The Dolphins have requested and received permission to interview Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker coach Keith Butler for a defensive assistant job, most likely the defensive coordinator job, according to a club source.
The interview, first reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, was expected to take place before the end of this weekend, the source told The Herald.
Butler, 53, has ties to coach Tony Sparano. Both worked under head coach Chris Palmer in Cleveland in 1999-2000. While Sparano went to the Washington Redskins in 2001, Butler remained with the Browns through 2002 before joining the Steelers in 2003.
Butler is considered a possible heir to the Pittsburgh defensive coordinator job if and when Dick LeBeau decides to retire. His work under LeBeau suggests he is familiar and comfortable with the 3-4 defense but also an attacking style of that defense that includes a vast array of zone and other type of blitzes.
Under LeBeau, Pittsburgh has at times been referred to as Blitzburgh.
With Butler as their coach, Pittsburgh linebackers have feasted on great seasons. James Farrior, LaMarr Woodley, James Harrison, Joey Porter and Clark Haggans all had varying degrees of success under Butler.
Harrison in particular stands out. He was the 2008 Defensive Player of the Year and has been named to he Pro Bowl three times.