Steeler Dy-Nasty? Their Defense Says SO

Nick LippertContributor IJuly 1, 2009

PITTSBURGH - FEBRUARY 03: Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau of the Pittsburgh Steelers pumps his fists during a parade to celebrate winning Super Bowl XLIII on February 3, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The Pittsburgh Steelers have built a loyal following across the United States. They have done it by being a blue collar team and reflecting the values that make America great. Those blue collar, hard work values endear them to many Americans.

Those values are best exemplified through their nasty, in-your-face style of defense.  The likes of Ham, Lambert, Greene, and Blunt made them into a force to be reckoned with in the 1970's when the Steelers won four Super Bowls.

In 1992, when Pittsburgh area native Bill Cowher took over as head coach, Dick LeBeau joined the coaching staff. In 1995, LeBeau took over as defensive coordinator of the Steelers, and "Blitzburgh" was born.

The first LeBeau era ended quickly as he left after the '96 season for a coaching position with the Cincinnati Bengals, but when LeBeau returned in 2004, Blitzburgh was reborn.

LeBeau's defense is intricate, complex, and beautiful. Under LeBeau's leadership, the Steelers defense has ranked 1st, 4th, 9th, 1st and 1st in total defense in the years from 2004 to 2008.

In safety Troy Polamalu, LeBeau has a wild card at his disposal. Polamalu can do almost anything and will blitz from anywhere.

LeBeau, and by extension his defense, have made linebackers into stars. From Greg Lloyd, Levon Kirkland and Kevin Greene during his first run, to men like Joey Porter, James Farrior, LaMarr Woodley, James Harrison and Clark Haggans in his second run, linebackers are LeBeau's weopon of choice.

With this defense, the Steelers have won two Super Bowls (XL and XLIII) and been to a third (XXX). Steelers fans know to expect a division title every year, and they die when it doesn't happen. One team has won more championships this decade, but their reputation as a dynasty is tarnished due to Spy-Gate.

With two Lombardi Trophies and an NFL record 6 in the history of the NFL, the Steelers truly are a dynasty built on defense, and a brutal type of football that makes America's working man love them.