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fordfixer
05-06-2010, 05:48 AM
Bevy of LBs has Steelers' Butler beaming

By John Harris, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 79538.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_679538.html)

No one was happier with the Steelers' bounty from the recent NFL Draft than linebackers coach Keith Butler.

The Steelers selected three linebackers, including two outside 'backers Jason Worilds and Thaddeus Gibson among their top four selections.

"Glory hallelujah!'' Butler joked after the Steelers drafted Stevenson Sylvester in the fifth round, the third linebacker selected for Butler to coach.

Even before the draft, the Steelers were well-stocked at linebacker. There are veterans James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley and Andre Frazier on the outside, and James Farrior, Lawrence Timmons, Larry Foote and Keyaron Fox inside.

But where the majority of those linebackers, with the exception of Timmons, are better known for their smarts and positioning on the field, Worilds, Gibson and Sylvester offer an element the Steelers have been lacking speed.

"Speed, but more than anything else he was fluid,'' Butler said in describing Worilds, whose 4.51 time in the 40-yard dash at Virginia Tech's pro day makes him the fastest outside linebacker on the Steelers' roster.

"He's a fast, fast-playing, aggressive, play-hard kid,'' Butler said about Stevenson, who's being asked to make the transition from college outside linebacker to inside 'backer in the pros.

Butler's ability to instruct and fit young linebackers into defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau's complicated schemes ranks him among the league's top assistants.

"A lot of times guys like (Worilds) have played defensive end all these years (in college), and all they've done is put their hand on the ground and looked at offensive tackles and tight ends are not seeing the whole picture,'' said Butler, who joined the Steelers staff in 2003.

"The thing that's hardest for these guys is to adjust to formations and number counts we use in terms of how we cover receivers figuring out where they line up. The NFL is getting more creative with its formations, with all the unbalanced stuff. I think there's going to be even more of an emphasis to where you line up.''

Butler and coach Mike Tomlin previously worked together at Memphis in 1996, where Butler was the linebackers/defensive end/special teams coach and Tomlin was the defensive backs coach.

A linebacker with the Seattle Seahawks from 1978-87, where he still ranks second in franchise history in career tackles, Butler is viewed as more than a coach by his players because of his ability to relate to them.

It's what endears Butler to Farrior, a co-captain who makes the defensive calls.

"The thing about him is he was a ballplayer he played linebacker,'' Farrior said. "He usually knows why we make mistakes. He's able to relate on a totally different level than another coach would because he's been in every situation we've been in.''

Farrior said players were concerned when Butler received an opportunity in January to become the Miami Dolphins' defensive coordinator. Butler turned down the offer to remain with the Steelers.

"I was keeping up real close with that situation. It was going to be a big change for us. I know his ultimate goal is probably one day to be a head coach. We definitely didn't want him to leave, but we understood,'' Farrior said.

"We all work well together because he has a good understanding of everything that we're going through and everything that goes on on the football field. That gives us a different level of respect over a coach that didn't play the game.''

steelblood
05-06-2010, 07:11 AM
IF I hear him say again that it will take "2 years" to prepare these kids to play, I'm gonna hurl. Dom Capers got Matthews starting as a rookie. Hell, even Butler got Woodley starting in one year (Wood even contributed as a rook). Sure, the defense is tough to learn and these players have a bit of a transition to OLB. But, if Butler is the quality coach whom many claim he is, he needs to stop managing expectations and start becoming a more efficient teacher.

Oviedo
05-06-2010, 08:00 AM
The LB selections were much needed and I think they got some potentially very good talent especially on the outside. Harrison is not a spring chicken no matter what anyone says about not having "alot of wear and tear." I don't buy that as evidenced by him only getting 2 sacks in the final 8 games last season. Woodley also has upcoming free agency and while I can't see how in the world we could let him go you never know.

If as widely reputed Butler in the DC in waiting then he really have his own future in his hands. Let's hope he can get these guys up to speed fast.

RuthlessBurgher
05-06-2010, 07:07 PM
Keith Butler, about to leave town to become the new D.C. for the Dolphins, gets one last phone call.

"Wait! Don't go! If you stay, we promise to draft you two...no, THREE!...new linebackers!"

"Yeah, right...They'll probably all be 5th round picks. After all, we have enough of those."

"No, really...How about a 2nd, a 4th, and, yeah, I suppose a 5th round pick. Sound good?"

