The 75-year-old Dick LeBeau told his Pittsburgh Steelers defense that he plans to return in 2013 for his 55th consecutive NFL season.
"Let's just say I really like Pittsburgh and I really like working for the Steelers," Lebeau said after practice Thursday via the Associated Press. "Coach Tomlin will tell you if he wants me back or not. It will be up to Mike."
Since the Hall of Famer returned to the Steelers for his second stint in 2004, the Steelers have had the No. 1 defense five times and won two out of three Super Bowls.
"The truth of the matter is we didn't get off to a really good start on defense this year," LeBeau said. "I don't think it was ever quite as bad as it was perceived to be, but we weren't playing the way we wanted to play. For, I'd say over a month and a half now, our third down numbers have been good. We got a little behind early in all phases, but these guys stayed together and played pretty doggone good defense and got us back to where we like to be, up near the top of the bunch."
Steelers players love Lebeau and were happy to hear that he will return for his 10th season as their defensive coordinator.
"We know he's the best in the game," veteran linebacker Larry Foote said. "I think everybody else around the league knows it. A lot of times in the games it turns into a chess match, and he wins his share."
"He's like a grandfather, but I don't want to say grandfather because he doesn't really act like a typical grandfather," Foote added. "He's a man of a lot of jokes and wisdom and he encourages everybody.
"He can get around, especially when all his buddies come in. He's always screaming, always running around, doing push-ups."
Ryan Clark said Lebeau makes coming to work enjoyable.
"One of the joys of coming to work as a Pittsburgh Steeler free safety is getting to see Coach Lebeau every year," Clark said.