The Tennessee Titans announced the hiring of three coordinators on Wednesday, but none of them will have the organization or fans more excited than Dick LeBeau.
Jim Wyatt of the Titans' official website reported the news of LeBeau's return to Tennessee as defensive coordinator after he served as the assistant head coach this past season.
Before landing with the Titans in 2015, LeBeau had served an exceptional 11-year tenure with the Pittsburgh Steelers, calling the shots for their vaunted defense. The 78-year-old is as experienced and accomplished an assistant as Tennessee could have hoped to land for head coach Mike Mularkey's staff.
Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com highlighted a noteworthy trend from the Titans' coaching hires:
Paul Kuharsky @PaulKuharskyNFL
Robiskie is 61 with 34 years as NFL coach. Bobby April is 62 with 23 years as NFL coach. LeBeau is 78 with 42 years as NFL coach. #Titans2016-1-21 00:43:19
While it remains to be seen how the Titans do in terms of upgrading personnel for LeBeau's unit under new general manager Jon Robinson, there shouldn't be any concern as to whether the defense will be coached well.
A coach of LeBeau's reputation and success commands respect. He was a tremendous cornerback in his playing heyday and won two Super Bowls with the Steelers. One could argue Tennessee is getting an upgrade over the respected Horton in terms of defensive play-callers.
ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler referenced how LeBeau's legend still carries on in Pittsburgh:
Jeremy Fowler @JFowlerESPN
Good to see Dick LeBeau back in a DC role. So many Steelers, former and current, still speak so fondly of his acumen2016-1-21 00:47:37
But questions still linger about the offense. Although there's reason for hope with quarterback Marcus Mariota under center, Mularkey's track record as head coach isn't promising. He was fired after two years in Buffalo and one 2-14 season in Jacksonville thereafter.
Wednesday's announcement about LeBeau included a mention of Terry Robiskie coming aboard as the new offensive coordinator.
Robiskie is a respected wide receivers coach from the Atlanta Falcons and should help the Titans' passing game, but he hasn't called plays in the NFL since 2004 with the Browns, who finished 4-12 that season.
So while Titans fans may be a bit concerned about the direction of the team under Mularkey, at least the coach will have a bright, young QB to work with and a defensive mastermind in LeBeau in tow.