SBLII: What Did the Butler Do?

ScubaSteveAvery

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Can this thread get a 24-hour cool down period? There has been hardly any news out about this and people are re-hasing the same argument page after page. And now DFG has been introduced.
 

lexrageorge

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Really ? Then tell us exactly when Butler, the coaches and the players were told ? If Butler was told earlier, why was he crying ?
and as already pointed out, Rowe was only told hours before and if the rest of the coaching staff had any notion earlier than that, curious that none have said anything.... but please, I don't want to interrupt your knee-jerk reaction....
Rowe noted that he practiced with the starters that week.

In one of the Do Your Job segments, it was explained that game plan changes happen right up to almost kickoff.

Noone knows when the coaching staff was told. It does not seem credible to believe that Patricia had no input and had no advanced knowledge of the possibility. The only one that reported that the assistants had no knowledge is Minnehane, and he is not a reliable source. The fact that none of the coaches are talking is not surprising. Patricia is on to Detroit; McDaniels to Indy. The remaining assistants want to stay employed and are not exactly going to say anything to contradict Bill.

Team captains knew about the decision several hours before kickoff according to multiple reports.
 
Last edited:

Leather

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Really ? Then tell us exactly when Butler, the coaches and the players were told ? If Butler was told earlier, why was he crying ?
and as already pointed out, Rowe was only told hours before and if the rest of the coaching staff had any notion earlier than that, curious that none have said anything.... but please, I don't want to interrupt your knee-jerk reaction....
Do you know what a knee-jerk reaction is?

It’s coming to a conclusion before you know enough to make an informed decision. It’s what you’re doing. You don’t know who knew what when.
 

dcmissle

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Can this thread get a 24-hour cool down period? There has been hardly any news out about this and people are re-hasing the same argument page after page. And now DFG has been introduced.
Well the Butler press release is pretty big, and the discussion entertaining.
 

E5 Yaz

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Can this thread get a 24-hour cool down period? There has been hardly any news out about this and people are re-hasing the same argument page after page. And now DFG has been introduced.
You say this exact same thing about every thread
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Not addressing the Kremlinology and conspiracy theories for a moment, but focusing purely on Malcolm's post... good for him. [Okay, good for whomever wrote it, but also good for him for posting it.]

It was a sincere and classy message that in no way threw anybody under any buses for a dubious coaching decision -- in fact, the author goes out of his way to praise Kraft and Belichick. And the acknowledgement of the fans and appreciation of New England, while sycophantic, was a good move too.

Malcolm, beer's on me.
Even if you sign with the Steelers.
[But then all you get is Coors Light.]
 

54thMA

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I find it ironic that a player Belichick went to in the Seattle Super Bowl to shake things up to try something different is the same player he chose to bench and not allow to play in this Super Bowl.

His decision to make a change three years ago resulted in them winning the Super Bowl; IMO, his decision to not start him, then double down by refusing to put him into the game resulted in them losing this one.

People can say the outcome might not have been any different had he played can take that position all they want and that is their right; the sad thing is we'll never know if they are right or not.

This whole thing is one giant fucking Greek tragedy and a fable not even Aesop could have written.
 

Marciano490

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I find it ironic that a player Belichick went to in the Seattle Super Bowl to shake things up to try something different is the same player he chose to bench and not allow to play in this Super Bowl.

His decision to make a change three years ago resulted in them winning the Super Bowl; IMO, his decision to not start him, then double down by refusing to put him into the game resulted in them losing this one.

People can say the outcome might not have been any different had he played can take that position all they want and that is their right; the sad thing is we'll never know if they are right or not.

This whole thing is one giant fucking Greek tragedy and a fable not even Aesop could have written.
What do you expect from BB? He's a scorpion.
 

Harry Hooper

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This whole thing is one giant fucking Greek tragedy and a fable not even Aesop could have written.
Alcibiades, favored son of Athens before becoming an enemy of the (city)state? [/nothing new under the sun dept.]
 

tims4wins

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Giardi may or not be fully trustworthy. But this is from Reiss

The Patriots' decision not to play him in Super Bowl LII was puzzling, considering he had played in 97.8 percent of the defensive snaps in the regular season. But while the decision was a major surprise to the nation, it wasn't a shock to one high-ranking member of the organization who told ESPN that he was aware Butler wouldn't play a major role at least a day or two before the game.

