As Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler stood on the sideline and watched his teammates get carved up by the Eagles’ offense in Super Bowl LII, he was tempted to confront Patriots coach Bill Belichick and ask why he’d been benched. But Butler kept quiet.
Butler told Sports Illustrated that he wanted to ask Belichick or defensive coordinator Matt Patricia to explain why, after playing every snap of the AFC Championship Game, he didn’t play a single snap on defense in the Super Bowl.
“There was times when I was on the sideline and I just wanted to go up and say to Belichick or Matt Patricia and just say, ‘Is this how we’re gonna end this?’ I grew up in the Patriots system and I’m a man of God. I respect my authority and I just couldn’t ask them for something they didn’t want to do. I just was doing my job. I was close to going up there and saying what I wanted to say to Matt or Belichick, but I just stayed in my lane and just did my job. And I really wanted to go ask him, but I didn’t,” Butler said.
Belichick has still not explained why he benched Butler, or why he didn’t put Butler on the field when it became clear how much the Patriots’ defense was going to struggle without him. Butler would like that explanation, but he may never get it.