Dick LeBeau's Pittsburgh transcript

Dick LeBeau first designed the zone blitz in the late 1980s and it blossomed into the defensive rage of the 90s when he was with the Steelers. LeBeau coached under Bill Cowher from 1992-96 and on Tuesday returned to Pittsburgh to interview for the vacant position of defensive coordinator. In between meetings with Cowher, LeBeau took time out to talk to reporters.

Q: Hi Dick. Did you fly or drive here?
A: I drove. I knew the way.

Q: You've never been to this place, though, have you?
A: No, no. It's very impressive. It's really a nice building, practice facility and players locker room. It's excellent.

Q: What are the coaches' offices like?
A: Well, I noticed there's a window in a few of them. They didn't have that at Three Rivers.

Q: What do you think of the job here? Are you interested?
A: Well, obviously. It's a division that I've spent most of my life in, in a town I was fortunate enough to spend a good portion of my life in and have some really wonderful experiences and memories. It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to go back and give it another shot.

Q: What made you want to do that?
A: Well, I've always had a very special spot in my heart for Pittsburgh. The years that I spent here, if memory serves me right, we won a couple games. But the people here, the sports fans of Pittsburgh, I think are exceptional and they were always particularly good to me. As I said, it's always been like coming home really. So we're talking. We'll see how it goes. Of course, we've got to talk to Bill about that half of it, but I've enjoyed my visit and my interview immensely.

Q: Are you eager to become a coordinator again?
A: Yeah, I think I am. Yeah, I wouldn't be here. Actually I coordinated last year but not completely, so I think this would be a better situation.

Q: Even though you've been here before, do you think you can bring something fresh and new to the defense?
A: Well, maybe not fresh and new but I think I bring a certain amount of expertise, at least certainly experience, and I would look forward to contributing and helping Bill in any way I could, but I think I have some things to add, yes.

Q: Are things still up in the air in Buffalo, depending on what they do?
A: Well, you know nobody can do anything until they name a head coach. I suppose that would be an accurate statement.

Q: But you just had a one-year deal up there, right?
A: That's correct.

Q: What is your connection with Dick Jauron?
A: Dick and I are very close friends.

Q: From working together?
A: Well, I actually coached Dick. Dick's last few years of his playing career were at Cincinnati where I was the defensive backfield coach. We've remained friends throughout.

Q: You said you were coordinating but not really. What was the difference last year between what you did and being a coordinator?
A: Well, I didn't call the game for instance. I had input but didn't really call the game and that's part of the game that I missed.

Q: Other than an offer, what would it take to get you here?
A: I don't think much else.

Q: Did he give you a timetable?
A: We're going to meet again, yeah, so we're kind of really in the middle of talking. He hasn't said anything along those lines yet.

Q: A year ago you were approached about returning here. Could you talk about that and the thought process at the time?
A: Well, the timeframe just didn't work out. I wanted to make sure that if I continued to work that I could enter into the enterprise with the effort and the dedication that whomever I worked for would feel like they got a bargain. I wanted to make sure that I felt that way. And it just didn't mesh with Coach Bill's schedule at the time and so it didn't work out.

Q: When you left here in 1996, were you looking for a head job eventually and was assistant head coach that stepping stone?
A: Well, I think we all would like to end up being the head coach but it certainly wasn't the absolute in my career. For me, I had a son who was graduating from high school and it was an opportunity to get back where I could be a part of that and that was really the prime mover in me going back, to be back with my son in his last year of high school.

Q: Are you spending the night here tonight?
A: No. I was here last night so I'm heading out.

Q: You're not sticking around tonight?
A: Not unless there's another basketball game like we saw last night. Pitt's pretty good, aren't they? That was a great game.

Q: I thought maybe you went to see the Fox Chapel girls play.
A: No, but I think the head coach did.

Q: Who did you go to the game with?
A: Jim Ellenberger and I went. I enjoyed the game very much.

Q: Did you say you were going to meet again with Coach Cowher?
A: Yes, sir.

Q: This afternoon?
A: Yes, sir.

Q: Will the golf courses around here have any input?
A: I think they'll recognize me. They'll say 'Oh, I know that chopper swing. We've seen that before.'

Q: Do you feel positive, though, about what's been said so far?
A: I feel good about our interview, but don't all interviewees feel good about their interview? You never know until it's over.

Q: Your 3-4 experience has to be one of the reasons you're here, right?
A: You'd have to talk to Coach Bill about that. I'm glad I'm here.

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