Watch: Belichick on Malcolm Butler-"We put the best players out there that we thought would be the best tonight".
The Patriots elected to bench Malcolm Butler - the same Malcolm Butler who sealed the Super Bowl win two seasons ago with a brilliant interception of Russell Wilson at the goal line and who led New England defenders with 97 percent of the snaps played this season.
"That doesn't concern me at all", he said when asked about Butler's benching. The Eagles pulled off the upset, defeating the Patriots 41-33 in the most offensive Super Bowl, and game, in the history of the NFL.
"That dude done started every game for that team, you feel me, since he picked the [expletive] ball off", Browner said. "I'm sure other players felt the same way". "I don't know what it was". With AP Photos.Patriots coach Bill Belichick isn't saying why he benched defensive back Malcolm Butler in the Super Bowl.
If you're going to go down, you may as well at least go down with your best players on the field.
"The guy has played a lot of football, so to not be out there I'm sure crushed him", Patriots safety Devin McCourty said. You divide the locker room when you do that. The fact that Butler even dressed for the game, instead of simply being deactivated in favor of someone who would actually play, makes the decision all the more puzzling.
The bigger Rowe had reportedly been practicing during the week as a starting cornerback opposite Stephon Gilmore, but Rowe said after the game that he still expected Butler to get his share of playing time.
"I appreciate the question, but it would be a much longer discussion", Belichick told reporters. "We all want to be out there, we all want to play, so I know Malc, he's super competitive. It is what it is", Butler told ESPN.com's Mike Reiss.
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.