Legendary long-time coach and former player Dick LeBeau has resigned from the Pittsburgh Steelers after 11 seasons of coaching the Steelers’ defense.
The explosive news out of Pittsburgh on Saturday night reveals a bitter parting of ways between the Steelers and LeBeau after an underwhelming effort by the franchise this season.
At the age of 77, some thought that if LeBeau left the franchise this offseason he would do so as part of a part-time or full-time retirement move. However, LeBeau has made it clear that he is resigning and not retiring.
LeBeau speaks out
"I'm resigning this position, not retiring," LeBeau, 77, said. "I had a great run in Pittsburgh. I'm grateful for all the things that have happened to me and thankful for all the support I had in Pittsburgh."
Reports in the last week had suggested that the Steelers would look to scale back the responsibilities of LeBeau going forward, but for the storied franchise to get rid of him altogether was not expected.
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Huge blow for diehard fans
The news will be hard to take for some diehard fans of the Steelers who highly value LeBeau after his defensive expertise helped bring two Super Bowls to Pittsburgh.
The sudden and bitter parting of ways of LeBeau clearly highlights issues within the Pittsburgh franchise, with NFL.com reporting that LeBeau is likely to have been pushed to leave.
“LeBeau's remark that he's not retiring is telling. It makes it sound like LeBeau has been pushed out the door, just like the Steelers said former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians "retired" after the 2012 season. (Perhaps LeBeau will join Arians in Arizona.) The Steelers have not commented on LeBeau's remarks."
Where will Dick go?
The Steelers did something similar with former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians in 2012 when they told the press he had “retired”. It’s not known what LeBeau’s next plans are, but it would not be surprising to see him end up in Arizona with Arians.