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5 things to know about new Packers offensive line coach Luke Butkus

Adam Stenavich’s assistant for three seasons now takes over the position group

Packers offensive line coach Luke Butkus
Packers offensive line coach Luke Butkus

GREEN BAY – With Adam Stenavich now his offensive coordinator, Head Coach Matt LaFleur has promoted Luke Butkus to offensive line coach after spending the last three years as Stenavich's assistant with that unit.

Here are five things to know about Butkus.

1. Yes, he's from that Butkus family.

Butkus is the nephew of former Chicago Bears great and Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus, and much of his background is tied to that state to Wisconsin's immediate south.

Butkus, 42, had a decorated career as a three-year starting center for Illinois, earning All-Big Ten honors twice plus a third-team All-America selection in 2001. He also was a captain on the Illini's 2001 conference title team.

2. He almost played for the same NFL team his uncle did, and he coached there.

An Illinois native, Butkus was signed by the Bears as a rookie free agent in 2002, but the bulk of his NFL experience as a player came as a member of the Chargers' practice squad that year and the following offseason.

His coaching career has included stints with the Bears (2007-09) as an assistant for both the offense and offensive line, and at his alma mater Illinois (2012, 2016-18) coaching the offensive line. On the Bears' staff and for his second coaching stint at Illinois, he worked under Lovie Smith.

3. As with Stenavich in 2019, this will be Butkus' first job as the top coach for an NFL position group.

But he's no newbie to coaching in the NFL. In addition to working for the Bears, he's also coached in Seattle (2010-11) as a quality control assistant and for Jacksonville (2013-15) as an assistant on the offensive line. He was the interim offensive line coach for the Jaguars in 2014 and has served as a very trusted assistant to Stenavich the past three seasons.

"He's a tremendous resource," Stenavich said this past season when asked about Butkus. "I lean on him very heavily. It's nice to have a coach that works with you with as much experience as him. He's been coaching longer than I have and a guy that you can rely on to handle situations. You know when certain things come up, you can pass things off to him and he'll handle it."

4. Like many in this profession, he started at the bottom.

The upcoming 2022 season will be Butkus' 18th as a coach in either the college or pro ranks.

After two seasons in NFL Europe, playing for the Rhein Fire in 2003 and Cologne Centurions in 2004, did not lead to another playing opportunity, Butkus began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Oregon in 2005.

5. His connections to anyone in Green Bay were minimal before coming here.

His career timeline crossed paths with only one member of the Packers' coaching staff prior to Butkus' arrival in Green Bay in 2019 – former offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.

In 2015, Butkus' final season in Jacksonville, Hackett was the Jaguars QB coach. Butkus also coached on the same Seattle staff as defensive backs coach Jerry Gray in 2010, but Butkus came to the Packers one year before Gray did.