League sources told Adam Schefter that the Indianapolis Colts are planning on hiring Steelers linebackers coach, Keith Butler, as their new defensive coordinator. Butler has been with the Steelers since the 2003 season serving as their linebackers coach the entire time. The Steelers ranked in the top 5 in rushing yards allowed in 7 of his 8 seasons as a coach in Pittsburgh.
If nothing else, the move seems a bit off the wall. The Colts’ defense has been known for it’s classic 4-3 defense since Peyton Manning has been in the league. When Chuck Pagano was hired as their new head coach, a couple heads turned. Now that they’re bringing on a classic 3-4 linebackers coach to be their new defensive coordinator, we can only assume that the Colts will be the next team to make the switch to a 3-4 system.
One of the huge questions if the Colts do indeed make the switch is; what will the Colts do with Dwight Freeney? According to Rotoworld.com, Freeney is set to make 14.035 million dollars in 2012. He’s set to be a free agent in 2013. The Texans had a similar problem when they made the switch to a 3-4 defense this past season in regards to Mario Williams. Their solution was to play him as a linebacker, something the Colts will likely consider doing. The other option on the table would be to find a trading partner that is willing to pay Freeney’s monster price tag. Something I don’t expect to happen.
As far as I can tell, the Colts are clearly set on making the switch from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 defense. They also seem to be set on improving one of the flimsiest defensive units the league has seen over the past ten years. If Colts fans see a second coming of Peyton Manning in the drafting of Andrew Luck, think again. The Colts appear to be intent on balancing their offense with a formidable defense. If that’s the case, Andrew Luck won’t be operating in an offense like Manning has, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be effective. It just means he’ll have a defense to back him up.