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Old 07-02-15, 13:45   #1
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Football NFL News: Titans Name Dick LeBeau Assistant Head Coach/Defense

Feb 5, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans named Dick LeBeau as Assistant Head Coach/Defense. LeBeau will be in charge of the defense and Ray Horton will work with him to implement it. Additionally, Mike Mularkey has been elevated to Assistant Head Coach/Tight Ends. Mularkey’s new role will increase his involvement with the offense in general, but specifically will increase his involvement with the run game. To complete the staff, Jason Tucker was added as the Assistant Wide Receivers coach.

LeBeau has 56 years of NFL experience as a player and coach. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010, for his 14-year playing career as a cornerback for the Detroit Lions. He joins the Titans after 11 years as the defensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was his second stint with Pittsburgh, after spending time there as an assistant coach from 1992-96, including defensive coordinator from 1995-96. In his 13 seasons as the Steelers defensive coordinator, the team finished among the top-five in total defense 10 times and was number one overall five times. Also in those 13 seasons, Pittsburgh won four AFC Championships, two Super Bowls and advanced to the playoffs on nine occasions.

LeBeau is connected to number of the Titans current coaches, having worked with six of the staff as either players or coaches, including 18 seasons with Titans defensive coordinator Ray Horton and three years with head coach Ken Whisenhunt.

In LeBeau’s time in Pittsburgh as defensive coordinator, he built an unparalleled resume and is considered the architect of the “zone blitz” scheme. From 2004-14, his defenses ranked among the top teams in nearly every category over this 11-year period, including: points allowed (1st, 17.9), total yards per game (1st, 287.9), rushing yards allowed per game (1st, 89.5), total first downs allowed per game (1st, 16.9), passing touchdowns allowed (2nd, 206), sacks (3rd, 448) and third down percentage (7th, 37.4%).

“This is a unique opportunity to add someone like Dick to our coaching staff,” said Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt. “He is a proven commodity in this league and great teacher. One of his greatest assets is the rare ability to relate to all different kinds of players and get the most of them. We had a lot of success together in Pittsburgh and I am looking forward to working together again.”

LeBeau also spent a significant portion, 18 seasons, of his coaching career with the Cincinnati Bengals (1980-91 and 1997-2002). He initially joined the Bengals as a defensive backs coach and then defensive coordinator. He rejoined the team in 1997 as assistant head coach/defensive coordinator and was elevated to head coach for three seasons (2000-02). He also spent one season as the assistant head coach for the Buffalo Bills in 2003, and the Bills defense ranked second in the NFL for total yards allowed.

LeBeau guided some of the league’s best defenses through the years and saw players earn the highest accolades. LB James Harrison garnered AP Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2008 and S Troy Polamalu won the same award following the 2010 season. His units ranked first in total defense in 2012, 2011, 2008 and 2004. In 2010, the Steelers led the NFL in at least eight categories and shattered the team record for rushing yards allowed per game (62.8).

LeBeau started his coaching career in 1973, as the special teams coach for the Philadelphia Eagles, where he spent three seasons. He went on to Green Bay, where he was the defensive backs coach for four years (1976-79), before joining the Bengals in 1980.

As a player, LeBeau played his entire Hall of Fame career (1959-72) for the Detroit Lions, where he established a record for cornerbacks by playing in 171 consecutive games. He totaled 62 interceptions and three Pro Bowl appearances during his 185-game NFL career. In 1970, he led the NFC in interceptions with nine and his 62 interceptions at the time of his retirement ranked third-most (now ranks ninth-most). Born in London, Ohio, LeBeau and his wife, Nancy, have one son, Brandon Grant.

Tucker joins the Titans after spending six seasons coaching wide receivers in the Canadian Football League, including the last four with Saskatchewan. In 2013, his group of receivers included three 1,000-yard receivers for only the second time in franchise history and Saskatchewan captured the Grey Cup. Tucker also brings experience as a player, spending two years (199-2000) with the Dallas Cowboys. He would have his greatest success as a player in the CFL, where he totaled 7,046 receiving yards during his seven-year career with Edmonton. He earned CFL All-Star honors four times and won two Grey Cups (2003, 2005) as a player. Tucker played his college football at TCU and was a sixth-round selection by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1998 NFL Draft.
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