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Atlanta Dan
02-08-2011, 08:15 AM
Steelers Coaching: Key assistants now in focus

The Steelers probably will have to endure more than just a loss to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV. There is a good chance they will lose several of their assistant coaches, including one of their coordinators, as well.

The most significant possibilities involve their coordinators -- Dick LeBeau and Bruce Arians -- each of whom is in the final year of his contract.

LeBeau is expected to return for his eighth season as coordinator in 2011, though not before another NFL team takes what might just be a whimsical run at his services.

But, the situation with Arians, the offensive coordinator since '07, is a bit more tenuous....

Despite running an offense that became more balanced with the production of Rashard Mendenhall and saw the quick development of young receivers Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown, it is possible Arians won't be with the team next season -- a move that will dramatically affect quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Roethlisberger has been given almost total command of the offense under Arians and has developed a close personal relationship with him and his family.

LeBeau's situation could have an impact on other coaching moves, too.

The Arizona Cardinals will seek permission this week to talk with linebackers coach Keith Butler about becoming their defensive coordinator, though not before LeBeau's old friend -- Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt -- checks to see if LeBeau is willing to listen to an offer.

Nobody is expecting LeBeau to leave the Steelers because he is so loyal to his players and, in turn, beloved by them.

And he said last week, during the lead-up to the Super Bowl, "I promise you, if I'm coaching [in 2011], it will be the Pittsburgh Steelers."

That's why, in all probability, the search for a defensive coordinator will turn to Butler, who has been the linebackers coach since 2003.

But there is some question if the Steelers will grant Arizona permission to speak to Butler because of an agreement the team made with him when he signed a new contract after the '09 season.

When Butler turned down an opportunity to become defensive coordinator with the Miami Dolphins last February, the Steelers signed him to a new contract with the understanding he will be the "coordinator in waiting" for when LeBeau eventually retires.

Coach Mike Tomlin has always indicated that he will not stand in the way of an assistant who can better himself professionally.

But, because of the nature of Butler's new contract, it's possible the Steelers could refuse to let him interview with the Cardinals.

If that happens, the Cardinals will probably interview secondary coach Ray Horton for the position because they are seeking a LeBeau disciple to run their 3-4 defense. Horton has been with LeBeau since their days with the Cincinnati Bengals.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11039/1123799-13.stm

Spidey
02-08-2011, 08:26 AM
I truly believe that them both leaving would be in the BEST interests of this Pittsburgh Steelers football team.

Whoever would come in for Arians can't possibly do any worse, that's a given!

Butler would have less loyalties to some of our fading stars, which would hopefully rite some of its flaws. Another season of 60 minutes of BMac/Clark and Farror fills me with dread!

I'm failing to see any positive reason for them to stay on?

IMHO:thumbsup:

Deserei90
02-08-2011, 08:32 AM
I see LeBeau sticking around for at least one more season, But Arians days are definitely numbered. There's just no way I see him staying next season. Ben just needs to realize this man is not going to be sticking around for a long time, close relationship or not he needs to go. He's sometime it, Sometimes his plays are good, but then they turn sh*tty. Bye Arians We will not miss u:wave:

TRH
02-08-2011, 08:37 AM
c'mon Whizenhunt, make it a little more obvious you want to raid the entire coaching staff here. Sheez.

As close as Ben is with Arians, it may be best to part ways in his long-term best interests though.....it doesn't look like Arian's play calling is bringing out the best in Ben (maybe why he's better when he improvises)
If i had to guess, Arians will be back....but it would be a good surprise to see him let go.
I'm calling plays from the living room before the ball is snapped.

Spidey
02-08-2011, 08:38 AM
I see LeBeau sticking around for at least one more season, But Arians days are definitely numbered. There's just no way I see him staying next season. He's sometime it, Sometimes his plays are good, but then they turn sh*tty. Bye Arians We will not miss u:wave:

We need to weigh it up, . . . lose Butler because LeBeau wants one more year, or just let Butler have it now . . .

I know where I stand on it, what are the benefits of keeping LeBeau over Butler,
I genuinely want to know?:blah:

TRH
02-08-2011, 08:40 AM
We need to weigh it up, . . . lose Butler because LeBeau wants one more year, or just let Butler have it now . . .

