Keith Butler to interview for Steelers defensive coordinator position

Monday January 12th, 2015

Pittsburgh Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler will meet with head coach Mike Tomlin to discuss the team's open defensive coordinator position on Monday, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Longtime defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau resigned from the job on Saturday after 16 years leading the unit. Butler, who has coached Pittsburgh's linebackers since 2003, could take on a larger role with team now that his three-year contract has expired.

Butler's hiring could allow the Steelers to change their approach to defense while maintaining continuity after LeBeau's departure, writes Dulac.

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The team was 18th in total defense in 2014. Pittsburgh's pass defense fell from ninth in the league to 27th, even as the team's run defense improved from 23rd in the NFL to sixth.

Tomlin, who was more involved in defensive game-planning this season, served as defensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings before accepting the Steelers' head coaching job in 2007. 

Butler and Tomlin were on the same coaching staff at the University of Memphis in 1996. Two years later, Butler was defensive coordinator at Arkansas State while Tomlin was defensive backs coach there.

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Should the team promote Butler to head the defense, the team could move either Jerry Olsavsky or Joey Porter – both former linebackers and currently defensive assistants – into Butler's old job as linebackers coach. Porter joined the team prior to this past season; Olsavsky has held his current job for five years.

- Josh Sanchez

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