SBLII: What Did the Butler Do?

Bellhorn

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Just caught this nugget in Howe's column today (emphasis mine) -

"Eric Rowe (signed through 2018): Rowe was easily the third best corner in camp then missed two months with a torn groin. After two ugly series in the Super Bowl, he allowed one catch for 14 yards on five targets. He shouldn’t draw any ire as the Pats prep for 2018."

http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/patriots/2018/02/howe_indepth_look_at_patriots_roster_decisions_to_be_made
Agree totally - it's unfair that people are lumping him in with Bademosi and Richards when discussing the Butler situation. I think he clearly has the potential to be a perfectly viable starter opposite Gilmore.

Then again, I thought Alfonso Dennard was going to be the best Patriots CB since Ty Law, so what do I know.
 

Dick Drago

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I was working out yesterday and glanced up at the tv--Rowe was making a nice play, swatting away a pass in the end zone. Philly's opening drive.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Just caught this nugget in Howe's column today (emphasis mine) -

"Eric Rowe (signed through 2018): Rowe was easily the third best corner in camp then missed two months with a torn groin. After two ugly series in the Super Bowl, he allowed one catch for 14 yards on five targets. He shouldn’t draw any ire as the Pats prep for 2018."

http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/patriots/2018/02/howe_indepth_look_at_patriots_roster_decisions_to_be_made
That's because after that second drive, they took him off Jeffery and put Gilmore on him. Once they made that move, the Eagles stopped going his way because they had much better mismatches everywhere else (as in, whoever was being covered by Jordan Roberts, Bademosi, Chung or fill in a linebacker here). But I'm sorry, if you can't cover Alshon Jeffery one on one, there are very few #1 or #2 receivers in the NFL you can cover one on one. I would guess there are at least 40 receivers in the NFL that everyone here would take over Alshon Jeffery.

That said, I still don't have a problem with the move to Rowe or giving him the start at CB2. If they thought Rowe was the better matchup, then so be it. It's the idea that Butler didn't give them a better chance anywhere on the field that I have a problem with. Butler didn't have to play CB2, but he should have been somewhere. His tackling alone would have made a difference, IMO, even if he doesn't stop one more completion than the other guys. One thing you know for sure with Butler is if his guy makes a catch, his guy goes down. You rarely ever see a receiver beating Butler, and then Butler missing a tackle on top of it. He also comes up and helps in the run game. Eagles players were running free all game long, both running backs and receivers after the catch. They were breaking tackles like crazy. Bad tackling by the Pats was evident from the first couple plays onward. Uggh...I'm still aggravated about it. Bill, just give him one series, and none of us would be talking about this anymore.
 

Deathofthebambino

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I was working out yesterday and glanced up at the tv--Rowe was making a nice play, swatting away a pass in the end zone. Philly's opening drive.
They aren't even throwing it into the end zone if Rowe doesn't get beat on back to back third down plays (including a third and 12) on that same drive.
 

dcmissle

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Eventually people will learn not to eff with you on this particular issue in this particular game. It’s like screwing with DRS on the medicals, or almost. You are too invested and versed on the particulars to be messed with.
 

streeter88

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That's because after that second drive, they took him off Jeffery and put Gilmore on him. Once they made that move, the Eagles stopped going his way because they had much better mismatches everywhere else (as in, whoever was being covered by Jordan Roberts, Bademosi, Chung or fill in a linebacker here). But I'm sorry, if you can't cover Alshon Jeffery one on one, there are very few #1 or #2 receivers in the NFL you can cover one on one. I would guess there are at least 40 receivers in the NFL that everyone here would take over Alshon Jeffery.

That said, I still don't have a problem with the move to Rowe or giving him the start at CB2. If they thought Rowe was the better matchup, then so be it. It's the idea that Butler didn't give them a better chance anywhere on the field that I have a problem with. Butler didn't have to play CB2, but he should have been somewhere. His tackling alone would have made a difference, IMO, even if he doesn't stop one more completion than the other guys. One thing you know for sure with Butler is if his guy makes a catch, his guy goes down. You rarely ever see a receiver beating Butler, and then Butler missing a tackle on top of it. He also comes up and helps in the run game. Eagles players were running free all game long, both running backs and receivers after the catch. They were breaking tackles like crazy. Bad tackling by the Pats was evident from the first couple plays onward. Uggh...I'm still aggravated about it. Bill, just give him one series, and none of us would be talking about this anymore.
Serious question, we saw in Tom vs Time how Brady continues to work on his mechanics, and takes his best buddies off on a boys weekend to sharpen up his timing with them in August.

