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.
#Steelers are discussing a new contract with defensive coordinator Keith Butler, who at 64, plans to go year-to-year, per source. Some details would still have to be worked out this week but signs point to Butler's return.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 14, 2021
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.