So why was Malcolm Butler benched?

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The world may never know why Patriots coach Bill Belichick decided not to give cornerback Malcolm Butler a single defensive snap on Sunday night. Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston has an unequivocal opinion as to what it all means.

“You know it, I know it, the country knows it — and most importantly, the Patriots themselves know it — that keeping Malcolm Butler on the bench cost them Super Bowl LII,” Curran writes.

It’s hard to disagree with Curran, as much as I’d like to. It would have been very different if the Patriots had been getting it done defensively without Butler. But they weren’t. At some point, Belichick should have turned to Butler and said, “Get in there, 21.”

The fact that Butler didn’t know he’d be out — and Eric Rowe didn’t know he’d be replacing him — until shortly before kickoff suggests that something happened on Sunday or Saturday night. Whatever it was, it prompted Belichick to opt for sending the kind of message that jeopardized further cementing his legacy as the best coach of all time, in any sport.

For Butler, it’s obvious that he’ll become a free agent in March and leave New England. Before anyone signs him, however, it would be wise to know exactly what prompted the strange move that kept the Patriots from matching the Steelers with six Super Bowl wins.

119 responses to “So why was Malcolm Butler benched?

  1. If this isn’t a fireable offense, than what is. If what Butler did was so bad, he would have not been active. If I were a player on that team, I would be livid at Belichick.

  2. If the Patriots hadn’t of pulled Super Bowl wins against the Falcons and Seahawks out of their butt — wins gifted by the opposing coaches inexplicably and horrifically pooping the bed ….. almost on purpose it seemed — the Pats would be on a 5 game Super Bowl losing streak. The hapless Buffalo Bills of the new millennium.

  3. Even though Butler showed flaws during the regular season I find it hard to believe that he would have played worse than Rowe or Badamosi. That missed tackle by Badamosi on 3rd down was a killer.

  4. Not so sure this move was in the best interest of the team which is the general party line. If Patricia says it was the defensive scheme then he should be coaching Pop Warner because that was the worst scheme in Super Bowl history. A wholly non-competitive defense with one of its most competitive players watching.

  5. “You know it, I know it, the country knows it — and most importantly, the Patriots themselves know it — that keeping Malcolm Butler on the bench cost them Super Bowl LII,” Curran writes.
    ———————————————————————————-

    Seriously?

  6. Still scratching my head over this one. The Pats were bound to lose at some point, but I didn’t think it would be like this. The Eagles played a great game so I don’t want to say that he would have definitely made the difference -but he certainly might have. We were sitting there tearing our hair out as Rowe got scorched over and over and over again.

  7. I can’t think of a better way for the arrogant Patriots fans to be served humble pie than by Belichick himself. I’ve watched both games Patriots playoff games in bars and they are just the most obnoxious winners in sports. For Belichick to cost them the Super Bowl based on his own inflated ego is just poetic.

  8. Patriots fan here. Curran is a fool to make this accusation that if Butler played the Pats would have won. Nope. There were too many factors in this game that New England could not overcome. Losing Cooks was huge and stopped the ability to spread the ball around as much and no more deep threat. Eagles were the better team alllll around last night and deserved to win. Curran is ridiculous to make this claim

  9. .
    When I saw career special teamer Johnson Bademosi out there at CB in crucial situations, I thought that Belichick had clearly lost his mind. Why was Butler even dressed? They could have dressed Kenny Britt.
    .

  10. There is some hair on this story. Anyone willing to question the greatest coach of all time is foolish. Butler did something that warranted this decision and it may not of cost them the game but it was a HUGE factor. So I would imagine the players on the Patriots are very pissed off at Butler for doing whatever he did to get benched. Never question BB!!!!

  11. Kraft should/must be madder than a wet hen. Belichick saw how bad Rowe was getting torched, and he left Butler on the bench. That is what is best for the team????? What a power crazy stubborn old sob. He cost them the Super Bowl.

  12. I don’t think Butler was the difference between winning and losing. The defense just couldn’t hold up as a whole. Now Brady knows how Rodgers feel like. No matter how good or how much the offense scores, the defense is always giving up points.

  13. Mark Hewitt says:
    February 5, 2018 at 10:02 am
    If this isn’t a fireable offense, than what is. If what Butler did was so bad, he would have not been active. If I were a player on that team, I would be livid at Belichick.

