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Steelers name Keith Butler as DC

The Pittsburgh Steelers promoted Keith Butler to defensive coordinator Tuesday, announcing that the longtime assistant coach has agreed to a three-year deal.

Butler was promoted to replace longtime defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, who resigned Saturday after being notified that he would not be given a new contract with the team.

"We are excited to announce Keith Butler as our defensive coordinator," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said in a statement released by the team. "Keith has been an integral part of our defensive game planning and schemes for several years and we look forward to him moving into the role of calling the defense. His passion and energy will be important to us taking the next steps to being one of the top defenses in the NFL."

The 58-year-old Butler had been Pittsburgh's linebackers coach since 2003.

"It's the dream of a lifetime," Butler said in the statement. "There are only 32 of these jobs on this Earth. I am excited about the opportunity and I look forward to getting this process started immediately."

Butler has a long history with Tomlin; they worked together as assistants at Memphis in 1996.

He will be in charge of bringing back some of the bite to a group in the midst of a transition as aging veterans Brett Keisel and Troy Polamalu give way to Cameron Heyward and Shamarko Thomas.

LeBeau, meanwhile, has talked with the Arizona Cardinals about joining their staff, but he may be leery about going that far west with his family rooted in the Cincinnati area, a source close to the 77-year-old told ESPN on Monday.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported earlier Monday that the Cardinals, who are coached by former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, have reached out to LeBeau.

ESPN.com Steelers reporter Scott Brown and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Field Yates discusses why it made sense for the Steelers to promote from within and name assistant coach Keith Butler as the defensive coordinator replacement for the exiting Dick LeBeau.
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