Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker coach Keith Butler has been very patient waiting for his time to come.
Unfortunately for the Steelers, he may not be able to wait any longer.
Butler has long been rumored to be the successor to current Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, as it has been reported for a couple of years now that the organization and Butler have had a handshake agreement on exactly that.
However, the longer time passes and Butler is still stuck in his current role, the more likely it becomes that he will look to seek employment elsewhere.
That time could be soon as the NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora has reported that new Tennessee Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt would like to hire Butler as his defensive coordinator.
Titans Coach Ken Whisenhunt would like to land John McNulty (Bucs) and Keith Butler (PIT) as his coordinators, but could be blocked on both
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 14, 2014
This isn’t the first time Butler’s name has come up in connection to an open defensive coordinator job.
He didn’t jump on the opportunity to join Pete Carroll’s staff in Seattle, Bruce Arians’ staff in Arizona, or go along with Chuck Pagano’s effort to bring him to Indianapolis.
So why would he leave now to join Whisenhunt’s staff?
There’s a good chance he won’t, but being in such high demand could make it difficult for the Steelers to retain him. Eventually even the most patient of people get tired of waiting.
Still, Butler has been the Steelers linebacker coach since 2003. You have to think if he was going to leave, he would have done so by now.
But this could be a big opportunity for Butler.
It’s about time he takes the next step in his career and joining the staff of a coach he has worked with in the past in Whisenhunt makes a good bit of sense.
His only other option is to continue to play the waiting game.
He has waited this long, another year or two may not be that big of a deal.
Of course even if Butler did want the job, the Steelers would have to give him permission to interview for it, something they may not grant.