LeRoy Butler spent his entire career with the Green Bay Packers. In his 12-year career with the Packers, he had a lot of success. The former safety made multiple All-Pro teams and played in numerous Pro Bowls.
Butler was a fan favorite in Green Bay and was a part of a Super Bowl-winning team. He also was credited with inventing the ‘Lambeau Leap.’
LeRoy Butler made an impact early in his career with Green Bay
Before he started his NFL career, Butler played at Florida State University. Butler was a three-year starter and finished his career with 194 tackles and nine interceptions. The Packers selected Butler in the second round of the 1990 NFL draft. In his first season, he had three interceptions, one forced fumble, and 19 combined tackles. After his rookie season, he was a full-time starter for the Packers.
During the 1993 season, he had a breakout year. He finished the season with 90 combined tackles, six interceptions, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery. His performance allowed him to be selected to the first Pro Bowl of his career. He earned a spot on the first-team All-Pro team. Henry continued to have success throughout his career in Green Bay. He was a threat on defense at the safety position and made many big-time plays in his career.
During the 1996 season, the Packers won the Super Bowl after defeating the New England Patriots 35-21. It was Butler’s first and only Super Bowl title in his career. After winning the Super Bowl, Butler played for the Packers for five more seasons, and during that time, he made two more Pro Bowls and earned a spot on the All-Pro team twice. He finished his career with 889 tackles, 38 interceptions, 20.5 sacks, and 13 forced fumbles. Butler made 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.
The creation of the ‘Lambeau Leap’
For the past few years, when Packers players score at Lambeau Field, it’s been a tradition for them to jump into the crowd and have the fans embrace them. So, where did that come from? Well, if you ask LeRoy Butler, he’ll tell you that he was the one to start that tradition. It originated on December 26, 1993. The Packers took on the LA Raiders.
Green Bay was on defense, and it was second down. The Raiders quarterback threw a pass to a receiver when Hall of Fame defensive end Reggie White recovered the fumble. As White went down, he pitched the ball to Butler, who was right behind him, and Butler took it into the end zone. In an ESPN article from 2015, Butler detailed that experience after he scored that touchdown on defense. “I was excited because I’m going to score my first touchdown,” Butler said, watching tape of the play. “All this stuff is going through my head. And as I’m about to score, you see me point right there to this guy. And I jump. And this guy just kind of grabs me.”
“I know a lot of people say, ‘Well, act like you’ve been there before,'” Butler said. “I’m a defensive guy. I may not ever get back there again. So I was going to make the most of it.” Butler made sure that he would remember his first defensive touchdown, and he wanted to celebrate with the fans.
What is LeRoy Butler doing now?
After his football career ended, Butler continued to be active in the community. He spent time providing TV and radio commentary on the Packers for Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and 105.7 The Fan. Butler also co-authored several books, and he frequently speaks at schools as part of a campaign against bullying, sharing experiences from his childhood, when he was teased for using a wheelchair and leg braces.
Butler will always be remembered for starting the ‘Lambeau Leap,’ but people should also know that he was one of the top defensive players throughout his career, and that should not go unnoticed.