Steelers coach Mike Tomlin didn't commit to either of his coordinators, Todd Haley on offense and Dick LeBeau on defense, when he met with the media last week regarding offseason plans. But according to multiple sources, including one cited by ESPN, neither Haley nor LeBeau are expected to be among any further staff changes.
The only change they've made to this point is the termination of offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr., who was fired earlier in the week.
LeBeau, judging purely by one season or at least the last two seasons, would appear to be in a little more hot water than Haley, given the level of mediocrity that now envelopes the Steelers defense. They finished around the middle of the league in most defensive categories, but their sacks total plunged to a 23-year low with just 34 this season. They've averaged 35 sacks a season over their last three years.
LeBeau is said to take a few weeks off at the end of each season and from there, he lets the team know whether he'd like to return. LeBeau said toward the end of the 2013 season he'd like to stay, and it doesn't appear the team is willing to force him out.
But that shouldn't be a sign of safety for any of the Steelers' defensive coaches. While the team started two rookies at linebacker - Jarvis Jones outside and Vince Williams inside - for the majority of their games this season, the unit is still falling on a difficult transition. The decline of ability associated with advancing age as well as the mistakes made due to inexperience combined to create a product that saw the team allow the most points in a game in franchise history (a 55-31 loss to New England).
LeBeau's position is one thing, but it still seems difficult there wouldn't be a move made on the defensive side of the ball.
With the subtraction of Bicknell on offense, changes appear to be at least something of a priority for the team. It's up in the air whether Bicknell is the only staffer who will end up somewhere else in 2014, but the Steelers' offense averaged 27.8 points a game over the second half of the season, winning six of those final eight games.
(Removing Cortez Allen's touchdown return off an interception against Green Bay, they averaged 27 points a game even).
This isn't a franchise that will make changes for change's sake, but they can't be pleased with a defense that has fallen off from the previous year in each of its last two seasons, and gave up the amount of big plays that it has.
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