That was consistent with what two of the team's captains said after the game, that they knew Butler wasn't going to be a significant part of the game plan.

Why that was the case remains unknown, although one person who was at each of the team's practices leading up to the Super Bowl relayed that Butler struggled with what the Patriots were asking him to do against the Eagles' complex scheme. Couple those struggles with a regular season that Butler admitted wasn't his best, and it might have been part of coach Bill Belichick's decision-making process.
 

Super Nomario

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I find it ironic that a player Belichick went to in the Seattle Super Bowl to shake things up to try something different is the same player he chose to bench and not allow to play in this Super Bowl.
I was just thinking this. You know, it's funny: he really didn't have a great reason not only for benching Arrington but also bypassing Logan Ryan - who had played a ton as a rookie and in his second year - for Butler, who really hadn't played much (he finished the year with fewer snaps than Alfonso Dennard; remember that guy?). Had Butler flopped, Belichick would have been second-guessed pretty hard. But nobody really questioned the decision when it worked out.
 

54thMA

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But while the decision was a major surprise to the nation, it wasn't a shock to one high-ranking member of the organization who told ESPN that he was aware Butler wouldn't play a major role at least a day or two before the game.

That was consistent with what two of the team's captains said after the game, that they knew Butler wasn't going to be a significant part of the game plan.

Zero defensive snaps sounds about right then.
 

Super Nomario

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Why that was the case remains unknown, although one person who was at each of the team's practices leading up to the Super Bowl relayed that Butler struggled with what the Patriots were asking him to do against the Eagles' complex scheme. Couple those struggles with a regular season that Butler admitted wasn't his best, and it might have been part of coach Bill Belichick's decision-making process.
Heading into the game, the obvious physical matchup to me was Butler on Agholor in the slot. But slot corner is very complicated because of all the run responsibilities. The slot virtually has to know how to play linebacker, safety, and cornerback all in one. We've seen Butler in the slot periodically at times but not regularly and maybe they just didn't think he could handle it.

I don't know if it totally makes sense but it makes as much sense as anything else I've heard.
 

54thMA

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I was just thinking this. You know, it's funny: he really didn't have a great reason not only for benching Arrington but also bypassing Logan Ryan - who had played a ton as a rookie and in his second year - for Butler, who really hadn't played much (he finished the year with fewer snaps than Alfonso Dennard; remember that guy?). Had Butler flopped, Belichick would have been second-guessed pretty hard. But nobody really questioned the decision when it worked out.
Just like no one second guessed him for not calling a time out towards the end of the Seattle Super Bowl to save clock, but instead choosing to let the thing play out and the result was a game clinching interception.

You're a genius when these things work out.........................
 

lexrageorge

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Giardi may or not be fully trustworthy. But this is from Reiss

The Patriots' decision not to play him in Super Bowl LII was puzzling, considering he had played in 97.8 percent of the defensive snaps in the regular season. But while the decision was a major surprise to the nation, it wasn't a shock to one high-ranking member of the organization who told ESPN that he was aware Butler wouldn't play a major role at least a day or two before the game.

That was consistent with what two of the team's captains said after the game, that they knew Butler wasn't going to be a significant part of the game plan.

Why that was the case remains unknown, although one person who was at each of the team's practices leading up to the Super Bowl relayed that Butler struggled with what the Patriots were asking him to do against the Eagles' complex scheme. Couple those struggles with a regular season that Butler admitted wasn't his best, and it might have been part of coach Bill Belichick's decision-making process.
Sounds like a "football decision" to me.

Regarding the bolded: wonder if the source for that was Patricia?
 

tims4wins

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Heading into the game, the obvious physical matchup to me was Butler on Agholor in the slot. But slot corner is very complicated because of all the run responsibilities. The slot virtually has to know how to play linebacker, safety, and cornerback all in one. We've seen Butler in the slot periodically at times but not regularly and maybe they just didn't think he could handle it.

I don't know if it totally makes sense but it makes as much sense as anything else I've heard.
It is probably as close to the answer we will get. Football reasons.
 

Oil Can Dan

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My money is on BB did what he thought was best to win. Period. I believe BB and MB. ‘Football decision’, and ‘they gave up on me’.
 

