Former New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler continued to discuss his Super Bowl LII benching on Friday with SI.com.
Butler stated that he felt compelled to question both Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and then-defensive coordinator Matt Patricia during Super Bowl LII over his benching that is still causing in uproar in the New England area.
“There was times when I was on the sideline, I just wanted to go up and say to Belichick or Matt Patricia, and just say, ‘This how we’re gonna end this?’” said Butler, who signed with the Tennessee Titans as a free agent this spring. “I grew up in the Patriots system, you know, and I’m a man of God. I respect my authority and I just couldn’t ask them for something they didn’t want to do. I just was doing my job.
“I was close to going up there and saying what I wanted to say to Matt or Belichick, but I just stayed in my lane and just did my job. And I really wanted to go ask him, but I didn’t.”
The rather odd part of Butler’s statement is that it somewhat contradicts what he said while being introduced as a member of the Tennessee Titans.
“I wasn’t feeling too well,” he said. “I felt like that was kind of part of it. Not to blame anybody. I accept full responsibly for myself. I am not blaming the New England Patriots or no one. It could have been just me, you know. It could have been anything, but I was not feeling too well and the New England Patriots are all about doing their job and they want everybody locked in and focused 100 percent and that probably was not the case. I am glad to be a Tennessee Titan.”
Butler’s benching is viewed by some Patriots fans as a pivotal moment in New England’s Super Bowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles last February. Without Butler’s services, Eagles quarterback Nick Foles lit up a struggling New England defense.
While Belichick has been mostly mum on the subject, Butler has provided slow drips of information on what may or may not have led to his benching.
It’s debatable whether Butler’s presence in the game would have made a difference for a defense that looked horrid during the Super Bowl. Yet, it continues to add to a somewhat bizarre narrative regarding Super Bowl LII.
Since the game’s conclusion, its national narrative has slowly steered away from the Eagles winning its first Super Bowl to New England’s catching some unfortunate breaks.
Between Butler’s absence, along with the missed illegal formation on the Philly Special play; and a league official reportedly admitting to use a different set of rules to judge catches, this Super Bowl will one that could be tough for New England to swallow for a long time.