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Steelers “coordinator in waiting” may not be able to interview

Keith Butler

Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler was seen in Arizona as a possible candidate to be the team’s defensive coordinator, if not the favorite outside the organization.

Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that Butler appears to have a clause in his contract saying he’s the defensive “coordinator in waiting” behind Dick LeBeau in Pittsburgh.  That clause may prevent Butler from interviewing elsewhere and was reportedly inserted after Butler turned down the Dolphins coordinator job after last season.

Butler and Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt are golf buddies, and the Cardinals wanted Butler for the coordinator job two years ago.  Butler turned down the chance at the time because he was set to undergo hip replacement surgery.

It sounds like he may not even have the right to turn down the job this time.

(Hat tip to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic for sending us in the right direction.)

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11 Responses to “Steelers “coordinator in waiting” may not be able to interview”
  1. krow101 says: Jan 11, 2011 11:27 AM

    It also sounds like a poison pill… which most decent teams have a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ against. Of course now that the Steelers have gone thug it’s probably null and void.

  2. FinFan68 says: Jan 11, 2011 11:28 AM

    Why would that statement make him unable to take a different job? I thought there was a similar statement in Muschamp’s contract at Texas and he still went to the Gators. I do not see how a statement about the team’s future intentions is in any way viewed as a restriction of the coach’s options. Unless there is a specific clause that actually says ghe can’t take another job, then I think this article is a bunch of BS.

  3. steelernation1 says: Jan 11, 2011 12:13 PM

    it would make him unable because it will make him the coordinator of the steelers once LeBeu retires which i dotn think is that far away.if they win the super bowl this year he may retire but i dont know,Butler was groomed in pittsburgh for the position,it was promissed to him when Dick retires.

    he agreed to the contract.and as long as he is under contract the steelers have the right to deny any team from contacting him for a job.

  4. shotgunformation5wide says: Jan 11, 2011 12:59 PM

    Wow!!! Will wonders ever cease! This dysfunctional franchise has continued to fleece the Steelers of its players and coaches and then say its better!? How! Keith, just ask Mcfadden about his hiatus there in AZ. He ran away as fast as he can. That organization is clearly not interesting in fielding a winning team but merely enticing its fans with a false diatribe in order to gain ticket sales. Simply put – GET YOUR OWN STINKIN PLAYERS & COACHES!!! That place is a joke!

  5. rgfan says: Jan 11, 2011 2:18 PM

    Arrogant Steeler fans (or am I being redundant) how I love them. Most of what you said shotgun is just nonsense, but your talking about McFadden is just ridiculous. I watched him for his entire “hiatus” in Arizona and he was awful. Without the protection of the vaunted Pittsburgh pass rush he is below average at best. You would be hard pressed to find a Cardinal fan that wasn’t happy he went back to Pittsburgh.

  6. steelernation1 says: Jan 11, 2011 2:47 PM

    rgfan:we have seen him for a lot longer than u have,i just dont think u know football,as with any player they have bad games but he has more of the better than bad,until u actually know whats coming out of your trap dont say anything.and of course u r a cards fan,doesnt say much about you.how many rings does cards have?shows whos team knows how to pick coaches and players

  7. Bubby Brister says: Jan 11, 2011 4:25 PM

    “Keith, just ask Mcfadden about his hiatus there in AZ. He ran away as fast as he can.”

    Actually, Pittsburgh traded for him. There’s a pretty big difference (though I have a feeling McFadden was still pleased with the deal). McFadden’s a decent corner… in Pittsburgh system. It’s not all about the pass rush. It’s playing a zone off of his man, not getting beat deep, making his man take the short completion and wrap him up for minimal gain. He’s not anywhere near a Pro Bowl player or anything, but that style fits his abilities perfectly. I’m not sure how they used him in Zona, but I can only imagine they had him playing more man, press, etc.

    Anyway, I really hope Butler stays here. He’s been the defensive coordinator in waiting for years for a reason. This defense could take a big hit when LeBeau retires and if Butler is what they think he is (and I don’t see why he wouldn’t be) the team should be fine. Other than that, Whiz can take our trash out anytime he wants. I don’t understand why so many Steelers fans get offended by this. It should be taken as a compliment.

  8. dwoofer says: Jan 11, 2011 5:07 PM

    Cardinals fans do not want anybody or anything from the Pit-burg Stinkers. After New England demolishes them, they will be even more worthless.

  9. rgfan says: Jan 11, 2011 5:08 PM

    It could very well be true that the Cardinals didn’t use McFadden effectively. What I do know is that he really struggled here all season long.
    Also, AZ really hasn’t taken all that many Pitt coaches and players. As far as coaches, I can only really think of Whisenhunt, Grimm, and Spencer. The players-Porter, McFadden, St. Pierre, Haggans, some punter that I can’t remember, Faneca (via the jets). Was there anyone else?

  10. Deb says: Jan 11, 2011 6:10 PM

    ROFL … so everybody went to happy hour after work (and some while they were still at work) then stumbled in here!

    Hi, dwoofer!! So Cardinals fans don’t want anyone or anything from the “Pit-burg Stinkers,” huh? Okay. By the way, say hey to Whis and Alan Faneca, Clark Haggans, and Joey Porter, and Mike Grimm, Mike Miller and Kevin Spencer on the coaching staff (and Roll Tide to Freddie Kitchens).

    Um, shotgunformation5wide … Bryant wanted more money than he was worth. Then he was willing to come back for a reasonable salary.

    rgfan, we’re happy you’re happy. And we can feel the love.

    krow101 … so we’ve gone thug? Hmm. Think I’ll go thug … buy a shotgun … take up crow hunting.

    @FinFan68 … Just as Muschamp was the presumed HC in waiting to Mack Brown but decided to stop waiting and take the Gators job, I’m sure Butler could stop waiting and take the Cardinals job if he wanted. I doubt seriously the Rooneys would stand in his way if he asked to go–it’s not their style. And no owner wants a disgruntled coach being forced to stay on the payroll.

    The one thing being overlooked is that Butler turned down the Dolphins DC position. No matter how close he is to Whis, I doubt he wants the Arizona job. He can continue understudying LeBeau, then stepping into a job where his head won’t be on the chopping block every year. Or he take his chances with Bill Bidwell.

  11. andyprough says: Jan 11, 2011 10:25 PM

    @rgfan says: Jan 11, 2011 2:18 PM

    “Arrogant Steeler fans (or am I being redundant) how I love them. Most of what you said shotgun is just nonsense, but your talking about McFadden is just ridiculous. I watched him for his entire “hiatus” in Arizona and he was awful. Without the protection of the vaunted Pittsburgh pass rush he is below average at best. You would be hard pressed to find a Cardinal fan that wasn’t happy he went back to Pittsburgh.”

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Wow! And your team improved SO MUCH without McFadden this year!! LOL. You Cardinal fans must be THRILLED that he is gone

    Addition by subtraction – just like the Dallas Cowboys, right??

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