Bill Belichick characteristically bristly, cryptic when asked about Malcolm Butler's benching

06 February, 2018, 15:05 | Author: Kristine Mills
  • Malcolm Butler

Belichick said immediately after the game that benching Butler was a football decision, and was not a disciplinary action.

New England coach Bill Belichick told NBC at halftime only that he "made the decision that gives us the best chance to win".

Belichick's past unorthodox moves like using wide receivers Julian Edelman and Troy Brown as defensive backs could always be justified as genius from a prescient mad scientist, but benching Butler was different.

The line "I'm sure he feels like he could have helped" also sounds like a direct shot at Butler.

"He practiced it the most", Belichick said.

Butler was widely considered one of New England's best defensive players throughout the year before the Patriots allowed 538 yards and 41 points to backup quarterback Nick Foles and the Eagles.

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"I respect Malcolm's competitiveness", Belichick said. If Butler doesn't know what the football reasons were for his benching, that doesn't reflect well on him: Coaches aren't shy about telling players when they don't play well, and if Butler doesn't know what he did wrong on the field, that suggests that he doesn't pay attention to his coaches. "But u don't play your best cornerback". "I don't know. That's how the game goes sometimes". The fact that Butler even dressed for the game, instead of simply being deactivated in favor of someone who would actually play, makes the decision all the more puzzling.

It includes the caption, "A locker room was divided pre game, most yds ever given in up in a SB game, and your best defender over the past 3 seasons".

The bigger Rowe had reportedly been practicing during the week as a starting cornerback opposite Stephon Gilmore, but Rowe said after the game that he still expected Butler to get his share of playing time.

"I appreciate the question, but it would be a much longer discussion", Belichick said on a conference call Monday. "That's tough. He's a hell of a player". "It is what it is", Butler told ESPN.

Butler saw some playing time on special teams, but that was the extent of his playing time as Stephon Gilmore, Eric Rowe and Johnson Bademosi saw almost all the playing time at corner for the Patriots. "I guess I wasn't playing good".

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