SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 19: Linebackers coach Keith Butler (L) and defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau of the Pittsburgh Steelers watch from the sidelines during the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on December 19, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)
New Colts coach Chuck Pagano seems to want to accomplish two goals next week:
- Fill out the rest of his coaching staff
- Weaken the rival of the team he just left to coach in Indy, the Pittsburgh Steelers
Roughly 24 hours after news broke that the Colts will hire former Steelers assistant Bruce Arians as their offensive coordinator, we now get word from Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the Colts will interview Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler for their vacant defensive coordinator position. The Colts fired Larry Coyer during the 2011 regular season, and interim defensive coordinator Mike Murphy retired at season's end.
Unlike Arians, who was run out of the Steelers organization by the Rooney family, Butler is seen by many as the heir apparent to Dick Lebeau, the current defensive coordinator in Pittsburgh. Lebeau is 74, and is considered a legend both as an assistant and as a player. He was a 5th round pick of the Cleveland Browns back in 1959. In 2010, Lebeau was inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Rooneys could force Lebeau to 'retire' just as they did Arians. This way, they could keep Butler and promote him to coordinator.
Butler is scheduled to have an interview with the Colts on Monday, and he told Bouchette that the Colts job "is not a done deal," a statement that has cyncial bloggers like me wondering if Butler is using this interview to leverage the Steelers. He's been coaching linebackers in Pittsburgh since 2003, when Bill Cowher was the head coach. He's also 55 years old, and coordinator jobs like these don't come around that often.
Butler is another 3-4 scheme guy, just like Pagano. If he is hired, say goodbye to the Tampa-2 in Indianapolis, folks.