It’s somewhat fascinating that Penn State has become the center of an important strategic discussion during the middle of Super Bowl Week.
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau loves the zone-blitz defense. Did he help invent it?
Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers is credited with bringing the zone-blitz to Pittsburgh in the early-1990s. Did he teach LeBeau? Didn’t Capers create it?
In doing research for a story this week on the history of that defense, Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com writes about how it really seems to go back to Penn State assistant coaches Jerry Sandusky and John Rosenberg in the early 1980s.
Or, at least back to them as far as these things can really be researched.
“The idea was to drop the nose tackle into coverage, while bringing a blitz and playing zone behind it. It was a rarity in those days and, needless to say, it wasn’t exactly something traditional Penn State coach Joe Paterno, known for his bland uniforms and style of play, would exactly embrace.
“He didn’t say much,” said then-Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. “He didn’t like it very much.”
“It was Sandusky and secondary coach John Rosenberg who came up with crazy idea to drop linemen into coverage. Greg Gattuso, a chubby nose tackle, was one of the first, if not the first, to be featured in that role.”
Read the entire story here: