Eagles Notes: The Dick LeBeau Question

Charles LeClaire / USA Today

Charles LeClaire / USA Today

Longtime Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau told the Urbana Daily Citizen that he will not be back in Pittsburgh next season.

“I’m resigning this position, not retiring,” LeBeau told the newspaper. “I had a great run in Pittsburgh. I’m grateful for all the things that have happened to me and thankful for all the support I had in Pittsburgh.”

So what does this have to do with the Eagles?

Billy Davis got his first job in the NFL as a quality control coach with the Steelers back in 1992. At the time, LeBeau and Dom Capers were coming up with their zone blitz scheme under head coach Bill Cowher. Davis has talked about how those days greatly influenced his coaching philosophy.

And in terms of scheme, no NFL team resembles the Eagles’ two-gap 3-4 more than the Steelers. Coaches actually showed Eagles players Steelers film when they were first introducing the two-gapping techniques they wanted to implement.

“The actual Dom Capers, Bill Cowher, Dick LeBeau and Marvin Lewis… those conversations, I don’t think I could take any more notes than I took at that time,” Davis said back in July 2013. “Just learning and just sat down and picked their brains and really listening to how they solved problems.

“I really learned a bunch of great minds in the same room that were willing to listen and share new ideas is really the reason that defense was built from the foundation so solidly. They’re running the same playbook that we ran way back then in a couple places in the NFL.”

According to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report, LeBeau still wants to be a defensive coordinator. And if Todd Bowles lands a head-coaching gig, Arizona could make sense for him. Cole also mentioned LeBeau’s connections with the Titans and Bengals, but neither team has a defensive coordinator opening, and LeBeau is not looking to be a position coach.

Obviously, Davis is the Eagles’ defensive coordinator. But if he has a strong relationship with LeBeau, it wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world to see if the 77-year-old would be interested in some kind of consulting role in Philadelphia, given his experience and familiarity with the scheme.

We’ll find out in the coming weeks what opportunities LeBeau has available and whether the Eagles reach out to him.