Could guys like Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis (pictured) and Gary Brackett be kicked to the curb in Indianapolis as they retool their defense? (Matt Stamey-US PRESSWIRE)

What Would Hire Of Keith Butler Mean For Indianapolis Colts Defense?


It is only a matter of time until the Indianapolis Colts name former Pittsburgh Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler their new defensive coordinator. Butler will be going to Indianapolis on Tuesday to review a contract and likely sign on the dotted line.

Butler has served as the Steelers linebackers coach since 2003, where “Blitzburgh” uses an aggressive 3-4 scheme. What could this mean for the Colts defense and their star defenders on the roster?

Let’s start with defensive end Dwight Freeney. On the surface, he doesn’t appear to be a good fit for a 3-4 defense. He is a pass rushing specialist, but is a bit of a one-trick pony that just doesn’t translate. It would not be a shock to see the Colts try to trade Freeney and get what they can for a guy who will not be able to play in their defense.

There is a small chance, however, that Freeney would be willing to stay and he could shock us all. Albert Breer said, “Don’t be so sure Freeney can’t stand up. He’s taller than Harrison, who played for Butler. Many doubted Dumervil could do it too.”

I still doubt that Freeney would be able to make that transition. Then there is the aging Gary Brackett. He is all but gone and is another player who would not fit in the new defensive scheme.

The interesting player becomes Robert Mathis. Mathis is due to become a free agent and as an aging player, he doesn’t seem to fit into the Colts rebuilding plans. Of course, Mathis could take a pay cut to return to Indianapolis, but he’s a veteran. At 31-years-old, would he really want to learn a new scheme? That is very doubtful.

So it looks like the Colts are in full on rebuilding mode.

All signs point to no Peyton Manning, while the defense is getting a complete overhaul with a new scheme and the potential loss of Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis and Gary Brackett. Expect some growing pains next season in Indianapolis.

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Tags: Colt 3-4 Colts Defense Dwight Freeney Gary Brackett Indianapolis Colts Keith Butler Keith Butler Colts NFL NFL News Robert Mathis