    26 4 Rate This

    ————-/l

    in your dreams

    lol

    pats have a slew of key players back on the roster next year

    they will be right back there and that has to bother you

  14. Nobody is above the team!!! Nobody!!! And BB the greatest coach all time just showed the entire nation that. Listen, the Patriots have done it with back ups and scrubs for years so to think Butler would of won the game for them is foolish. Everyone seems to forget he was a nobody until dumb dumb Pete Carroll decides to throw on that play in the SB.

  15. citizenstrange says:
    February 5, 2018 at 10:02 am
    If the Patriots hadn’t of pulled Super Bowl wins against the Falcons and Seahawks out of their butt — wins gifted by the opposing coaches inexplicably and horrifically pooping the bed ….. almost on purpose it seemed — the Pats would be on a 5 game Super Bowl losing streak. The hapless Buffalo Bills of the new millennium.
    ====================================================================
    And they very easily could have won all five of those games. Enough with the “if”s though, nobody is making any excuses on the Patriots side. The Eagles deserved to win this game.

    As a Patriots fan, I love the team, but would like Belichick and Patricia to come clean on this one. You don’t play someone in 98% of all defensive snaps during the year and then bench him like this for the SB. Even if you do, when your defense is horrible, you put him in and give him a shot.

  16. As bad as the Patriots defense played sounds like Belichick made another crucial judgement call that cost them. The first was trading Chandler Jones.

  17. Brady didnt release quick to an open Amendola (?) and the game essentially ended because he fumbled a tick later. Not playing Butler was pretty stubborn…but I can appreciate the my way or the highway. Also, to the person who said about Seattle gifting them. GTFO. Took a miracle catch and hail mary type pass to get them down there. The Giants were pretty lucky to hang on in both their defeats of the Pats. SB 52 was pretty easily Doug Pederson simply out coaching the entire league this year. His play calling and ability to get Foles in position to be this ready was amazing. Doug Pederson is the real Eagles MVP

  18. I don’t understand people questioning BB and the Pats for this. If Butler did something to warrant a benching according to team policy, why should he get a pass? Is this the message we want to send to the young people that look up to NFL players? If you’re good enough and it’s a big game, rules don’t apply to you. Nah, BB gets a pat on the back for sticking to his principals when many would not.

    PS – Unless Butler’s actions did not warrant a benching, then yeah, that was a bad move.

  19. Butler did something. He was probably active in case of injury. It is easy to say it impacted the game but Butler had a few really bad games this year and he could have just as easily been burned as bad if not worse than the guys that did play. Don’t blame the coach for enforcing standards; blame the player for forcing him to. You don’t abandon one of the tenets of your success just because the game is big. To do so gets you what has been seen of late in Pittsburgh. Enough talent to be dangerous but not enough discipline to really matter.

  20. This is inexcusable from Bill to every defensive coach. Brady had a career game and our defense couldn’t stop anything. Seriously it’s Nick Foles!! We made him look like Tom Brady yesterday, and Brady had a legit defense to go against. We need a pass rush as ours is laughably bad. Bill needs to take responsibility for trading away defensive talent without replacing it. Brady should have won ring #6 last night but will now have to wait until next year.

    #6ringsdeep #GOATQB #GOATCOACH #GOATOWNER #GOATFANS #GOATFRANCHISE

  21. If Butler’s benching was for disciplinary reasons, then that was a monumental blunder. Is the best NFL head coach ever so smart he outsmarted even himself here? Discipline is good, so long as it’s not enforced to the detriment of the team.

  22. Love it!!! Leave it to arrogant Pats fans to grasp at anything to try and justify losing a Super Bowl to a “supposed” inferior team. I’m not an Eagles fan but this was sweet! I agree with “Citizenstrange” in that the Pats were HANDED their last two Super Bowl wins. And, let’s not forget the win over the Rams due to Spygate help. This “dynasty” is tarnished!

  23. Huge mistake but B.B. I’m sorry, but proving your point in the SB, punishing the other guys on the roster by not having he best guys out there isn’t right. Whatever he did, don’t start him, bench him for a quarter, a half, something like he did when Welker pissed him off. But for the whole game was stupid. Wrong move.

    Not saying they win, but Foles perhaps doesn’t convert some of those 3rd downs.

    Also, why put Rowe in Jeffrey anyhow? Weird move by B.B./Patricia.

    One good takeaway besides the offense played well overall is that gilmore looked really good down the stretch for this team

  24. Was stunned when they had Bademosi out there instead of Butler. Whatever happened Bill shot the team in its collective foot with this decision.