How do cornerbacks and safeties work on their mechanics in the off season?
 

lambeau

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So the gospel according to Dale Arnold's sources is that Butler was told (due to subpar practice Thursday following flu), after pregame Sunday warmup that he wasn't starting--leading to Malcolm "going off like a rocket," which led to full benching. Holley suggested that seemed a poor reason to bench him, to which Arnold coyly responded, "But what if the confrontation escalated to pushing a safeties coach named Belichik?"--to which Holley sensibly responded, "Then you don't make rash decisions right before kickoff--you get in between them and deescalate." Two days ago a random caller claiming a friend/source in the organization reported a similar
story of a confrontation between Malcolm and Steve. FWIW. Dale said if it happened before the inactive list he would have been a healthy scratch.; Holley, again
surprising me, said that's a hell of a time to drop that on Malcolm.
 

Super Nomario

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streeter88

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Thanks. Where I was going with it was, what if Brady had his receivers go with him on a boys weekend, but expanded it to include the DBs, and they all worked on honing their craft against each other? On the other hand, maybe it is too much like OTAs at that point and therefore the league and the union would frown on it.
 

Gambler7

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So the gospel according to Dale Arnold's sources is that Butler was told (due to subpar practice Thursday following flu), after pregame Sunday warmup that he wasn't starting--leading to Malcolm "going off like a rocket," which led to full benching. Holley suggested that seemed a poor reason to bench him, to which Arnold coyly responded, "But what if the confrontation escalated to pushing a safeties coach named Belichik?"--to which Holley sensibly responded, "Then you don't make rash decisions right before kickoff--you get in between them and deescalate." Two days ago a random caller claiming a friend/source in the organization reported a similar
story of a confrontation between Malcolm and Steve. FWIW. Dale said if it happened before the inactive list he would have been a healthy scratch.; Holley, again
surprising me, said that's a hell of a time to drop that on Malcolm.
Zolak has hinted as recently as today of some kind of altercation between Butler and a coach. He knows, but won't come out with it as a fact. He is guarded with what information he gives out. At this point I fully believe this happened.
 

Deathofthebambino

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I agree with you guys, seems to be a lot of smoke regarding a blowup between Malcolm and a coach. Not sure if it was Steve or not.

IMO, that's the time you, as the head coach, pull people aside, let cooler heads prevail, and then sit the player down and tell him you need him, it's the biggest game of his life, and while he may not be starting, he's going to matter...You don't just fucking bench him, and then let the rest of your defense, and by extension, everyone in the organization that worked their asses off all year, suffer because of an emotional blow up. Just no. They're adults, they're not children. And when you add in the fact that the guy is gone after the game, what are you hoping to gain by disciplining him to that extent? I don't know. I just don't get it, unless it was a really, really, really bad confrontation with broken teeth, blood and foreign objects.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I agree with you guys, seems to be a lot of smoke regarding a blowup between Malcolm and a coach. Not sure if it was Steve or not.

IMO, that's the time you, as the head coach, pull people aside, let cooler heads prevail, and then sit the player down and tell him you need him, it's the biggest game of his life, and while he may not be starting, he's going to matter...You don't just fucking bench him, and then let the rest of your defense, and by extension, everyone in the organization that worked their asses off all year, suffer because of an emotional blow up. Just no. They're adults, they're not children. And when you add in the fact that the guy is gone after the game, what are you hoping to gain by disciplining him to that extent? I don't know. I just don't get it, unless it was a really, really, really bad confrontation with broken teeth, blood and foreign objects.
If any of this is true, the discipline wasn't really just for Butler. It was for all the players coming back next year and beyond. Like it or not, the Patriots have a way of doing things and it has contributed to their unprecedented long term success. As much as it sucks for fans and even guys who played on Sunday, no player or even game is bigger than that.
 

dcmissle

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Context always matters.

