The departure of Steelers DC Dick LeBeau could spell the end of an era in Pittsburgh.
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As surprised as the NFL world was by the sudden resignation of Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, the Steelers themselves may have been shocked the most.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported on NFL GameDay Morning that LeBeau’s resignation caught the Steelers by surprise.
While some in the Steelers organization were adamant that LeBeau could stay as long as he wanted, the longtime coach thought it was time to go, Rapoport was told. It’s believed that LeBeau, at age 77, wanted to depart alongside veterans such as CB Ike Taylor and possibly-future Hall of Fame safety Troy Polamalu, who are considered unlikely to be back with Pittsburgh in 2015. Both players are over 30, and well past their prime.
LeBeau coached the Steelers defense from 2004 to 2014 and had prior stints with the team from 1992 to 1996. While with the team the Steelers played in four Superbowls, winning in Superbowls XL and XLIII. The Steelers finished No. 1 in the league in fewest yards allowed five times, No. 1 in the league in points allowed four times, and went to the Playoffs six times in 11 years since 2004.
LeBeau was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010 for his years as a CB with the Detroit Lions from 1959 to 1972. His 62 interceptions are the most in Lions franchise history. He also holds the NFL record for consecutive appearances by a CB with 171.
Linebackers coach Keith Butler is considered the front-runner within the organization to replace LeBeau.
The Steelers were defeated 30-17 by Baltimore in the Wildcard Round of the NFL Playoffs last week.