While it certainly doesn’t come as a surprise, the comments so far about what Steelers’ fans can expect from new Defensive Coordinator Keith Butler have been very positive.
Former Steelers’ great James Farrior told steelers.com writer Teresa Varley the following about Butler.
“He is an aggressive coach,” said Farrior. “Some coaches lay back and let athletes make plays. He is an aggressive coach and they will have some exciting things going on this year.”
“I think it’s going to be similar,” said Farrior. “He coached under Dick LeBeau and being around him and the system. It will be similar, but he will add a little spice to it.”
“He is a fiery guy, a passionate coach and understands the game well, playing in the league for a long time,” said Farrior. “He understands where the players are coming from and how the players see the game. That helps make him a good coach, he can relate to the players that way.”
Farrior is of course a former player while 2014 Pro Bowler Lawrence Timmons is a tremendous inside linebacker for the team. He recently said that fans should expect to see “Blitzburgh” back under the tutelage of Butler.
As great as Farrior’s comments were, Timmons’ comment struck me the hardest.
Was that a knock on Dick LeBeau? I don’t think it was necessarily in terms of a personal shot. But I do think it was a statement that many of us, myself included, found accurate. I felt that LeBeau tried to protect younger and sometimes older players too much by foregoing the blitz.
To me, it helps explain why the turnover and sack numbers were down in recent years. This isn’t the entire reason in way, but I think there’s merit there.
I’m hoping Butler is more willing to play a “risk-reward” type of defense. The team’s defensive draft selections support that argument as Bud Dupree, Senquez Golson and Gerod Holliman all have a penchant for getting to the ball.
I’m always willing to give up some big plays if it means we are getting some sacks and turnovers at a greater rate than in years prior.