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So why was Malcolm Butler benched?

06 February 2018

Bill Belichick was not prepared to expand upon his decision to bench Malcolm Butler for the Patriots' Super Bowl LII loss to the Eagles - even after Butler opened up on how he felt like he could have "changed the game."

"I want to be a good player without that play", Butler said.

Two weeks ago, Butler openly reflected on his personal journey and admitted that it crossed his mind Super Bowl LII could be his last game with the Patriots.

Eric Rowe, who started in place of Butler, said he learned the news just prior to kickoff.

'It was a coach's decision.

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Butler told ESPN's Mike Reiss, "They gave up on me. F-". They didn't feel comfortable.

"In Honor of the Super Bowl, you know who I got. Great organization. They gave me the opportunity".

We may never know the real reason for Butler's benching, but if it was something of this nature that led to the Patriots keeping arguably their best defender on the sideline for the biggest game of the year, it could be a tough pill to swallow for the New England fans.

"I don't have anything to say about that", said safety Jordan Richards.

"We just played all the guys we could to try to help us win in whatever packages we had", defensive coordinator Matt Patricia said on Sunday.

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'In the end, we just couldn't quite make enough plays, and that was all on me. Go over some of the game highs and lows. Butler had played all 74 snaps in the AFC Championship Game win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Butler played just one snap on special teams against Philadelphia. Everybody works hard to play this game. That could always happen, but at this point, I'm not sure it has reached that level.

Belichick said immediately after the game that benching Butler was a football decision, and was not a disciplinary action. "In the end, the final decision is what I said it was".

Pederson understood that every Eagles punt or field goal settled for would have been a shot in the arm for a Patriots team undaunted by any deficit or situation, and that was reflected by his fearless play-calling, which was best encapsulated by an extremely audacious fourth-down play late in the second half. I ain't know how to feel watching that shit without my man, without my homie, without Malcolm.

RB: He opened the season No. 1 on the depth chart before took over October 15 against the Jets and never gave back the job. Jeffery wound up with three catches for 73 yards.

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But for me it's very painful because that situation happened and it looks like we don't have a plan you know. However, that doesn't mean that all of its players are available against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

The first-year defensive lineman from South Florida was the only member of the New England Patriots who made the tactical error of speaking to the media on Monday. He has a lot of passion for the game.

So why was Malcolm Butler benched?