One of my favorite writers, Paul Imig, the Green Bay Packers beat writer for FOXSportsWisconsin.com, today posted one of the more unique stories of this offseason – a post focusing on one of my all-time favorite Packers players – LeRoy Butler.
We’ve all seen Butler around Lambeau Field; we’ve all seen his Internet videos with Tom Silverstein on JSonline.com … he knows football, he loves football, and as Imig explains in his piece, he wants to coach in the National Football League.
But nobody’s calling … that’s the sad part.
Imig’s interview with Butler is heart-wrenching. His passion for coaching is clear, but nobody is giving him a chance.
“It’s a big brother system,” Butler told Imig. “They basically hire their buddies. That’s what they do.” That is the nut of the story. It’s not that he’s being actively blackballed – he just hasn’t had the opportunity to prove himself, though he has made calls. He’s got the connections, he knows people in the industry – they tell him they will help, but they haven’t yet and that’s what frustrates Butler.
He’s been in two Super Bowls, winning one. He’s been a Pro-Bowler. He was one of the most athletic of all the players who made up those dynamo Packers teams of the mid- to late 9os. And he knows the game.
At this point, he would coach anywhere and admits that he would be the janitor just to get a chance to coach in the NFL. However, he would really like to coach for the Packers. After all, that’s the team he has been affiliated with for years, the team he won a Super Bowl with – heck, it’s the only team of which he’s ever been a member.
He thought he would have a shot when Mike Sherman was the coach. He thought he would have a shot when Mike McCarthy took over. He also thought he would have a shot at joining on with Miami given that team’s Packers connections with head coach Joe Philbin and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman.
Imig’s story is an exercise in frustration, but there is hope because Butler isn’t giving up hope.