Cowboys outside linebacker Victor Butler has had a strong training camp and an impressive showing in the game against the Broncos. Butler was credited with three solo tackles and two assists including one tackle for a loss, and almost had Tebow for a sack before Clifton Geathers flattened the Broncos' QB.
Stuck behind DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer means he hasn't seen a lot of playing time in his two years with the Cowboys, but that may be about to change. Rob Ryan's defensive scheme will likely afford Butler a lot more opportunities to showcase his talents. In fact, he may be one of the players who'll benefit the most from the coaching change.
And this realization has left the guy brimming with positive excitement, as we saw in a transcript of an interview with him we had here just ten days ago (Cowboys' Victor Butler On Ryan's Scheme: "The Basic Concept Is To Create Mismatches"). And on Saturday, the mothership put up another interview with a fired-up Victor Butler. Read the full transcript after the break to find out why Butler is quickly becoming one of my favorite players on the team - or watch the interview at dallascowboys.com
Victor Butler talks to reporters after practice on the changes in this year's team.
Victor Butler: The level of focus and accountability has just gone way up. You know what you've got to do, you know how to do it now. So now it's just a matter of coming out and doing it the right way.
Q: Even though you're learning a new system?
Victor Butler: Defense is defense, man. You hit people in the mouth. You sack quarterbacks. Stop the run. Get off the field on third downs. Defense is defense. No matter if it's a 3-4, 4-3, 46, it's all defense.
Q: Working against Tyron Smith after practice, how would you chart his progress?
Victor Butler: Pretty good. I think he's going to be ready. He's going to do some big things this year. Coaches are working with him hard, he seems to be working hard, he's really focused for a rookie. He's a young guy but he works really hard and he wants it. So that is the most important thing.
Q: What's his biggest strength?
Victor Butler: He's got hands like vise-grips. Don't let him touch you. If he touches you, it's a wrap. He locks on and you can't get the guy off you. He's like the jaws of life. It's incredible.
Q: A lot of the guys have talked about this new defense, freeing people up to make more plays, to be more aggressive. Does that fit right into your style?
Victor Butler: It does. We met with coach Ryan and it's a player friendly defense. It's designed to put players in position to make big plays. Now as a player, when you're in position, you've just got to make the big play!
That's what you're seeing with guys. Guys with big play ability, putting them in those positions, they're going to make big plays. You had Alan Ball with the interception. Me coming free. You've got guys like Brandon Williams being able to come free. Orie Lemon ... when you put those guys in positions to make plays, and they're playmakers, they're going to make plays.
And that's what this defense is about.
Does this fire you up?
Victor Butler: Oh yeah. When you've got a guy who's taken the leash off of you - letting the dogs hunt - it feels good as a defense. There are no restrictions, there’s no cage, there’s no box: Go hunt. Go eat. Whoever's got the ball, kill him.
Note: This interview was taped after practice was over. Watch the video closely and you'll see Jay Ratliff providing tips and pointers to the rookie linemen in the background: Pepa Letuli (79), Kevin Kowalski (60) and Bill Nagy (61).