommend "Paper Lion" which chronicles George Plimpton's foray into an NFL training camp with the LeBeau-era Detroit Lions. It's still one of the funniest sports books ever written.

Dale Lolley said...

I've always meant to ask Coach LeBeau about that book since it was the 1963 Lions.
But he's got so many other good stories, that you forget.

Bupp said...

About time!

keevin said...

long overdue

how about Lebeau and Dirt Dawson getting inducted in the same year and Steeler Nation takes over Canton!

Captain Cocktail said...

About time.

Swann mentioned Stallworth...Woodson mentioned LeBeau. Who we want LeBeau to mention?

I'm curious if you asked Coach LeBeau how he would defend the Wildcat. You know hes thought about it.

Anonymous said...

Good to hear!

Defending the wildcat.
QB = Running back for the backers.
Really not much to think about.
Contain and tackle.

Zeke

drinkyourmilkshake said...

"Swann mentioned Stallworth...Woodson mentioned LeBeau. Who we want LeBeau to mention?"

Dermontti Dawson or maybe L.C. Greenwood

Viz-Burgh said...

I'd have LeBeau either push for Dawson (it's a crime that he hasn't gotten in yet) or former Steeler great Jack Butler. Butler had, IMO, a more accomplished NFL playing career, then went on after that to lead the BLESTO scouting service for 44 years. But Butler never even gets a sniff. And this after recording 52 career INTs in only 103 games. That's just over 1 INT per 2 games played. And IIRC, he is one of only two players named to the All-Decade team of the 1950s that's not already in the Hall.

Anonymous said...

I never had an urge to go to Canton for an induction but Dick reminds me of my grandfather. The way he approaches life is different than they way we do today. When inducted I will be there.

Joe said...

People seem to really like Shipley, Legursky, Ubrik, Foster & Stapleton. Is Hartwig a lock to make this team?

Anonymous said...

ya cut Hartwig

good plan

u da man

Joe said...

He has 1 year left on his contract, hasn't played a down, can't be in football shape & played poorly from many accounts last year. Why cut someone with potential (Shipley/Capizzi/Harris) for a roster spot people have hinted that Stapleton/Legursky could fill right now? You can always pick a warm body (Stepanovich) off of the street if necessary.

OL: Starks,Kemo,Stapleton,Essex,Colon

or

Starks,Kemo,Legursky,Staplton,Colon

Bench: Pick 4-5 Capizzi, Hills, Foster, Shipley, Ubrik and either Essex/Leg depending on who starts

Dale Lolley said...

Hartwig played against Washington. He's not going to be cut.

Anonymous said...

u crazy Joe

BoJangles said...

I doubt Stapleton can handle the beasts at NT that the AFC (north in particular) have to offer. Shaun Rogers (x2), Ngata/Gregg (x2) and Peko even though he is a DT. Hartwig wasn't the best last year, but IMO he was the best our line had to offer from day one until that holding penalty in 43.

Duane said...

Good for you, Coach Lebeau. It was unbelievable the transformation the Steeler defense underwent without any significant personnel changes when you arrived back in '04. From 15th in the league the previous year to #1 in the league. And an average rank of 3rd in the league since you came back. By far the best in the league. It's obvious you are a special Defensive Coordinator.