54thMA

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Heading into the game, the obvious physical matchup to me was Butler on Agholor in the slot. But slot corner is very complicated because of all the run responsibilities. The slot virtually has to know how to play linebacker, safety, and cornerback all in one. We've seen Butler in the slot periodically at times but not regularly and maybe they just didn't think he could handle it.

I don't know if it totally makes sense but it makes as much sense as anything else I've heard.
I'm going to go with your explanation because if I don't, I'll end up in a strait jacket and a padded cell over this as it's killing me..............the true definition of maybe I'm WAY too invested in this team.

Thanks for the explanation, it somewhat explains the thought process.
 

phenweigh

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Two of my nephews went to the Super Bowl. Today, my wife spoke with her sister (their mom) and here is the report.

They were invited to a VIP after-party and met Malcolm Butler. He told one of my nephews (I doubt that MB was confiding in a stranger, I'm assuming that he was telling many people) that he emptied his locker early, missed a mandatory practice, and didn't have the flu.

For the record, I trust my nephew. He's a responsible family man and there is 0% chance he would make this up. The possibility that my sister-in-law and/or my wife is pulling my leg is less than 1%. The chances that there is a miscommunication along the way is pretty low, as this is not a complex story.

Make of it what you will.
 

Couperin47

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That nobody said “Oh, hey, these packages we’re practicing a few days before the Super Bowl? Yeah, these are the ones we plan to use in the game.” doesn’t exactly scream “Oh my God it was a bombshell decision!”
When did I, or anyone else for that matter, say anything remotely like this ? Talk about putting words in someone else's mouth...

Do you know what a knee-jerk reaction is?

It’s coming to a conclusion before you know enough to make an informed decision. It’s what you’re doing. You don’t know who knew what when.
Doing it again I see. I know what a jerk is...
 

Byrdbrain

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I did hear someone on the radio(Fauria?, I'm not sure) say something about cleaning out his locker at Gillette early and how that is very much frowned upon.

Edit: There were also reports that MB was one of the few Pats to show up at the after party.
 

54thMA

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Two of my nephews went to the Super Bowl. Today, my wife spoke with her sister (their mom) and here is the report.

They were invited to a VIP after-party and met Malcolm Butler. He told one of my nephews (I doubt that MB was confiding in a stranger, I'm assuming that he was telling many people) that he emptied his locker early, missed a mandatory practice, and didn't have the flu.

For the record, I trust my nephew. He's a responsible family man and there is 0% chance he would make this up. The possibility that my sister-in-law and/or my wife is pulling my leg is less than 1%. The chances that there is a miscommunication along the way is pretty low, as this is not a complex story.

Make of it what you will.
Yeah..........ok then.

I'm going with what Super Nomario said; they put Rowe on the outside as he's a bigger cornerback and they wanted Malcolm in the slot, but he struggled with the assignment, so they benched him, ie, a "football decision", not used in the package they rolled out as Patricia said and Malcolm did nothing wrong all week, so he was not benched for a disciplinary/rule breaking reason.

Next thing I'll be hearing is today Belichick tied one of the Lombardis to his bumper and dragged it around the parking lot like George Costanza did with one of the MFY's WS trophies in an attempt to get fired..................
 

weeba

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That probably goes into a benching based on the rumors he acted poorly when he found out he wasn't starting/playing much.
 

dcmissle

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Two of my nephews went to the Super Bowl. Today, my wife spoke with her sister (their mom) and here is the report.

They were invited to a VIP after-party and met Malcolm Butler. He told one of my nephews (I doubt that MB was confiding in a stranger, I'm assuming that he was telling many people) that he emptied his locker early, missed a mandatory practice, and didn't have the flu.

For the record, I trust my nephew. He's a responsible family man and there is 0% chance he would make this up. The possibility that my sister-in-law and/or my wife is pulling my leg is less than 1%. The chances that there is a miscommunication along the way is pretty low, as this is not a complex story.

Make of it what you will.
This is very helpful, especially when taken together with Reiss, Butler’s statement today, and BB’s and Patricia’s statements.

The only curious part to me was denial of having the flu. Because I thought this much had been established — he was sent on a separate plane because they did not want to expose the rest of the team to whatever he had. But maybe it wasn’t the flu.

We have, he struggled in practice, missed a mandatory meeting and cleaned his locker out early. That’s reasonably translated to, his head is not in this game and maybe he is not up to it. Maybe harsh, but certainly understandable.

