We still don’t know for sure whether or not the Tennessee Titans have asked the Pittsburgh Steelers for permission of the last 24 hours to interview linebackers coach Keith Butler for their defensive coordinator position, but if they do, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that permission will be granted.
Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean has also picked up on this as well, so we’ll just have to wait a little longer it appears to see whether or not Butler will join new Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt in Tennessee. The two are good friends going back to their time spent together in Pittsburgh and Whisenhunt of course went after Butler twice before when he was the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.
Of course several Steelers players hope that Butler stays put and one of those is veteran linebacker Larry Foote, who talked about his position coach on Tuesday during an interview on 93.7 The Fan.
“He’s one of those wizards,” said Foote of Butler. “Being around him, he knows football in and out. He knows offensive schemes, he knows how to prepare us for our next opponent. He’s just a football guy, he knows the game well and I’m quite sure one day he’s going to be a heck of coach in this league, a head coach.”
Foote went on to say that he knows Butler loves Pittsburgh and that he’s not looking to push out defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, either. In addition, Foote said Butler is paid nicely for his services.
“The Steelers took care of him financially,” said Foote. “I know he’s the highest paid linebackers coach in the league, so he’s doing alright for himself.”
Money aside, Butler has waited a long time for a chance to become a defensive coordinator and if Whisenhunt comes calling and the Steelers do indeed grant permission, it might be tough for him to say no this time around.
Should Butler wind up finally leaving, defensive assistant Jerry Olsavsky would more than likely become the new linebackers coach in Pittsburgh.
UPDATE: Gerry Dulac is now reporting that Butler will stay with the Steelers as a possible move to the Titans was scuttled for undisclosed reasons. Dulac says that Whisenhunt now has his sights on Ray Horton, so hpefully this is the last time we have to post about this.