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A Look At Dick LeBeau's Success Against The Cleveland Browns

What follows is an excerpt from a recent post on Behind the Steel Curtain, SB Nation's Pittsburgh Steelers site. It takes a close look at just how dominant the Pittsburgh Steelers have been defensively against the Cleveland Browns during the years that recent Hall of Famer Dick LeBeau has been coordinating the team's defense. Let's take a look at the opening of the post, then I encourage you to take a look at some of the other staggering numbers compiled by LeBeau's units.

Dick LeBeau officially took the reigns of Steelers Defensive Coordinator in 2004, after brief stints in Cincinnati and Buffalo as the DC/Head Coach and Assistant Coach, respectively. Prior to moving to Cincinnati, Coach Dad spent 2 years as the DC in Pittsburgh from 1995-1996. Therefore, I will look at his years as the Steelers DC against the Browns, '95-'96 and '04-'09. Oops, no '96...I forgot the Browns got Mayflowered by Baltimore.

In his career as the Defensive Coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers, LeBeau has faced the Browns 14 times. Amazingly, the Steelers have a 13-1 record in those 14 games. In other words, LeBeau owns the Browns. Now let's take a look at some of the defensive totals and averages:

Category Total Average / Game
Points 134 9.6
Total Yards 3161 225.8
Pass Yards 2095 149.6
Rush Yards
1066 76.1

Those are some unbelievable numbers. Under LeBeau, the Steelers defense has absolutely smothered the Browns offense. Another interesting fact is that the Steelers faced more new starting QBs (8) than starting running backs (5) in that time. At QB, LeBeau has seen Quinn, DA, Gradkowski, Frye, Dilfer, Garcia, Eric Zeir, and Testaverde and at starting RB he has faced Chris Jennings, J. Lewis, Droughns, Lee Suggs, and Leroy Hoard. To put that in perspective, the Steelers had only Roethlisberger, Batch, and O'Donnell start at QB in those games. Keep in mind, the points average only includes points the defense surrendered. Kick/Punt/Interception/Fumble returns for Touchdowns do not count. If you included those, however, the Steelers still only allowed 12.1 points per game.

Now let's take a look at how the Steelers defense per game did in comparison to Cleveland's offensive averages per year. In other words we will compare their yearly offensive yardage averages to what they produced against the Steelers (obviously, I will take our numbers out of their yearly averages):

See the rest of the quantitative analysis here.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.