The culture that exists has been 18 years in the making. It’s not going to be destroyed by playing a key guy in the most important game who’s gone immediately after that game. Or after the parade. What lesson are players going to draw — I can fuck around in the SB, if I’m in my last season, with impunity? Please. Obviously, if it happens in the regular season, then he sits. Maybe more than 1 game. There’s a margin for loss in a 16 game schedule that does not exist in the SB.

I don’t what to do with this report and these rumors. But if we’re going play, I have two thoughts.

1. If the last straw was a Thursday practice, you probably should not wait until mid Sunday afternoon to tell him. Unless you think he’s Barret Robins and likely to bolt from Minnesota and go on the run. Malcolm is emotional. But is he bi-polar and off his meds?

2. Let’s be sure what we are talking about. There is a difference between not starting and not playing. Is the implication per Arnold and Zolak that MB would have played but for the explosion and shove? If the answer to that is not yes, none of this matters much.

Michael Holley may be the most thoughtful and sensible guy in Boston sports.
 

Deathofthebambino

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If any of this is true, the discipline wasn't really just for Butler. It was for all the players coming back next year and beyond. Like it or not, the Patriots have a way of doing things and it has contributed to their unprecedented long term success. As much as it sucks for fans and even guys who played on Sunday, no player or even game is bigger than that.
Honestly, I don't buy this at all. If anything, like DC just said, a culture built over 18 years isn't going to be destroyed by one guy being "let off easy" in this situation. In fact, I think the negative effect it had on the players in the locker room who watched their season go down the tubes and had money taken out of their pocket (for some of those guys, the winners share was a LOT of money) outweighs the potential for guys thinking they can now take advantage of the situation in the future.

And let's not act like BB would have responded the same way to any player. If Gronk had gotten into a confrontation with a coach, does anyone here really believe that BB would have benched him for the Super Bowl? Not a fucking chance. I seem to remember a pretty high profile confrontation between Brady and the offensive coordinator on the sidelines, on national television. If Butler had to miss the whole Super Bowl, Brady should have had to miss what, one quarter of a regular season game? A half? A drive? Certainly more than nothing? Chandler Jones showed up at a police station tripping his balls off like two days before a playoff game, and he didn't get benched for a play. He got traded later on, but in that situation, Bill didn't put the discipline of a player above the needs of the team.

If this was truly a result of a confrontation, I think Bill clearly thought he could win this game without Malcolm Butler and that's why he was heavy handed with this player, and not others. Unfortunately, I believe he was proven dreadfully wrong.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Brady did not have a physical altercation with McDaniels in Buffalo.
Ok, so the physical part takes it from no discipline to benched for the Super Bowl? I'm just trying to figure out where the line is. What if it was finger poke in the chest? Whole Super Bowl? Half? A two handed shove? One handed?

I mean, anything worse than that, and you got to figure Butler would have been on the next plane out, and wouldn't have been allowed to dress and see the field at all, right?
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Whatever Butler did, he did not play in the Superbowl and we may never get the full accounting of what transpired.

We can differ in opinion over whether Belichick was correct in not playing him, however the idea that it absolutely cost the Patriots the game is not a fact. Its simply unprovable.

You can make every argument in the world that it did, using the number of snaps Butler played during the regular season, his tackling stats etc and it may well be compelling. However that doesn't prove anything beyond all doubt.

We may well get more snippets of information about what led to Butler's benching, however we will never, ever know if it really impacted the outcome of the game. That is irrefutable.
 

djbayko

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<snip>And let's not act like BB would have responded the same way to any player. If Gronk had gotten into a confrontation with a coach, does anyone here really believe that BB would have benched him for the Super Bowl?<snip>
Yes, if the nature of the confrontation called for it, I do believe he would bench him. Belichick is unlike most other coaches. However, Gronk did not blow up on a coach and it likely would never happen to that degree. That's they key difference. Most players fall in line with Bill's system. A very select few sometimes don't.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Yes, if the nature of the confrontation called for it, I do believe he would bench him. Belichick is unlike most other coaches. However, Gronk did not blow up on a coach and it likely would never happen to that degree. That's they key difference. Most players fall in line with Bill's system. A very select few sometimes don't.
You mean, if the nature of the confrontation called for it, he would bench Gronk for offense, but have him play special teams for the first time all season, right?

