The report came out late Tuesday night, and it said the Arizona Cardinals were in the process of hiring former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau to be their linebackers coach.
It was a bit of a surprise — not in the idea that LeBeau would be joining Arizona’s coaching staff, as that has been rumored for a while, but in that he would be the linebackers coach.
Sure, the Cardinals have a void there after Mike Caldwell left to join former Arizona defensive coordinator and new New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles, but would LeBeau, who is regarded as one of the best coordinators in NFL history, be willing to be a position coach?
“Knowing what I know about Dick LeBeau, and as I said in the tweet, unless he has changed his mind he has no interest in being a position coach,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Steelers reporter Gerry Dulac told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday. “And I don’t think he will be a linebackers coach for the Arizona Cardinals. I’m not even sure he’ll end up there.”
Dulac said if LeBeau does join the Arizona staff it will be likely be in an overseer-type role, similar to what Tom Moore is currently doing. The 76-year-old Moore is the Cardinals’ Assistant Head Coach/Offense. In theory, LeBeau could be the defense’s version of Moore, which would help fulfill LeBeau’s desire to remain on the sidelines during the game.
But Dulac added that LeBeau is being “very careful” about where he goes, and it appears to be between Arizona and Tennessee. LeBeau has connections to the coaching staffs on each team, but according to the writer, also has an affinity for being east of the Mississippi to be closer to his wife, who lives in Cincinnati.
“I’m not so sure he is going to go to the desert,” Dulac said. “I believe there’s a chance he could end up in Tennessee, which is three hours from Cincinnati, but I don’t believe he will go to Arizona. But if he does, trust me, it won’t be as a linebackers coach.”
LeBeau has been coaching in the NFL since 1973, and during all that time he has never been strictly with the linebackers.
And as for questions on whether or not LeBeau has slipped as a coach, which could be why the Steelers decided to let him go, Dulac says he does not believe that to be the case.
But the way Dulac sees it, LeBeau’s decision will ultimately come down to how badly he wants to continue coaching and, if he wants to, where in the country he would like to do it.
“Just based on what I know and what I’ve been told, and I’ve talked to Dick and he he has not said that to me, directly, but basically what he has indicated and what his friends have indicated to me is that he is not interested in going far, well, basically west of the Mississippi is how it was put to me.”