Dick LeBeau Likely To Return In 2013

There has been a lot of speculation as to whether or not Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau will return next year for what would be his 10th consecutive season with the team. On Thursday the 75-year-old defensive guru let it be known that he has every intention of returning in 2013 as long as head coach Mike Tomlin wants him back.

\’\’Let\’s just say I really like Pittsburgh and I really like working for the Steelers,\’\’ LeBeau said on Thursday. \’\’Coach Tomlin will tell you if he wants me back or not. It will be up to Mike.\’\’

The Steelers defense got off to a rough start this season without the services of outside linebacker James Harrison and safety Troy Polamalu for several games but will likely end the season ranked first or second overall in several statistical categories.

\’\’The truth of the matter is we didn\’t get off to a really good start on defense this year,\’\’ LeBeau said. \’\’I don\’t think it was ever quite as bad as it was perceived to be, but we weren\’t playing the way we wanted to play. For, I\’d say over a month and a half now, our third down numbers have been good. We got a little behind early in all phases, but these guys stayed together and played pretty doggone good defense and got us back to where we like to be, up near the top of the bunch.\’\’

The unit, however, lacked greatly in the turnover and sack categories for a second season in a row and this is something that the architect of the zone blitz must fix next season. He will likely have to go about doing that with a few new starters in addition as there is likely to be some turnover on his side of the ball that could include the loss of Harrison, inside linebacker Larry Foote, nose tackle Casey Hampton and cornerback Keenan Lewis. Foote, Hampton and Lewis are all free agents, while Harrison could wind up being a salary cap causality.

LeBeau loves the game and his players and shows no signs of slowing down. 2013 would be his 55th consecutive season in the NFL and he surely would love to win one more championship for the city of Pittsburgh before calling it quits.

At one point during his talk with the media on Thursday LeBeau was asked a second time if he thought that he would be back next season and the coach politely answered, \’\’I love Pittsburgh.\’\’

  • WilliamSekinger

    Dave, in your opinion what does Lebeau coming back mean for Keith Butler? Is he likely to continue to wait or bail? We’ve been lucky so far to not lose him. I understand there may be a gentleman’s agreement between him and the Rooneys, but continuing to have to wait has got to wear on any agreement.

  • HoustonJr

    Good post. I am wondering the same.

  • Reader783

    Yeah, I am wondering the same. My understanding was that Butler expected to take over after this season.

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    With all due respect to the Rooney’s, I hope your implication that they orchestrate decisions at this level on a regular basis is incorrect. For the organization to be successful, Tomlin needs to make these calls. It should be done with the consultation and utilization of all the resources available in the organization, but the coaches report to Tomlin and he needs the authority to make these calls and he has to do it correctly. A second straight year of meddling or perceived meddling in to the construction of the coaching staff from above will do more harm than good.

  • mokhkw

    If I recall correctly, Butler refused interviews for HC/DC jobs last OS & seems content to coach the LBers until LeBeau calls it a day.
    I honestly don’t know where all this speculation is coming from about players like Harrison, Hampton, Foote etc. being let go or not re-signed. Recent History tells us that they’ll be back again next year – they won’t be replaced until someone else steps up & shows that they’re better and know LeBeau’s system. Think real hard – remember when Woodley replaced Haggans, or Harrison replaced Porter, or Timmons replaced Foote, or McFadden replaced Townsend etc. etc? It was a transition & you could see it coming as the season unfolded.
    Why, after it being this way for years, does anyone think things will be different moving forward?

    No.1 D but they still get faulted for not having enough turnovers. Consider how good this scheme and this group of players must be to get that ranking DESPITE the lack of turnovers & the injuries to key players.
    LeBeau is the last coach anyone should want to leave, his D is more responsible than anything else – including Tomlin, Ben, Arians etc. – for the Steelers last 2 SB wins and 3 SB appearances in the last 8 years. His D is always ranked near No.1 while the O can’t even manage to be average.
    The King Of D – quite possibly the greatest DC ever – announces that he’s coming back gain next year and no-one is excited by that? Blows my mind.

  • Pete

    All I can say to this post is AMEN!

  • PoKey21

    As long as the Rooneys keep paying Butler a more than reasonable amount to be the Linebackers coach I dont think he will be going anywhere. Also it would be nice to send LeBeau out with another ring. I think Butler needs to be promoted before the 2014 or 2015 season or I think he will be gone.

  • steeltown

    Butler just signed a new contract at the beginning of 2012 and the understanding is he WILL replace Lebeau when the time comes

  • steeltown

    Completely agree. Lebeau is one of the greatest EVER! In regards to the older guys, I think we will see one or two of them go this offseason, kind of like last year with Farrior & Ward… though I do think Foote is re-signed, he easily had his best season of his career as a full time starter

  • steeltown

    Butler signed a NEW hefty contract at the beginning of the year, he will take over when Lebeau retires, I’m thinkin 1-2 seasons from now

  • If Butler stays until LeBeau is ready to retire, great. Give him the job, he’s earned it. However, if he gets the chance to move on to something better and chooses to do so, we’ve got another VERY promising defensive coordinator in Carnell Lake. Either way, continuity will be maintained and a quality defense will still be the calling card of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

  • Ahmad

    I’m certainly happy about LeBeau returning. My only gripe is that LeBeau hasn’t figured out how to get pressure rushing just 4 guys. Well it usually takes LeBeau 3 years to adjust to problems in the defense. For example, 2009-2010, the Steelers couldn’t stop the pass. 2011-2012, #1 against the pass. He’ll have answer for the lack of sacks next year. I already know it.