On Saturday, when most everyone was focused on the two playoff games that were played, there was a piece of news that shocked Pittsburgh and has Arizona Cardinals fans talking. Longtime Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau resigned from his job on Saturday, which he had held since 2004.
It was a mutual parting of ways, one in which occurred because it was "time to go in another direction."
The decision is intriguing for Arizona Cardinals fans because Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles could leave Arizona for a head coaching job. He has interviewed with four teams so far.
Head coach Bruce Arians and LeBeau do have a relationship. They were both on the Steelers staff for years when Arians was a position coach and then offensive coordinator.
To some, it could look like LeBeau freeing himself up to go somewhere else. The reports does not say LeBeau is retiring, though at age 77, it isn't out of the question.
To some, this could seem like a way to be available when Bowles gets a head coaching job somewhere. Arians did indicate he has a plan and people in mind to replace Bowles should he leave. Perhaps LeBeau knows Bowles is on his way out and wants to be available to join Arians.
Of course, the defenses Bowles and LeBeau run are not the same. LeBeau's defense would look much more like what Ray Horton ran when he was DC under Ken Whisenhunt for two seasons.
Many believe Arians wants to maintain continuity in the defensive system, so Bowles' possible replacement could be someone already on the staff like Mike Caldwell or Nick Rapone.
Could an Arians/LeBeau old man reunion happen, joining a staff that includes Tom Pratt and Tom Moore?
It is possible, but it doesn't feel likely. Look at the reaction to three local Cardinals beat writers:
No idea if Arians would want to replace Bowles with LeBeau, for those asking. Systems are not the same, either— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) January 10, 2015
I wouldn't think so, IF Bowles gets HC opportunity they have someone in mind. RT @jasonmredman: Hmmm, possible replacement for Bowles— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) January 10, 2015
Yes, I'd think Arians and Dick LeBeau have a relationship after their time in PIT. No, I don't know if Cards chase him if Bowles leaves.— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) January 10, 2015
Should LeBeau be Bowles' replacement if he leaves? Will it happen?