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Patriots HC Bill Belichick reveals why he benched CB Malcolm Butler in Super Bowl 52

Super Bowl XLIX - New England Patriots v Seattle Seahawks
Super Bowl XLIX - New England Patriots v Seattle Seahawks
Ian Van Roy
ANALYST

Former Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler is embarking on a new life after retiring in recent weeks. His old coach, Bill Belichick, was recently asked about the cornerback. Specifically, the question asked about why Belichick benched the cornerback in a Super Bowl that came after his miraculous interception that gave the Patriots a Lombardi against the Seattle Seahawks.

Bill Belichick on Malcolm Butler's time with the Patriots

Here's what Belichick had to say, according to Patriots Wire:

“In retrospect, again, looking back, I always try to do what’s best for the football team. And that’s what I’ll continue to do — try to look ahead and not back too much.”

One can imagine this is all Belichick may ever say about the cornerback's benching. Malcolm Butler's benching was followed by a defensive performance that saw the Patriots give up 41 points to Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles. Pundits and fans alike do not see the two events as separate from one another.

In the eyes of fans and pundits, Butler's benching directly resulted in the Patriots loss and the ultimate reason why the Patriots couldn't finish the three-peat.

Belichick also heaped praise on the cornerback for his contributions to the team and the generally excellent player he was in his time with the Patriots:

"Malcolm’s a great story,” Belichick said. “You’re talking about a kid that’s undrafted, really couldn’t even get into a training camp. And then, when we brought him up here for a rookie minicamp tryout — he wasn’t even signed when brought him up here — to see the fact that he had talent, and to see him grow and develop as a player, as a person when he was here, and what his four years of play here meant to this organization, it’s pretty impressive. There’s not a lot of guys that do what he (did). Although, J.C. Jackson has followed a similar path. But again that’s very unusual, just in terms of playing time and all that."
Former New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler
Former New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler
“I always enjoyed coaching Malcolm, and I have a lot of respect for the way he competed and what he did, very similar to David Patten, coming from nowhere and establishing (himself) and having a really good NFL career. … Business is business and sometimes players move on for better opportunities, like Malcolm did to Tennessee or David Patten did when he signed in Washington."
Edited by Samuel Green
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