I know where I stand on it, what are the benefits of keeping LeBeau over Butler,
I genuinely want to know?:blah:

Butler has it good here. He would have to think if its even a good decision or not to go out and rot in Arizona in the black hole of coaching.
His long-term looks better here....i'm sure he has to know that

pete74
02-08-2011, 08:51 AM
i wouldnt let butler interview. lebeau has a max of 2 years left if that and butler will make a great DC for us. arians needs to go and the new coach needs to run the offense instead of letting ben run it. the QB should have an input but the OC should make the final call and Arians lets ben make way to many calls

Atlanta Dan
02-08-2011, 09:19 AM
Agreed the time has come to cut the cord with Arians - if Tomlin plans to do it i would assume it will happen within the next 10 days - question is whether he will promote from within and how a contract would be signed given that assistants pay status if there is a lockout is being handled differently by different teams

CargoJon
02-08-2011, 09:25 AM
Thrown Arians off the bridge.

As far as the Cards go, I am so tired of them it's not funny. Why not just try to change your uniform colors to Black and Gold while you're at it?

Fire Arians
02-08-2011, 09:35 AM
the cards can have arians, we need to keep butler

spyboots
02-08-2011, 11:16 AM
There is nothing in Butler's contract about his being the Steelers DC in waiting; he said so during the pre-Super Bowl interviews. It appears he is interested in the Cardinals job. I would hate to lose him.

steeltheone
02-08-2011, 12:23 PM
Whatever see ya Butler...Lebeau will be around 5 more....I hope!

Atlanta Dan
02-08-2011, 12:23 PM
Yet another complication of a potential lockout is whether assistant coaches will be paid.

ESPN ran an article last summer on this issue:

Both the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals have awarded "coach-friendly" contracts to their staffs. Those teams would continue to pay their coaches during a lockout. The New York Giants would pay their coaches in full for the first six months of any work stoppage.

But most teams have insisted on including lockout clauses in the contracts they've given their coaches that will reduce their salaries and, in some cases, dismiss them altogether.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/commentary/news/story?page=munson/100722

Steelere were not mentioned in that article, but if the Steelers are insisting on lockout clauses in their assistants' contracts it might be a further incentive for Keith Butler to get a promotion and be assured of getting paid by Arizon this spring while complicating the hiring of replacements for any departing (voluntarily or otherwise) Steelers coaches.

Atlanta Dan
02-08-2011, 03:01 PM
Mike Jurecki of XTRA Sports 910 in Phoenix reports the Cardinals have settled on Steelers defensive backs coach Ray Horton as their next defensive coordinator.

Jurecki is a credible source as he's broken Cardinals news in the past. Steelers LBs coach Keith Butler, believed to be Arizona's top choice, was denied permission to interview. While Butler is seen as the eventual successor to Dick LeBeau, Horton has made it clear that he would welcome the opportunity to run his own defense in another locale. Horton stated last week that he's comfortable with the 4-3 or the 3-4 scheme.

http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/41478039/ns/sports-player_news/

Tomlin reportedly gave some thought to firing Horton after the 2009 secendary meltdown with Troy out

If someone has to go glad it was not Butler - does Whisenunt know there are 30 other teams besides the Steelers to hire from?

colescott1
02-08-2011, 03:06 PM
I'll repeat the matra....we just played in our 3rd Superbowl in 6 years. Careful what you wish for...you may just get it, and then not like the change.

pete74
02-08-2011, 03:11 PM
Mike Jurecki of XTRA Sports 910 in Phoenix reports the Cardinals have settled on Steelers defensive backs coach Ray Horton as their next defensive coordinator.

Jurecki is a credible source as he's broken Cardinals news in the past. Steelers LBs coach Keith Butler, believed to be Arizona's top choice, was denied permission to interview. While Butler is seen as the eventual successor to Dick LeBeau, Horton has made it clear that he would welcome the opportunity to run his own defense in another locale. Horton stated last week that he's comfortable with the 4-3 or the 3-4 scheme.

http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/41478039/ns/sports-player_news/

Tomlin reportedly gave some thought to firing Horton after the 2009 secendary meltdown with Troy out

If someone has to go glad it was not Butler - does Whisenunt know there are 30 other teams besides the Steelers to hire from?

that would make my day if true. i think it was time to move on with a new secondary coach anyway. maybe rod woodson will come in for us. LOL

stb_steeler
02-08-2011, 03:47 PM
Woodson is a traitor......lol

Atlanta Dan
02-08-2011, 04:14 PM
The wheels turn - somehow Ray Horton has become a hot coaching candidate while the Steelers have told the Cardinals that Keith Butler is not going anywhere (wonder if there is some bad blood that has developed between Whiz and the Steelers front office?)

