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Report: Steelers Negotiating New Contract with Defensive Coordinator Keith Butler

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The Steelers are discussing a new contract with defensive coordinator Keith Butler, whose current deal expired at the end of the 2020 season, according to a report by Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.

Butler, 64, plans to operate on a year-by-year basis, according to Fowler, something that Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin have also done in recent years.

Butler has been the Steelers’ defensive coordinator since 2015 and has been with the team since 2003. He started in Pittsburgh as linebacker coach in 2003, serving under legendary Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and winning two Super Bowls. Butler was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2015.

The Steelers’ defense finished 2020 fifth in the NFL with 21.2 points per game allowed, the second consecutive season the team finished fifth in the league in scoring defense after coming in ninth, 10th, 11th and 16th in Butler’s first four seasons as defensive coordinator.

A native of Anniston, Alabama, Butler played at Memphis State and spent 10 seasons in the NFL as a linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks. As a coach, he spent seven seasons as a defensive assistant at Memphis, one as Arkansas State’s defensive coordinator and three seasons as the Cleveland Browns’ linebackers coach before joining the Steelers in 2003.

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Steelers, Zach Banner Donate to Tree of Life Synagogue

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Offensive lineman Zach Banner and the Pittsburgh Steelers have pledged a donation to the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill as part of the Steelers 2020 Social Justice Grant program.

The congregation was attacked during a mass shooting own Oct. 27, 2018 that killed 11 people and wounded six others, the deadliest attack ever on a Jewish community in the United States.

The shooting stuck with Banner, who was a rookie on the team at the time. After Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson made an anti-semitic post on social media, Banner responded with a video post.

“We need to understand that Jewish people deal with the same amount of hate and similar hardships and hard times,” Banner said in the video. “I want to preach to the Black and brown community that we need to uplift them and put our arms around them just as much when we talk about Black Lives Matter and talk about elevating ourselves.”

The video led to Banner becoming something of a fan favorite to the Jewish community.

“Mr. Banner spoke up when others didn’t and we appreciate that,” Barb Feige, executive director of Tree of Life, said to Steelers.com “The fact that he mentioned Tree of Life and the horrific shooting that happened there and how much it impacted him was very meaningful. We are very aware the shooting had an impact beyond our congregation, our Jewish community. The ripple effect was felt. Everybody felt something about it. For Mr. Banner to articulate that, and join our fight against anti-Semitism, was very, very special, very meaningful.”

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Report: Steelers to Interview Los Angeles Chargers QB Coach Pep Hamilton

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The Steelers have requested to interview Los Angeles Chargers quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton for their vacant offensive coordinator position, according to a report by Josina Anderson.

Hamilton, 46, just finished his first season as quarterbacks coach with the Chargers, where he helped develop rookie quarterback Justin Hebert, who was named the PFWA NFL Rookie of the Year.

Hamilton has previously been an offensive coordinator at the NFL level with the Indianapolis Colts from 2013-15, where he led a resurgence around quarterback Andrew Luck.

Hamilton was the head coach of the DC Defenders of the XFL in 2020, the assistant head coach and passing game coordinator for Michigan in 2017-18 and was assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach of the Cleveland Browns in 2016. He has also been an NFL assistant with the New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears.

Hamilton is the third person confirmed to have interviewed for the position, along with former Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders head coach Hue Jackson and Steelers quarterbacks coach Matt Canada, who is expected to earn the position.

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Steelers Players React to Signing of Dwayne Haskins

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The Pittsburgh Steelers signed former first-round pick Dwayne Haskins on Thursday to a reserve/future contract, not quite a month after Washington released its one-time starting quarterback in the midst of a playoff push.

Haskins comes with baggage after an abysmal showing statistically in Washington and a reputation for not taking the game the seriously enough off the field that Haskins has admitted was at least partially deserved. He also still has all the talent that led him to being the No. 15 overall pick out of Ohio State in 2019.

That’s made the signing of Haskins somewhat controversial among the Steelers fanbase, weary of seasons of drama with the likes of Antonio Brown in the team’s locker room.

But the players on the current team seem excited about Haskins getting the chance to revive his career in black and gold.

Former Steelers linebacker and current Steelers Nation Radio analyst Arthur Moats also offered his positive opinion of the signing.

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