THE MICHIGAN DAILY
-Wednesday. January 13. 1971 r
. , .
Fatalistic attitude sparks
By TERRI FOUCHEY
Dick LeBeau has spent 12 years
playing cornerback for the Detroit
Lions in the NFL and, although he
has, "never broken it down and
really thought about it", the phy-
sical and other characteristics for
the position which came off the
top of his head seem to involve a
slight case of projection.
He agrees for the most part
with pro scouts and their criteria
for the necessary physical quali-
ties. A glance at LeBeau and his
place in the record book give evi-
dence to the fact that he might be
the physical personification of the
'However, it is the psychological
dimension which LeBeau adds to
his criteria and to his game which
put him a notch above the typical
defensive back and the typical pro
"Good reactions are the most
important single thing. What we
do is a matter of reaction o f f
what someone else does."
He views above average speed as,
important, but simply outracing
Bob Hayes is not enough. "You
don't have to be a speed m e r-
chant. When I first came into the
league I did 4.7 or 4.8 in the 40
and now it's about 4.9 or 5.0.
I've lost a little speed, but I feel
that my quickness has stayed at
the same level of reaction and
that's what is important."
Besides agility and quickness Le-
Beau concurs with the scouts' de-'
mand for toughness. "You need
the toughness to take on a 260-
pound guard and hit him out of
the play. This isn't the situation
on every play, but you have to
have it when it. comes up."
According to the scouts, t h i s
should all be combined on a 6-
foot frame weighing in at about
180 or 200. LeBeau, at 6-0, 180, fits
these perfectly. However, he
doesn't feel size is overly import-
ant and points to several out-
standing cornermen who are well
below the height and w e i g h t
As LeBeau sees it, the psycholo-
gical aspects which the scouts tend
to overlook are the most import-
ant and most difficult portion of
the cornerback position. "Y o u
have to be somewhat of a fatalist.
The people you're against are so
good and you're so vulnerable, it's
inevitable that you're going to
have a bad Sunday sometime.
"My motto is 'Expect the worst,
hope. for the best, and then I'm
ready for everything.' I feel that
if I anticipate a situation, I'll be
able to deal with it a little better.
"The corner has a tremendous
responsibiliy on every play. The
other 10 defensive men can play
perfectly, but one mistake at the
corner and they score. At the
other positions a mistake doesn't
mean six sure points.
"This pressure is why . there's
such a turnover incornerbacks. I
feel it takes an easy-going, not-
let-a-bad-day-bother-you type of
personality to play corner for any
length of time."
Dave Meggysey's recently p u b-
lished attack citing football an d
the mentality behind it as the root
of all evil prompted LeBeau to
give some thought to the matter.
"It's my opinion that to play
football anyone has to go through
a psychological transition. No one
in his right mind is going to go
out and beat people like we do.
What we show on the field is not
our regular personality.
"Each has to use his own sense
of values to decide what he's going
. to do in football and get out of it.
It's fulfillment for me and it of-
fers physical release. I also enjoy
the man to man challenge.
"I feel that it teaches you that
it doesn't hurt that much to be
beaten and that you can and must
come back from it. This exper-
ience will help any person in any
environment. It also shows you:
how not to get beaten, by demand-
ing that you think. If a player
reacts in a rote type of way, he's
going to get it badly. Each man
has to think for himself because
no one else is going to face the
situation for him."
He admits that at times foot-
ball doesn't provide the ideal exist-
ence, like during two-a-day work-
outs in the summer, but he adds,
"I can leave anytime, but I love
LeBeau also feels that Meggysey
has taken the easy way out in his
case against football. "It's always
easier to be against something
than for it. If you're for some-
thing, it has become, a thing of
value and you should havethought)
out why you accepted it as such."
He continues, "If you wish to
dwell on the -negative aspects of
the game, a case can be made as
Meggysey has done. However, as
far as I'm concerned, you can find
at least three things wrong with
everything if you care to look for
One of Meggysey's biggest in-
dictments was of coaches and
coaching methods. Meggysey
claimed that players were 1i t t 1 e
more than automatons program-
med to fulfill the desires of au-
thoritarian, dictatorial coaches.
LeBeau disagrees with him, "I
think anyone who felt that w a y,
wouldn't play. It's obvious that on
the field a man has to think for
himself so the coach can't do
everything for him."
Part of this view can be traced
to LeBeau's ideas of what a pro
coach should be.
"He has to be somewhat of a
head shrinker since he's dealing
with adults. He's the one who has
to keep a degree of sameness about
the team. He should discover what
each of his players can relate to
and how he (the coach) can re-
late to each individual.
"It's up to the coach to prepare but he's such a totally dedicated
the team mentally. He has to ex- and honest man, that you know
pose himself to every theory in- that these influences were only for
volved in every game, analyze the better."
them according to his own team's LeBeau doesn't feel that Hayes
strengths and weaknesses and re- has mellowed. but rather he has
late them to his own team. altered his coaching philosophy as
Pride is very important in the times have changed. "He contin-
pros and a coach should make re- u:s to coach winners because his
ference to it when preparing a dedication to and his relationship
team. He can't motivate his play- with his players. No matter what
ers himself; he has to hope they his philosophy, you don't d o u b t
do that themselves for the m o s t that what he says is what he
part, but he can help it along." feels."
One man whom LeBeau feels LeBeau looks toward coaching in
measures up to his ideal is h i s the pros as his eventual goal, af-
college coach, Ohio State's Woody ter playing with the Lions on a
Hayes upon whose 1956 national championship team. Or, if he
championship team LeBeau play- doesn't coach he may become a
ed. "At about 30 or 31, you begin philosopher and sit around a n d
to welcome the influences Woody think on the fatalism of playing
had on you. He's a bit of a fanatic, corner in the NFL.
NBA votes on Hay wood cae
Coaches to honor moon men
By The Associated Press
-'SAN DIEGO-National Basketball Association owners voted
15-2 yesterday to consider bringing suit against the Seattle Super-
Sonics for signing Spencer Haywood. Commissioner Walter Kennedy,
after a day-long session of the NBA Board of Governors owners, told
a news conference.
Kennedy said.further that the NBA owners also voted unani-
mously, with Schulman absent, to reaffirm its Nov. 18 decision that
there should be "no merger and no common draft" between the two
professional basketball leagues.
0 HOUSTON,-The astronaut team which first landed on the
moon will be honored Thursday by the American Football Coaches
Association. Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin Aldrin will
receive the Memorial Tuss McLaughry Award for distinguishbd service.
The award, named for D. O. "Tuss" McLaughry, long-time AFCA
secretary-treasurer, is being given to a team for the first time and will
be presented at the annual Kodak Coach of the Year banquet.
0 NEW YORK-Catcher Jerry Grote and pitchers Jim McAn-
drew and Tommy Moore have signed their 1971 contracts, the New
York Mets announced yesterday.
A spokesman said Grote, who hit .255 in 126 games last year and
has been the Mets' regular catcher for five seasons, and McAndrew,
who had a 10-14 won-lost record and 3.57 earned run average in 1970,
received slight increases.
Moore, a rookies right-hander, played last year with Memphis
and Pompano Beach. He was converted from an outfielder last June.
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