  25. The next time a Pats fanboy mentions that “never question BB” mantra they are always proclaiming, I wonder if they will enjoy getting reminded of this gaffe?

  26. So much speculation that Butler cost them the Superbowl, this year Butler has played like crap all season and tired of seeing the back of his jersey chasing players down the field.

    Keep in mind in the last two games of the “tournament” Foles played out of his mind, he trampled the highly regarded Minnesota Vikings and now the Patriots.. do not discount the massive contribution of Foles. No evidence that Butler would have made much difference..

  27. One player would not have made a difference. The Pats were overmatched last night. Butler is just the lightning rod for the sore losers.

  28. I have no idea why he didn’t play, but I assume that the coaching stuff knows more about it than I do.

    It is clear that the defense sucked though, and it is hard to imagine they would have been as bad with him in there.

    Still, it is asinine and offensive to the Eagles to suggest that the Patriots would have won if Butler played.

  29. Very strange for sure.

    You also have Brandon Browner criticizing Bill on Instagram and Hightower liking the post. To me that’s not good. Anything going on in that locker room needs to be nipped in the bud.

  30. A wholly non-competitive defense with one of its most competitive players watching.- ajsjr40

    The entire game I was wondering what Detroit fans were thinking. The architect behind the defense that gave up 267, 374, and 538 yards as his last 3 games is gonna be in charge. Ooof.

  31. It’d be a whole lot less weird if he’d simply been inactive. But they used a roster spot on him and had him on special teams. EXTREMELY odd to see a starter in the secondary get demoted to not even playing in the nickel packages. And even if he wasn’t originally in any of the packages why didn’t he get a shot to replace any of the struggling guys while Foles was picking them apart for the ENTIRE game? “Next man up” is an awesome mantra but it won’t work forever–at some point you can’t just coach up the backups to be better than the starers. Especially not when they spent the entire lead-up to the game preparing like Butler would play.

  32. “You know it, I know it, the country knows it — and most importantly, the Patriots themselves know it — that keeping Malcolm Butler on the bench cost them Super Bowl LII,” Curran writes.””

    The Eagles won with their backup QB bro

  33. surfinbird1 says:
    February 5, 2018 at 10:12 am
    Kraft should/must be madder than a wet hen. Belichick saw how bad Rowe was getting torched, and he left Butler on the bench. That is what is best for the team????? What a power crazy stubborn old sob. He cost them the Super Bowl.
    _______________

    Totally agree. Why waste the active roster spot on him then? I wouldn’t be surprised to see BB retire this week as maybe he and Kraft have a thing brewing.

  34. “Butler has played like crap all season”
    ————————————

    All season the Pats fans have been singing his praises. Suddenly, he now has been junk all season. What gives?

  35. Pats fans must be scared to death that it’s all over. That this is as close to a championship as they will ever get again. Those close losses can tear a team apart. Seattle was never quite they same again after they let Russell Wilson throw that slant pass on the goal line. This is the kind of thing that sits in people’s heads for quite a while. Will the Patriots be different? Will they quell the lingering resentments? Or will those lingering resentments flare up? It’s easy when you’re winning, but man, those close losses, and everyone starts thinking “what if?”

    You have to admit, Pats fans, it’s in your head. For the first time in a long time, you’re not quite sure going forward. Could it be true? Could it really, all of a sudden, be all over? Is this it?

    We’ll see.

  36. Butler couldn’t have given the Patriots a pass rush, couldn’t have made good long snaps and made missed field goals, among other issues. Yes, he maybe could have stopped some of those huge chunk plays, but the Patriots were not going to win that game no matter what. Their defense was God-awful, with or without Butler, but I still wish Belichick would have put him in there. The guy literally took the SB away from the Seahawks for them.

  37. If Belichick kept him out because of principals, good for him.

    I think it was Brady dropping the ball that cost them the super bowl, not Butlers nonplaying.

  38. Also, don’t know about Curran homering as a “journalist” saying you know they would have won. The Eagles looked clearly better across the board except their glaring weakness we all knew coming into the game, their defensive backs. The only thing Belichick’s decision did was make the only real strength of his defense weaker because we’ve been saying since week one when the Chiefs did this with this same offense that their front 7 was garbage. They haven’t gotten pressure on good teams all year, and it surely wasn’t going to happen with the Eagles who probably have the best offensive line in football right now. It was so bad, 40-year-old James Harrison played almost every snap on defense.

    Physically, the Eagles were better, but for once, the Patriots didn’t win red zone defense in the second half, and they didn’t win situational football on offense in the first half with those blown red zone trips.