Edit: I don't know if Gronk played on the field goal unit this year or not, but Butler didn't play any special teams snap this year before the Super Bowl.
 

kenneycb

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He benched Welker for a bit in a playoff game for his actions so the leaks aren’t exactly out of line with historical precedent if it’s true.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Whatever Butler did, he did not play in the Superbowl and we may never get the full accounting of what transpired.

We can differ in opinion over whether Belichick was correct in not playing him, however the idea that it absolutely cost the Patriots the game is not a fact. Its simply unprovable.

You can make every argument in the world that it did, using the number of snaps Butler played during the regular season, his tackling stats etc and it may well be compelling. However that doesn't prove anything beyond all doubt.

We may well get more snippets of information about what led to Butler's benching, however we will never, ever know if it really impacted the outcome of the game. That is irrefutable.
You know what's also irrefutable? When Butler played defense, the Pats gave up about 18 points a game. When he didn't, they gave up 41. I also know that putting Chung, who is one of the best defenders of tight ends in the NFL, at the third corner position to cover Agholor was so strange that the other team was literally giddy about it. I know that putting Chung there, forced Jordan Richards to cover Ertz, who is on the short list of great tight ends in the NFL. And I know that putting Rowe on Jeffrey was such a bad move that the Pats had to change course 3 series into the game.

But you're right. We don't know for sure. Just like we don't know if Jimmy G. could have outperformed Tom Brady. I mean, he could have thrown for 600 yards, and put up 52 points. There's all sorts of stuff we don't know. I'm willing to take educated guesses though, and my guess is that Jimmy G. would not have outperformed Brady, and Butler would have improved the secondary by at least one play. I honestly don't think he could have made it worse, even if he was forced to play with one hand behind his back and one eye blindfolded.
 

Deathofthebambino

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He benched Welker for a bit in a playoff game for his actions so the leaks aren’t exactly out of line with historical precedent if it’s true.
Yup, he benched him for one series for making foot jokes in a press conference. The Pats, coincidentally, lost that game too.
 

lambeau

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Bill Simmons on Ringer SB podcast at 23:20:
"I think they decided they were going to start the game with Rowe on Jeffery, and that they were going to bench Butler, but not for the whole game. I think they told him this and I think he reacted like a big baby, and Belichick's like, fuck this guy. "How about thls? You won't play." That's the only thing that makes sense because there were two D'backs out there who were not even close to him as players. ...and it's not like Butler's never played the nickel before...that's bullshit."
 

BigSoxFan

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Bill Simmons on Ringer SB podcast at 23:20:
"I think they decided they were going to start the game with Rowe on Jeffery, and that they were going to bench Butler, but not for the whole game. I think they told him this and I think he reacted like a big baby, and Belichick's like, fuck this guy. "How about thls? You won't play." That's the only thing that makes sense because there were two D'backs out there who were not even close to him as players. ...and it's not like Butler's never played the nickel before...that's bullshit."
Deciding to put Rowe on Jeffrey to start was another troublesome decision. You have an elite corner - use him on the best WR they have.
 

lexrageorge

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Yup, he benched him for one series for making foot jokes in a press conference. The Pats, coincidentally, lost that game too.
A loss that had nothing to do with Welker's benching.

Back to the SB: If Butler melted down to the point of getting into a physical altercation with the head coach's son, then, yes, Belichick is right to think that Butler's head was not where it should have been, and, after adding on a crappy practice week, that Butler is just not going to be same Butler that we saw during this past regular season (which was nowhere close to ProBowl level cornerback). Hence, "football decision". Bottom line is that practice reps and team rules matter to Belichick, and that's not changing anytime soon. I doubt that will change whenever McDaniels takes over either, so we should probably get used to it.

So, why was he dressed? Two reasons: either the altercation happened after the inactive list was turned in, or the need to have a DB available in case of injury.
 

Sportsbstn

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For me the whole thing is a lot easier to stomach and a lot easier to understand if there was a disciplinary aspect to it.
Well there was. According to “reports”, he had a bad attitude, was doing drugs, got in an altercation with a coach, women, broke curfew and was the shooter in the Kennedy assassination. Did I miss any?
 

dcmissle

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Waiting until Sunday to tell him when the clincher came in a Thursday practice still makes no sense to me.
 

BigSoxFan

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A loss that had nothing to do with Welker's benching.

