View Full Version : Backup Crezdon Butler fights for starting job on corner

08-30-2011, 08:00 AM
Backup Crezdon Butler fights for starting job on corner
By Ralph N. Paulk (rpaulk@tribweb.com), PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, August 29, 2011

The Steelers have had far more questions than answers at the corners of their defense.

And for the second game in a row, injured starting cornerbacks Ike Taylor and Bryant McFadden watched from the Heinz Field sideline during Saturday's 34-16 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

When McFadden's backup, Keenan Lewis, hobbled off with a left knee injury in the second quarter, defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau was down to his third option, Crezdon Butler.

Butler, who sat out last week's victory against Philadelphia with a strained quadriceps, intercepted a Chris Redman pass on the first snap of the fourth quarter. The second-year player sprinted untouched down the left sideline for a 95-yard touchdown that sent a jubilant crowd of 56,754 rushing toward the exits.

"The defensive line got some pressure, and I did a speed turn to get on top of the route," said Butler, who added a game-high nine tackles. "I had no idea I had daylight. I just ran."

Butler felt compelled to do something special considering he's fighting Lewis for playing time, if not the starting job ahead of McFadden. Taylor, conversely, suggested McFadden is likely to be in the starting lineup when the Steelers open the regular season Sept. 11 at Baltimore.

"(Butler) is a gamer, and he gives himself opportunities because he's a good ballplayer," Taylor said. "But with (McFadden), we won two Super Bowls. We won a Super Bowl with William Gay. People keep talking, and we keep winning."

Lewis, whose injury isn't considered serious, had a hard time covering Atlanta's Roddy White, who finished with a game-high eight receptions for 101 yards and caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan in the second quarter.

"You can never have enough good guys in the secondary," Taylor said, shunning criticism that McFadden and William Gay have become liabilities. "The young guys are starting to progress, but they have to make plays on a consistent basis. We can't get caught up with these preseason games where they make a play here and play there."

The excitement of Butler's score was tempered when Atlanta receivers beat him three times afterward. He surrendered two first-down receptions when he tried to make a play for the ball instead of attempting a sure tackle.

"We've got a great run-stop defense and a secondary that comes up to hit," said Butler, who hopes to make his first start in the preseason finale Thursday at Carolina. "Obviously, we felt they were going to try us, but we held up. ... I haven't tackled in a while, so I need to work on my tackling."

Taylor agreed, then added that Butler won't truly be tested until he lines up against the Ravens.

"We want to see these guys do it at crunch time and when you know they're coming," he said. "There's a difference between playing the preseason and teams game-planning for you. I know they're going to (test) me when I get back, but if I handle my business, they have to go somewhere else."

And quarterbacks likely will try to feast on the Steelers' seemingly vulnerable left corners: McFadden, Lewis and Butler.

"If a guy goes down, we don't want teams to think of us as second- or third-stringers," Butler said. "We want to play like first-teamers."

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08-30-2011, 08:52 AM
what i've seen so far he better fight a little harder.

would like to see all these young CBs become good enough to start.

08-30-2011, 01:34 PM
i appreciate the enthusiasm from this group of DBs and Ike can say whatever he wants. CBs haven't made a difference since he intercepted a pass in SB XL. Yawn - we'll see when we face Pats how far they have come. Talk is cheap.

08-30-2011, 01:38 PM
I really like Butler. I think he is a diamond in the rough for our secondary. Hell when your initials are the same as your position "CB" you gotta be good at it !!! :tt03:

Fire Arians
08-30-2011, 01:39 PM
i thought butler played well, but just might be trying too much (like lewis last year imo). you won't always be able to make a play on the ball and he needs to realize that. sometimes the most valuable thing a young corner has to learn is patience

i think he's ready to fill in as an extra db, at least he's capable to make plays with his speed, unlike gay

Fire Arians
08-30-2011, 01:39 PM
I really like Butler. I think he is a diamond in the rough for our secondary. Hell when your initials are the same as your position "CB" you gotta be good at it !!! :tt03:

don't forget we also have curtis brown. there'll be CB1 and CB2 :thumbsup:

08-30-2011, 02:57 PM
I think there is improvement, but a long way to go still...

08-30-2011, 03:22 PM
it would be great to see someone starting at CB besides mcfadden. the guy is burned way too often.