You don't know a blitz, until you experience a Dick LeBeau blitz. So Dick LeBeau was a terrible head football coach for the Bengals, though we have a hard time displacing a coach like him, whose success as a coach is well-known in the thrones of Steelers lore because we believe that Mike Brown could put God on the sidelines and the Bengals would still hover around .500.
During LeBeau's first run as Bengals defensive coordinator, around the time he introduced the Fire Zone defense, the Bengals went to a Super Bowl and won two AFC Central championships. Unlike his defense with Pittsburgh, the Bengals weren't particular ranked well amongst the league's best scoring defenses (only one top-ten ranking), and overall was midpack, save for scat successes here and there between 1984-1991.
As a defensive coordinator from 1997 into 2000 when he was named head coach, the Bengals defense never came close to replicating the Steelers defensive successes; his best season in 2000 was 21st scoring and 22nd overall; though a measure of improvement began and ended in 2001.
There's no apology in football. As much as I hate that Keith Rivers is out for the season, I wouldn't expect Hines Ward, or any NFL player to apologize for a hit that the league viewed as clean. Apparently a helmet that incorporates Concussion Reduction Technology, a polycarbonate shell, and systems, space-technology padding, rusting and all that jazz, doesn't prevent broken jaws. Though it was a shock to learn that Keith Rivers isn't a "real player", conjured up by magic potions and fantasy football drafts.
The bigger issue is that players, media and fans glorify the cutback block, an unskilled maneuver praying on a guy running at full speed, not aware of a predatory blocker. Impressive is when a big running back hits the hole, gets laid out while in the air horizontally. The over-hyped hits tend to land players in IR, or have their careers ended. With players being faster and water-pills bigger than ever before.
Man to man, face to face. Those are the greatest hits in football. That's how "real players" hit.
The differences between T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Hines Ward are small.
C Trent on Digger Bujnoch.
Curnutte's scouting report | preview.
Opportunity for Nate Livings and Anthony Collins.