It’s probably not an overstatement to say that Malcolm Butler is a Titan this year because of Bill Belichick.
What’s a bit surprising is how excited he is that his new coach so resembles his old one.
Butler slipped off the Tennessee on a lucrative free agent deal (five years, $61 million), after he spent the Super Bowl in Belichick’s doghouse watching Nick Foles strafe the Patriots defense. But he had nothing but praise for Titans rookie coach Mike Vrabel, who played for Belichick eight years and is well-versed in the Patriot way.
“It’s the Patriots system, one of the greatest systems in the NFL,” Butler said, via Robert Klemko of SI.com. “You can tell Mike played for Belichick because you can see some of the similarities. They’re about winning the way New England is about winning.
“One thing I saw early: Mike will put you on blast. He don’t care who’s around. He’s going to say what’s right. He might be a bit looser than Bill Belichick, but they’re both great guys. A man caught a ball on me—honestly I don’t know his name yet—but Mike let me hear about it. ‘Don’t get stuck on top of the routes like that! Make a play!’ Nobody cares where you come from or what you make. Everyone’s equal. And you can tell from the head coach all the way down to the interns, everybody wants to win.”
While that kind of egalitarianism might have hastened his departure from New England, Butler sounds excited about his fresh start (and doubtless the money that goes with it).