Steelers Nation has been talking about the departure of long-time defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau from the Pittsburgh Steelers franchise. LeBeau’s announcement was a bit strange, choosing to tell a local Ohio newspaper that he was resigning his position, but not retiring from professional football.
Most recently, LeBeau was reported to be flying to Arizona to talk to Bruce Arians, the head coach of the Cardinals and another former coordinator for the Steelers. Speculation about how the pair may team up to coach what many see as ‘Steelers West Coast’ has run wild. With the vacancy left by Todd Bowles, it remains a rumor – at best – that LeBeau will step into the role. Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that LeBeau wouldn’t take a position outside of being a coordinator, also quelling rumors that LeBeau wants a head coaching spot in the NFL.
At 77, LeBeau will always have a legacy in the world of the National Football League. Taking nothing away from his defensive wizardry, it seems unlikely that LeBeau and Arians will come to terms. The Cardinals gave an impressive effort in the NFC West during the 2014 regular season despite a rotation of four different quarterbacks. With offense a definite concern in the post-season, Arians likely will choose someone inside the organization that knows the defense to take the coordinator position so the team can focus on finding the best draft choices to be competitive. Free agency will likely be used to bolster the defense. That leaves LeBeau in limbo. Arizona ultimately failed to propel themselves into the playoffs after watching the Seattle Seahawks get hot, but Arians has to be looking at making a bigger push in 2015.