Back to the SB: If Butler melted down to the point of getting into a physical altercation with the head coach's son, then, yes, Belichick is right to think that Butler's head was not where it should have been, and, after adding on a crappy practice week, that Butler is just not going to be same Butler that we saw during this past regular season (which was nowhere close to ProBowl level cornerback). Hence, "football decision". Bottom line is that practice reps and team rules matter to Belichick, and that's not changing anytime soon. I doubt that will change whenever McDaniels takes over either, so we should probably get used to it.

So, why was he dressed? Two reasons: either the altercation happened after the inactive list was turned in, or the need to have a DB available in case of injury.
Fine but I think this is simply too rigid thinking. I’m perfectly fine with him not starting the game. I’m not ok with him not playing at all. The coaching staff didn’t once see if a reinvigorated Butler could have made a difference against a team with tons of weapons in the passing game. Instead, we had to watch 2 special teams scrubs fuck up every assignment they were given. If Jones were healthy, I’d be less annoyed by this but he wasn’t and we were completely undermanned. And we’re not talking about some random starter - we’re talking about a 2 time SB winner and a guy who literally made the best defensive play in SB history.

If Butler had gotten in 1 series and was toasted, this debate would be over. But we’ll never know if he could have made a difference in a game that saw tons of close plays go in the Eagles’ favor. My hunch is that he would have made a play or two to help. And he would have kept Jordan Richards’ useless ass off the field.
 

Reardons Beard

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Sounds like this was a football decision at the start and Butler blew up at a coach with potentially more than just yelling. Or he blew up at Belichick and was yelling quite a bit. Coach is probably telling it straight when he says it was a football decision to not start him, but he doesn't have to say the extent to which he was benched was disciplinary.
 

Harry Hooper

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Deciding to put Rowe on Jeffrey to start was another troublesome decision. You have an elite corner - use him on the best WR they have.
I keep hearing this, but you need to acknowledge that's been common practice for the Pats for years. Often the best CB takes the #2 receiver with almost no help, while the second CB takes the #1 receiver with help from others in the secondary.
 

lexrageorge

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Waiting until Sunday to tell him when the clincher came in a Thursday practice still makes no sense to me.
Thursday's practice may have been a key in that Belichick and Patricia were starting to discuss starting Rowe in the CB2 position over Butler. However, the final decision may not have been made until Saturday or even Sunday, which would be consistent with the notion that the coaching staff often tweaks the game plan right up until the last minute.

For the record, I do think the coaches made a mistake when they did not insert Butler into the game around halftime. I can see why they made that mistake, however.
 

JokersWildJIMED

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I’ve always wondered how good of an idea it was to have his sons on the coaching staff. Seth’s source was a coach or two. If not handled perfectly it will breed resentment. Word was the Butler benching split the players AND the coaches...so if Steve was involved I could see a scenario where this is escalating and got out of control on both sides
 

bankshot1

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I would be a little suspect of new info turning a "football decision" into a "we tried to keep Malcolm's melt-down in-house and called it a football decision" particularly in light of several members of the team publicly supporting him. If what he did was so egregious, I would think those players might decide that Malcolm deserved his benching.

This smells like the BB camp is engaged in an act of CYA.
 

BigSoxFan

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I keep hearing this, but you need to acknowledge that's been common practice for the Pats for years. Often the best CB takes the #2 receiver with almost no help, while the second CB takes the #1 receiver with help from others in the secondary.
Sure. But this strategy is a lot less effective when Eric Rowe is your #2 instead of Butler and your opponent is spreading you 4 or 5 wide. Gilmore handling the #2 WR is a waste of resources because, as we saw, Foles had plenty of other options to go to.
 

dcmissle

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Could well be, lex. I was just going off the account above of what Dale said on the radio. Dale may not have been that precise, or something could have been lost in translation.

I do think the story is probably generally right. Dale may be a finger wagging, pious, boring uncle, but he also is professional. If he is reporting there was a blow up, there was probably a blow up of some kind.
 

Harry Hooper

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Sure. But this strategy is a lot less effective when Eric Rowe is your #2 instead of Butler and your opponent is spreading you 4 or 5 wide. Gilmore handling the #2 WR is a waste of resources because, as we saw, Foles had plenty of other options to go to.
The multi-dimensional Philly offense was definitely too much for the Pats to handle. On the other hand, maybe Rowe would have settled down after some early jitters covering Jeffrey. Wasn't HoF Daryl Green beat for a TD on the first play of a Super Bowl?



