SBLII: What Did the Butler Do?

lars10

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Except the Eagles were also running the ball all over the place, and breaking tackles in the secondary without a problem. Coverage isn't Butler's only responsibility, it's tackling, and he tackles better than anyone in that secondary other than maybe McCourty. And the tackling, IMO, was as big a problem tonight as any that the defense had.
yeah..there were a few key third down stops that were close to the line of gain that if they'd had another tackler there..or a better one..it would've been a different story.

I also can't help feeling..if they had sent Butler out there in the second half..that he would've had a huge chip on his shoulder to try and make a play..that could've worked to our advantage or disadvantage.
 

Deathofthebambino

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yeah..there were a few key third down stops that were close to the line of gain that if they'd had another tackler there..or a better one..it would've been a different story.

I also can't help feeling..if they had sent Butler out there in the second half..that he would've had a huge chip on his shoulder to try and make a play..that could've worked to our advantage or disadvantage.
Given the way our defense did perform, I'm not really sure what would have constituted a disadvantage. Maybe they score quicker? That might have been an advantage because it would have given Brady more opportunities.
 

Jungleland

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Except the Eagles were also running the ball all over the place, and breaking tackles in the secondary without a problem. Coverage isn't Butler's only responsibility, it's tackling, and he tackles better than anyone in that secondary other than maybe McCourty. And the tackling, IMO, was as big a problem tonight as any that the defense had.
Yup. And I think we’re in agreement on the whole thing, really. Your question at the end is essentially what I’m saying re: fuck you vs gameplan - there are not really good football reasons for Butler to get 0 snaps with how poorly the secondary depth guys played, or how poorly the defense as a whole tackled. That at least half of that equation should have been expected ahead of time, it’s hard to shake the feeling that the defensive gameplan involved putting MB in his place for one reason or another.
 

shawnrbu

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Maybe BB felt okay with how the D was adjusting based on:

Last drive of the first half would have been a red zone stop and a field goal if the refs called the illegal formation. Am assuming Pederson kicks the field goal on 4th & Goal at the 6.

First drive of the second half would have been a field goal attempt if the catch rule was correctly applied.

Next drive was a red zone stop and held to a field goal following an 8 yard loss on 3rd and 2.

By the time the game winning drive had started, the game was over 3 hours old and Butler was "cold" on the sideline.

I just can't imagine this team telling an active player he will not play any defensive snaps the whole game minutes before the game barring some type of disciplinary misconduct.
 

Sportsbstn

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Butler struggled this season, but does him struggling really warrant him going from almost 98% of defensive snaps in 17 games to 0?

I guess that’s the part that I’m struggling with. Also, while he may not have been some almighty savior, there was no adjustment to maybe give him a look? The only adjustment was swapping Gilmore and Rowe’s assignments?
Struggling vs last year, yes. 2nd best corner by a mile? Yes. These struggling thoughts don’t hold when your backup is far worse. They also don’t hold when you watch the backup get lit up repeatedly and it doesn’t dawn on you to make a change. There is no good reason, none, that Butler didn’t see time at CB. Coaching staff fucked up
 

worm0082

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FWIW on the WEEI overnight show a few callers and the hosts said what they are hearing is apparently before the game Belichick overheard Butler make a comment along the lines of "I'm not worried about winning the game, I'm worried about getting my money" and benched him because of it.
 
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TheoShmeo

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I don’t know what to make of that Browner tweet or what he knows. Yes, shades of Tom Jackson, but damn, the Hightower like is curious and immediately makes it more troubling.

But putting that aside, it seems reasonable to believe that Butler’s teammates would be perplexed and possibly have their play adversely affected by the benching, for the first time, of a starter during the entire Super Bowl.

This development is upsetting for so many reasons.

The decision not to start Malcom seems wrong headed. But BB is a defensive genius so maybe we should give that deference. But to not see what we all saw with Richards and Rowe? To not adjust? To not appreciate that the human beings on D might be confused by taking out your number 2 corner?

