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Malcolm Butler on benching: 'They gave up on me'

Rob Bradford
February 04, 2018 - 11:20 pm

Besides the 41-33 loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII, the biggest storyline for the Patriots was the benching of cornerback Malcolm Butler.

After the game, both Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia said the decision wasn't due to discipline, but simply a matter of matchups.

"No," Belichick said when asked if the Butler decision was due to a discipline issue.

"Yes," was his response when asked to confirm that the move was strictly due to what the Eagles presented. 

"We put the players out there and the gameplan out there we thought would best tonight like we always do," Belichick added.

Eric Rowe, who got the start in place of Butler, told Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston he didn't find out he was getting the nod until right before kickoff.

According to Mike Reiss of ESPN, Butler was notably upset after the game, telling the reporter, "I don't know what it was. I guess I wasn't playing good or they didn't feel comfortable. I don't know. But I could have changed that game." The cornerback added, "They gave up on me. F—. It is what it is,"

Butler did play on special teams. Throughout the season, he had played in more than 98 percent of the defensive plays for the Patriots.

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