Steelers Keith Butler interviewed with head coach Mike Tomlin for the vacant defensive coordinator position and Pittsburgh is sent to name Butler as their new defensive coordinator early today, per a report by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s Gerry Dulac.
Keith Butler joined Bill Cowher’s staff in 2003 as a linebackers coach after breaking into the NFL in 1999 with the Cleveland Browns as they returned to the NFL. During his time in Pittsburgh, Butler has overseen the development of stand outs such as Larry Foote, Clark Haggans, James Harrison, Lamarr Woodley. More recently, Butler has guided the growth of younger linebackers such as Sean Spence, Vince Williams and Terrence Garvin.
- It’s rare that an NFL position coach spends 12 years with the same team, at for one who has ambitions.
But Butler does have ambitions and his phone has not been idle. Ken Whisenhunt offered to take him to Pittsburgh West aka the Arizona Cardinals – but Butler declined, telling the Pittsburgh Tribune Review’s Mark Kabloy “Loyalty is big for me.”
Since then the Dolphins have come calling as have to Colts, and Whisenhunt tried to offer him the job in Tennessee but the Steelers blocked the move. The unofficial word was that, in exchange for the loyalty – both voluntary and enforced — that Butler was to be Dick LeBeau’s successor.
- As soon as news of Dick LeBeau’s resignation broke, rumors swirled that Butler had forced the Steelers hand.
While this has yet to be confirmed, Tomlin has only spoken with Butler and the Steelers have not scheduled any other interviews with other potential replacements.
The story may take an unexpected twist, but if Dulac’s report is confirmed, the Steelers have made their choice. Which makes sense as he’s been groomed role for close to a decade, hopefully the Butler will show that he can do it.
LeBeau Looking Towards Pittsburgh West?
As news of Butler’s interview in Pittsburgh was making the rounds, other news surfaced involving Pittsburgh West aka the Arizona Cardinals.
Word is that Bruce Arians is interviewing with Dick LeBeau about the expected vacancy on his staff…. …They call it Pittsburgh West for a reason.