The Giants losses were so upsetting. This one is more angering, however. For the first time, a Pats loss under Bill feels partially self-inflicted.

That may prove wrong and I admit to being really confused by all this. The Josh reports add to the reaction.

So many questions...that Bill will never likely answer while he’s the Pats HC.
 

Reverend

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Browner has exactly one tweet since last summer and it’s about cannabis reform.
 

Ralphwiggum

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I said it last night, but man what a shitty ending for Butler in New England, particularly compared to how it started. UDFA who put in the work and fought his way into the lineup, given an opportunity in the SB three years ago who executes a play he was coached on in the biggest of circumstances. He was one of my favorite Patriot players during his time here, despite his uneven play this year.

From that start to how it ended last night just sucks.
 

Sportsbstn

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FWIW on the WEEI overnight show a few callers and the hosts said what they are hearing is apparently before the game Belichick overheard Butler make a comment along the lines of "I'm not worried about winning the game, I'm worried about getting my money" and benched him because of it.
Don’t buy it. Butler says he doesn’t give a shit about the game, yet he is put in on special teams? Nope, he wouldn’t be used at all if that was the reason. More cover stories.
 

Eddie Jurak

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To be clear, I'm not calling for BB's head. Far from it. The worst decisions he's ever made still result in him being the greatest coach of all time. That said, I'm allowed to be pissed tonight, and I'm allowed to think that Tom Brady, the team and the fans got fucked by a decision that never should have been made.
This is correct. It was a spectacular high stakes coaching fuckup by someone who has built a HoF career on not doing that.
QUOTE="scottyno, post: 2662268, member: 54862"]Anyone have the target and yardage numbers by corner? Rowe got torched at times in the first half but did make some nice plays, including breaking up the td on the first drive, and seemed much better in the 2nd half after adjustments. FWIW pff graded him as one of the better pats defenders (obviously debatable I know, but seems to indicate he at least wasn't terrible). Bademosi or Harmon over Butler as the 3rd CB seems much harder to explain if they just didn't like the matchup of Butler on a big wr.[/QUOTE]That's exactly right. Starting Rowe was a defensible move given his size and Butler's struggles on the season. Dopping Butler from starter to behind bad guys who have barely played this year was an inexcusable gaffe.
So what is it? He just might have had the most dreadful coaching night of his life at the worst possible time. He was wedded to a game plan -- big corners -- and simply failed to adjust. He failed to adjust because he is very confident in his judgments (call it hubris if you like) and because during a game moving at warp speed, things just never got quite desperate enough. Hell, they nearly pulled it out.
Belichick was an economics major in college. Whether that fact has had any connection to his success over the years I don't know, but he has always shown at least an intuitive understaning of economics (not just money, but, more generally: trade offs and getting by with limited resources). At the same time, I think he's also had a firm grasp on the human side of the game, whether it be holding players accontable or recognizing the difference between numbers and real ability to perform under pressure on a football field. Last night those understandings failed him miserably.

No doubt, he saw an advantage in going bigger in the secondary. But what did he trade away to capture that advantage?

1. Continuity. He rolled with Butler for 18 games, then didn't just demote him but banished him from the field in the biggest game, going instead with guys who mostly didn't see the field during less important games.
2. Skills. Butler had a rough year, but until now, not rough enough to see his role decreased. He's also a better open field tackler than most if not all of the guys who played ahead of him, and secondary tackling wound up being a huge problem for the Patriots in this game.
3. Tested on the big stage. Butler has shown the capacity to step up and perform in the biggest games. Belichick opted to run with guys who haven't done that consistently in the small games.
4. Big play potential. Butler has made big plays, even in this disappointing year. He made the biggest defensive play in SB history 3 years ago (and his stellar play during the whole second half was a key reason why he was in position to make that play). On a defense lacking in big play potential Belichick took maybe his best weapon off the field entirely, and instead played a guy whose biggest plays helped the other team.

