Patriots’ Bill Belichick dodges questions about Malcolm Butler’s struggles
Butler has had a rough time in his first year in Tennessee. But when asked about his former corner’s struggles, Belichick did his best to sidestep the question and instead brought up how good the Titans defense has been as a whole this year.
“They lead the league in defense, OK? So that’s our challenge,” Belichick said Wednesday per Henry McKenna of PatriotsWire. “As an offense, we’re playing 11 guys and we’re playing their coaching staff and the schemes they put up against us. And right now, they’re playing better defense than anybody in the league. So we’ll see how we do. I don’t know. It’ll be tough — I know that.”
The Titans are currently top of the league in terms of scoring defense, allowing just 17.6 points per game. But that’s with little help from Butler, who has been burned on multiple occasions this year.
According to Pro Football Focus (per Zack Cox of NESN), Butler has allowed the most receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns than any other cornerback this season. But despite his struggles, Titans coach Mike Vrabel says Butler won’t be demoted.
Some might see Butler’s uninspiring play this season as justification for Belichick’s stunning decision to bench the cornerback against the Eagles. But even though Butler is long gone in New England, Belichick isn’t about to throw one of his former players under the bus.