All the other BS can be ruled out — weed, concert, curfew.

It seems to be coming together. It does not answer Red October’s question or necessarily justify staying with a losing hand. But it seems to be clearer.
 

Leather

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When did I, or anyone else for that matter, say anything remotely like this ? Talk about putting words in someone else's mouth...
Doing it again I see. I know what a jerk is...
Yeah I do too. Let’s review:

You made a declarative statement:

Bill's decision to spring 'you're not getting to play' on Butler and the whole team and coaches just before the game will
go down as one of his worst decisions ever.
that was based on an unproven fact. I pointed out that said fact was not proven. You then doubled down and challenged me to prove that you were wrong, and people (not even me) confirmed that not only was the foundation of your hot take unproven, but it was indeed wrong. People on the team knew hours or days before the game.

Your next move is to call me names.

It’s ok to be wrong, sometimes. We’re here for you.
 

Bongorific

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Heading into the game, the obvious physical matchup to me was Butler on Agholor in the slot. But slot corner is very complicated because of all the run responsibilities. The slot virtually has to know how to play linebacker, safety, and cornerback all in one. We've seen Butler in the slot periodically at times but not regularly and maybe they just didn't think he could handle it.

I don't know if it totally makes sense but it makes as much sense as anything else I've heard.
Same point I made upthread. You know he Xs and Os much better than me, but it seemed possible that the plan was to kick Butler inside which was difficult for him, particularly if he was missing time with the flu.

BB might not always give us the answers but I don’t think he’s a liar. I think he and Patricia are being honest without expanding in the game plan.
 

Norm Siebern

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Respectfully the question is still a good one. Would Belichick have acted the same if it was a higher profile (i.e. more important to the game plan) player that this had happened to during Super Bowl week and would/should he be catching more heat for it if he stuck to his guns?
I think he would have, but one thing is certain; after Butler's statement it proves that I was wrong. I'm glad for that.
 

Ralphwiggum

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If you believe this was simply the game plan, then you also have to believe that the plan was for Malcolm not to see the field except in the case of injury to at least 2 DBs, no matter what.

I buy all of the individual components of what led to this decision. Flu, lack of practice, matchups, Butler not being suited for playing the slot. But when the defense was desperate for a single fucking stop that they could not seem to produce, I still can’t believe they didn’t try to switch it up for at least a series. It just seems very unlike Bill to me not to try something different, particularly when you had a guy on the sidline who you had relied on all season long.
 

Tony C

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I find it ironic that a player Belichick went to in the Seattle Super Bowl to shake things up to try something different is the same player he chose to bench and not allow to play in this Super Bowl.

His decision to make a change three years ago resulted in them winning the Super Bowl; IMO, his decision to not start him, then double down by refusing to put him into the game resulted in them losing this one.

People can say the outcome might not have been any different had he played can take that position all they want and that is their right; the sad thing is we'll never know if they are right or not.

This whole thing is one giant fucking Greek tragedy and a fable not even Aesop could have written.
I think the basic notion that in most people their best/greatest quality often has a way of turning into their biggest flaw -- er Achilles Heel, if we're sticking to the metaphor - is simply,...true. BB is an arrogant asshole and most often his singular focus is a great thing. In cases like this or benching Welker for the start of the Jets' playoff game it can be a negative. Obviously you take the whole package...but this game did expose a huge flaw.

Giardi may or not be fully trustworthy. But this is from Reiss

The Patriots' decision not to play him in Super Bowl LII was puzzling, considering he had played in 97.8 percent of the defensive snaps in the regular season. But while the decision was a major surprise to the nation, it wasn't a shock to one high-ranking member of the organization who told ESPN that he was aware Butler wouldn't play a major role at least a day or two before the game.

That was consistent with what two of the team's captains said after the game, that they knew Butler wasn't going to be a significant part of the game plan.