Beyond all of that, his failure to adjust was jaw dropping. Looking back at it, the only way it even begins to make sense is if Belichick and Patricia went into this game thinking Philly's offense was absolutely going to ruin them and that they needed to try and play for every small advantage they could think of and hope fr the best. Thus they were not at all surprised by the beating Philly gave tem and it didn't trigger any adjustments. Still an awful decision.
It’s all hindsight, but it strikes me as really dumb to bench him when they could have activated Britt or someone else that would have provided more than ST coverage.
Hollister was a 4-unit ST guy for most of the season, until recently getting scratched, but I suppose not in the same role as Butler.
QUOTE="TheoShmeo, post: 2662372, member: 5872"]But putting that aside, it seems reasonable to believe that Butler’s teammates would be perplexed and possibly have their play adversely affected by the benching, for the first time, of a starter during the entire Super Bowl.[/QUOTE]Yes. I think this decision was so outside the realm of typical that BB and the Pats may end up paying a price for it down the line. Though it wasn't his intent, BB just shat all over a 3 year core player to the detriment of the team. If Butler had been 3rd corner playing a reduced role and the Pats lost, this would be a non-issue, but since it wasn't it is a really bad look. What Tom Jackson said all those years ago was a huge load of shit at the time, but it may not be as huge a load today.
 

ifmanis5

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The arrogance of BB here will hurt his legacy and it should. The Patriot Way isn't cutting your nose off to spite your face, it's doing your job despite the all the noise. This was BB being up in his own BS and it hurt the team. The defense played disjointed and confused and they took their cue from the top. You don't run this crap in the SB. This was garbage and it needs to be called out.
 

koufax32

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The only logical thing I can think of is if Butler has been Jamie Collins-ing recently and freelancing. I thought I saw some of that earlier in the year but not recently. Any film junkies know if there’s anything there?
 

NortheasternPJ

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The arrogance of BB here will hurt his legacy and it should. The Patriot Way isn't cutting your nose off to spite your face, it's doing your job despite the all the noise. This was BB being up in his own BS and it hurt the team. The defense played disjointed and confused and they took their cue from the top. You don't run this crap in the SB. This was garbage and it needs to be called out.
Fully agreed based upon the zero facts out there. He should be fired today. /sarcasm

Seriously though, this story is going to be interesting when it comes out, which it will.
 

lexrageorge

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FWIW on the WEEI overnight show a few callers and the hosts said what they are hearing is apparently before the game Belichick overheard Butler make a comment along the lines of "I'm not worried about winning the game, I'm worried about getting my money" and benched him because of it.
I realize you're reporting what's being said on WEEI, but I find this story both too dumb and stupid to be credible.

The problem is that the simplest, and most likely correct, explanation is the one that is most difficult to fathom (and accept): BB made a game time decision based to implement a game plan that did not feature Butler, and then simply did not adjust despite the evidence mounting that their big corner game plan wasn't working all that well.

I'm not going to go as far as saying Butler would have made a difference, as I feel that's unknowable. Rowe did not have a bad game outside of a couple of completions in the first quarter, and those were the same plays that Butler has given up this year as well. And Butler hasn't played in the 3rd corner role all year. The Front 7 got beat badly by the Eagles nearly every single play. And, still, they did make a couple of plays to keep the Eagles out of the end zone in that drive before the long TD drive in the 4th, so I can see why perhaps Bill thought the D could make one more stop in the 4th quarter.

But I agree with those that are questioning the lack of adjustments. Butler is a good tackler, and they could have used him. But I don't coach football for a living, either.

I don't put any stock into Browner's post, and even less into Hightower liking it. Emotions run high after a tough loss, and Browner didn't exactly light the world on fire in his single season here.
 

Bowhemian

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The arrogance of BB here will hurt his legacy and it should. The Patriot Way isn't cutting your nose off to spite your face, it's doing your job despite the all the noise. This was BB being up in his own BS and it hurt the team. The defense played disjointed and confused and they took their cue from the top. You don't run this crap in the SB. This was garbage and it needs to be called out.
Do you have some details about what went down? Because I am really interested in hearing them.
 