"I want a veteran linebacker who already knows the system too. In my meeting with Parcells, he said that he plans to cut Joey Porter. I know a scout in Australia who really thinks we should bring him back to the 'Burgh!"

"Let's be realistic, Keith...you know as soon as that happens, the folks over at Pittsburgh West will be waiting with a multi-year contract worth nearly $6 million per season for Peezy, right?"

"Yeah, I suppose so...what about Larry Foote then? He must have had his fill of losing in Detroit by now."

"You got it. Do we have a deal?"

"One last thing. Since I'm going to be the next D.C. here in Pittsburgh when Saint LeBeau hangs up his whistle, I need to have an heir apparent for my LB coach spot when I move up the ladder. I want an intense former player that the players can relate to...could we sign Kevin Greene to be a quality control coach here? He was great to have around when he tutored the guys in training camp as a coaching intern a few years ago."

"Well, Kevin is under contract as a coach on the Green Bay Packers staff. I could call Youngstown State to see if Jerry Olsavsky wants to come back to the NFL, though. Whaddaya say?"

"Where do I sign?"

steelblood
05-06-2010, 07:13 PM
Keith Butler, about to leave town to become the new D.C. for the Dolphins, gets one last phone call.

"Wait! Don't go! If you stay, we promise to draft you two...no, THREE!...new linebackers!"

"Yeah, right...They'll probably all be 5th round picks. After all, we have enough of those."

"No, really...How about a 2nd, a 4th, and, yeah, I suppose a 5th round pick. Sound good?"

"I want a veteran linebacker who already knows the system too. In my meeting with Parcells, he said that he plans to cut Joey Porter. I know a scout in Australia who really thinks we should bring him back to the 'Burgh!"

"Let's be realistic, Keith...you know as soon as that happens, the folks over at Pittsburgh West will be waiting with a multi-year contract worth nearly $6 million per season for Peezy, right?"

"Yeah, I suppose so...what about Larry Foote then? He must have had his fill of losing in Detroit by now."

"You got it. Do we have a deal?"

"One last thing. Since I'm going to be the next D.C. here in Pittsburgh when Saint LeBeau hangs up his whistle, I need to have an heir apparent for my LB coach spot when I move up the ladder. I want an intense former player that the players can relate to...could we sign Kevin Greene to be a quality control coach here? He was great to have around when he tutored the guys in training camp as a coaching intern a few years ago."

"Well, Kevin is under contract as a coach on the Green Bay Packers staff. I could call Youngstown State to see if Jerry Olsavsky wants to come back to the NFL, though. Whaddaya say?"

"Where do I sign?"
:lol: :lol:

Oviedo
05-07-2010, 07:56 AM
Keith Butler, about to leave town to become the new D.C. for the Dolphins, gets one last phone call.

"Wait! Don't go! If you stay, we promise to draft you two...no, THREE!...new linebackers!"

"Yeah, right...They'll probably all be 5th round picks. After all, we have enough of those."

"No, really...How about a 2nd, a 4th, and, yeah, I suppose a 5th round pick. Sound good?"

"I want a veteran linebacker who already knows the system too. In my meeting with Parcells, he said that he plans to cut Joey Porter. I know a scout in Australia who really thinks we should bring him back to the 'Burgh!"

"Let's be realistic, Keith...you know as soon as that happens, the folks over at Pittsburgh West will be waiting with a multi-year contract worth nearly $6 million per season for Peezy, right?"

"Yeah, I suppose so...what about Larry Foote then? He must have had his fill of losing in Detroit by now."

"You got it. Do we have a deal?"

"One last thing. Since I'm going to be the next D.C. here in Pittsburgh when Saint LeBeau hangs up his whistle, I need to have an heir apparent for my LB coach spot when I move up the ladder. I want an intense former player that the players can relate to...could we sign Kevin Greene to be a quality control coach here? He was great to have around when he tutored the guys in training camp as a coaching intern a few years ago."

"Well, Kevin is under contract as a coach on the Green Bay Packers staff. I could call Youngstown State to see if Jerry Olsavsky wants to come back to the NFL, though. Whaddaya say?"

"Where do I sign?"

I think the promise that Saint LeBeau was only going to coach one more season and you are getting the DC job was probably the clincher. Why move his family when he gets the same job just waiting one more year. South Florida isn't exactly the Garden of Eden. Other than the weather it is a horrible place to live.