  39. Maybe this Super Bowl will shut up the Ray Lewis and Rodney Harrisons of the world who are endless in their, “Defense wins championships.”
    Not if the offense is good enough.

  40. Patriots couldn’t stop the passing attack and being without their best CB didn’t make a difference in the game?? YAH OKAYYYY

  41. pftidbro says:
    February 5, 2018 at 10:47 am
    “You know it, I know it, the country knows it — and most importantly, the Patriots themselves know it — that keeping Malcolm Butler on the bench cost them Super Bowl LII,” Curran writes.””

    The Eagles won with their backup QB brI
    ———
    That’s because Wentz is a system QB and you can plug anyone into that offense and win championships. Right? I mean that’s what I’ve been hearing for 18 years

    And No, I’m not serious. Sadly others think like this. Foles is average but had a Flacco like Playoff run that was highly impressive. Happy for him, he’s a good dude.

  42. OH no, First Take will use the race card this morning. It will be a disc race by Bill, to not play Butler.

  43. Well,three words :Half time adjustment . The fact that he didn’t play a defensive snap in the second half speaks volumes. I really want to know what Butler did to be dropped from the game plan. Plenty of drama here and you have the coaches leaving, is Bill done ? Was he upset with his defensive coordinator ?

  44. The bottom line was the inability of the defensive front to put pressure on Foles that cost them the game. Tom Curran is going to put flashy headlines but to say that Malcolm Butler would have been the solitary difference is a weak argument even with Rowe getting torched. A team doesn’t pressure the QB they aren’t going to win.

  45. Again, there has to be more to this.
    BB wants to win period.
    Speculation of if Butler did something is just that. The fact that he played special teams would lead one to believe that he was not injured and he was not on the report.
    If he violate team rules or something bad, I can see BB making that call, but not having it out there as a distraction. Saying it was a “football decision” externally is consistent with his record of not sharing HR issues with the media.
    Bottom line is that Philly was the best team in the league this year with Wentz and Foles played out of his mind in the playoffs to keep that the case.

  46. jim699 says:
    February 5, 2018 at 10:56 am

    Those close losses can tear a team apart. Seattle was never quite they same again after they let Russell Wilson throw that slant pass on the goal line. This is the kind of thing that sits in people’s heads for quite a while. Will the Patriots be different?

    ===========

    Come on, man. They went through this kind of heartbreak, or even worse, twice with the Giants – and have won two Super Bowls since.

    The Patriots have long since proven they’re different.

  47. Without knowing why he was benched it’s impossible to pass judgement on it. That said, while he had a lot of rough moments a mentally whole and physically healthy Butler had to present a better option as a tackler than Bademosi.

  48. The weird thing about this is how it doesn’t seem to have a simple explanation. If it was just straight discipline, don’t dress him, or leave him on the bench the whole game. But he did dress, and he played special teams. He wasn’t banned from the team or from the field.

    If there was some health issue, it wasn’t bad enough to keep him out of uniform or off the field altogether. And I don’t believe for a second that, as bad as the Pats we’re getting torched, Belichick keeps Butler out just because he had a fever.

    So Belichick put him on the active roster, dressed him, played him on special teams, but just kept him off defense when the #1 problem the defense ended up having was Butler not being there.

    I can’t make it make sense.

  49. “If the Patriots hadn’t of pulled Super Bowl wins against the Falcons and Seahawks out of their butt — wins gifted by the opposing coaches inexplicably and horrifically pooping the bed ….. almost on purpose it seemed — the Pats would be on a 5 game Super Bowl losing streak. The hapless Buffalo Bills of the new millennium.”
    ____________________________________

    You could add the Tuck Rule game of Jan. 2002 to this list of ‘lucky’ wins…

  50. Screw Butler. He struggled all season long and missed all of the SB practices. I bet he failed to do what the team asked when he was sick too. Regardless his actions before, during and after the game show he will never be a true Patriot. Screw him and anyone that claims he would have made a difference.

  51. in the past pats benched players for wehat they deemed as failure to follow rules. butler must have failed somewhere along the line for instance, showing up late for meeting, arguing with coaches, police problems, fights in public areas. remember pats dont want any attention to them in a negative way. i feel thats why butler didnt play. because he didnt play does not mean his team lost. it means he didnt play for a good reason.

