LeBeau told Urbana (Ohio) Daily Citizen he is resigning, not retiring. Wow. He’s 77.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) January 10, 2015
To reiterate what will certainly be the news of the offseason, Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and his employer of 11 years will part ways.
LeBeau told The Daily Citizen:
"I’m resigning this position, not retiring," LeBeau, 77, said in an exclusive interview with the Daily Citizen. "I had a great run in Pittsburgh. I’m grateful for all the things that have happened to me and thankful for all the support I had in Pittsburgh."
With the outstanding work Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has done in Arizona, one has to wonder whether the last Steelers coordinator to not retire but leave without technically being fired, Bruce Arians, would share a conversation or two with LeBeau.
Bowles reportedly had a good interview with the Chicago Bears in regards to their head coach opening. It won't be the only interview Bowles has.
Will it be another Steeler out in the desert, building the resume of Steelers West to previously unthinkable levels? It doesn't seem too much of a stretch. Arians and LeBeau worked together from 2007 to 2011, and certainly, LeBeau doesn't need to prove much of anything in terms of experience. Cardinals veteran inside linebacker, another Steelers cast-off, had a quality season in Arizona, and with a considerably more talented defense among the Cardinals' personnel, it may be an intriguing option for the not-retiring LeBeau.
He certainly wouldn't have mentioned the fact he's not retiring specifically in the media source of his choosing (a small daily paper in Ohio). Arians didn't even get that, and perhaps that's why LeBeau took the news to his own outlet, so to speak. The Steelers elected to not sign Arians to a new contract after the 2011 season, and instead, reported to the media Arians was retiring - which he was doing. But when newly hired Colts coach Chuck Pagano gave him a call to run his offense with rookie quarterback Andrew Luck, Arians un-retired, complete with withdrawing his retirement paperwork with the league, and was named Coach of the Year in 2012. He was then hired as the Cardinals head coach, and has been successful ever since.
It seems like a stretch, but then again, so is saying coordinators who aren't fired are retiring.