Dear Rooney Family, Coach Tomlin and the Steelers FO,
As a fan, I don't claim to know the specific business or political considerations associated with operating an NFL team. Nor do I claim to know the criteria by which you all evaluate a coach's capability and effectiveness as a coach, leader and employee. I assume both aspects of your jobs are very complex and decisions are made conservatively through much deliberation.
I do know however that I have followed the Steelers and the NFL for all of my 41 years (my parents assure me it began day 1!). Following the team closely through the years, I strongly believe Coach LeBeau is the one man that embodies everything that is right about the Steelers, the City of Pittsburgh, and the NFL. And I will also assert that when Coach leaves the game, the entire league will feel his loss, but the specific impact to the Steelers will not be fully understood or appreciated until he's been gone for several years.
If I could offer one piece of unsolicited advice as you consider Coach LeBeau's future with the team, it would be this: Trust that Coach's integrity, character and selflessness means that for the benefit of the team, he will internalize and declare when it's time for him to go well before his employer could come to that same assessment. I am not suggesting you let him decide, but rather that it should indicate to you what he can still do for the team if he himself hasn't said he's done.
To be clear, if I were a business owner/leader, I wouldn't make personnel decisions for my business using my guidance to you...unless I knew I had someone working for me that was the equivalent of a Dick LeBeau.
Thank you and good luck in your preparation for the 2014 season.