LeBeau: ‘If I’m coaching, it will be the Pittsburgh Steelers’

LeBeau: 'If I'm coaching, it will be the Pittsburgh Steelers'Dick LeBeau denied Wednesday that he will leave the Pittsburgh Steelers after the season, telling NFL Network, “With this defense, with this group of men, they’ll have to run me out of here.”

Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau insisted Wednesday that if he coaches next season, it will be with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau insisted Wednesday that if he coaches next season, it will be with the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Don Wright/Associated Press)

ESPN reported over the weekend that LeBeau’s contract expires after the season and he would strongly consider joining the Arizona Cardinals, who have many former Steelers assistants, led by head coach Ken Whisenhunt, on staff. The team also needs a defensive coordinator after firing Bill Davis earlier this month.

LeBeau didn’t specifically mention the Cardinals scenario Wednesday, but he said, “I’m not thinking about leaving tomorrow, I’ll put it that way.”

“I promise you, if I’m coaching, it will be the Pittsburgh Steelers,” LeBeau said as the team prepared for the Feb. 6 Super Bowl against the Green Bay Packers.

LeBeau, 73, has been the Steelers’ defensive coordinator since 2004, building one of the NFL’s most-feared units. LeBeau is widely respected by Steelers players, who took a day off training camp to attend the coach’s Hall of Fame induction last summer.

LeBeau had 62 interceptions, tied for eighth in NFL history, in 14 seasons as a Detroit Lions defensive back (1959-72). He entered the NFL coaching ranks with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1973 and also was an assistant for the Green Bay Packers, Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills. He has served two stints with the Steelers, as secondary coach (1992-94), then defensive coordinator (1995-96) the first time.

LeBeau was the Bengals’ head coach from 2000 to 2002, going 12-33 before he was fired and eventually replaced by Marvin Lewis.