Source: Panthers target Pat Narduzzi

Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi is expected to become the Pittsburgh head coach by the end of the week as both sides continue to work out a deal, a source told ESPN.com on Tuesday.

Narduzzi views Pittsburgh as a destination position, which is critical to the school after having been through massive turnover in recent years.

He has coached some of the nation's most productive, physical, blue-collar defenses over the past eight seasons under Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio.

The Spartans ranked first in the Big Ten and in the top 10 of FBS in total defense and rushing defense for three consecutive seasons under the 48-year-old Narduzzi, who won the Broyles Award in 2013 as the nation's top assistant coach.

Michigan State has also consistently led or been among the nation's leaders in turnover margin under Narduzzi's watch.

Narduzzi had a shared interest with Colorado State but he viewed the Pitt position as a more ideal fit.

Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell, who played collegiately at Michigan State, said Panthers players are "going to love him."

"I was an offensive player, so I always went against him in college. But when I watched him react to his defense, I know that our players loved him. They just loved playing for him. He's an overall great guy, a player's coach," he said.

Bell said he's happy Narduzzi will be coaching in the same city as him.

"So, it's crazy that he's going to be right across the street [hallway] from me. I'm just glad I'll be able to reunite with him, so I can support him and he'll support me again," he said.

Pitt is attempting to replace Paul Chryst, who left for the Wisconsin job earlier this month.

ESPN.com Steelers reporter Scott Brown contributed to this report.