Keith Butler commits the dreaded tight end faux pas

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Two weeks ago, Stephen A. Smith set social media ablaze with an assessment of the Chargers-Chiefs game that included commentary on the expected performance of L.A. tight end Hunter Henry, who tore an ACL during offseason workouts and hasn’t played at all this year.

That was bad; this is worse.

In an exclusive! sit-down with the website owned and operated by the Steelers, Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Keith Butler gave a pregame assessment of Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert. And here’s what Butler said about a guy who hasn’t played since September 30: “I think he’s very good. I think he’s up there. He can get deep on you. He does a good job of catching the ball downfield, all that stuff. So he’s going to be a problem for us to cover.”

Steelers.com has removed the video, but SteelersDepot.com has obtained and posted the audio. It’s clear that this wasn’t some pre-canned interview; it was a fresh discussion taped after the loss to the Saints, and Labriola specifically mentioned the absence of quarterback Andy Dalton and receiver A.J. Green due to injury.

In fact, the topic first emerged when Labriola asked Butler, “Who are the receivers who are picking it up for [Green’s] absence, besides Tyler Eifert, the tight end?” In response, Butler didn’t say, “Well, Eifert’s actually injured, too.” Butler said without hesitation, “Well, Tyler’s doing a good job.”

(To be fair to Butler, there’s another Tyler who plays tight end for the Bengals. He’s Tyler Kroft. However, Kroft also is on injured reserve.)

Later in the interview, Labriola asked for a specific assessment of Eifert. And Butler again responded without hesitation, providing the quote appearing above.

Beyond Labriola not realizing that Eifert is on IR (which is sloppy but not necessarily alarming since he’s not, you know, the defensive coordinator), Butler didn’t know (which is extremely alarming). Beyond Labriola and Butler, the entire Steelers.com production team (to the extent there is one) that heard the interview didn’t flinch at the notion that Labriola asks, and Butler answers, a question about a guy has been on IR for weeks.

As one league source informed of the gaffe pointed out to PFT, Butler’s assessment is technically correct. Eifert will definitely be a problem for the Steelers to cover.

25 responses to “Keith Butler commits the dreaded tight end faux pas

  1. Steeler Nation is going to lose their minds over Butler’s screw up! First of all it’s pretty pathetic a team media employee who supposedly follows the NFL for a living doesn’t even know Eifert hasn’t played in months. Add in the Bengals are in the same division it’s even more embarrassing!

    But the media guy’s sin is NOTHING compared to the DC not knowing Eifert is out. How is that possible? The Rooney family must have tasted vomit when their heard this audio.

  2. I’m pretty sure these coaches barely bother to learn names on the other team. If you watch Hard Knocks or All Or Nothing, you constantly hear: “85 is a deep threat over the middle. But watch for 81 on the underneath cross.”

  3. See what us Steeler fans are facing? How do you game plan when you don’t even know the players your playing against? I guess we should all be excited, at least he knew they are playing the Bengals….I think. LOL! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  4. It’s almost as embarrassing as putting in a dime defense at the goal line vs. the Saints, who easily scored when there were no D linemen across from the RG and RT.

  5. In fact, the topic first emerged when Labriola asked Butler, “Who are the receivers who are picking it up for [Green’s] absence, besides Tyler Eifert, the tight end?” In response, Butler didn’t say, “Well, Eifert’s actually injured, too.” Butler said without hesitation, “Well, Tyler’s doing a good job.”
    =============================

    HE WAS REFERRING TO WR TYLER BOYD. You know, the guy that’s got 76 receptions this year for 1,028 yards.

  6. akira1971 says:
    December 28, 2018 at 3:13 pm
    In fact, the topic first emerged when Labriola asked Butler, “Who are the receivers who are picking it up for [Green’s] absence, besides Tyler Eifert, the tight end?” In response, Butler didn’t say, “Well, Eifert’s actually injured, too.” Butler said without hesitation, “Well, Tyler’s doing a good job.”
    =============================

    HE WAS REFERRING TO WR TYLER BOYD. You know, the guy that’s got 76 receptions this year for 1,028 yards.

    —————-

    You know, the guy who has a season ending knee injury vs Oakland? He’s n IR too.

  7. Brandon in Northwest Suburbia says: “You know, the guy who has a season ending knee injury vs Oakland? He’s n IR too.”
    ============================

    Cincinnati just put him on IR this AFTERNOON. Butler EVEN SAID THAT on the interview that he didn’t know if Tyler Boyd was going to be able play Sunday.

    The question to Butler was who has stepped up during AJ Green’s injury. Butler specifically referenced #83 (Tyler Boyd) and #15 (John Ross). At no point in that question did Butler say Eifert’s name or number.

  8. Given it’s the Steelers I can still see Eifert somehow managing to put up 100 yards and 2 tds this Sunday.

  9. Another reason I dont watch Smith, hes loud and doesn’t know much. Hes mostly just loud, obnoxious & annoying. However ESPN pushes out thoughtful, profound & intelligent Jemele Hill. I’m calling bull$#@%! Butler obviously is clueless too, no wonder the Steelersay miss the playoffs. It’s a wonder that their D is in the top 10.

  10. To be fair, with all the Bengals on IR it’s hard to come up with the names of any currently available players.

  11. I’m almost old enough to remember when the Steelers weren’t the laughingstock of the AFC. Between Tomlin, Joey P. and this dimwit, it’s no wonder they’re circling the drain.

  12. TimTebowGodOfFootballKarma says:

    December 28, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Does the Steelers’ organization do anything right? I’ll wait.

    Most wins by an NFL franchise since 1970, most playoff appearances (or right there) since 1970, most Super Bowl wins, near the top in division titles, AFC Championship appearances and Hall of Fame inductees in that same time frame, 3 coaches in 50 years……….I guess you have to do something right to have all that.

  13. Well maybe he has a lot going on in his life. Can’t expect coaches to know everything about opponent when they change weekly. Just because they are a division rival does not mean he should know the exact lineup, plus Cincy has been out of the playoff race so why keep tabs on them?

  14. I think any team that is consistently in the playoff discussion, despite whatever that team may or may not achieve by the end of any season – is FAR from a laughing stock. Pittsburgh has won so many Super Bowls and division titles and playoff games dating back to the EARLY 1970s – that yeah, I’m sure any other fan base outside of Pittsburgh – except probably the Patriots – would give an arm and a leg to have that kind of consistency spanning many generations for their own teams. I’m not a Steelers fan, living way out here in California – but I don’t think Pittsburgh has ever had a losing record during the Big Ben era.

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