Mike Vrabel has made his first big decision of his tenure as Tennessee Titans head coach: he will not retain defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.
LeBeau, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2010, has been with the Titans since 2015. Over those three years, Tennessee’s defense has been mediocre, at least statistically: they were 27th in points allowed in 2015, 16th in 2016 and 17th this year. In terms of yards allowed, they were 12th, 20th and 13th, respectively.
A legend in coaching, LeBeau entered the NFL as a player in 1959, and began his coaching career in 1973. He has coached with the Eagles, Packers, Bengals, Steelers, Bills and Titans. He got one shot to be a head coach: 2000-02, when he held that role with Cincinnati, replacing Bruce Coslet after three games in 2000. The Bengals were 12-33 under LeBeau.
Though he has been part of the NFL as a player or coach for 59 consecutive seasons – he was the oldest coach in the league this year – this move could signal the end of LeBeau’s career: Wolf wrote that a source said the 80-year-old is “comfortable retiring if it doesn’t work out in Tennessee.”
Known for his innovative “zone blitz,” LeBeau has two Super Bowl rings, both from his 2004-14 stint with Pittsburgh.
Vrabel and LeBeau both played collegiately at Ohio State.
Vrabel is being formally introduced as the Titans’ head coach on Monday afternoon.
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