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Updated: Keith Butler Will Stay With Steelers


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.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Matt Manzo

    Seems too similar to coaching up players only to let them go! I don’t wanna lose Butler! I’ve been waiting for him to be our DC as long as he has!

  • steeltown

    Thats’ fine if Olsavsky becomes the LB Coach, the real question is who then replaces Lebeau.. I don’t like the way this smells

  • steeltown

    RE Update: I’m confused…wasn’t that the initial thought, Horton was 1st choice

  • Matt Manzo

    Can’t wait to hear about the scuttling!!!

  • steellife007

    Horton should be his first choice…great DC…that would be a double plus for us though; we get to keep Butler and Horton gets pulled away from the Browns…Nice!

  • James Kling

    Clearly this report holds no water. Ian Rappaport said so.

  • SwagDaddy330

    Horton is a “great DC?” I’d love to hear what you think of the other 10 DCs that had defenses ranked ahead of Cleveland’s.

  • steellife007

    I would be surprised if ours was better bc it didn’t look like it lol and I still think highly of dick. We are talking about cleveland here who besides joe hyden doesn’t have a lot of talent and offense puts them in a lot of bad situations…I suppose horton did terrible in arizona too. So yes he would be my first choice as oppose to someone who has never held the position before…..and don’t get me wrong I think butler will make a great dc but horton is proven.

    And to really answer your question the other 10 suck…that’s why their defenses finished in the top 10 “sarcasm”.

  • steellife007

    Totally agree with that

  • steeltown

    Cleveland has some players, they’ve been picking high in the draft for yrs now: Phil Taylor, Rubin, J.Sheard, Haden, Skrine, TJ Ward, D’Qwell Jackson, J.Michael Johnson, Paul Kruger, Barkevious Mingo..they have alot of talent

  • steellife007

    Just checked total defense and they finished 9th any….not bad for the browns if you ask me. We finished 13th boy does lebeau suck “sarcasm”.

    Can only do so much without the players.

  • steellife007

    Phil taylor is a beast of a man and I like ward but drafting high dosnt always translate into talent or good…they have no more talent on d than we do overall and horton did a good job for one year with the team.

  • Asmitty56

    You forgot the most dangerous, Josh Gordon.

  • steellife007

    Gordon is on offense but you’re right about the dangerous part

  • DarthVenamis

    Agreed. I think it is fairly obvious by now that Butler and the Steelers have a handshake agreement that he will take over as DC when LeBeau finally retires. Although I certainly wouldn’t blame him if he left for a DC job elsewhere with LeBeau continuing to return year after year.

  • Aric Brown

    Dont be fooled by the numbers… Cleveland has built an ELITE defensive unit (IMO)… the numbers are skewed a bit because the defense is on the field more often than most as Cleveland ranks 29th in time of possession for the season

  • Jakob

    Well thats a bummer for all their family living in the area

  • Steve

    I know there is no big rush to bring in a new OL Coach, but it would to be nice to hear who is being interviewed for this job. The only head coach opening left is in Cleveland. Do we want to wait to see who is left after the teams that have new head coaches take their people? Right now there are a lot of coaches out there without jobs because they were let go from their old team. Our O line has a lot of young guys that need coached well. Good coaches get the most out of their players.

  • SwagDaddy330

    I am not saying Horton doesn’t know what he is doing by any means. Calling him “great” is a stretch.

    And the numbers are what the numbers are, that’s why they keep stats. Spin it any way you want, the fact is, they were ranked #10….which is a little better than average.

  • Dan

    Ba da bum (or however you spell a rimshot)

  • Dan

    Good news to hear he’ll stay. Now if we get some players that can stay healthy all year, we’ll be set.

  • CrazyTerry

    Yards is a very limited view of how good a defense is. What about turnovers? Lebeau has overseen Ds that do not emphasize batted passes or even pressure up the middle – two things important in stopping recent offenses like NE’s. His philosophy worked when the team had abunch of all pros on D, but no more.

  • steellife007

    They were 13yrds per game from being ranked 15th and going by your theory they were only 15yrds per game from being ranked 5th with the 49ers….but if you say so lol.
    I can however admit I used the word great loosely…Horton is obviously not going into the Hall of Fame but your comment regarding the post made it seem like he isn’t one of the better DC’s in the league and if you feel that way I strongly disagree IMO.

  • steeltown

    Indeed, sometimes people judge a Defense based solely on their ability to limit yardage, but its the Defense that is hard to score against that truly dominates. For example SF gave up around 315yds total per game and only allowed 17pts avg per game, whereas HOU who also allowed a very good 317yds per game gave up 26+ pts per game that’s almost a 10pt difference.. that’s huge

  • steellife007

    HOU threw a lot of pick 6’s this year….I remember at the beginning of the yr when Shaub threw a pick 6 in like 4 or 5 straight games alone….and their offense in general was terrible which made it very difficult on their D.

  • steellife007

    I do agree that not one single statistic regarding any team or player tells the whole story however.

  • steeltown

    Like Clevelands Offense

  • SwagDaddy330

    I only brought up yards because that was what started the talk about Clevelands D. I like to point at points per game to talk about Clevelands D and how they are near the bottom. To me, that is a more telling stat than anything.

  • SwagDaddy330

    Exactly, which makes total yards a dumb stat decide if a defense is elite or not.

    I think that we can agree that Horton is good at what he does just not “great”.

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