Coach Butler Addresses Problems on 3rd Down

By: G.Stryker, Twitter @SNStryker and Instagram @SNStryker


The Pittsburgh Steelers held a Zoom press conference with defensive coordinator Keith Butler to answer questions about the defense.  The Philadelphia Eagles did a good job of converting 3rd downs last game, and Butler was able to speak about that.

“We have to do a better job of coaching obviously. They’ve given up 3rd and 10 or more and it kills ya. Every once in a while at 3rd and 4, 5, or 6, sometimes the offense is going to win on that. We blitzed a little bit but not a lot. If we did a bit more coaching in terms of disguise, it could have helped our guys out a little bit.”

When asked specifically about only rushing 3 on 3rd and 17, Butler provided some insight:

Some of it is to change up (the expected defensive alignment). Sometimes it is a 4-man rush. You got to be aware of the quarterback’s capabilities. If you have a running QB, you have to have a spy so they don’t get the first down with their legs.”

When asked about the success of the Steelers getting to the quarterback, and how the top teams that hold the record in sacks came from the 1980’s, Butler provided this insight:

I think the quarterbacks are getting the ball out of their hands. A lot of RPO’s, quick passes, and willing to take a 5-yard pass as opposed to trying to throw it down the field a little bit more. There’s a little more play action in the game but they’re just trying to get rid of the ball a little bit quicker.”

Good points by Coach Butler about getting the ball out faster, not only has it lowered sack numbers over time, but it has also increased completion percentage by throwing the ball on shorter routes more frequently.


Cause for worry for our defense on 3rd downs moving forward? Leave your thoughts and comments below!



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