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Bruce Arians: Location led Dick LeBeau away from Arizona Cardinals

LISTEN: Bruce Arians, AZ Cardinals head coach

It seemed like a perfect fit.

Virtually from the moment Dick LeBeau left the Pittsburgh Steelers, many thought he would end up in Arizona with the Cardinals.

After all, his familiarity and comfort with Bruce Arians was well known, and that the Cardinals needed a defensive coordinator — or at least a defensive-minded coach — to replace Todd Bowles created an ideal opening.

At one point there was even a report saying he was “working to seal a deal” to become Arizona’s linebackers coach.

But alas, the coaching veteran and NFL Hall of Famer decided not to join the Cardinals, and when asked what went wrong, Arians said it came down to the one thing the team could not change: location.

“It’s just a little too far from the family,” Arians told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Friday. “I think when we first started talking he was very excited. He was still hurt from what happened, so he was obviously excited.

“I knew the longer it went and the more he thought about it — although coming out here and playing golf every day is pretty good for him, and coaching a little ball — but it just got to be a little bit to far from his family.”

LeBeau is an Ohio native who has been with the Steelers since 2004. His previous stops included Philadelphia, Green Bay, Cincinnati and Buffalo, so Arizona easily would have been the furthest west he had ever gone.