LeRoy Butler

Last updated

LeRoy Butler
LeRoy Butler.jpg
Butler at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee in 2007.
No. 36
Position: Strong safety
Personal information
Born: (1968-07-19) July 19, 1968 (age 54)
Jacksonville, Florida
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:204 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school: Robert E. Lee
(Jacksonville, Florida)
College: Florida State
NFL Draft: 1990  / Round: 2 / Pick: 48
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Tackles:989
Interceptions:38
Sacks:20.5
Forced fumbles:13
Player stats at NFL.com  ·  PFR

LeRoy Butler III (born July 19, 1968) is an American former professional football strong safety who played 12 seasons in the National Football League (NFL), spending his entire career with the Green Bay Packers (1990–2001).

Contents

Butler was born in Jacksonville, Florida, where he was challenged by physical problems which forced him to wear leg braces and use a wheelchair at times during his childhood. [1] However, he overcame his disability and was able to excel at high school football; Butler was named one of the 33 best Florida High School football players of all time in 2007. He went on to be a three-year starter at Florida State University, and after a successful college career, he was drafted in the 2nd round (48th overall) of the 1990 NFL Draft by the Packers.

In his 12 seasons with the Packers, Butler was a 4x First-team All-Pro. Butler recorded a sack in the Packers' Super Bowl XXXI win over the New England Patriots, and he is recognized as the creator of the Lambeau Leap touchdown celebration. Butler was named a member of the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team and was enshrined in the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. In 2022, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. [2]

High School career

Butler attended Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville, Florida, and played under the direction of the all-time wins leader for a high school football coach in the state of Florida's history, Corky Rogers. Rogers coached at Robert E. Lee High School from 1972 to 1988, where he coached Butler and fellow NFL star Edgar Bennett, and from 1989 to 2016 at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, having won a total of 8 football State Championships. Before moving onto Florida State, Butler was an astounding player for the Robert E. Lee High School Generals football program.

College career

Butler played under head coach Bobby Bowden at Florida State University. He was a three-year starter, collecting 194 tackles and 9 interceptions, but he's most remembered by FSU fans for his role in the "puntrooskie." [3] In 1988, against rival Clemson, FSU was backed up to its own 21-yard line, on fourth down, with a minute and 30 seconds left to play and the score tied at 21. Bowden called the famous trick play, a fake punt. The snap went to upback Dayne Williams and he slipped the ball to Butler, who ran 78 yards to set up the game-winning field goal.

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
HeightWeightArm lengthHand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
5 ft 11 in
(1.80 m)
193 lb
(88 kg)
29+38 in
(0.75 m)
9+14 in
(0.23 m)
4.56 s1.61 s2.68 s4.29 s32 in
(0.81 m)
9 ft 6 in
(2.90 m)
9 reps
All values from NFL Combine [4]

The Green Bay Packers selected Butler in the second round (48th overall) of the 1990 NFL draft. Butler was the third safety drafted in 1990. [5]

He played in 181 games, earned a Super Bowl ring, for Super Bowl XXXI, following the 1996 season, was selected as an All-Pro four times and was selected to the Pro Bowl four times (1993, 1996, 1997, and 1998). He was named to the 1990s NFL All Decade Team, by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and was later inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, in 2007.

On November 6, 1997, the Green Bay Packers signed Butler to a five-year, $15 million contract extension that includes a signing bonus of $5 million. [6]

On October 7, 1999, the Green Bay Packers signed Butler to a three-year, $21.50 million contract extension that includes a signing bonus of $1.63 million. [7]

After being selected to his first Pro Bowl, the emphasis of his first name was questioned by sports commentator John Madden, who was told by Packers running back Edgar Bennett that his name is pronounced ("LEE-Roy"); but, after hearing a broadcast, Butler's mother sent an e-mail to Madden describing the emphasis as ("L'ROY"). During his 12 seasons with the Packers, he recorded 953 tackles, 38 interceptions, 553 return yards, 12 fumble recoveries, 3 defensive touchdowns and 20½ sacks. He led or tied for the team lead in interceptions in five different seasons. He was the first defensive back in NFL history to gain entrance in the 20 Sack/20 Interception Club.

