Interesting article by Chris Brown, who oversees the website "Smart Football" (http://smartfootball.com
), on Dick LeBeau and the zone blitz:
In the mid-1980s, defenses across the NFL faced a common problem: how to stop the precision-passing offenses becoming so prevalent throughout the league. Most notably, it was how to stop the San Francisco 49ers, led by resident NFL offensive genius Bill Walsh. Walsh, one of the most meticulous men football has known, had studied the passing game with and under some of the game's masters — Paul Brown, Sid Gillman, and Al Davis — but had taken the next step by planning every detail, every subtle movement by quarterback, offensive line, and receiver. Walsh transformed passing from a combustible, high-risk, high-reward strategy into something certain and predictable. His quarterbacks completed a higher percentage of their passes, didn't throw interceptions, and didn't take sacks. He'd kept the reward and reduced the risk, and defenses needed an answer, fast.http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8428129/dick-lebeau-evolution-coverage-tactics-zone-blitz
It mentions Bill Arnsparger, who was the defensive coordinator of the undefeated '72 Dolphins, as the originator of the zone blitz idea. He became Head Coach of the Giants in 1974, but had very little success.