Why that was the case remains unknown, although one person who was at each of the team's practices leading up to the Super Bowl relayed that Butler struggled with what the Patriots were asking him to do against the Eagles' complex scheme. Couple those struggles with a regular season that Butler admitted wasn't his best, and it might have been part of coach Bill Belichick's decision-making process.
Not a significant part of the game plan is wholly different than going from 98% of snaps to 0% except one FU play. The constant yammering about the complexity of the Pats scheme as a catch-all explanation for everything is just lame when it comes to a guy like MB who has always done all that was asked of him -- even as a rookie -- and given the overall failures of the Pats D and their DBs in this game. I hate the speculation game and who the F knows the inside dope, but the idea that this was simply a football decision fails the Occam's Razor test.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Heading into the game, the obvious physical matchup to me was Butler on Agholor in the slot. But slot corner is very complicated because of all the run responsibilities. The slot virtually has to know how to play linebacker, safety, and cornerback all in one. We've seen Butler in the slot periodically at times but not regularly and maybe they just didn't think he could handle it.

I don't know if it totally makes sense but it makes as much sense as anything else I've heard.
I think it's also possible that they also thought Butler was weak against bunch formations and the run pass option plays. To my amateur eyes Butler seemed at his weakest against pick plays and trailing crossing routes. The bookends to the season were two dumpster fire performances against teams that ran complex offenses with lots of bunching, pick plays, and misdirection plays. All that said, MB can cover the corpse of Torrey Smith in his sleep because Torrey Smith is in fact a corpse (430 yards at 11.9/catch) even with the size mismatch.
 

Deathofthebambino

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After they switched Gilmore on to Jeffery, replacing, Rowe, Gilmore basically shut down Jeffery. I think he had one catch for like 20+ yards on Gilmore. Shit, I was screaming 5 minutes into the game in the game thread that they needed to switch Rowe off of Jeffery, because it was a mismatch that the Eagles were exploiting and would continue to, so I'm glad Bill at least noticed that and made a move.

Smith had half his yardage in the 2nd half of the game, so the switch really didn't do much to affect him one way or the other and he sucks anyway. However, once Gilmore got switched onto Jeffery, they simply started using Ertz who was beating Jordan Richards like a red-headed step child, Agholor, who was doing the same to Chung or Bademosi and Clement out of the backfield. Not to mention they ran for 160+ yards, because every time a running back got passed the LOS, our feeble group of tacklers in the secondary couldn't come up and make a play.

I think an argument could be made that both Rowe and Gilmore played fine. And maybe the decision to have Rowe start over Butler was the correct one, although he never should have started in man to man on Jeffery. However, they got absolutely fucking roasted by the third corner/slot position. Chung, Richards and Bademosi were an absolute disgrace. Everyone watching the game could see it. Bill could see it, but for some reason, it's a move he failed to make.

Now, we're hearing that it wasn't disciplinary, this was strictly a football decision, and if that's the case, Bill deserves every bit of the shit he's getting. He fucked up. Plain and simple. People can say "well, we don't know what would have happened if Butler played," although I have a pretty good idea. See, we had 17 games this year where Butler played, and aside from the very first one, we didn't see the defense look anywhere close to this bad for 60 minutes. Maybe they were bad for a drive or two in the 1st half of some games, but nothing like this, and the only real difference between the team that played on Sunday night and the team that played the other 17 games was Butler not playing, so Occam's Razor.

Nick fucking Foles, a good tight end, 2 washed up receivers and a never has been, a couple of running backs that we usually swallow whole, and a third down rookie back that did next to nothing all year, absolutely shredded the Pats defense for 60 minutes. Bills' decision to sit Malcolm in favor of Rowe at the #2 corner, I have no problem with. Bill's decision to keep sitting Butler for the entire game, and never giving him a look at the slot corner, etc., that decision should be challenged by anyone who was paying attention.
 

Couperin47

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Yeah I do too. Let’s review:

You made a declarative statement:



that was based on an unproven fact. I pointed out that said fact was not proven. You then doubled down and challenged me to prove that you were wrong, and people (not even me) confirmed that not only was the foundation of your hot take unproven, but it was indeed wrong. People on the team knew hours or days before the game.

Your next move is to call me names.