A broken shoulder blade sustained while tackling Atlanta Falcons running back Maurice Smith in the 2001 season forced him into retirement just before the 2002 season when it was discovered it had not healed properly. [8]

On November 21, 2017, Butler was announced as one of 27 semi-finalists for the 2018 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. [9] The nomination was not Butler's first to the Hall of Fame, but marked the first time he was named a semi-finalist for the honor. [10]

On January 2, 2020, he was announced as one of the modern-era finalists for the 2020 class of the Hall of Fame. It was his first time being named as a finalist. He joined 14 other modern-era finalists for the class of 2020. [11] On February 10, 2022, Butler was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Lambeau Leap

Butler is credited with inventing the Lambeau Leap, a touchdown celebration in which the scoring player leaps into the arms of awaiting fans in the stands near the end zone. On December 26, 1993, the Packers were playing the visiting Los Angeles Raiders. On a second-down swing pass to running back Randy Jordan, Butler forced a fumble that was recovered by Reggie White at the Raiders' 35-yard-line. After running with the ball for 10 yards, White lateraled to Butler, who ran the remaining 25 yards into the end zone and then made a spontaneous leap into the arms of fans in the south bleachers. The Packers went on to win 28–0 to clinch what would be the first of six consecutive playoff berths. The move was later popularized by wide receiver Robert Brooks, who carried it a step further by leaping completely into the stands. This move is called the Lambeau Leap and now is used after most Packer touchdowns scored at Lambeau Field. [12]

NFL career statistics

Legend
Won the Super Bowl
BoldCareer high
YearTeamGamesTacklesFumblesInterceptions
GPGSCombSoloAstSacksFFFRYdsTDIntYdsAvgLngTDPD
1990 GB 1600000.0100034214.02800
1991 GB 16160000.01100362.0600
1992 GB 15150000.011170100.0000
1993 GB 16168973161.021251613121.839023
1994 GB 13136347161.0100036822.75105
1995 GB 161610082181.01000510521.076013
1996 GB 16168765226.51220514929.890114
1997 GB 161610270323.01100540.82010
1998 GB 16168661254.032321331.03015
1999 GB 16166749181.00100200.0006
2000 GB 16169267252.0110022512.52207
2001 GB 99403191.00000000.0002
Career18116572654518120.513107623853314.090195

[13]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Super Bowl XXXII</span> 1998 Edition of the Super Bowl

Super Bowl XXXII was an American football game played between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Green Bay Packers and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Denver Broncos to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1997 season. The Broncos defeated the Packers by the score of 31–24. The game was played on January 25, 1998, at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California, the second time that the Super Bowl was held in that city. Super Bowl XXXII also made Qualcomm Stadium the only stadium in history to host both the Super Bowl and the World Series in the same year.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Paul Hornung</span> American football player (1935–2020)

Paul Vernon Hornung, nicknamed "the Golden Boy", was an American professional football player who was a Hall of Fame running back for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL) from 1957 to 1966. He played on teams that won four NFL titles and the first Super Bowl. He is the first Heisman Trophy winner to be selected as the first overall selection in the NFL Draft, play pro football, win the NFL most valuable player award, and be inducted into both the professional and college football halls of fame. Packers coach Vince Lombardi stated that Hornung was "the greatest player I ever coached."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Don Hutson</span> American football player and coach (1913–1997)

Donald Montgomery Hutson was an American professional football player and assistant coach in the National Football League (NFL). He played as an end and spent his entire 11-year professional career with the Green Bay Packers. Under head coach Curly Lambeau, Hutson led the Packers to four NFL Championship Games, winning three: 1936, 1939, and 1944.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Aeneas Williams</span> American football player (born 1968)

