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Former Steelers CB Ike Taylor describes Keith Butler's ascension to defensive coordinator

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Ike Taylor has never been one to hide his thoughts when doing an interview, and when he sat down the MMQB he talked about what Keith Butler has in front of him as he takes the reigns of the Steelers defense.

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Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor spent 12 seasons in the Steel City, and throughout his tenure with the organization, he was never one to shy away from an interview. In fact, Taylor has always seemed to enjoy the media and giving his insights on the team and it's successes or failures. When Taylor gave an interview to Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback (MMQB), you knew Taylor would leave no stone unturned in regards to his answers.

He spoke of how Troy Polamalu is in his will, literally. What Dick LeBeau means to him and how Dan Rooney has impacted his life. However, he has spoken about these topics frequently since retiring just days after Polamalu decided to call it quits.

What Taylor talked about that he hadn't had a chance to discuss was the new defensive coordinator Keith Butler and how he runs his defense. Taylor was able to speak on the topic with first-hand experience since he sat in coach and player meetings as a coaching intern throughout the team's Organized Team Activities (OTAs). When asked where the defense will get it's identity in 2015 with so many departures, his answer spoke volumes.

"Coach Keith Butler. My mindset on Coach Keith Butler was totally different. Like, Coach Keith Butler, man, he's a linebacker. He was a second-round linebacker from Seattle, and he had nothing but Pro Bowlers come through Pittsburgh, so I'm like, time will tell. But actually sitting down in his meetings and actually having time to grade players, trying to help players during the OTAs and seeing his mindset, I'm like man, Coach Butler, you really shocked the heck out of me. I liked you before, I'm not going to say I love you now, but we're getting close. He's got a mind out of this world. But of course, he did wait his turn. He sat, he put the years in, he put the time in, and I think this year you're going to see a good defense for the Pittsburgh Steelers."

His candid response triggered a follow-up question of how Taylor envisioned Butler taking over the defense.

"The one thing I have learned about Coach Keith and our relationship is we are brutally honest with each other. So from a player to a coach perspective, our relationship was kind of odd, because we could say things to each other that probably a player and a coach shouldn't say to each other. But now, since I'm on the other side of the fence, it's even better. The respect level, he values my opinions and my thoughts, and of course I'm going to value his opinions and his thoughts."

Butler has seemingly won over Taylor after the team's OTAs, and one has to think the veterans and rookies on the current team certainly are following suit. The transition from a linebackers coach to a defensive coordinator isn't as easy as many may think, and Butler will be using every second of time he has with the players prior to training camp to not only improve them, but to hone his skills as the coordinator as well.

With training camp just over a month away, Butler has his work cut out for him in his attempt to improve a defense that severely under performed in 2014, and winning over the locker room is certainly step number one in that process.