Butler Focusing on Patriots, Not Job Status

Steelers DC addresses calls for coaching changes

Josh Rowntree
December 13, 2018 - 6:14 pm
Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler at Heinz Field in August 2018

Josh Rowntree - 93.7 The Fan


Keith Butler surely has heard the calls for coaching changes. Even if he does not pay attention to fans, it was probably hard to ignore Steelers legend Rocky Bleier’s public suggestion that Butler may need to go following Pittsburgh’s 24-21 loss in Oakland. 

But Butler, now in his fourth year as Steelers defensive coordinator, is trying to keep his focus locked on a seemingly must-win game for the Steelers Sunday against New England. 

“Nobody likes that crap,” Butler said of the criticism. “All of us are human. We’re going to try as hard and we can and do the best we can, but we’re not going to change some of the successful things we’ve been doing, either. We’re not going to go away from that. So we’ll see what happens.”

Amidst all the rightful criticism’s of Pittsburgh’s defense, particularly during its current three-game losing streak, are some bright spots. The Steelers lead the NFL with 45 sacks, a year after setting a team record and finishing atop the League.

“Our pass rush is pretty decent,” Butler said. “I think we’re okay in the running game, but we could be better in the running game than we have been. Our passing game has been decent. But we want everything.”

In addition to Butler, there has been plenty of suggestion that Tomlin should be dismissed if the season continues to spiral out of control. 

A year ago, reports surfaced that some team minority owners wanted Tomlin fired following the stunning playoff loss to Jacksonville. But Butler says the outside conjecture does not get to Tomlin.

“I don’t know if he changes his attitude,” Butler said. “I don’t think he’s got time to change his attitude. I think if any of us start harping on stuff that’s kept us from being successful, it’s hard to get on down the road and get to the next game.

“We don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves when we’ve lost three in a row, because nobody else is going to feel sorry for us, I can guarantee you that. The next three game we’ve got will be vital for us. I think we have to concentrate on who we play next and that’s the New England Patriots.”

Butler does not want to change his approach for any game, something he seems to have learned from Tomlin. Even if those calls for change get louder and louder. 

“I don’t see him doing that,” Butler said. “He’s been in the heat before. This isn’t his first rodeo.

“All of us get bothered by freaking losing. Our jobs are dependent on winning and losing. The more you lose, the more of a chance you have of not keeping your job.”

Hear all of what Keith Butler had to say below.