I don't think too many of us believed that Dick LeBeau would retire this offseason, and I don't think anybody really envisioned any possible scenario where LeBeau was coaching outside of Pittsburgh in 2011. Nevertheless, it's still tremendous news that the 72-year old defensive coordinator will return for his 52nd year of service in the NFL. According to a Tuesday report by the Post Gazette, LeBeau will sign a new one-year deal in the forthcoming days. To nobody's surprise, you all published this report in the fanposts hours earlier, but the news is worthy of a quick front-page mention without question.
LeBeau, who had been away on vacation in North Carolina, reitereated that he never even entertained the notion of coaching anywhere else:
"I'm not coaching anywhere but here," LeBeau said today after returning from four days off to start getting ready for the NFL combine that begins Feb. 23 in Indianapolis.
When I read that LeBeau would likely sign just a one-year deal, I wondered if he intends to coach just one more year. I also thought that perhaps he didn't want to put himself in a position where he didn't honor his contract by agreeing to anything more than 'one year at a time.' But then after finishing the PG article, I remembered that signing one-year deals is nothing new for Coach Dad. He's done so every year since beginning his second tour as the defensive coordinator of the Steelers back in 2004.
LeBeau is universally loved by his players and by fans. It could be argued that he gets a 'pass' from Steeler Nation when we discuss and debate the team. But at the end of the day, the results speak for themselves. All LeBeau does is coordinate great defenses that finish at or near the top of the rankings every year. Beyond that, his players absolutely love him as a person, and embrace working their tails off for him. With all the veterans on the defensive side of the ball, it's great news that LeBeau will be back to work with the group he's spent so much time over the years.