Colbert hopes Butler makes Hall of Fame

Former cornerback Jack Butler could be the next in a long line of Steelers to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Butler, who played for the Steelers from 1951-59, is one of two Seniors Committee nominees for the Class of 2012, along with Dick Stanfel who played for the Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins.

"I really appreciate it, it's a great honor and I enjoy it and the whole bit," said the 83-year old Butler. "I didn't expect it. I'm getting to a point, I'm getting up there, you know? But I'm glad it happened."

Butler, who is originally from Pittsburgh and still lives in the area, finished his career with 52 interceptions for 827 yards, including a career-high 10 in 1967, and four touchdowns.

"I think it's long overdue," said Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert. "A lot of great players from the pre-internet media exposure days got overlooked. It's due justice that a great player like Jack Butler gets recognized for what he accomplished in the time that he played."

He was selected to the Pro Bowl four times, 1956-59, and was named first-team All-NFL three times as well as the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1950's.

"When you look at some of the people who are in the Hall of Fame, him getting in is justified," said Bill Nunn, a long-time member of the Steelers scouting department. "He deserves it based on what he brought to the team and the fact that the Steelers weren't a winning team then.  If he played for another team or the Steelers were a winner then, he would likely be in already."

After his playing days Butler joined the Steelers scouting department and was director of BLESTO scouting network until he retired three years ago.  Colbert was one of many in the NFL scouting community to work for Butler.

"I had a lot of people help me along the way at all different stages. He was my first job in the professional sports world on a full-time basis," said Colbert. "He opened my eyes to what the reality of pro football was. The way he taught it and how much he knew about players was intriguing.

"Jack was an iconic figure in the scouting world. Those of us who were fortunate enough to work for him appreciate what he did for us. He was there year in and year out doing the same things the same way. He was entrenched in his values, his work ethic and his overall love of football and particularly the scouting world."

The Seniors Committee nominees will join the 15 modern-era candidates on a ballot in December.

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