Keith Butler

Nickel Run Defense

Expect Steelers To Use Nickel As Majority Grouping In 2016

Last year we saw an increase in the Pittsburgh  Steelers’ use of the nickel package, which subs in another defensive back for a linebacker. This, of course, is a direct reaction to the increasing number of three wide receiver sets that offenses tend to employ. And the rate at which…


Last Weekend In June: Steelers Friday Night Five Questions

Happy Friday to all of you once again. If you’re like me, you are probably a little bummed about the Pittsburgh Steelers needing to part ways with veteran kicker Shaun Suisham earlier in the day. While it was obvious that Suisham would have likely been gone just before the start…


Ike Taylor: “This Team Will Be Special”

Ike Taylor flew into Pittsburgh during last week’s minicamp and caught up with’s Missi Matthews for a quick interview. And he didn’t hold back his optimism for the team’s outlook in 2016. He told Matthews he was excited for the group and as you can see in the title,…


One Step To Take: Arthur Moats

New series we’re kicking off here to get us through the upcoming dog days of the offseason. Every player wants to improve, to elevate his game in all areas from one season to the next. Understanding that, we’re going to isolate just one area, one faction of a player’s game….


Antonio Brown Says Artie Burns Has To Make Him Better Too

For as much as the Pittsburgh Steelers scouting department may have been criticized in recent years for their struggles to find quality players through the draft in the secondary—a wrong they hope to make right with three defensive backs in the first two rounds since 2015—general manager Kevin Colbert revealed…


Keith Butler, Steelers Need To Play A Consistent 11 In 2016

Keith Butler’s first season at the defensive coordinator helm was largely a success. The Steelers’ run defense improved, their red zone play stellar, and as a team, they were able to generate pressure and sacks. Room for improvement just like anyone else but overall, it was solid. There are several…

Shamarko Thomas

Shamarko Thomas Benefiting From Running With First-Team Defense

Aside from the time that he missed during training camp after being sidelined with a shoulder injury following a tackle in practice, Pittsburgh Steelers safety Shamarko Thomas spent the entire offseason running with the first-team defense. And so far, that is where he has been yet again, running with the…

Bud Dupree

Keith Butler ‘Encouraged’ By Bud Dupree’s Development

After registering 4 sacks and 26 total tackles during his rookie season, Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree will be expected to improve immensely in his second year and that should happen be a result of a complete understanding of the defense. Last week, Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler talked…


Danny Smith: “We’re Going To Put The Best People Out There”

We’ve heard a lot from Keith Butler and Todd Haley but like special teams in general, Danny Smith has mostly been forgotten about. But’s Missi Matthews sat down for an exclusive interview with Smith, including getting his thoughts on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ punt return situation. If you’ve been following…


Film Room: Pittsburgh’s Problems With “Y Over”

No defensive scheme is perfect. If one existed, every team would run it. So it’s the same in Pittsburgh. Perhaps the biggest problem the Steelers have to defend are multiple vertical concepts. Think the Seattle Seahawks debacle last season, their 4 vertical attack eating up the Pittsburgh. We’re going to…


Kirwan: Examining Blitz Rate Success

We’ve spent a ton of the offseason discussing Keith Butler’s blitz trends. We’ve concluded he is blitzing more often and generally, playing more aggressively than Dick LeBeau’s later years. But how successful is he? Pat Kirwan examined league-wide trends over at Real Football Network. He looked at the ratio of blitzes…