Could well be, lex. I was just going off the account above of what Dale said on the radio. Dale may not have been that precise, or something could have been lost in translation.

I do think the story is probably generally right. Dale may be a finger wagging, pious, boring uncle, but he also is professional. If he is reporting there was a blow up, there was probably a blow up of some kind.
FWIW, during the segment of Dale & Holley I heard yesterday Dale was not reporting but speculating about Butler.
 

drleather2001

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If any of this is true, the discipline wasn't really just for Butler. It was for all the players coming back next year and beyond. Like it or not, the Patriots have a way of doing things and it has contributed to their unprecedented long term success. As much as it sucks for fans and even guys who played on Sunday, no player or even game is bigger than that.
That's how discipline works. It's never just about the person being punished; it's for the whole system. Predictability is the essence of effective discipline.

Ok, so the physical part takes it from no discipline to benched for the Super Bowl? I'm just trying to figure out where the line is. What if it was finger poke in the chest? Whole Super Bowl? Half? A two handed shove? One handed?

I mean, anything worse than that, and you got to figure Butler would have been on the next plane out, and wouldn't have been allowed to dress and see the field at all, right?
You can't see the difference between someone doing something in the heat of a game on the sideline, or in his own time, and someone losing their shit over being told what their job will be for the most important game of the year and refusing to accept it? Getting physically violent over it?

People here sure love to go around trumpeting "DO YOUR JOB!" and "NEXT MAN UP!" and beat their chest as Pats fans, but when a player they happen to have affection for (it's a little unusual how many people call him by his first name around here) has a problem with it, it goes right out the window.
 
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lexrageorge

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I’ve always wondered how good of an idea it was to have his sons on the coaching staff. Seth’s source was a coach or two. If not handled perfectly it will breed resentment. Word was the Butler benching split the players AND the coaches...so if Steve was involved I could see a scenario where this is escalating and got out of control on both sides
The bolded was just speculation. And a tweet by Minnehane, who's useless.
 

Bellhorn

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I keep hearing this, but you need to acknowledge that's been common practice for the Pats for years. Often the best CB takes the #2 receiver with almost no help, while the second CB takes the #1 receiver with help from others in the secondary.
Did Rowe really have much help though? As always, my memory of a Super Bowl may be clouded by alcohol, but I thought he was mostly handling Jeffery on his own for the first few series.
 

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I'm amazed at the intensity of people here who've never been in a BB locker room stating as fact the effects (either short or long term) of BBs alleged handling of a potential discipline issue. The culture of this organization is 17/18 years in the making or at least maintaining. We have outsiders (of the team) critical of his approach from almost the outset - and based on the Patriots historic success they were wrong. We have countless examples of him doing things others (even within the team) disagreed with - from giving Brady Bledsoe's job to trading how many popular players to disciplining players for being late for a meeting/practise in a snowstorm to trading or letting popular productive players go over money reasons.

In all that he has maintained to the owners' satisfaction his team and organizational philosophies.

With that as a backdrop how can anyone not in the room say unequivocally how or what would be affected by allowing this alleged issue to not be challenged? If a player lays hands on a coach he would be challenging the authority of said coach and potentially bullying the coach into changing his mind. What's next - if you really really really disagree with the coach it's ok to punch him? What coach would want to be in the room with these physical freaks of strength and athleticism if it's known that they can get physical if they don't like a decision?

I don't care what the reasoning behind the move was. If it was football decisions - I've hitched my wagon to the coach who gets more right than wrong. If it was discipline related then who better to decide what is best for the organization than the person who architected it? Who maintains it. Whose future success is dependent on it.

In this case, imo, even if BB is dead wrong - he is still right if he has the organizations best interest at heart. If he sacrificed a superbowl to preserve coaches authority (and safety) so be it. If he has truly taken the organization out of balance - we'll know soon enough.
 

djbayko

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You mean, if the nature of the confrontation called for it, he would bench Gronk for offense, but have him play special teams for the first time all season, right?

Edit: I don't know if Gronk played on the field goal unit this year or not, but Butler didn't play any special teams snap this year before the Super Bowl.
Sure. That would certainly qualify as discipline, wouldn't it? The player sure seemed to desperately want to play D .
 
