Armed with a promise from his beloved defensive coordinator that he wouldn't retire without first informing his players, Ryan Clark threatened to avoid Dick LeBeau.
''I didn't want to hear it, so I've told him, `If you try to leave, well, you didn't see me and tell me, so you can't,''' said Clark, the Steelers' free safety. ''`That would make you not to be a man of your word, and I know you as such.'''
Clark needn't worry. The 75-year-old LeBeau has every intention of returning in 2013 for what would be a 55th consecutive season in the NFL.
LeBeau opened his first meeting of the week with his defense by telling players he'll come back for a 10th season as Pittsburgh's defensive coordinator.
LeBeau, a Hall of Famer, publicly will say only that his status is in the hands of head coach Mike Tomlin. But with the defense ranked No. 1 in the NFL for the second consecutive season and fifth time in nine years, there's little reason to think Tomlin would make a change.
''Let's just say ...