Steelers changing of the guard at defensive coordinator

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Steelers changing of the guard at defensive coordinator

Post by fiboploc on Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:04 am

Keith Butler will succeed Dick LeBeau as defensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“We are excited to announce Keith Butler as our defensive coordinator,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “Keith has been an integral part of our defensive game planning and schemes for several years and we look forward to him moving into the role of calling the defense. His passion and energy will be important to us taking the next steps to being one of the top defenses in the NFL.”

Butler, a former NFL linebacker, was the team’s linebackers coach and received increased interest from other teams for coordinator jobs. He has been with the Steelers since 2003 and has been groomed to take over the defensive coordinator role.

“It’s the dream of a lifetime,” said Butler, who signed a three-year deal. “There are only 32 of these jobs on this Earth. I am excited about the opportunity and I look forward to getting this process started immediately.”

LeBeau resigned after 11 seasons as defensive coordinator in Pittsburgh. He was asked to step down by Tomlin. Tomlin retained LeBeau when he was hired to replace Bill Cowher. He is in the mix to replace Todd Bowles with the Cardinals if the Arizona defensive coordinator becomes a head coach.

“I’m resigning. I’m not retiring,” LeBeau, 77, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “It was a lot of great days, a lot of great years. It’s time to go in a different direction.”

LeBeau has been in the NFL for 56 years as a player and coach. In 2010 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his play as a defensive back with the Detroit Lions. In his 14 years, LeBeau grabbed 62 interceptions, seventh best total in NFL history.

He was twice defensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals, first from 1984 to 1991 and then from 1997 to 2000, and served as head coach there from 2000 to 2002.

LeBeau gained even more notoriety in two stints as the Steelers’ defensive coordinator (1995-96 and 2004 to present) and is heralded as the architect of the zone blitz that has been popular among 3-4 teams in the NFL for years.

During LeBeau’s combined 13 seasons with the Steelers, his defenses ranked No. 1 five times and in the top five 10 times.

“We want to thank Dick for his many years of service with the team and all that he has done for this organization,” Tomlin said. “His coaching helped lead us to many successful seasons and championships. We are very appreciative of his efforts, and we wish him well.”

–All of the work the Steelers have done over the past three offseasons will have to continue despite the fact that they broke out of those consecutive 8-8 records to win the AFC North at 11-5.

Most of that will have to come on defense, where their 33 sacks ranked 26th in the NFL and were their fewest in 24 seasons. They also failed again to come up with many turnovers (21) and their defense ranked 15th overall, 18th in points and 27th vs. the pass.

Look for them to go without Troy Polamalu, Ike Taylor, Brett Keisel and perhaps James Harrison from that defense next season. Those four have been to all three Super Bowls since 2005 and have two rings each.

While the process will continue on defense, their offense needs very little. They finished as the NFL’s No. 2 offense in 2014 and boasted the NFL’s passing yards co-leader in Ben Roethlisberger, the leader in receptions and yards in Antonio Brown and the AFC rushing leader in Le’Veon Bell.

Their offensive line solidified and played well and they have some young dynamic receivers behind Brown in rookie Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton. About the only things they need on offense are a backup running back and tight end.

“Just because we have some outstanding front-line guys on offense, it doesn’t mean that we can’t get better,” Mike Tomlin said. “It might be as simple as fortifying depth in some positions.”

It was a successful season for Tomlin and his team after worries that they might be headed the other way following those twin 8-8 killings, which did not go over big in Pittsburgh. While their playoff loss at home to Baltimore was deeply disappointing, they realize they have work to do on defense if they want to take the next step back to the Super Bowl.

“I think that we’re a much better team at the end of the journey than we were at the beginning,” Tomlin said. “The growth and the development of young players and the etching out of roles and guys ascending is a part of that.

“We have a lot of guys that took big positive steps in 2014. As I reflect on the journey that is that season, I do feel comfortable about the growth of a lot of men and a lot of things to be proud and be excited about.”

Their offense carried them for most of the season, although it disappeared at strange times — e.g., a 20-13 loss at the Jets and a 31-10 loss at Cleveland. The offense may have to do it again in 2015 unless a lot of young players step up, including their past two first-round draft choices, Jarvis Jones and Ryan Shazier.

The Steelers will have a brutal schedule in 2015, having to play at New England, Seattle, Kansas City and San Diego, and at home vs. San Francisco, Arizona, Denver and Indianapolis.