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54thMA

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You know what's also irrefutable? When Butler played defense, the Pats gave up about 18 points a game. When he didn't, they gave up 41. I also know that putting Chung, who is one of the best defenders of tight ends in the NFL, at the third corner position to cover Agholor was so strange that the other team was literally giddy about it. I know that putting Chung there, forced Jordan Richards to cover Ertz, who is on the short list of great tight ends in the NFL. And I know that putting Rowe on Jeffrey was such a bad move that the Pats had to change course 3 series into the game.
See, this is the rub with me. You benched Butler and it had a trickle down effect on the rest of the defense; by doing so, you were now weak in three spots. Corner, slot corner, and safety.

Any defensive game plan that involved a heavy dose of Jordan Richards is a disaster waiting to happen. For a guy who went to Stanford, his football IQ is two above plant life.

Just like the Germans in WWII during the initial stages of the Normandy campaign were in disbelief of Ike's decision to bench Patton, the Eagles offensive coaches felt the same at Belichick's decision to bench Butler.

Thankfully, Ike came to his senses and listened to Bradley and put Patton back into the game as the Americans were bogged down the bocage country, getting cut to pieces by the Germans, Patton getting back into the game broke out of Normandy, drove towards the Seine river and the rest is history.

Too bad Belichick didn't put Butler into the game; like the Americans in WWII, we too would have won and I'll carry that thought to my grave, a massive opportunity lost and in sports as in life, there are no guarantees of anything going forward.
 

dcmissle

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I see Foles more as Colonel Hessler from that cheeseball 1960's Battle of the Bulge movie where the climatic tank battle was fought in the Spanish countryside.

For the uninitiated, the guy on the left.
 

54thMA

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Aug 15, 2012
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Westwood MA

For the uninitiated, the guy on the left.
Colonel Hessler, aka Jochem Pieper and a bad one at that.

Hey at least a cake from Boston made it into that movie.

You are good DCmissile, nice job with the link.

And they only sang one verse of the Panzerlied, repeated it twice.
 

Tony C

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Apr 13, 2000
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That's because after that second drive, they took him off Jeffery and put Gilmore on him. Once they made that move, the Eagles stopped going his way because they had much better mismatches everywhere else (as in, whoever was being covered by Jordan Roberts, Bademosi, Chung or fill in a linebacker here). But I'm sorry, if you can't cover Alshon Jeffery one on one, there are very few #1 or #2 receivers in the NFL you can cover one on one. I would guess there are at least 40 receivers in the NFL that everyone here would take over Alshon Jeffery.

That said, I still don't have a problem with the move to Rowe or giving him the start at CB2. If they thought Rowe was the better matchup, then so be it. It's the idea that Butler didn't give them a better chance anywhere on the field that I have a problem with. Butler didn't have to play CB2, but he should have been somewhere. His tackling alone would have made a difference, IMO, even if he doesn't stop one more completion than the other guys. One thing you know for sure with Butler is if his guy makes a catch, his guy goes down. You rarely ever see a receiver beating Butler, and then Butler missing a tackle on top of it. He also comes up and helps in the run game. Eagles players were running free all game long, both running backs and receivers after the catch. They were breaking tackles like crazy. Bad tackling by the Pats was evident from the first couple plays onward. Uggh...I'm still aggravated about it. Bill, just give him one series, and none of us would be talking about this anymore.
I agree with you guys, seems to be a lot of smoke regarding a blowup between Malcolm and a coach. Not sure if it was Steve or not.

IMO, that's the time you, as the head coach, pull people aside, let cooler heads prevail, and then sit the player down and tell him you need him, it's the biggest game of his life, and while he may not be starting, he's going to matter...You don't just fucking bench him, and then let the rest of your defense, and by extension, everyone in the organization that worked their asses off all year, suffer because of an emotional blow up. Just no. They're adults, they're not children. And when you add in the fact that the guy is gone after the game, what are you hoping to gain by disciplining him to that extent? I don't know. I just don't get it, unless it was a really, really, really bad confrontation with broken teeth, blood and foreign objects.
This. These. The others too. Dang, man...you're literally on fire. Really nothing to add except the next coherent counter-argument will be the first.