View Full Version : Steelers avoiding offseason change, for now

02-10-2009, 06:59 AM
Steelers avoiding offseason change, for now
Buzz up!
Tuesday, February 10, 2009

John Harris is a sports columnist for the Tribune-Review. He can be reached via e-mail or at 412-481-5432.
Super Bowl XLIII

Since defeating the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII, life amongst the Steelers has been as normal as could be expected for members of an NFL franchise with the most Super Bowl victories.

Other than Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger becoming late-night television stars and cornerback William Gay gaining national ridicule (in a positive way) for his comical cheers during the Super Bowl parade, it has been relatively quiet on the South Side.

Of course, that could change at any time. Linebackers coach Keith Butler is rumored to be a leading candidate to become Arizona's defensive coordinator, but only if the Steelers release him from his contract.

No surprise there. The morning after winning the Super Bowl, coach Mike Tomlin said it's only natural that some of his assistants would receive job offers from other teams.

What also isn't surprising is the lack of news being generated by the Steelers.

For the Steelers, no news is good news. The opposite has been true thus far with the vanquished.

There are several Steelers who have contract situations similar to Arizona receiver Anquan Boldin, but so far, none of them have gone public with their dissatisfaction.

That would distract from the Steelers ultimate team goal, which is winning football games in general and Super Bowls in particular.

When Boldin told USA Today during Pro Bowl week he doesn't "think the relationship can be repaired with the (Cardinals) organization," he went against everything the Steelers stand for by putting himself first and the team second.

Remember, Boldin still has two years remaining on his contract. Boldin's biggest problem may be having Larry Fitzgerald, among the highest-paid receivers in football, for a teammate.

Boldin's contract status could have a direct impact on the future of Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner, who is contemplating retirement.

Warner also expressed concern over the departure of offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who left shortly after the Super Bowl loss to become head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Without Warner, Arizona's offense would be back in the hands of Matt Leinart, who was beaten out by Warner for the starting job this past season.

As if that wasn't enough, Arizona's quarterback next season will be working with a new offensive coordinator, creating even more change.

The same could be true for the defense. Butler is a rumored candidate to become Arizona's new defensive coordinator because head coach Ken Whisenhunt didn't retain incumbent Clancy Pendergast.

When asked during Super Bowl week about the importance of keeping a coaching staff intact, Butler said consistency and familiarity are as vital as Xs and Os.

"There's so much changing of coaches in the league every year. The hard thing about that is you're changing systems when you do," Butler said. "So, if you change systems, coordinators, you're teaching a whole new system. If you're doing that, then you've got 11 rookies on the field at the same time. The problem with that is it usually takes a year to learn it."

Change is inevitable in the NFL. The secret to the Steelers' success may be how they've managed to minimize change.

02-10-2009, 07:34 AM
I don't want to see Butler leave for AZ if the Steelers release him from his contract, as he's done a whale of a job with our LB corps, but somehow, some way, the Steelers ususally manage to find suitable replacements for their personnel who move on.

02-10-2009, 08:27 AM
I really dont think they will let him go.I have a feeling its more personal then professional.