The New England Patriots caused quite a stir with their performance in Super Bowl LII. Head coach Bill Belichick made quite a shocking decision. Benching Malcolm Butler shocked NFL fans and the whole thing was wrapped in a mystery. So, what happened that day?
Belichick didn’t say much over the years. Pretty much every NFL analyst has a theory on Butler’s benching.
Albert Breer from Sports Illustrated made a big revelation and he also discussed Butler’s future plans.
According to him, Butler had a bad week of practice and he wasn’t feeling well.
“My understanding is that he was legitimately sick the week of that game,” Breer said during an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Zolak & Bertrand” show. “That was actually 100 percent legit. So, that was why he didn’t travel with the team on Sunday (a week before the game). He flies in on Wednesday, and they put him out there on the practice field. And, when they put him out there on the practice field, your role in the game becomes pretty clear. And my understanding is that it was very clear that his role in the game was not going to be as a starter. Like, he was gonna be the third corner behind (Stephon) Gilmore and … Eric Rowe. So, he was gonna be the nickel corner and, like, playing a specialized role.
“And, from what I understand, he went in the tank and had an awful week of practice. And, what I had heard, was that the coaches coming out of that felt like they couldn’t trust him in the game. Because he had just … mentally wasn’t in a good place. And, so, they decide (to bench him). Obviously, there’s the contract (Butler was hitting free agency) hanging over him, too. All of that stuff. They felt like he wasn’t in the right place to play. … As for how the week played out, that’s how I understood it played out.”
The Malcolm Butler mystery is real
We feel like there was more behind the whole “awful week” thing. Breer made a few good points in his theory. Maybe we should wait and see if Butler reveals the truth. Maybe he will talk about this in his post-football life.
If we are lucky, maybe coach Belichick will reveal the reasons he had to make such a big decision. It was a bad day for Butler and he will always remember it. Not a good memory though.
The Patriots have never made a public statement about this benching, and they will keep things this way. Maybe we shouldn’t really go deeper in this. It’s all part of the past…