Butler on SB benching: 'Never got a reason'

From ESPN - March 14, 2018

Cornerback Malcolm Butler told the Boston Herald that he was never given a reason for why he did not play in Super Bowl LII, but he reiterated that he has no hard feelings toward his former team, the New England Patriots.

Butler, who agreed to a deal with the Titans this week, has not spoken with Patriots coach Bill Belichick since the Super Bowl, he told the Herald.

"I never got a reason," Butler told the newspaper on Wednesday. "I feel like this was the reason: I got kind of sick. I went to the hospital. They probably thought I was kind of late on the game plan. I was not as locked in as I should be and could have been a matchup deal. It could have been anything.

"But Bill Belichick has been doing this for a very long time. He took a veteran out of Super Bowl XLIX [against the Seahawks] and put in a first-year rookie, and that turned out right, so you could never question his decision. It did not work out right [against the Eagles]. It did not work out the best for me or him or the New England Patriots. But I can say he won more than he lost, so it is what it is. I always have love for New England, Bill Belichick, Mr. Kraft, all those guys. Life just goes on."

Butler was replaced in the starting lineup by Eric Rowe in Super Bowl LII. The Patriots primarily played a three-safety nickel package in the game, but when they added a sixth defensive back in their dime package, they initially had safety Jordan Richards on the field in the first half before tapping cornerback Johnson Bademosi for that role in the second half.

The Eagles totaled 161 yards against the dime defense in the first half (they were 6-of-8 on third down against it), and Bademosi missed a tackle on the initial third down of the second half.

Immediately after the Super Bowl, Butler was emotional about not playing on defense, saying, "They gave up on me ... It was a coach's decision. ... I do not know what it was. I guess I was not playing good. They did not feel comfortable. I could have changed that game, though.


Continue reading at ESPN »