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Lebeau in the Hall

Longtime Bengals coach Dick Lebeau was selected to the 2010 NFL Hall of Fame class today.  The former Lions defensive back retired as a player some 37 years ago, compiling a whopping 62 interceptions during his 14 year run.  Drafted by Paul Brown’s Cleveland Browns in 1959, Lebeau was cut in training camp and ended up playing his entire career with the Lions. 

The current Steelers defensive coordinator, Lebeau has many ties to Bengaldom, having served in the organization for 18 years as secondary coach, defensive coordinator, and head coach. 

He will enter the hall as a Lion. 

For the Bengals, Lebeau served as secondary coach on Forrest Gregg’s Super Bowl XVI Bengals squad, and was defensive coordinator for Sam Wyche’s Super Bowl XXIII team.  He was brought back for a second stint as defensive coordinator in 1998, and when Bruce Coslet resigned after an 0-3 start in 2000, Lebeau became the oldest rookie head coach in NFL history.  He went on to coach the team through the end of 2002, compiling a 12-33 overall record.

Lebeau is perhaps best known as the father of the zone blitz defense.  The innovation revolutionized defense in the NFL and popularized the 3-4 base front.


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