Aeneas Demetrius Williams is an American former football cornerback and safety who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 14 seasons, primarily with the Arizona Cardinals franchise. He played college football at Southern and was selected in the third round of the 1991 NFL Draft by the Cardinals, where he spent 10 seasons. During his final four seasons, he was a member of the St. Louis Rams. Williams received eight Pro Bowl selections and three first-team All-Pro honors, as well as being on the second NFL 1990s All-Decade Team. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ahman Green</span> American gridiron football player (born 1977)

Ahman Rashad Green is a former American football running back who played 12 seasons in the National Football League (NFL). Green played college football at Nebraska and was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the 3rd round of the 1998 NFL Draft, playing there for two seasons before being traded to the Green Bay Packers, with whom he played for eight of the next ten seasons. Green also played for the Houston Texans, and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection with the Packers, where he holds the franchise record for rushing yards. He is currently the head esports coach at Lakeland University.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Derrick Brooks</span> American football player and executive (born 1973)

Derrick Dewan Brooks is an American former football outside linebacker who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 14 seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brooks played college football at Florida State, where he twice received consensus All-American honors, and was selected by the Buccaneers in the first round of the 1995 NFL Draft. An 11-time Pro Bowl selection and five-time first-team All-Pro, Brooks was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2002 en route to winning the franchise's first Super Bowl title in Super Bowl XXXVII. Following his retirement, Brooks served as co-owner and president of the Tampa Bay Storm in the Arena Football League (AFL) from 2011 to 2017. He was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2016.

Douglas Terrell Buckley is a former American football cornerback and current Head Coach of the Orlando Guardians. He also played professional baseball for the Mobile Baysharks in the Texas-Louisiana League.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lambeau Leap</span> Touchdown celebration popularized by the Green Bay Packers

The Lambeau Leap is a touchdown celebration in American football in which a player leaps into the bleachers behind the end zone after scoring. The celebration was popularized after Green Bay Packers player LeRoy Butler jumped into the Lambeau Field bleachers after scoring a touchdown from a fumble recovery against the Los Angeles Raiders on December 26, 1993. The celebration has remained popular ever since, even as the National Football League tightened rules on touchdown celebrations in the early 2000s. Some safety concerns have been noted by players and staff, including inappropriate touching by fans and the possibility of an injury to the player leaping into the bleachers. Although uncommon, the celebration has been attempted by multiple players from opposing teams at Lambeau Field. The Lambeau Leap is an important component of the history and traditions of the Packers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Del Shofner</span> American football player (1934–2020)

Delbert Martin Shofner was an American football wide receiver who played for eleven seasons with the Los Angeles Rams and the New York Giants from 1957 to 1967 in the National Football League (NFL).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cecil Isbell</span> American football player and coach (1915–1985)

Cecil Frank Isbell was an American football quarterback and coach. He played five years in the National Football League (NFL) with the Green Bay Packers, leading them to the NFL Championship in 1939. He retired after the 1942 season to become an assistant coach at his alma mater, Purdue University, and the following year became its head coach for three seasons.

The 1996 season was the Green Bay Packers' 76th season in the National Football League (NFL), their 78th overall and their fifth under head coach Mike Holmgren. The franchise won its third Super Bowl and league-record 12th NFL Championship. The Packers posted a league-best 13–3 regular season won-loss record, going 8–0 at home and 5–3 on the road. It was the first time since 1962 that the team went undefeated at home. Additionally, the Packers had the NFL's highest-scoring offense (456) and allowed the fewest points on defense (210). Green Bay was the first team to accomplish both feats in the same season since the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins. They finished the season with the number one ranked offense, defense, and special teams. They also set a then NFL record for the fewest touchdowns allowed in a 16-game season, with 19. The Packers also allowed the fewest yards in the NFL and set a record for punt return yardage. Brett Favre won his second straight MVP award while also throwing for a career-high and league-leading 39 touchdown passes.

