Tomlin to retain both coordinators LeBeau, Arians
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Mike Tomlin's top coaches will return to their jobs next season, sources on the Steelers said yesterday.
Dick LeBeau will return as defensive coordinator in 2008, which will be his 36th season as an assistant or head coach in the NFL.
Bruce Arians will be back for his second year as offensive coordinator after Tomlin promoted him from wide receivers coach under Bill Cowher a year ago.
Often, a first-time head coach who has not been associated with some of the assistants he hired will make moves after he works with them for a year. But Tomlin has decided to make no changes in his coordinators for next season.
LeBeau, 70, coached the defense to the No. 1 ranking in yards allowed in the NFL this season. They also ranked third in the league against the run and third against the pass. LeBeau was Cowher's defensive coordinator since 2004, his second stint with the team. He also coached Cowher's first five seasons as secondary coach for three years and coordinator for two.
Arians, 55, has been a coach since 1975 and an NFL assistant for 11 seasons. He was offensive coordinator for three season with the Cleveland Browns before joining the Steelers as their wide receivers coach in 2004.
The offense under Arians ranked 17th in the NFL this season, third in rushing. Most important, Ben Roethlisberger rebounded from a poor 2006 to have his best season statistically of his four years in the NFL, ranking second only to New England's Tom Brady with a 104.1 passer rating and setting a Steelers record with 32 touchdown passes.