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hawaiiansteel
08-28-2011, 02:33 PM
Player Feature: Crezdon Butler does best job yet of "reading his keys"

Sun, Aug 28th, 2011 by John Perrotto
By John Perrotto

http://www.browsebiography.com/images/5/4482-CREZDON%20BUTLER_Pittsburgh%20Steelers_biography.j pg

Crezdon Butler took a calculated gamble during his college career at Clemson and it backfired.

Butler decided not to leave school after his junior season, even though the cornerback was generally projected to be a mid-to-late first round draft pick. Butler went back to Clemson and earned his sociology degree but saw his draft stock fall dramatically as opponents only threw his way 14 times all season. Thus, he slid to the Steelers in the fifth round.

Butler showed his first-round talent in Saturday night's 34-16 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in a preseason game at Heinz Field. Butler registered a game-high nine tackles and returned an interception 95 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to help the Steelers raise their record to 2-1.

The performance seemingly would end any doubt about Butler making the season-opening roster as one of the top sixth or seventh corners along with starters Bryant McFadden and Ike Taylor, backups Keenan Lewis and William Gay and third round pick Curtis Brown.

Donovan Warren and fourth round pick Cortez Allen are also in the mix for one of the final cornerback spots. The Steelers in 2010 carried six cornerbacks and four safeties to open the season.

Butler's chances of making the team would improve if McFaddden, who has yet to play because of a hamstring injury, is cut.

"We all know decisions are coming," said Butler, who also defensed two passes. "I feel I did my job tonight. I have some things to improve on and we'll see what happens but I feel I played pretty well."

Butler sat out the previous preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles with a leg injury. He made up for last time Saturday, getting extensive playing time as cornerbacks Taylor (broken thumb) and McFadden missed the game while a third corner, Keenan Lewis (knee), was injured in the first half.

"I was out there for a while," Butler said. "I had to get my conditioning back but I felt pretty good. I feel I played a whole lot better than I did in the first game."

Butler often looked lost in the Steelers' loss to the Redskins in Washington in the pre-season opener on Aug. 12. He managed just two tackles in that game.

Of course, some of Butler's poor performance could have been attributed to rust. He appeared in just four games as a rookie last year, recording only one tackle.

"I felt I did my best job yet of reading my keys, knowing what plays they should run and what my assignments were in this game," Butler said. "I trusted my eyes a lot more. My eyes were messing me up down in Washington. I wasn't seeing the keys. I wasn't seeing the plays developing. This time, I was doing a better job of reading my keys and carrying out my responsibilities."

While doing a workmanlike job with his nine tackles, Butler also made the type of splash play that is likely to get noticed when the coaches break down the video of the game. Butler picked off a pass by backup quarterback Chris Redman on the first play of the fourth quarter and raced down the left sideline for a score that put the Steelers comfortably ahead 31-16.

"He took a five-step drop and the D-line got great pressure on him," Butler said. "I had no idea I was going 95 yards with it, though. I just started running, and kept running until I got to the end zone."

And Butler likely ran his way onto the team, too.

http://insidepittsburghsports.com/story ... eys/42040/ (http://insidepittsburghsports.com/story/player-feature-crezdon-butler-does-best-job-yet-of-reading-his-keys/42040/)

Chadman
08-28-2011, 06:11 PM
Imagine if Butler had been a 1st round pick? How upset would people have been if he had been?

Not saying he's a bad player- but he hasn't looked like a 1st round pick yet...

That said, if he can do a job of not getting beaten, and make the occasional big play- he could go from #5 CB to #2 CB with a single cut on the roster.

Starting to think that both McFadden & Gay might become casualties the way things are going.

StarSpangledSteeler
08-28-2011, 07:25 PM
Imagine if Butler had been a 1st round pick? How upset would people have been if he had been?

Not saying he's a bad player- but he hasn't looked like a 1st round pick yet...

That said, if he can do a job of not getting beaten, and make the occasional big play- he could go from #5 CB to #2 CB with a single cut on the roster.

