Change can many times be a very good thing but it can often be relative to the situation. The Pittsburgh Steelers finally made the change many had been hoping for when long-time Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau was not brought back in 2015.
That decision initiated the change to Keith Butler, the long-time linebackers’ coach under LeBeau. Now I’m just as guilty as many other Steelers’ fans who were ready for a much-needed change but I think we need to slow the winds of change down just a bit.
To this point, Butler has said all of the right things and he did again Thursday as OTAs officially camp to an end. A couple of things that grabbed my attention as he addressed the media were…
I want us to marry the things we did well last year with some new things for this year.
If I can see us getting better against our offense then I feel pretty good.
In his almost three minutes with the media it was clear to me that Butler has already figured out just how to watch his words with the media. That said, his southern charm is sure to give way to some fire if his defense isn’t playing well too.
His first comment signals change I really like because he’s basically saying this defense needed some new wrinkles while the last comment is good as well. We often forget that our defense sees a pretty darn good offense each and every day in practice and that has to make you better.
What we as fans have to be cautious with is expecting too much from Butler and his defense. Everything that I have been told points me to believe that this defense will be very active. It’s not a stretch to say it will be significantly more active than at any recent time under Coach LeBeau.
Being “active” doesn’t necessarily mean “better,” but we have reason to hope and believe simply because Butler and Mike Tomlin have been familiar with each other for many years dating back to college. I don’t see Tomlin making the move to his old friend unless he truly believed that things would be different under him.
It’s certainly OK to be optimistic about the direction Keith Butler has the Steelers’ defense going but we need to also be cautious and let things play out. Change can often be positive as I said in the opening but there is plenty of evidence to prove it can be a negative too.
Let’s just see how the defense develops shall we?