Heyward Talks Changes Under Keith Butler

Much has been made of the potential schematic changes under new Pittsburgh Steeelers’ defensive coordinator Keith Butler. Details have been predictably scant but Cam Heyward seemed to confirm what we already know.

“We’re not going to have players holding blocks for others and staying in these double teams,” he told Robert Klemko in The MMQB.

This implies a one-gap mindset over the traditional two-gap that Butler hinted at during OTAs. Allowing the defensive line to shoot gaps and penetrate as opposed to occupy blockers and hold the point of attack.

“We can’t let them always take up for the linebackers, or try to take people on for the linebackers, we have to let them play football, too. So, hopefully we can employ everybody in this defense, especially the front seven,” the defensive coordinator told reporters almost two weeks ago.

Heyward added the “defense will be pretty similar” but “more blitzes [Butler] wants to add.”

The defensive end also briefly compared Butler’s personality to Dick LeBeau.

“I think Coach LeBeau was a little bit more laid back and Butler is a yeller. Everybody paid attention when Dick would get mad. With Butler it’s like there’s no playing around. No being laid back. He wants a great season.”

Nothing about this is shocking but continues to paint a picture of what the defense will look like. Nuanced changes but it’s clear Butler will have his own stamp on the defense compared to LeBeau.

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