Ben Roethlisberger isn't the only Pittsburgh Steelers veteran retiring in 2022. One longtime Steelers assistant who predates his arrival in the Steel City is reportedly retiring too.
Appearing on 93.7 The Fan, NFL insider Aditi Kinkhabwala reported that Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler is expected to retire. Butler has served in the role since 2015 following the departure of Hall of Fame assistant Dick LeBeau.
Butler has been with the Steelers far longer than that. He was the team's linebackers coach from 2003 to 2014, developing Joey Porter, James Farrior, Lawrence Timmons, LaMarr Woodley, and James Harrison into stars.
But 2021 wasn't Butler's finest work on the defense. The team finished 20th in points allowed and 24th in yards allowed - the lowest in both categories in 30 years.
Keith Butler played inside linebacker at Memphis State in the 1970s and enjoyed a 10-year career as a linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks.
Butler returned to his alma mater in 1990 and spent eight years as a defensive assistant, then one year at Arkansas State before going to the NFL in 1999. He spent four seasons as the Cleveland Browns' linebackers coach before joining the Steelers in 2003.
As the right hand man to Dick LeBeau, Butler oversaw five top-ranked defenses and won two Super Bowl rings. As the man in charge, Butler led the Steelers defense to four top-six defensive rankings.
While many Steelers fans won't be sad to see him go after this past season's struggles, it's never easy to replace a defensive coordinator.