Will Dick LeBeau be back with Titans in 2016?


As the fallout from former head coach Ken Whisenhunt's firing in Nashville continues, our focus turned to one of Whisenhunt's biggest supporters: Dick LeBeau, the associate head coach / defense.

The 78-year-old is one of the best defensive minds in NFL history. The fact that Whisenhunt got him to come to Nashville in the first place was a major coup considering there were a lot of teams vying for his services after he was let go by the Steelers.

And he has made an imprint. The once-hapless Titans are third in the NFL against the pass, and sixth overall in total yards.

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But what happens to him after this season? Is a coach near 80 ready to start anew and begin looking for jobs again after December ends?

"Anyway you look at it, you've go to know you're close to the end," he said in a joking manner, via ESPN.com.

He added: "We're thinking strictly about getting some more wins. I like Tennessee a lot. Hell, I like Nashville. First of all, someone would have to want me, you don't even know if that's the case. But we're just going to focus on doing the best job we can do with our team this year and get as many wins as we can."

Mandating that a new coach keep a defensive coach is always a dicey proposition, though there is a lot to like about being a new head coach and having LeBeau on staff.

For one, there is no concern over LeBeau trying to become a rising star. He's not looking for a head coaching gig.

But in a more practical sense, he's a defensive genius. He's the godfather of the modern zone blitz and as we've seen in Arizona with the combination of Bruce Arians and 77-year-old Tom Moore, there are times when all of this knowledge contributes to success and is not just an example of another old coach stuck in the mud while his tired scheme gets dusted every week.

At the least, LeBeau will be the first candidate interviewed, and he absolutely deserves that.