Starting to think that both McFadden & Gay might become casualties the way things are going.

i can only hope the coaches feel the same way you do. What physical traits does Gay give us that Warren does not? I believe none. McFadden is a better tackler than any CB except maybe Ike, so that is different. But neither McFadden nor Gay has any shred of upside. The biggest point that nobody is talking about is if we cut both of those two, would there be a drop off in performance of the back ups? I think not. Honestly.

StarSpangledSteeler
08-28-2011, 07:26 PM
Imagine if Butler had been a 1st round pick? How upset would people have been if he had been?

Not saying he's a bad player- but he hasn't looked like a 1st round pick yet...

That said, if he can do a job of not getting beaten, and make the occasional big play- he could go from #5 CB to #2 CB with a single cut on the roster.

Starting to think that both McFadden & Gay might become casualties the way things are going.

i can only hope the coaches feel the same way you do. What physical traits does Gay give us that Warren does not? I believe none. McFadden is a better tackler than any CB except maybe Ike, so that is different. But neither McFadden nor Gay has any shred of upside. The biggest point that nobody is talking about is if we cut both of those two, would there be a drop off in performance of the back ups? I think not. Honestly.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
08-28-2011, 08:14 PM
Imagine if Butler had been a 1st round pick? How upset would people have been if he had been?

Not saying he's a bad player- but he hasn't looked like a 1st round pick yet...

That said, if he can do a job of not getting beaten, and make the occasional big play- he could go from #5 CB to #2 CB with a single cut on the roster.

Starting to think that both McFadden & Gay might become casualties the way things are going.

i can only hope the coaches feel the same way you do. What physical traits does Gay give us that Warren does not? I believe none. McFadden is a better tackler than any CB except maybe Ike, so that is different. But neither McFadden nor Gay has any shred of upside. The biggest point that nobody is talking about is if we cut both of those two, would there be a drop off in performance of the back ups? I think not. Honestly.

I disagree about McFadden. He played well for us here in '08. He was gone in '09. He played injured in '10.

If he is healthy and can return to his '08 form then that is upside.

But I do think that Gay should be gone.

flippy
08-29-2011, 08:22 AM
I don't get any talk of cutting BMac. A healthy BMac is a perfect fit for Lebeau's system. McFaddy is the best tackler in our secondary. And that's hugely important in preventing the big plays and living another play for the front 7 to make a big play.

The thing I like about Butler is he's a form tackler. That's a missing skill in most of our secondary outside Ike and BMac. Butler is gonna fit in Lebeau's system for the long term and I can see him as an eventual successor for one of the starting spots.

feltdizz
08-29-2011, 08:27 AM
I'll gladly accept a CB who isn't as great of a tackler as McFadden but excels in pass coverage.

While I'm not big on Gay I know he isn't going anywhere this year. He knows the playbook and he is good in the nickel role.

ikestops85
08-29-2011, 10:32 AM
Imagine if Butler had been a 1st round pick? How upset would people have been if he had been?

Not saying he's a bad player- but he hasn't looked like a 1st round pick yet...

That said, if he can do a job of not getting beaten, and make the occasional big play- he could go from #5 CB to #2 CB with a single cut on the roster.

Starting to think that both McFadden & Gay might become casualties the way things are going.

i can only hope the coaches feel the same way you do. What physical traits does Gay give us that Warren does not? I believe none. McFadden is a better tackler than any CB except maybe Ike, so that is different. But neither McFadden nor Gay has any shred of upside. The biggest point that nobody is talking about is if we cut both of those two, would there be a drop off in performance of the back ups? I think not. Honestly.

I disagree about McFadden. He played well for us here in '08. He was gone in '09. He played injured in '10.

If he is healthy and can return to his '08 form then that is upside.

But I do think that Gay should be gone.

