In a headline that’s usually reserved for players, Keith Butler is coming back as Pittsburgh Steelers’ defensive coordinator for at least one more year. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac, Butler is returning with a one-year contract.
That matches Dulac’s previous reporting that signaled Butler’s return but on a year-to-year basis.
Butler, who turns 65 in May, has served as the team’s defensive coordinator since 2015. He’s the staff’s longest tenured coach, hired in 2003 as the linebackers coach and serving that role until replacing Dick LeBeau as DC.
Mike Tomlin’s role in defensive playcalling has only grown over time, Tomlin reportedly called all the plays in the team’s Wild Card loss, and his influence is only likely to increase into 2021. It’s possible Butler doesn’t have any playcalling duties next season. But Butler has worked well with linebackers, getting the most out of Vince Williams while developing Devin Bush, and his off-ball pressure schemes are among the best in football.
Aside from the non-renewal of Tom Bradley, there appear to be limited changes happening to the defensive coaching staff. Teryl Austin has interviewed to be the next DC of the Tennessee Titans but it’s unclear if he’s a favorite for the job. Most changes are happening on the offensive side of the football with the Steelers needing to add a new offensive coordinator (and potentially QBs coach if Matt Canada is promoted), offensive line coach, and tight ends coach.