Super Bowl benching a tough blow for Patriots' Malcolm Butler

Super Bowl benching a tough blow for Patriots' Malcolm Butler

There weren't a lot of plays that stick out from that game as bad plays by Butler, although outsiders can't always tell when a player blows an assignment.

Now one day after the Patriots' Super Bowl loss, we are not much closer to learning the details behind Belichick's odd coaching decision.

Belichick out-smarted himself with his unorthodox decision to bench cornerback Malcolm Butler that cost the Patriots a sixth Super Bowl title.

"Bill wasn't right at all tonight", Browner said.

"They gave up on me", Butler told ESPN as he left U.S. Bank Stadium after the game.

Making Belichick's decision even more of a head-scratcher was that Rowe struggled in coverage Sunday, as did the Patriots' secondary in general.

New England's head coach said after the 41-33 loss to Philadelphia that it was a football decision.

They mystery surrounding his benching may never be solved, but Brandon Browner, a former New England Patriots cornerback who won a Super Bowl with the team, the benching had something to do with marijuana. "In the end we have to make the decision that we feel are best for the football team".

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"I respect Malcolm's competitiveness, and I'm sure that he felt like he could have helped", Belichick said Monday.

On NFL Network's postgame show, analysts and former players LaDainian Tomlinson and Deion Sanders agreed that benching Butler cost the Patriots dearly.

If you're going to go down, you may as well at least go down with your best players on the field. Maybe, maybe not. Philadelphia played a almost ideal game and did what it had to do to win, so who knows how they might have responded.

"A locker room was divided pre game", Browner wrote in a second post. "It is not like a regular season game where you are like, 'OK, we will bounce back.' This was it". "I don't know. That's how the game goes sometimes".

"No, that wasn't the plan", Rowe said. I'm sure other players felt the same way. I could have changed that game, though.

"I appreciate the question, but it would be a much longer discussion", Belichick said.

The three players that the Patriots chose to use instead of Butler, Rowe, Johnson Bademosi and Jordan Richards, all graded out significantly worse than Butler.

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