Steelers Interview Joe Whitt to replace DC Keith Butler


Joe Whitt, Jr. on the sidelines before a game.

In their ongoing quest to find a suitable replacement for the retired Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler, the team is scheduled to interview Dallas Cowboys high school coach and defensive passing game coordinator Joe Whitt, Jr.

According to a report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is nearing the end of the interview process. However, the position is still expected to be handled internally with the promotion of sub-coach Teryl Austin.

Tomlin also interviewed the defensive coordinator of the New York Giants Patrick Graham and assistant coach of the New Orleans Saints Kris Richard.

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Whitt’s Journey Around the Tournament

Whitt has been in the league since joining the pro ranks in 2007 with Atlanta Falcons. Prior to the Cowboys, Whitt had been with the Green Bay Packers (2008-2018), the Cleveland Browns (2019) and again with the Falcons (2020), each serving as a defensive/subordinate passing game coordinator.

In Dallas, Whitt reunited with former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy and former Falcons head coach Dan Quinn. Quinn, Cowboys defensive coordinator, and Whitt helped convert Dallas’ bad secondary into the head of the alliance of things takeaways (26).

Based on Cowboy rope, Whitt could become a candidate to take on the role of defensive coordinator for the Cowboys. Quinn has been selected as a finalist for the Chicago Bears and Denver Broncos, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Whitt is unlikely to be invited to the Steelers gig anyway, as the team has previously hired from within.

Mike Tomlin wants control

As Dulac wrote, whether it’s Austin’s (expected) promotion or outsourcing, it’s likely to depend on one key factor: Mike Tomlin invokes defensive cues in the game, not the room coordinator player.

Tomlin’s need for defensive control is primarily why the Steelers have not been able to attract big-name talent like freestyle defenders Brian Flores (Dolphins), Mike Zimmer (Vikings) or Vic Fangio (Broncos). . These men are all head coaches and may not be interested in being Tomlin’s henchmen.

Like the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Paul Zeise notes In a January 26 letter bag, other factors for not hiring outside candidates related to Tomlin’s comfort level and finances.

“I think part of it is [Tomlin] Zeise wrote. “He clearly has a certain level of comfort with his own coaches. They know what he wants and what to expect. They understand what the Steelers want and how it works.”

He continued: “There is also a financial element and the Steelers do not pay their assistant coaches as well as other organizations, so pushing from within allows him to hire coaches. Coaches do not ask for high salaries. “I think on the defensive side of the ball, he clearly wants to keep control of the call, and it’s very difficult to sell to an assistant who has other options and wants to call the innings.”

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