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Titans to bring on HOFer Dick LeBeau

The Tennessee Titans have been a very quiet team since their 2-14 season came to a close. But they're about to make a big move, hiring Pro Football Hall of Famer Dick LeBeau to run their defense.

Sources confirmed to ESPN.com the Titans will announce Thursday that LeBeau is joining Ken Whisenhunt's staff.

A source had told ESPN.com's earlier Tuesday the Titans were "heading that direction" regarding LeBeau, while another source declined to confirm the news but said "it looks good."

Whisenhunt, who worked with LeBeau in Pittsburgh for six years, has been talking to his friend for some time.

The Tennessean first reported a deal is soon to be announced.

Titans defensive coordinator Ray Horton will apparently stay in the same post.

The two are close, and Horton installed a variation of LeBeau's 3-4 defense as he joined the Titans last season.

Horton spent 19 years playing under and coaching under LeBeau, who was let go as Pittsburgh's defensive coordinator after 11 years.

The 77-year old coach reportedly wanted to remain close to Cincinnati, and that's something the Titans' Whisenhunt could offer him that another former colleague, Arizona coach Bruce Arians, could not.

Whisenhunt wanted to hold off on officially releasing the news so it did not overshadow the honor LeBeau received Tuesday in Pittsburgh, according to sources.

Pittsburgh City Council passed a proclamation that February is Dick LeBeau Month in Pittsburgh and he was awarded a symbolic key to the city.

LeBeau joins a team that finished 27th in the NFL in total defense last season (373.0 yards allowed per game). The Steelers finished in the top five in the NFL in total defense in 10 of LeBeau's 13 seasons as defensive coordinator.

LeBeau returned to Pittsburgh this week for the latest honor bestowed on him during an NFL career that spans 56 years as a player and a coach. With family and friends and two of his former players -- outside linebacker James Harrison and defensive end Brett Keisel -- packed into the room where Pittsburgh City Council meets, LeBeau bid a poignant farewell to Pittsburgh.

LeBeau, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010 as a defensive back, acknowledged after the ceremony that he had talked to teams but made no mention of his impending move to Tennessee.

"Whatever happens next, we'll embrace it," LeBeau said. "Coaching's been good to me. I've been blessed."