Butler On Dupree: ‘He’s Still A Little Rusty’


During his Tuesday press conference, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin indicated that he’ll now move forward with a four-man rotation at the outside linebacker position. One of those four players will obviously be second-year linebacker Bud Dupree, who has now played in two games since returning from the team’s Reserve/Injured list.

“If you look at it right now, James [Harrison] is probably going to be in the mix, he has the hot hand as of late,” Tomlin said. “He leads the group and leads us in sacks. Other than that, I imagine Bud [Dupree] is going to be part of the group because we are excited about what he potentially could bring us that we haven’t seen now that he has his health.”

In his weekly interview with Missi Matthews on Steelers Nation Radio, Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler talked about what he’s seen out of Dupree so far during his limited playing time.

“Well, he did a good job for us in the Indy game,” Butler said. “He’s still a little rusty from missing the time that he missed. Like I said, this is his second year in the league, he really missed a very important time for him developing during training camp, his second training camp. He missed all that. He might have been in all of the meetings and stuff like that, but getting out there and doing it is different than just going to meetings and trying to learn it. So, he’s still learning and if he makes any mistakes, he’s getting used to doing what we ask him to do within the defense.”

While Dupree only played 20 snaps in the Steelers Thursday night win over the Indianapolis Colts, the team’s 2015 first-round draft pick did manage to register two total tackles in addition to a quarterback hit. He looked fresh and showed quite a bit of hustle as well when it came to running after the football.


Against the Colts, Dupree lined up on both sides of the Steelers defense and that’s likely to continue moving forward and especially if fellow outside linebacker Jarvis Jones winds up being the odd man out of the four-man rotation beginning Sunday in the team’s home game against the New York Giants.

“I played way more than I thought I was going to play, but I was ready for it,” Dupree said this past week, according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I just try to let them know that I am ready and I can play more this week if I need to.

“I felt great, just a little bit of rust being on the field. Hopefully, this game will be my game where I can get a lot of snaps and just continue to knock the rust off and make more plays.”

Sunday, the Steelers defense will face a Giants offensive line that has only allowed their quarterback Eli Manning to be sacked 13 times thus far. Because of that, it will be interesting to see if Harrison or Dupree can get any consistent pressure on Manning in that contest. If they can’t, it could wind up being a long day for the Steelers secondary as they’ll be tasked with covering three great wide receivers in Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard.

  • Steelers12

    we need him to knock that rust off quick

  • srdan

    Houston didn’t look rusty last week lol

  • RickM

    Good point. Of course he has many pass rush moves learned and refined long-ago. I gather from Butler’s comments that we may see nothing different from Dupree in 2016 because of the lost training time. That would be unfortunate.

  • WreckIess

    I said that in an article yesterday. It was already going to be a process for him if he was fully healthy, but after losing 3 months it makes sense that he wouldn’t come out playing like an entirely new player.

  • PapaJuju

    I’ll just be happy if Bud can be a 8 to 9 sack a year guy. Houston is on a wholly different level than Bud will probably ever reach.

  • PaeperCup

    Could use some Rusteez

  • steelburg

    I agree and I had already made that assumption before this post today. I was making the argument to someone earlier this week that due to Bud’s circumstances and missing time Chickillo had closed the gap when it comes to on field production between the 2 IMO. Do not confuse that with POTENTIAL Bud has more of that IMO. But the summary of my argument is that we had the 2015 Bud last year and we pretty much have the same Bud he hasn’t shown use any difference yet. So the 2015+2016 Bud is equilivent to the 2016 Chickillo only in production IMO. So I think you get the samething from both players right now as far as on the field but they will play Dupree as much as possible so that this doesn’t become a lost season for a first round pick.

  • RickM

    I imagine you’re right as far as the playing time is concerned. Chickillo has definitely advanced. As for potential, I won’t pretend I’m a pass rush expert. I’m not. But I looked up the various pass rushing techniques that any player can learn and as I read and watched them I thought, ‘well that doesn’t seem all that complicated’. I guess I’m wondering why Dupree woudn’t already have mastered more pass rushing moves in his first year of professional ball. Maybe I’m just naive, but I still hope we can see greater variety and success from him even in an abbreviated Year 2.

  • Michael Conrad

    I noticed he did a spin move but ended up in the same place could be rust.

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    I thought Dupree really flashed last week. He showed both power and speed. I was encouraged.

  • steelburg

    I’m right there with you and I don’t think your naive for thinking that. Learning the proper technique and hand fighting IMO is a longer process. But just adding 1 or 2 more moves to his pass rushing game seems like something that could have been done in year 1 IMO. We saw 1 move from Dupree all of last year and I’m not sure you can even call it a move it was just a speed rush. But it kind of makes you wonder how hard a worker he is which was a knock on him if I’m not mistaken coming out of college.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    At this point, the goal is to be a better OLB than Jarvis Jones, which his is not yet.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    What I’ve been saying since he went on IR.

  • ryan72384

    Secondary might get torched this week if we can’t get pressure on Eli. Not many corners in football can cover those 3 without pressure.