For most of New England, our first memory of Malcolm Butler was his goal line interception of Russell Wilson at the end of Super Bowl XLIX, a legendary, game-saving play that won the Patriots a title.
Cornerback Malcolm Butler, the hero of the Patriots Super Bowl 49 against the Seattle Seahawks, was nowhere to be found. Butler dressed for the game but did not play a single snap defensively, only appearing a handful of times on special teams. Belichick didn't clear up much else on Monday morning during a conference call. That was a power trip. "I respect Malcolm's competitiveness, and I'm sure that he felt like he could have helped".
"The guy has played a lot of football, so to not be out there I'm sure crushed him", Patriots safety Devin McCourty said. "In the end, we have to make the decisions that we feel are best for the football team, and that's what we did, that's what I did". That's what we did. "That's really all I can say about it".
"I didn't know that", Long said.
As you, me and 106 million other people no doubt noticed on Sunday, Butler was benched for Super Bowl LII.
Did he ever think about putting Butler in?
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"I was just doing my job supporting my teammates".
Butler saw some playing time on special teams, but that was the extent of his playing time as Stephon Gilmore, Eric Rowe and Johnson Bademosi saw almost all the playing time at corner for the Patriots.
While Johnson Bademosi didn't speak to the media on Sunday night, Butler's benching came as a surprise to cornerback Eric Rowe, who got a sizable promotion along with Bademosi.
There is no doubt that Butler could have changed that game. He did say he had practiced in the starting spot during the week.
The game plan was odd, at best. "So it kind of turned out that way with the game and the way it went and some of the situations that came up, that's just the way it went". Especially after the Patriots defense had its worst game of the season and Butler's replacements had no answers for Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles.
However, it's hard to take that comment at face value given that Rowe was apparently not informed he'd play over Butler until mere moments before the game.