NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Longtime defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau will not return to the Tennessee Titans next season, according to multiple reports.
LeBeau, whose role with the team became in jeopardy Saturday when the Titans hired defensive-minded Mike Vrabel as their head coach, could not be reached for comment. He is expected to consider retirement.
The news was first reported Monday by PaulKuharsky.com.
LeBeau, 80, has been a coach or player in the NFL for 59 consecutive seasons. He joined the Titans in 2015 as assistant head coach/defense before being placed in his defensive coordinator role prior to the 2016 season.
"Age is just a number. Now, it's a little bit bigger number," LeBeau told ESPN earlier in the season. "I don't see anybody walking around here 200 years old, so you have to take that in consideration."
Well-known for his role in bringing the zone blitz to prominence, LeBeau was loved by Titans players for his youthful happiness and energy, wealth of knowledge and strong storytelling. He had a Hall of Fame playing career with the Detroit Lions, notching 62 interceptions. He accomplished just as much, if not more, as a coach, winning two Super Bowls in Pittsburgh in strong part due to his aggressive and tough defenses.
The 2017 Titans finished 13th in total defense and 17th in scoring defense. LeBeau got progress and development out of a young defensive core, even if the numbers didn't always show that.
LeBeau and the rest of the assistants on Mike Mularkey's staff are under contract through the 2018 season until the Titans release them from that. Receivers coach Frisman Jackson has already left the Titans for the same position at Baylor.
Vrabel is expected to replace both the offensive and defensive coordinator positions. Ohio State co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Ryan Day is considering becoming his offensive coordinator.