Pittsburgh Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler is one of my favorite coaches to listen to talk, but unfortunately we only get to hear from him just a few times a year.
While talking Saturday about Florida State linebacker Vince Williams, whom the Steelers drafted in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL draft, the coach was not shy about telling how he was banging the table for another linebacker in the second round.
“If they had done what I felt like doing we would have taken one in the second round,” Butler said. “As I told them, last time we picked first and second with linebackers we won the Super Bowl two years later. We didn’t go to it, we won it. I tried to make that argument, it didn’t work. It worked for one round, but it didn’t work for the second round.”
While Butler didn\’t name which linebacker he was banging the table for in round two, it isn\’t hard to speculate that Kansas State linebacker Arthur Brown was his desired target. As fate would have it, the Baltimore Ravens snagged Brown just eight picks after the Steelers selected Michigan State running back Le”veon Bell. Go figure.
Butler at least got the first present of the draft in the form of Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones, who Butler says is unlikely to come in and see much playing time during his rookie season.
“Everybody talks about Jarvis coming in and stuff like that and is Jarvis going to start his first year?” Butler said. “We’ve never started a linebacker since I’ve been here. His first year, Jarvis Jones has a wealth of talent and I’m very fortunate to have him. He put up 28 sacks in the last two years in the toughest, in my opinion, the best conference in the land. He’s done it. He’s been very productive. He’s going to come in and compete, but he’s not going to be given the position. Some of you think that way. I certainly don’t think that way.”
As far as Williams goes, Butler said that he is a big hitter that was only a two-down linebacker in college. The main focus with moving forward will be to see if he can cover and become a three down linebacker. Even if he can or he cant, you can bet that this time next year Butler will be banging the table in every round for more linebackers. After all, that is what he is paid to do.