Both Mike Triplet and Nakia Hogan of the Times Picayune saddled the former Cowboy outside linebacker Victor Butler with an “unknown quantity” label, but is he really? About the only thing we don’t know about Butler is what he can do as a starter.
There’s a lot we do know about the guy including the reason he wasn’t a starter with the Dallas Cowboys. There were two reasons for that: DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer. Butler won’t have that problem playing with the Saints because Rob Ryan will be using Butler as motivation to get the most out of Junior Galette and Martez Wilson.
What we do know about Victor Butler:
1) Butler hasn’t lost any ground in four years with the Cowboys. As the TP’s Nakia Hogan pointed out Butler was considered a top five free agent outside linebacker for any team playing a 3-4 defense when he hit free agency. That’s decidedly a move up from when the Cowboys drafted the Oregon State boy in the fourth round in ’09.
2) Butler’s not an unknown quantity for Saints DC Rob Ryan. Ryan has had the opportunity to work with him for two years already. Ryan knows more than anyone what untapped potential Butler may have. We also know Butler will feel comfortable playing under Ryan, and Ryan already knows where Butlers buttons are, and how to push them.
3) For four years Ryan has been learning not only from DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer but also from Rob Ryan for two. I’ll give him credit for being alert enough to learn many of their best moves, and what they doubtless told him over the four years they played together. How many rookies got to work under two guys that good?
4) We know that Dallas didn’t unload “an old clunker” on us, in fact smart money says they didn’t want to let him go to begin with. Butler was a casualty of the same tight cap money spot the Redskins are in due to Giants owner Mara setting his two division rivals back several years with a salary cap “whack hit”. Unlike other washed up free agents Butler is a prize.
5) The best is yet to come for Victor Butler, he’s on an upward curve. His total stats weren’t too shabby for the amount of playing time he got in Dallas (73 tackles, 11 sacks and five forced fumbles). Butler’s lst year with the Cowboys was the best of the four. The career-high 25 tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles are just an indication of what he’s capable of with more snaps under his belt.
6) Butler with Martez Wilson and Junior will put us three deep with veteran pass rushers now. Fans had expected to pay too much for a one year contract for an older veteran we had to replace next season. Instead we have a rotation of 3 young veterans led by Junior Galette. Hell, that’s a great place to be. We can rotate them to keep them fresh, we can keep pressure on the quarterback, and we have depth we didn’t have before.
7) Butler, along with Keenan Lewis represents a trend of putting youth but veteran talent on the Saints roster. The Butler signing shows not only contract savvy by the Saints but also fits into long rage goals while working within a K-Mart budget. The Saints only signed three players so far, but two of the three will be around as long as they can stay healthy.
Are you guys starting to feel a little better about the “mystery man” now?
Picture Credit: Pic courtesy of telepics.net
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