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LeBeau told team he plans to return

At Dick LeBeau’s age, retirement rumors aren’t going to stop anytime soon. But the long-time Steelers defensive coordinator told his players recently that he will be back next season.

“He told our defense they’re going to have to kick him on out of here; I took his word for it,” linebacker James Farrior said, as mentioned in Josh Alper’s one-liners today.

The 72-year-old’s return will have an impact throughout the roster and the rest of the NFL. If Bill Cowher does return to coaching, he won’t have his trusty defensive assistant to help.

The Steelers are also likely to stay with their classic 3-4 defense rather than morphing into schemes Mike Tomlin has used in the past. That makes their need for a reliable nose tackle more pressing this offseason.