Posted by Will Brinson
We hear all the time about players who are potential free agents. (Case in point: Peyton Manning, who doesn't have a contract for 2011 ... yet.) But what about the coaches? Case in point: Dick LeBeau, who's contract will reportedly expire following the 2010.
LeBeau, the Hall of Fame player (there's a distinction, and he's in for playing, but "not for coaching") who also happened to architect Pittsburgh's vaunted defense, will be a free agent after this season, according to ESPN.
There appear to be three possible outcomes from LeBeau hitting the market. One, he returns to the Steelers. Two, he retires. And three, he heads to Arizona.
The return to Pittsburgh is obvious, because he's had so much success there and the personnel in place is ideal for his system.
The retirement is a possibility because, as youthful as LeBeau still looks, he's 73.
And Arizona makes sense, because the Cardinals were terrible on defense in 2010, have former Steelers coaches Ken Wisenhunt and Russ Grimm on staff in the desert and don't currently have a defensive coordinator. (Also, old people go to the desert when they want to step away from work and play more golf, so that makes sense too.)
If LeBeau did jump to Arizona, he'd have his work cut out for him, but engineering a turnaround for that defense would be possible -- just not easy -- and would provide a pretty nice cherry on top of LeBeau's already superb career.
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