Gay also played well for us in '08 ... some think better than BMac which is why we let him run off to Pittsburgh west in '09. We have to face the fact that our corners are only as good as our pass rush makes them. The only person on the roster that I would consider a 'cover corner' is Ike. Our DBs are taught to hit hard, tackle well, keep the play in front of them (don't get beat deep), and if the QB makes a mistake make him pay for it (intercept it). Period!

feltdizz
08-29-2011, 11:52 AM
the only problem is McFadden and Gay never make the QB's pay for their mistakes...

steelblood
08-29-2011, 02:42 PM
we must improve at CB or teams like the Pats, NO, GB, etc will have their way with us. We have seen this too many times. Rolling the same CBs out there with the same defense and hoping something will change is insanity. Playing more man coverage and giving some of these kids a chance is our best hope. Unfortunately, these kids will make many mistakes as they learn.

hawaiiansteel
08-29-2011, 05:33 PM
Backup Crezdon Butler fights for starting job on corner

By Ralph N. Paulk, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, August 29, 2011

http://files.pittsburghlive.com/photos/2011-08-28/CrezdonButler-a.jpg

Crezdon Butler, who scampered 95 yards with an intercepted pass against Atlanta, also had a game-high nine tackles.

The Steelers have had far more questions than answers at the corners of their defense.

And for the second game in a row, injured starting cornerbacks Ike Taylor and Bryant McFadden watched from the Heinz Field sideline during Saturday's 34-16 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

When McFadden's backup, Keenan Lewis, hobbled off with a left knee injury in the second quarter, defensive coordinator D!ck LeBeau was down to his third option, Crezdon Butler.

Butler, who sat out last week's victory against Philadelphia with a strained quadriceps, intercepted a Chris Redman pass on the first snap of the fourth quarter. The second-year player sprinted untouched down the left sideline for a 95-yard touchdown that sent a jubilant crowd of 56,754 rushing toward the exits.

"The defensive line got some pressure, and I did a speed turn to get on top of the route," said Butler, who added a game-high nine tackles. "I had no idea I had daylight. I just ran."

Butler felt compelled to do something special considering he's fighting Lewis for playing time, if not the starting job ahead of McFadden. Taylor, conversely, suggested McFadden is likely to be in the starting lineup when the Steelers open the regular season Sept. 11 at Baltimore.

"(Butler) is a gamer, and he gives himself opportunities because he's a good ballplayer," Taylor said. "But with (McFadden), we won two Super Bowls. We won a Super Bowl with William Gay. People keep talking, and we keep winning."

Lewis, whose injury isn't considered serious, had a hard time covering Atlanta's Roddy White, who finished with a game-high eight receptions for 101 yards and caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan in the second quarter.

"You can never have enough good guys in the secondary," Taylor said, shunning criticism that McFadden and William Gay have become liabilities. "The young guys are starting to progress, but they have to make plays on a consistent basis. We can't get caught up with these preseason games where they make a play here and play there."

The excitement of Butler's score was tempered when Atlanta receivers beat him three times afterward. He surrendered two first-down receptions when he tried to make a play for the ball instead of attempting a sure tackle.

"We've got a great run-stop defense and a secondary that comes up to hit," said Butler, who hopes to make his first start in the preseason finale Thursday at Carolina.

"Obviously, we felt they were going to try us, but we held up. ... I haven't tackled in a while, so I need to work on my tackling."

Taylor agreed, then added that Butler won't truly be tested until he lines up against the Ravens.

"We want to see these guys do it at crunch time and when you know they're coming," he said. "There's a difference between playing the preseason and teams game-planning for you. I know they're going to (test) me when I get back, but if I handle my business, they have to go somewhere else."

And quarterbacks likely will try to feast on the Steelers' seemingly vulnerable left corners: McFadden, Lewis and Butler.

"If a guy goes down, we don't want teams to think of us as second- or third-stringers," Butler said. "We want to play like first-teamers."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1WRqSovM5 (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_753954.html#ixzz1WRqSovM5)

Slapstick
08-30-2011, 02:58 PM
"(Butler) is a gamer, and he gives himself opportunities because he's a good ballplayer," Taylor said. "But with (McFadden), we won two Super Bowls. We won a Super Bowl with William Gay. People keep talking, and we keep winning."

The Steelers won a Super Bowl with Antwaan Randle El and Cedrick Wilson...it didn't stop them from drafting Santonio Holmes and allowing the other two to go...

Then, they won a Super Bowl with Santonio Holmes as the MVP...it didn't stop them from drafting Mike Wallace, shipping Holmes to NY and drafting Sanders and Brown...


