NFL Wire News

Tomlin allows changes in Steelers’ defense


The Sports Xchange

PITTSBURGH — In his first media interview since being promoted to succeed Dick LeBeau as Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator, Keith Butler credited head coach Mike Tomlin for allowing changes.

The Steelers will stay with the 3-4 as their base defense, but Butler said there will be changes in some philosophy.

“There are some things we did well last year,” Butler said Thursday, the team’s last day of OTAs this week.

“We have to try to try to marry the things that we did well last year and maybe some things that we haven’t done before here, we’re going to try to do those.”

–Wide receiver Martavis Bryant, entering his second season, had to be carted off the field after he fell ill in high heat during Thursday’s practice. Bryant had taken a supplement in the morning that apparently did not mix well with the heat and exertion and he will be fine.

–The Steelers play in the Pro Football Hall of Fame game on Aug. 9 and will report to their 50th training camp held at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe on July 25. The first practice open to the public is July 26.

–Offensive coordinator Todd Haley concentrated on play in the red zone this spring after the Steelers ranked 19th last season in percentage of touchdowns scored once they made it inside the 20.

“When we get in tight, when football gets tough, we have to get the ball in the end zone whether it’s running or throwing,” Haley said.

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