  52. Congrats to Philly from this life-time Patriots fan. Any and ALL opinions concerning Butler are pure speculation. We simply don’t know and perhaps we will never know. If he did something radically wrong Saturday night or early Sunday, and BB doesn’t bench him? Guess what, you end up with another version of Mike Tomlin and other coaches who get played. Foles was great, as were the Philly receivers, but the fact is that but for the ONE play that the much ballyhooed Philly front 4 made, odds are that NE would have gone on to win, given that the Pats O wasn’t stopped for the first 57.5 minutes. But again, congrats to Philly.

  53. You could argue that it didn’t help the team but to suggest they lost because of it is a step too far.

    Personally I think the Patriots lost because they cheated the Eagles the last time they met in the Superbowl by spying on their practices.

  54. “the strange move that kept the Patriots from matching the Steelers with six Super Bowl wins.”

    You’re really going to put this loss on the benching of one defensive player? A player that had one amazing play in a previous Super Bowl (coming off the bench, I might add), and yes, he has had a short, solid career so far – but we’re not exactly talking about Darrell Green or Deon Sanders, are we?

    Really?

    The defense stunk. No pressure on Foles at all. Give it for the Eagles – the Pats didn’t lose this game – the Eagles won it.

  55. I assume there’s something that we don’t know but if it was really just for “football reasons” could it be that the Patriots were overly concerned with the Eagles ability to run the football to the point that they discounted the ability of Foles and the Eagles’ WRs to beat them. The Patriots gave up several significant runs against the Jaguars. Did Butler cause any of those through getting easily blocked or missing tackles? They instead opted to use Chung and Jordan Richards in the slot in the big nickel and Johnson Bademosi, who has in the past been an elite tackler on STs, in the regular nickel. Of course they ended up missing some tackles anyway but maybe that was the driving force behind not using Butler.

  56. Just a theory, but…

    – Butler has been slowly working his way towards the doghouse all year.
    – He was late for some part of Super Bowl week, right?
    – Maybe something else happened in the lead up to game time.
    – Belichick’s faith in his own system led him to think that Rowe would not be such a dropoff from Butler, and his status as a player that the Eagles may have dealt prematurely would give him added motivation to play well.

    It aint much, but it’s the best speculative reasoning I can come up with for such a confounding, game-impacting decision.

  57. pftidbro says: “The Eagles won with their backup QB bro”.
    ——————–

    A “backup QB” that had 6-7 weeks to prepare for the biggest game of the year. A “backup QB” that was a Pro Bowler that had a phenomenal 27-2 TD/INT ratio in 2013.

    The backups to Malcolm Butler found out at kickoff. Plus Bademosi is a career Special Teamer – hardly the pedigree of Foles.

  58. Even with Butler benched, we still had a chance if Brady doesn’t fumble or put a little bit more air on the hail Mary throw.

  59. Let’s not forget that he was a backup who came off the bench to make the winning play against SEA.

  60. LyinRogerMustGo says:
    February 5, 2018 at 10:42 am
    Very strange for sure.

    You also have Brandon Browner criticizing Bill on Instagram and Hightower liking the post. To me that’s not good. Anything going on in that locker room needs to be nipped in the bud.

    9 2 Rate This

    I thought the Steelers were the only team with locker room cancers…….RIGHT.? Tee Hee.

  61. Rdog says:
    February 5, 2018 at 10:22 am
    Maybe he was really the one that hurt Brady’s hand

    No it was Rex Burkhead

  62. That this is as close to a championship as they will ever get again. Those close losses can tear a team apart.

    ___

    They lost 2 other close Super Bowls prior to this, and they still came back to play in 3 more SB’s. If anything father time will be the ultimate undoing of the team. It happens to every team.

    However, even if it does end now, the run has been better than anything than most teams ever put together. 95% of the league would give love to have the success the Pats have had since 2000. Heck Bills fans still hang onto their “glory” years of 1991-1995 and they never won squat.

  63. I like Belichick. I really do. But, if he is telling the truth about Butler not playing due to football reasons and not for disciplinary reasons, then Belichick has some explaining to do to the rest of the guys on his team, his coaching staff and to Pats owner Robert Kraft. At some point last night, after his secondary was being beaten play after play, Belichick should have inserted the CB, who played more than 80% of the snaps during the year and who got most of the reps in practice during the past two weeks, into the game to see if he would have better luck preventing the Eagles receivers from running free all over the field.

  64. Surprising is an understatement. One thing is for certain. The line of players wanting to play for BB and Matt Patricia got a lot shorter after that picture of an emotional Malcolm appeared.

