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Dick LeBeau doesn't believe age is issue for Steelers' D

On the "Around The League Podcast" Gregg Rosenthal nominated the Pittsburgh Steelers' defense as one of the most disappointing aspects of the 2013 season.

The Steelers once dominant defense has become a creaky group, with four starters north of 31 years old -- Troy Polamalu, 32; Ike Taylor, 33; Ryan Clark, 34; Brett Keisel 35.

However, legendary defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, himself 76, doesn't believe old bones are the reason for the Steelers' recent struggles on defense.

"I don't believe the problems we're experiencing there are age-related," LeBeau said, per "I really don't."

NFL Media's Gil Brandt recently numbered age as the top factor contributing to the Steelers' downward trend.

LeBeau cited communication as the biggest problem plaguing his group that's slid in the defensive rankings as the season has progressed. The diagnosis was an odd one considering communication is generally what keeps aged groups afloat as Father Time drags them down.

LeBeau said he wants to return to the Steelers next season, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and doesn't think his defense needs to be remolded.

"I definitely don't think the defense needs rebuilding," LeBeau said. "Maybe their coach is getting a little old. I think the players can still get it done. I do."

Now let's be up front on this: Dick LeBeau's goldfish have forgotten more NFL defense than I ever will have the fortune to hear about. However, it makes little sense to keep together an older, expensive group that is getting worse. Some infusion of younger talent is needed.

The Steelers have a lot of areas they need to improve. The defense, along with the offensive line, being on the forefront of that change.

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