Bill Belichick Finally Rolled Snake Eyes Benching Malcolm Butler

Tom Brady backs Malcolm Butler after statement'You are an incredible player

But he did that all against a Patriots defense that was missing a piece, a key piece that Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia chose to keep on the bench. I'm sure the players felt the same way.

Butler, who's ingrained in New England lore for his late-game heroics in the Patriots' win over the Seahawks in the 2015 Super Bowl, didn't play a single snap Sunday night, despite being on the field for almost 98 percent of the team's snaps this season.

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

On Monday, Belichick offered a hopelessly vague response to a question about Butler: "There are a lot of things that go into that". Bill Belichick's decision to bench was heartbreaking to Butler as he cried before the game and it didn't got unnoticed by others around the league.

In the immediate aftermath of the loss Sunday night, Belichick said benching Butler wasn't a disciplinary decision. "In the end, we have to make decisions that are best for the football team".

Nonetheless, Butler did not play one defensive snap, and was clearly angry after the game.

The Eagles shredded the Patriots for 538 total yards, 374 of it through the air, prompting Butler to add, "I could have changed that game". We just felt good about some of those situations that we had out there and some of the matchups that we had that they possessed based on the skill sets that they have. I didn't know whether to cheer for they ass.

One of the biggest stories from Sunday's Super Bowl was about a player that wasn't even on the field for the game. The 11th-hour decision - Butler was in tears during the national anthem upon finding out just before kickoff that he would only be playing special teams - had a ripple effect. So why didn't the rising star hit the field one time for Super Bowl 52? Though McDonald played better than most expected, it's highly unlikely that the Raiders will get to where coach Jon Gruden wishes to take this team with him seeing many snaps. Patricia, who will be named the LIons head coach in the coming days, was asked repeatedly about Butler's benching and all he could do was repeat a talking point that made little sense. The illness prompted him to arrive in Minnesota for the game a day after his teammates, and he missed media night on Monday.

Butler, a former Pro Bowler (2015) and second-team All-Pro (2016), will be moving on in free agency next month.

Whatever the reason for that mysterious move by the New England coaching staff, it did not pan out as the Patriots allowed 373 passing yards and three touchdowns to Eagles quarterback Nick Foles in his Super Bowl MVP-winning performance.

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