Time has passed, and we still haven’t gotten any information nor explanation about Malcolm Butler‘s benching in Super Bowl LII.
Even head coach Bill Belichick, talking with one media member, remained reserved about the corner not playing a single defensive snap in their loss to the Eagles.
Here’s the full exchange between The Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy and Belichick:
Dan Shaughnessy: “Bill, I know you’re all about this year and we all understand that.”
Bill Belichick: “That’s right.”
DS: “I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t ask about last year.”
BB: “Yeah, well, last year is last year. I’m not focused on last year.”
DS: “What about the fact that everywhere we go folks want to ask about Malcolm Butler? I mean, coaches, players … I mean, you’re a sports fan …”
BB: “We’ve talked about that. That’s multiple months ago.”
DS: “Is there going to be any more explanation as to why he didn’t play?”
BB: “Focused on training camp.”
DS: “Would you do it any differently?”
BB: “Training camp? Well, we’re getting starting. We’re working on that right now. We’ll do the best we can.”
DS: “Do you care that the fans want to know more about this?”
BB: “I’m focused on doing the best that I can for the 2018 New England Patriots. That’s my job. That’s what I’m going to do. That’s what I’ve always done in the past. Everyday that I’ve coached here, I’ve done the best that I could for this football team and I’ll continue to do that and right now my focus is on the 2018 season. Not 2017, not 2014, not 2007, not 2004, not 2001, not 2000. I’m not focused on any of those seasons. They’re done.”
DS: “For this season’s team, is it important for you to address the Malcolm Butler thing with your team?”
BB: “It’s important for me to have a good season in 2018. I’m going to do everything I can to do that. Do the best that I can for our football team. That’s my job and that’s my responsibility. That’s what I’m going to try to do. Hopefully, you can respect that, but maybe not.”
Fans, as well as players on the squad are still left in the dark as New England begins training camp.
Duron Harmon, who’ll don Butler’s old No. 21 going forward with the Patriots, said there’s no need to bother with the matter as they’re simply preparing for the upcoming year to get back in position to win the Super Bowl.
“It’s over with,” Harmon said. “I mean it’s all what-ifs now and what-ifs are not going to change anything. So what is the point of going back in the past and trying to go over that and try to find answers when in all reality, it doesn’t even matter anymore in the 2018 season?”
So, instead of looking back, Harmon simply desided to look forward.
“You just gotta look at what you want to accomplish this year,” Harmon said. “We know we want to play good football and be in a position at the end of the year to play more games in the winter. So looking at (the Butler situation), that doesn’t have anything to do with that (playing well this year). Malcolm has moved on. He’s with the Tennessee Titans now and it’s time we do the same (and move on).”