Legendary defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau is leaving the Pittsburgh Steelers, telling urbanacitizen.com that his departure is a "mutual parting."
"I'm resigning this position, not retiring," said LeBeau, who helped guide the Steelers to two Super Bowls during his 11 years running the defense. "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."
The 77-year-old LeBeau is a living legend who's been considered a defensive pioneer during his four decades coaching in the NFL. Elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010, he's credited with developing the zone blitz scheme.
The Steelers' defense was one of the league's best for the better part of a decade under LeBeau but saw major regression in recent years. After finishing as the No. 1 defense four times between 2007-12 (and never ranking outside the top five in that span), Pittsburgh fell to 13th and 18th in the past two seasons. The pass defense was particularly troublesome in 2014, allowing 253 yards through the air per game (27th).
There's been no word on where LeBeau could land or who will replace him in Pittsburgh. According to Behind the Steel Curtain, one rumored candidate is linebackers coach Keith Butler.