It’s ok to be wrong, sometimes. We’re here for you.
Butler had no idea until just before the game.
What 'people' knew WHEN ?
No member of the staff who wants to keep their job will ever say when, nor have they. The 2 most crucial people are no longer employed by the team. don't give a shit and won't say.
No player has said anything either, nor will they, nor would there be any reason for Bill or anyone else to say anything as it was clear he didn't start, he was there, he did play all of 1 play, so it was just an...ongoing unexpected thing

and, of course, no big deal that his failure to be utilized was...unexpected, I mean it's not like anyone has made an issue of it since...
 

tims4wins

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Butler had no idea until just before the game.
What 'people' knew WHEN ?
No member of the staff who wants to keep their job will ever say when, nor have they. The 2 most crucial people are no longer employed by the team. don't give a shit and won't say.
No player has said anything either, nor will they, nor would there be any reason for Bill or anyone else to say anything as it was clear he didn't start, he was there, he did play all of 1 play, so it was just an...ongoing unexpected thing

and, of course, no big deal that his failure to be utilized was...unexpected, I mean it's not like anyone has made an issue of it since...
Captains and others knew before. Days. Read Reiss
 

Mystic Merlin

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Death, do you really think the guy playing third corner was the difference last night? I wish that were our only problem, but the pass rush, run defense and linebackers in coverage were almost uniformly a disaster on a play to play basis.

That's NOT a defense of Bill, mind you, as he ultimately picks the groceries and decides how to cook them, Sunday night being attributable to deficiencies in both areas. It's definitely viable to argue that reinserting Butler would've helped as a desperation move, but you're overrating the importance of Butler to this defense.

I also think you're greatly underrating how good the Eagles offense has looked, they were 2 weeks fresh off dismantling the best defense in football. They have a legitimately good offensive line, Ertz is a matchup nightmare, and Jeffery is not "washed up".
 
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After they switched Gilmore on to Jeffery, replacing, Rowe, Gilmore basically shut down Jeffery. I think he had one catch for like 20+ yards on Gilmore. Shit, I was screaming 5 minutes into the game in the game thread that they needed to switch Rowe off of Jeffery, because it was a mismatch that the Eagles were exploiting and would continue to, so I'm glad Bill at least noticed that and made a move.

Smith had half his yardage in the 2nd half of the game, so the switch really didn't do much to affect him one way or the other and he sucks anyway. However, once Gilmore got switched onto Jeffery, they simply started using Ertz who was beating Jordan Richards like a red-headed step child, Agholor, who was doing the same to Chung or Bademosi and Clement out of the backfield. Not to mention they ran for 160+ yards, because every time a running back got passed the LOS, our feeble group of tacklers in the secondary couldn't come up and make a play.

I think an argument could be made that both Rowe and Gilmore played fine. And maybe the decision to have Rowe start over Butler was the correct one, although he never should have started in man to man on Jeffery. However, they got absolutely fucking roasted by the third corner/slot position. Chung, Richards and Bademosi were an absolute disgrace. Everyone watching the game could see it. Bill could see it, but for some reason, it's a move he failed to make.

Now, we're hearing that it wasn't disciplinary, this was strictly a football decision, and if that's the case, Bill deserves every bit of the shit he's getting. He fucked up. Plain and simple. People can say "well, we don't know what would have happened if Butler played," although I have a pretty good idea. See, we had 17 games this year where Butler played, and aside from the very first one, we didn't see the defense look anywhere close to this bad for 60 minutes. Maybe they were bad for a drive or two in the 1st half of some games, but nothing like this, and the only real difference between the team that played on Sunday night and the team that played the other 17 games was Butler not playing, so Occam's Razor.

Nick fucking Foles, a good tight end, 2 washed up receivers and a never has been, a couple of running backs that we usually swallow whole, and a third down rookie back that did next to nothing all year, absolutely shredded the Pats defense for 60 minutes. Bills' decision to sit Malcolm in favor of Rowe at the #2 corner, I have no problem with. Bill's decision to keep sitting Butler for the entire game, and never giving him a look at the slot corner, etc., that decision should be challenged by anyone who was paying attention.
Great post.

Another thought, even if they thought Rowe was a better bet for 2nd corner, could they have really thought Gilmore, Rowe, and one of Chung, Richards, or Bademosi at the slot was a better overall option than Gilmore, Butler, and Rowe at the slot? And if they did, how could they keep thinking that after getting consistently smoked the entire game?
 

soxhop411

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Dec 4, 2009
37,158
Seems the patriots made the perfect distraction. Everyone is going to talk about Josh and not Malcom
 

BaseballJones

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Oct 1, 2015
10,254
After they switched Gilmore on to Jeffery, replacing, Rowe, Gilmore basically shut down Jeffery. I think he had one catch for like 20+ yards on Gilmore. Shit, I was screaming 5 minutes into the game in the game thread that they needed to switch Rowe off of Jeffery, because it was a mismatch that the Eagles were exploiting and would continue to, so I'm glad Bill at least noticed that and made a move.