The 1989 Green Bay Packers season was their 71st overall and their 69th in the National Football League. The Packers finished with a 10–6 record, their best since 1972, but failed to make the playoffs. The team was often referred to as "The Cardiac Pack" due to several close-game wins. The 1989 Packers hold the NFL record for most one-point victories in a season with four. The team was coached by Lindy Infante and led by quarterback Don Majkowski, who attained his nickname "The Majik Man."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1966 Green Bay Packers season</span> 48th NFL franchise season; first team to win Super Bowl

The 1966 Green Bay Packers season was their 48th season overall and their 46th in the National Football League (NFL). The defending NFL champions had a league-best regular season record of 12–2, led by eighth-year head coach Vince Lombardi and quarterback Bart Starr, in his eleventh NFL season.

The 1967 Green Bay Packers season was their 49th season overall and their 47th season in the National Football League (NFL) and resulted in a 9–4–1 record and a victory in Super Bowl II. The team beat the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Championship Game, a game commonly known as the "Ice Bowl," which marked the second time the Packers had won an NFL-record third consecutive NFL championship, having also done so in 1931 under team founder Curly Lambeau. In the playoff era, it remains the only time a team has won three consecutive NFL titles.

Lee Roy Caffey was an American football outside linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for the Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys and San Diego Chargers. Caffey is one of the top 100 Green Bay Packers of All-Time (#57). Caffey and teammates, Ray Nitchke and Dave Robinson, were named one of the top 10 best linebacking trios in the history of the NFL by ESPN. He played college football at Texas A&M University and is one of Texas A&M’s top 10 best players in the NFL.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gary Ellerson</span> American football player (born 1963)

Gary Tobius Ellerson is a former American football player with the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions. He currently works as a Milwaukee, Wisconsin sports media personality.

The 1998 season was the Green Bay Packers' 78th in the National Football League (NFL) and their 80th overall. The Packers entered the 1998 campaign as the two-time defending NFC champions, losing the Super Bowl the year before. The season began with the team attempting to improve on their 13–3 record from 1997, three-peat as National Football Conference (NFC) champions, and win their second Super Bowl in three years.

The 1993 Green Bay Packers season was their 75th season overall and their 73rd in the National Football League. They had a 9–7 record and won their first playoff berth in 11 years, but their first in a non-strike year in 21 years. The record also marked the first back-to-back winning season since the Packers 1967 season. During the regular season, the Packers finished with 340 points, ranking sixth in the National Football League, and allowed 282 points, ranking ninth. In his third year as a pro and second with the Packers, quarterback Brett Favre led the Packers offense, passing for 3,303 yards and 19 touchdowns. Favre, who played his first full season, was selected to his second of eleven Pro Bowl appearances.

Paul Albert Duhart was a Canadian-American professional football player. Duhart played college football for the University of Florida. Thereafter, he played professionally for the Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Boston Yanks of the National Football League (NFL) for two seasons during the mid-1940s.

Herbert Anthony Adderley was an American professional football player who was a cornerback for the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). In 1980, he was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

References

  1. FSU.com :: The star of the greatest play since 'My Fair Lady' turns author Archived May 11, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  2. Reischel, Rob. "LeRoy Butler Leaps Into The Pro Football Hall Of Fame". Forbes. Retrieved February 11, 2022.
  3. ESPN Classic – Bowden finally gets national title
  4. "LeRoy Butler, Combine Results, CB - Florida State". nflcombineresults.com. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
  5. "1990 NFL DRAFT TEAM-BY-TEAM". TulsaWorld.com. April 24, 1990. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  6. "PLUS: PRO FOOTBALL; Packer Safety Signs". New York Times. November 7, 1997. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  7. "Packers upgrade Butler's contract". Chippewa.com. October 7, 1999. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  8. "NFL.com: Green Bay Packers Team News - Butler 'Packs' it in after 12 years". www.nfl.com. Archived from the original on July 20, 2002.
  9. "LeRoy Butler named a Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalist" . Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  10. "Semifinalists announced for 2018 Hall of Fame class". NFL.com. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  11. "Long-time Packers S LeRoy Butler selected as Hall of Fame finalist". January 3, 2020.
  12. Hodkiewicz, Wes (November 17, 2022). "LeRoy Butler: Forever Part of Lambeau Field". Packers.com. Archived from the original on November 18, 2022. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  13. "LeRoy Butler Stats". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved March 26, 2014.