“Coach Dad”, the Steelers defensive coordinator will return to his beloved Blitzburgh in 2012 according to the Post Gazette’s Ed Bouchette. When you think about a Steelers defense one of the first names that always comes to mind is Dick Lebeau. He’s been there during the days of so many great Steelers players like Greg Lloyd, Kevin Greene, Rod Woodson, Joey Porter, the list goes on and on. His impact on both the game and the players he’s coached is undeniable. In the world of NFL defenses, you name it and he’s either done it or originally came up with it. He’s no stranger to adversity and even though the Steelers defense finished #1 overall, there is still room for improvement as we saw this past season. Lebeau is on a continuous 1 yr. contract and has been since he returned to the Steelers. When it’s time for him to go, he’ll know it, and that time isn’t now.
If there is justice in this NFL world, Lebeau will go out hoisting up the Lombardi trophy just like Jerome Bettis did after Super Bowl XL. Retiring any other way just wouldn’t seem quite right.
Mike Tomlin said on Tuesday that he wanted both of his coordinators back and LeBeau had told him he wanted to return. LeBeau has been the Steelers defensive coordinator since 2004 in his second coaching stint with the Steelers. He was part of Bill Cowher’s original staff in 1992 and as secondary coach helped install a defense they still run today. He was promoted to coordinator in 1995 and then left to become assistant head coach in Cincinnati in 1997, eventually becoming the Bengals head coach from 2000 to 2002. He was assistant head coach in Buffalo in 2003 before returnig to the Steelers.
LeBeau’s defense finished first in the NFL this season in both points and total defense.