  65. A good set of eyes would have noticed the following comparison between last year and this SB: the wideouts and TE for Atlanta totaled about 12 YAC for the entire game; that was a known Patricia strategy. This year, the NE tackling after catch was awful; very poor execution on 3rd down. Stephon Gilmore was the only outstanding NE defensive player.

  66. finzfan49 says:

    Butler did something that warranted this decision
    =============================================

    So why did Belichick suit him up and suck up a Super Bowl roster spot? That would be another dumb decision by the coach.

  67. This was insubordination by Belichick and Pats fans deserve more than the non-answers he has given about why he benched Malcolm Butler. If it were related to his contract and becoming a free agent, this is incredibly petty and a fireable offense. The other players in the secondary couldn’t make up for the loss of Butler and they were told right before the game he wasn’t playing. Butler played in 98% of the defensive snaps all year and now Belichick pulls this in the Super Bowl? Belichick is the one and only reason why the Pats lost

  68. I’m with Curran here. Stop the Eagles on any one of those drives and it would probably be a different outcome. Can’t wait to hear what the deal was.

    NE had to be perfect to beat the Eagles and they weren’t close to that on D.

  69. seahawkboymike says:
    February 5, 2018 at 10:40 am
    Arrogance and stupidity. Every time somebody tells me how smart Bellicheck is I just refer them to the 2015 AFC Championship game against the Broncos.

    ===========

    Smart doesn’t mean never making mistakes. Belichick has made plenty of mistakes, but he’s also still the best coach around. These two things are not contradictory.

    Don’t be mad just because he torpedoed the burgeoning Seahawks dynasty and they’ve never been the same since.

  70. COME ON! I am NOT an Eagles fan but they were under dogs the whole playoffs, Ya think they just might have been the better team am a whole? One player make the difference? COME ON!

  71. I am just glad to see patty gone .. his defense sucked all year, and last year and the year before that as well never improved .. they were stupid to not put butler in after seeing how poorly Bademosi and Rowe were playing. This crappy defense did the same thing all year long 4th and 10 just throw it 3rd and 28 just throw it, they didn’t stop anything except for one lucky interception, people say defense wins championships well the Pats proved that stupid moves by egomaniacs and a nonexistent defense looses championships. I am a Pats fan and because of the lousy defense they deserved to loose that’s on billy and patty. I feel bad for brady and the offense they played pretty well most of the game.. if the defense didn’t suck and the “genius’s “didn’t keep lesser players in they probably would have one. The Emperor is wearing no clothes. I am happy for the Eagles and Foles they played a great game and deserved to win it. Good luck Lions … your going to need it

  72. If you would have told me before the game that Butler was not going to play I would have said the Pats have no chance to win. Their Defense is not very good in the first place, especially without Hightower, so Butler is CRITICAL. So those who say that he wouldn’t have made a difference is pretty clueless.

  73. And all that said, the better, more balanced—and on the day, less distracted and better coached—team won this game. In many ways, it wasn’t as close as the final score indicated.

  74. This is what happens when you, out of spite due to slights you’ve endured all season, smuggle your team’s Super Bowl game plan to the opposing coaching staff right before kickoff.

    You get sit down.

  75. Totally loving the change of narrative that is radiating out from this SB. Before, the Pats were this loving family that always works together and does things, “The Patriot Way” – do your job.

    Now the coach wants to leave, a player is bitter on the sidelines complaining about not getting to play and the greatest coach of all time got… outcoached. Gronk might retire. Also, queue up the story of letting the future of the franchise – Garafalo, get away.

    Thank you Philly! (and this from a Giants fan!)

    PS Atlanta, that’s how you win a SB, when you’re ahead, you bleed the clock and make clutch plays. You don’t choke.

  76. I agree. If he’s in there the Pats win. Very disappointing move. Jeez Bill you could have let him play in the 4th quarter at least.

  77. Love how everyone all of a sudden thinks Belichick is a bum.

    We’ll never no all the details, or at least they won’t come from the Patriots. But I’m assuming most are aware of the rumors floating around and being alluded to by ex-Patriot Brandon Browner, and perhaps others regarding marijuana possession and/or missed curfew on Saturday. Not sure if that’s true, but I would assume if he got a citation of some sort from law enforcement, that would eventually become public info. I’m not saying it’s true, but if it was and contributed to Belichick’s decision to keep him off the field on D, I’m fine with it.

  78. What could Butler have done to warrant a benching in the biggest game of the year? Maybe he pissed in Belichick’s coffee cup or something like that?

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