"You can never have enough good guys in the secondary," Taylor said, shunning criticism that McFadden and William Gay have become liabilities. "The young guys are starting to progress, but they have to make plays on a consistent basis. We can't get caught up with these preseason games where they make a play here and play there."

I would feel much better about keeping William Gay and Bryant McFadden if they made plays on a consistent basis....I can't get caught up in the past where they made a play here and a play there...

hawaiiansteel
08-30-2011, 07:18 PM
Steelers could turn to Butler

Posted: Sunday, August 28, 2011
By Andrew Chiappazzi Times Sports Correspondent

http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/timesonline.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/18/c1829d81-90da-55dc-a4c1-2b788d70be85/4e5b092d9c8bc.preview-300.jpg

Butler did it
Steelers cornerback Crezdon Butler (40) returned an interception for a touchdown Saturday night against Atlanta.

PITTSBURGH — Crezdon Butler’s first appearance in the 2011 preseason could not have gone any better. The second-year corner led the Steelers with nine tackles and two pass deflections, and his 95-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter sealed the win.

“(Falcons quarterback Chris Redman) took like a five-step drop and the defensive line got great pressure,” Butler said. “He released it and I did a little speed turn and I was just on top of it.”

The performance could combine with a handful of injuries to give Butler a significant boost in playing time once the regular season starts.

“We all know it’s a business. I think I did my job,” Butler said. “I have some things to work on and that I can improve on.”

The business aspect of things gets difficult for the Steelers in the next few days. Teams have to trim their rosters to 80 players by Tuesday and then cut down the roster further to their final 53 players by Saturday. The Steelers have 90 players on the roster, so the immediate cut isn’t an issue, as the ten let go by Tuesday will likely just be training camp bodies.

But injuries could make the second round of cuts on Saturday very interesting. Butler played his first game of the preseason Saturday night and certainly made an impression. He played most of the game, which turned out to be a good test for his healing quadriceps.

“I feel pretty good. The quad is doing okay,” Butler said. “I just have to keep getting better and better, healthier and healthier.”

Rookie corner Cortez Allen hasn’t been able to get healthy enough to play in a preseason game yet. Starting right corner Ike Taylor is recovering from a broken thumb. Starting left corner Bryant McFadden hasn’t played all preseason due to a hamstring injury.

Saturday night, third-year veteran Keenan Lewis went down with a knee injury, temporarily making the starters Butler and William Gay.

Taylor says he’ll be back in time for the start of the regular season. Lewis is still being evaluated, but coach Mike Tomlin said he expects Lewis to be fine. As for McFadden, Tomlin had a short reply when asked if he still considered the veteran his starter at left corner.

“Yes.”

The uncertainty in the health of at least four separate corners for the Steelers makes Thursday’s game against Carolina that much more intriguing. Taylor and McFadden likely won’t play, and since Gay could be starting Week 1 against Baltimore, it’s doubtful he plays. If Lewis isn’t ready to go, it could be Butler and Donovan Warren starting against the Panthers in a last ditch effort to stake claim to a roster spot.

Butler, for one, isn’t worried about making up for lost time.

“If you don’t play in the games, you still have practice and practice makes for perfect games,” Butler said. “Nobody’s perfect, but I think I did a great job.”

http://www.timesonline.com/sports/local ... 79130.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/local_sports/steelers-could-turn-to-butler/article_d2888d82-7368-5076-8283-5945def79130.html)

DukieBoy
08-30-2011, 10:32 PM
I'm driven to want change in our DB's more by dissatisfaction with McF & Gay, than by any information that Butler or Lewis or any others will be better. I wish there was a clearly superior option on the roster. Wait and see, I guess.

hawaiiansteel
09-02-2011, 01:33 AM
Steelers young cornerback learning on job

By Ralph N. Paulk, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, September 2, 2011


CHARLOTTE — Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor said last week that things would get tougher for cornerback Crezdon Butler, mostly because Butler's 95-yard interception return for a touchdown got everyone's attention.

The Panthers set him up with a couple of short post routes, then wide receiver David Clowney beat him on a deep route along the right sideline for a 41-yard touchdown to tie the score at 14-14 with 6:56 left in the first half.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1WlLl5Ynq (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_754698.html#ixzz1WlLl5Ynq)