Sources: Dick LeBeau's contract up
The contract of Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau expires after this season, according to league sources.
LeBeau is regarded as arguably the league's top defensive coordinator. He was instrumental in the success of former Steelers coach Bill Cowher and current Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.
If LeBeau doesn't retire or return to the Steelers, he may land in Arizona. The Cardinals boast former Steelers assistants Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm and currently have an opening at defensive coordinator after firing Billy Davis.
The Cardinals have been suspiciously quiet while other NFC West teams have made high-profile moves. The 49ers hired coach Jim Harbaugh, the Rams hired offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and the Seahawks hired former Raiders coach Tom Cable and former Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.
Last season the Cardinals ranked 30th in the league in scoring defense, allowing 27.1 points per game. They ranked 30th in the league in rush defense, surrendering 145.2 yards per game.
When asked about his future plans Friday, LeBeau remained focused on the AFC championship.
"We still have some defense to play. If somebody wants me to work, I think maybe we can still get them in and out of the huddle a couple times. But I am not looking too far down the road. As a friend once said, 'We're not buying any green bananas, baby, '" LeBeau told USA Today.
LeBeau, 73, skirted questions about retirement, alluding to Penn State coach Joe Paterno.
"Well, I have a standard retort to that. Hell, I'm not even the oldest coach in the state of Pennsylvania. There's a guy up there at Penn State that's 10 years older than me," LeBeau said to USA Today. "I feel like the baby."
The Steelers had a dominant defensive season in 2010, ranking first in run defense and scoring defense and second in overall defense.
"Someone has to want you to coach. We have been blessed from that standpoint. We'll see how that goes. I don't think these guys had too bad of a year defensively," LeBeau told USA Today.
Chris Mortensen is ESPN's senior NFL analyst. Adam Schefter is ESPN's NFL Insider.
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