Just minutes after a radio report surfaced in Arizona that the Cardinals were ready to hire Steelers secondary coach Ray Horton as their coordinator, there is news that Horton has a job offer with the Cowboys.

Jason La Canfora of NFL Network reports Horton has left to take a position with the Cowboys, presumably under coordinator Rob Ryan. (UPDATE: La Canfora has corrected his initial report, saying Horton has an offer on the table from both the Cowboys are Cardinals.) We mentioned earlier that there were conflicting reports about the Arizona hire.

The Cardinals reportedly requested permission to speak with Horton, Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler, and Packers inside linebackers coach Winston Moss. Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic has confirmed the Steelers denied the Cardinals permission to speak with Butler.

UPDATE II: Somers says there’s “no way” Horton is going to Dallas. He’s scheduled to interview with the Cardinals on Wednesday.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/02/08/horton-hears-a-job-offer-from-the-cowboys/

P-G confirms the Steelers told Whiz to go away with regard to speking to Butler and Coach Dad apparently is coming back

The Steelers have turned down a request from the Arizona Cardinals to interview linebackers coach Keith Butler for their defensive coordinator position, the Post-Gazette has learned.

The Cardinals sought permission from team president Art Rooney II today, two days after the Steelers' 31-25 loss to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV. But the request was denied because Butler signed a new contract after the 2009 season with the understanding he would be the Steelers' defensive coordinator when Dick LeBeau retires, whenever that is.

Nose tackle Chris Hoke said LeBeau indicated in a team meeting today that he intends to return for the 2011 season.

With Butler out of consideration, the Cardinals are expected to interview secondary coach Ray Horton for their defensive coordinator job. Horton, who is in the final year of his two-year contract, is also believed to be a candidate for positions with the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11039/1123946-66.stm

No word on what Arians may have said in the team meeting:chuckle:

sexyllama
02-08-2011, 04:23 PM
I'm pretty sure there is a reason they are letting Horton go...

What has been the weakest link for 3 years running. Someone said it best, "I've thought the Secondary has been average since Tomlin's Super Bowl win..." After three years I would have to agree:

1. In three years we barely have a serviceable Nickel-back
2. Zero Development of rookies
3. Horrible game plans (before you say they don't advise or help... see Jets Defensive Coach vs. NE in the second game... adjustments)
4. Before you say talent..... see Sean Kugler or Jets Pass Defense past Cromartie/Revis... you can't name them.
5. After 2-3 years a DB should at least be able to come in and play Zone? Maybe? That is all a lot of other schemes ask and ours haven't since Cowher left.

I'm pretty sure Horton's contract was up and he's not getting renewed... next up hopefully the QB Coach...

Llama

Go Steelers, Great Year!

Atlanta Dan
02-08-2011, 04:32 PM
I'm pretty sure Horton's contract was up and he's not getting renewed... next up hopefully the QB Coach...

Llama

Go Steelers, Great Year!

Some of us have our sights on an offensive coach higher in the chain of command going:chuckle:

Atlanta Dan
02-08-2011, 04:46 PM
Deleted duplicate post

BKAnthem
02-08-2011, 05:10 PM
The cards can have Horton Please take him....

Farrior_roirraW
02-08-2011, 08:18 PM
I don't get why (as the reports grow) everyone is pissed off at Whiz for trying to hire Steelers. Ultimately, if they (whether it was Lebeau, Butler, Horton and whoever else in the past) decided to leave it would be THEIR decision. I like how a lot of people are acting like Whiz is putting a gun to who ever's head for the job in AZ.

Whiz is fine. Nothing wrong with him knowing how great our staff is. Jeez.

SH-Rock
02-08-2011, 08:19 PM
Take Arians! Please!

stb_steeler
02-08-2011, 08:21 PM
Take Arians! Please!

LOL...Whiz to smart for that!

SeinfeldNut
02-08-2011, 09:15 PM
Arians has had plenty of time to tweak and change the way he runs this offense, I think this team would benefit from a new voice. Seems to me that the offense gets stale at times.

SH-Rock
02-08-2011, 09:16 PM
Arians has had plenty of time to tweak and change the way he runs this offense, I think this team would benefit from a new voice. Seems to me that the offense gets stale at times.

At times? It happens almost every game.