Smith had half his yardage in the 2nd half of the game, so the switch really didn't do much to affect him one way or the other and he sucks anyway. However, once Gilmore got switched onto Jeffery, they simply started using Ertz who was beating Jordan Richards like a red-headed step child, Agholor, who was doing the same to Chung or Bademosi and Clement out of the backfield. Not to mention they ran for 160+ yards, because every time a running back got passed the LOS, our feeble group of tacklers in the secondary couldn't come up and make a play.

I think an argument could be made that both Rowe and Gilmore played fine. And maybe the decision to have Rowe start over Butler was the correct one, although he never should have started in man to man on Jeffery. However, they got absolutely fucking roasted by the third corner/slot position. Chung, Richards and Bademosi were an absolute disgrace. Everyone watching the game could see it. Bill could see it, but for some reason, it's a move he failed to make.

Now, we're hearing that it wasn't disciplinary, this was strictly a football decision, and if that's the case, Bill deserves every bit of the shit he's getting. He fucked up. Plain and simple. People can say "well, we don't know what would have happened if Butler played," although I have a pretty good idea. See, we had 17 games this year where Butler played, and aside from the very first one, we didn't see the defense look anywhere close to this bad for 60 minutes. Maybe they were bad for a drive or two in the 1st half of some games, but nothing like this, and the only real difference between the team that played on Sunday night and the team that played the other 17 games was Butler not playing, so Occam's Razor.

Nick fucking Foles, a good tight end, 2 washed up receivers and a never has been, a couple of running backs that we usually swallow whole, and a third down rookie back that did next to nothing all year, absolutely shredded the Pats defense for 60 minutes. Bills' decision to sit Malcolm in favor of Rowe at the #2 corner, I have no problem with. Bill's decision to keep sitting Butler for the entire game, and never giving him a look at the slot corner, etc., that decision should be challenged by anyone who was paying attention.
The single biggest issue in the Super Bowl was the refs decision to literally not call a single offensive holding penalty for either team. That completely negated the pass rush for both teams until that strip sack at the end of Brady.

If you give competent NFL quarterbacks all the time in the world to throw, they will slice you apart, no matter how good you are. It's if you get a little pressure on them, they struggle. Well, no holding calls meant that the offensive lines of both teams could keep their quarterbacks upright all game, with very little pressure. Brady got hit a few times but he's so good that he can be great even with that. Foles isn't as good, obviously, but when he only got touched a few times all game and never was close to being sacked, he's going to make pretty good throws, because he's at least a competent NFL quarterback.

If the Patriots had the Eagles' skill position players, they'd still have the best offense in football. Their receivers are solid, their TE group is outstanding, and their running backs are every bit as good as New England's.

To give Foles unlimited time to throw to that group is inviting a huge game for him. And he delivered all night long. Some of his throws were downright perfect, even against excellent coverage. Watch the long passes to Jeffery and Clement - the coverage was right there.

Jeffery:


Rowe is right there - almost gets his hand on the ball. But it's a superb throw and a GREAT catch.

Clement:

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-cant-miss-plays/0ap3000000914397/Can-t-Miss-Play-Clement-comes-down-with-fantastic-TD-catch-in-double-coverage

Again, two defenders right there - the throw is absolutely perfect. Now the refs got this one wrong - it should have been an incomplete - but still...absolutely perfect throw and a very nice catch.

I don't know how Butler stops those plays.
 

lexrageorge

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Jul 31, 2007
10,927
Butler had no idea until just before the game.
What 'people' knew WHEN ?
No member of the staff who wants to keep their job will ever say when, nor have they. The 2 most crucial people are no longer employed by the team. don't give a shit and won't say.
No player has said anything either, nor will they, nor would there be any reason for Bill or anyone else to say anything as it was clear he didn't start, he was there, he did play all of 1 play, so it was just an...ongoing unexpected thing

and, of course, no big deal that his failure to be utilized was...unexpected, I mean it's not like anyone has made an issue of it since...
Read the thread. Coaches knew it was a distinct possibility a few days before the game. Team captains also knew, as per Reiss.