Whisenhunt: Dick LeBeau will run Titans' defense

By Gerry Dulac 8 years ago


Tennessee Titans Coach Ken Whisenhunt left no doubt who will be in charge of his defense for the 2015 season – Dick LeBeau.

The Titans hired LeBeau two weeks ago as assistant head coach in charge of defense, even though former Steelers assistant coach Ray Horton has the title of defensive coordinator.

Horton both played for LeBeau with the Cincinnati Bengals and was the secondary coach with the Steelers when LeBeau was the defensive coordinator. But Whisenhunt said LeBeau “is in charge” of the defense.

“It’s funny, Ray was excited about it because his relationship goes back many years with Coach LeBeau,” Whisenhunt said today at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. “I think one of the big things with coach LeBeau was how was Ray with this. That was a big part of it.

“Coach (LeBeau) came in and sat down with our whole staff. He felt comfortable enough with where we were and the guys on the staff. He was excited about coming down. We’ve been in the office for a week together and the dynamic is very good.”

Whisenhunt was the offensive coordinator with the Steelers in 1994 when LeBeau was brought back for a second stint as defensive coordinator. They coached together three years before Whisenhunt left to become head coach of the Arizona Cardinals in 2007.

When the Steelers told LeBeau last month he would not be rehired as defensive coordinator, Whisenhunt didn’t think twice about adding LeBeau to his staff after a dismal 2-14 season.

“I’ve always had great respect for Dick; we always had a great friendship,” Whisenhunt said. “It’s good to get him. I’m sorry to see him go in Pittsburgh. We feel there are enough guys on our staff who he knows. It already feels like good chemistry.”


Colbert and Coach Mike Tomlin met last week to discuss the roster and determine which players the Steelers intend to bring back for the 2015 season.

Colbert was asked what those meetings meant to the future of the four remaining defensive players to appear in three Super Bowls – safety Troy Polamalu, defensive end Brett Keisel, linebacker James Harrison and cornerback Ike Taylor.

Only Polamalu and Keisel are under contract for 2015.

“Those meetings went well,” Colbert said. “As we go through a position in free agency, we talk about our own players. We’ve done that. We’ll get through this week, have more information on the college group and we can sit down. We’ll know more about this group at the end of the week than we did going into it.

“So put the two, free agency and the potential draft together and map out a plan for the spring. Sometimes we have to make decisions on the fly. That’ll continue to evolve once we get out of here.”


Colbert took particular delight when former Steelers linebacker Jason Gildon was named head football coach at Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic, replacing retired Bob Ravenstahl.

That’s because Colbert and Steelers chairman Dan Rooney each graduated from North Catholic.

“We have great interest in what happens with not only the football program, but the school in general,” Colbert said. “To have Jason to a very prestigious position as football coach, it’s exciting. I’m sure he’ll do great things for our school. He’ll run a good program and he’ll continue the great tradition of North Catholic football.”