The Pittsburgh Steelers defense has a reputation for being nasty, tough, and stingy when it comes to giving up yards and points. Lately, the defense has shown its chinks in the armor. No longer is this vaunted defense a stout run stopping force. The secondary is porous, and giving up big plays has become all too common among an aging defense that has finally begun to show its age. The situation has the potential to get even worse in the ‘Burgh.
Many in Steeler Nation point the finger at Steelers defensive coordinator, Dick LeBeau, for most of what ails this defense. Young capable men rot on the bench in favor of veterans who are more familiar with the ‘complicated’ defensive schemes. LeBeau has garnered a reputation that is far different from what the constructed legend is really known for: He’s become stubborn – unwilling to change his approach of letting the younger guys play, making halftime adjustments, and seemingly letting the defense implode as offenses march down the field and overcome 10 point deficits. LeBeau’s retirement couldn’t come sooner for most people, but there really is no sign as to when that will happen for the 76 year old hawk. I’ve been strongly opinionated about this defense in the past, and Dicky is becoming a liability to the current success of this team. Now it appears he could become a liability to the future success of this team.
According to NFL reporter Jason LaCanfora, the new head coach for the Tennessee Titans, Ken Whisenhunt, is looking to get Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler on as his new defensive coordinator. It’s no secret that Butler is more than capable of becoming a DC for any team in the NFL. It’s also no secret that Butler is sticking around in Pittsburgh in hopes of getting one of the most coveted DC appointments in the entire league – the Pittsburgh Steelers. Butler has been with the Steelers since 2003, and how he hasn’t left is simply amazing. It shows his commitment to the Steelers organization, and also his passion and desire to become the next defensive coordinator for the Steelers.
If Butler leaves the Steelers for the Titans (or any other team for that matter), it will be a huge loss to the Steelers and its defense. I hope that this news strikes a chord with the Steelers brass and they make a concrete and quick decision on LeBeau. Rooney, during his state of the Steelers union this past week, did not hide the fact the defense was the weak link on the team and needed vast improvement. LeBeau is no longer the future for this defense. Butler certainly could be… and should be. Keeping LeBeau and losing Butler would also be a huge blow to a linebacking core that is getting younger and needs strong coaching – another painful loss and step back to this team in its quest to move above .500 in 2014.
There aren’t many others who could step into the role like Butler could (maybe Carnell Lake… maybe). Steelers need to make a move or The Wiz, now down in Tennessee, could shift the tide of Pittsburgh West by bringing Keith Butler onto his coaching staff. The Steelers could potentially block the move according to LaCanfora.
Your move Steelers.