Dick LeBeau still wants to coach at age 76. (US Presswire)

Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, 75, told his players earlier this week that he intends to return for a 10th consecutive season. His unit is ranked No. 1 in total defense for the second year in a row.

"He always tells us the week of the last game," LB Larry Foote said. "He said 'Don't even worry about it, I'm coming back.'"

LeBeau was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame two years ago for his play as a defensive back with the Detroit Lions from 1959-72, but his wizardry as a coach also has his players saying he's a Hall of Fame-worthy coordinator.

Straddling a stint as the Cincinnati Bengals head coach, LeBeau has spent two stints as Steelers defensive coordinator -- 1995-96 under Bill Cowher and 2004-present under Cowher and Mike Tomlin. In those 11 seasons, LeBeau's defenses have ranked No. 1 in total defense five times, No. 2 twice, and No. 3 and No. 4 once each. His lowest ranking was No. 9 in 2006.

Under such circumstances, it's almost inconceivable that Tomlin and Steelers management would not want him back in 2013. And LeBeau said that if he is asked, he will be there.

"Let's just say I really like Pittsburgh and I really like working for the Steelers," LeBeau said. "Coach Tomlin will tell you if he wants me back or not. It will be up to Mike."

Haley looks forward to year No. 2 guiding Steelers offense: Todd Haley wants a second chance to prove Tomlin made the right choice in hiring him as offensive coordinator in the offseason.

The Steelers rank 22nd in the league in scoring offense and 21st in total offense this season after the team let Bruce Arians go and replaced him with Haley. Arians, meanwhile, went to Indianapolis and  was the interim head coach throughout much of the season as the Colts
became the league's surprise team.

Despite the lackluster numbers, Haley is rumored as a head coaching candidate for possible openings this offseason. He brushed off that notion, and he said he believes the Steelers offense can be much better now that he, QB Ben Roethlisberger and the rest of the
personnel have a year together under their belts.

"I think change is difficult," Haley said. "It's not always the easiest thing, because it's not always comfortable and you have to adjust. That goes for all parties involved. This case, for me, the players and coaches, it's not easy but that doesn't mean it's not right. Coach Tomlin made a change. I was fortunate enough to be the guy that was chosen. You want to make your boss right, and I believe we will. A year of experience working together, all of us, I think is priceless."

Starks sees writing on wall: LT Max Starks, as he has been for much of the past nine years with the Steelers, was a reliable and steady presence along the offensive line this season for Pittsburgh. But he's talking like a man who will be plying those talents elsewhere next season.

Starks, who is a free agent after the season, has paid close attention to the Steelers drafting of offensive tackles in the second round each of the past two seasons (each won the team rookie of the year award). As much as Starks enjoys the city and the organization, he doesn't want to be a backup.

"I don't think so," Starks said. "Obviously, (Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams) are great young guys, and obviously with me being here, I would be in an advisory role, and I don't know if I really want to do that.

"I would definitely love to come back and compete for a starting role, and if I lose a starting role, then be a backup. But that would be my primary goal. I think I'm still competitive. I'm not at the point where I'd be content just... hanging out. I'm a competitor, and I play
football. I played every snap this season so far, so I don't see that changing in the future."

Starks came back from offseason ACL surgery, signing a minimum salary contract on the eve of training camp and ultimately starting every game this season.

Follow Steelers reporter Chris Adamski on Twitter @CBSSteelers and @BuzzsawPGH.