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fiboploc

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Re: Steelers changing of the guard at defensive coordinator

Post by diehardsteersfan on Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:06 pm

fiboploc wrote:Keith Butler will succeed Dick LeBeau as defensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“We are excited to announce Keith Butler as our defensive coordinator,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “Keith has been an integral part of our defensive game planning and schemes for several years and we look forward to him moving into the role of calling the defense. His passion and energy will be important to us taking the next steps to being one of the top defenses in the NFL.”

Butler, a former NFL linebacker, was the team’s linebackers coach and received increased interest from other teams for coordinator jobs. He has been with the Steelers since 2003 and has been groomed to take over the defensive coordinator role.

“It’s the dream of a lifetime,” said Butler, who signed a three-year deal. “There are only 32 of these jobs on this Earth. I am excited about the opportunity and I look forward to getting this process started immediately.”

LeBeau resigned after 11 seasons as defensive coordinator in Pittsburgh. He was asked to step down by Tomlin. Tomlin retained LeBeau when he was hired to replace Bill Cowher. He is in the mix to replace Todd Bowles with the Cardinals if the Arizona defensive coordinator becomes a head coach.

“I’m resigning. I’m not retiring,” LeBeau, 77, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “It was a lot of great days, a lot of great years. It’s time to go in a different direction.”

LeBeau has been in the NFL for 56 years as a player and coach. In 2010 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his play as a defensive back with the Detroit Lions. In his 14 years, LeBeau grabbed 62 interceptions, seventh best total in NFL history.

He was twice defensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals, first from 1984 to 1991 and then from 1997 to 2000, and served as head coach there from 2000 to 2002.

LeBeau gained even more notoriety in two stints as the Steelers’ defensive coordinator (1995-96 and 2004 to present) and is heralded as the architect of the zone blitz that has been popular among 3-4 teams in the NFL for years.

During LeBeau’s combined 13 seasons with the Steelers, his defenses ranked No. 1 five times and in the top five 10 times.

“We want to thank Dick for his many years of service with the team and all that he has done for this organization,” Tomlin said. “His coaching helped lead us to many successful seasons and championships. We are very appreciative of his efforts, and we wish him well.”

–All of the work the Steelers have done over the past three offseasons will have to continue despite the fact that they broke out of those consecutive 8-8 records to win the AFC North at 11-5.

Most of that will have to come on defense, where their 33 sacks ranked 26th in the NFL and were their fewest in 24 seasons. They also failed again to come up with many turnovers (21) and their defense ranked 15th overall, 18th in points and 27th vs. the pass.

Look for them to go without Troy Polamalu, Ike Taylor, Brett Keisel and perhaps James Harrison from that defense next season. Those four have been to all three Super Bowls since 2005 and have two rings each.

While the process will continue on defense, their offense needs very little. They finished as the NFL’s No. 2 offense in 2014 and boasted the NFL’s passing yards co-leader in Ben Roethlisberger, the leader in receptions and yards in Antonio Brown and the AFC rushing leader in Le’Veon Bell.

Their offensive line solidified and played well and they have some young dynamic receivers behind Brown in rookie Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton. About the only things they need on offense are a backup running back and tight end.

“Just because we have some outstanding front-line guys on offense, it doesn’t mean that we can’t get better,” Mike Tomlin said. “It might be as simple as fortifying depth in some positions.”

It was a successful season for Tomlin and his team after worries that they might be headed the other way following those twin 8-8 killings, which did not go over big in Pittsburgh. While their playoff loss at home to Baltimore was deeply disappointing, they realize they have work to do on defense if they want to take the next step back to the Super Bowl.

“I think that we’re a much better team at the end of the journey than we were at the beginning,” Tomlin said. “The growth and the development of young players and the etching out of roles and guys ascending is a part of that.

“We have a lot of guys that took big positive steps in 2014. As I reflect on the journey that is that season, I do feel comfortable about the growth of a lot of men and a lot of things to be proud and be excited about.”

Their offense carried them for most of the season, although it disappeared at strange times — e.g., a 20-13 loss at the Jets and a 31-10 loss at Cleveland. The offense may have to do it again in 2015 unless a lot of young players step up, including their past two first-round draft choices, Jarvis Jones and Ryan Shazier.

The Steelers will have a brutal schedule in 2015, having to play at New England, Seattle, Kansas City and San Diego, and at home vs. San Francisco, Arizona, Denver and Indianapolis.

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I feel really good about this schedule...better than if we had a bunch of bad teams.  This team always seems to get up for the better teams.  The last time we had one of the toughest schedules, we went to the Super Bowl.

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