Mystic Merlin

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The arrogance of BB here will hurt his legacy and it should. The Patriot Way isn't cutting your nose off to spite your face, it's doing your job despite the all the noise. This was BB being up in his own BS and it hurt the team. The defense played disjointed and confused and they took their cue from the top. You don't run this crap in the SB. This was garbage and it needs to be called out.
Did Mike Felger hack your account, or do you have a basis for this incredible inference?

I think there's a lot of transference of frustration over the defensive performance onto one personnel decision going on. Understandably so, as 'they really didn't play well and it was, as it almost always is, due to a combination of talent deficiencies in certain areas, some poor coaching in the context of the opposition's offensive strategy/strengths and the opposition playing really, really well' is a mouthful and it's not as cathartic to disperse blame across several individuals and decisions.
 

Reggie's Racquet

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The problem with this team all year was “in game” adjustments. They needed to get to halftime to figure things out. The game today moves to fast. You have to be able to process data and make changes “in game” not just in the locker room.
 

wiffleballhero

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The frustration about the personnel decision is legitimate when the game really would have turned on any number of third and long stops, or goal line stops that they just did not have. There was plenty of evidence that mixing the personnel groupings was at least worth a shot and so stick him in.
 

Mystic Merlin

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The problem with this team all year was “in game” adjustments. They needed to get to halftime to figure things out. The game today moves to fast. You have to be able to process data and make changes “in game” not just in the locker room.
This is an attack on a media-generated myth. BB has said for years that there's nothing magic in 'half time adjustments.' You adjust on an ongoing basis, you don't wait, it isn't like you can't see what the opposition is throwing at you after a few possessions. I actually thought they were fine at adjusting their approach in game this year; the issue last night was it didn't matter because Philly had a trump card in its pocket at every turn.
 

Bellhorn

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I think we hone in on the only reasonable family of explanations when we synthesize the conflicting opinions of those upthread who were calling each other "moronic", "high" etc.

1) As SJH and co have observed, it is absolutely 100% implausible that BB made a decision that he thought would hurt his team's chances in the Super Bowl. I mean, if nothing else, look at how much reverence the guy has for the game of football, the Lombardi trophy, etc etc.

2) But other posters also have a point: it is also implausible (perhaps not 100%, but pretty darn close) that Butler was not a superior option to Bademosi/Richards from a pure Xs and Os perspective, based on each player's underlying talent level.

So where does that leave us? As far as I can see, the only possibility is that Butler said or did something that convinced BB (rightly or wrongly) that his head was not in the right place, and that he could not be trusted to execute his responsibilities in the defensive game plan. So BB was telling the truth: it was a football-related decision in that sense, rather than something like "you violated a team rule, so no Sup[er Bowl] for you!" But conversely, it also does not lead to the ridiculous conclusion that Jordan Richards suddenly became a more useful player than Butler.

Admittedly, this still leaves the further puzzle of why he played on special teams but not defense - we can't answer that without descending back into useless speculation. Regardless, the general point stands that it is entirely possible to find an explanation that satisfies both conditions above - and that this is really the only possibility that makes any sense.
 

Harry Hooper

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This is an attack on a media-generated myth. BB has said for years that there's nothing magic in 'half time adjustments.' You adjust on an ongoing basis, you don't wait, it isn't like you can't see what the opposition is throwing at you after a few possessions. I actually thought they were fine at adjusting their approach in game this year; the issue last night was it didn't matter because Philly had a trump card in its pocket at every turn.
Yeah, there's that old Parcells line (from his Giants days?) after a big loss about running out of adjustments on D as the game went on.
 
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Eddie Jurak

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The frustration about the personnel decision is legitimate when the game really would have turned on any number of third and long stops, or goal line stops that they just did not have. There was plenty of evidence that mixing the personnel groupings was at least worth a shot and so stick him in.
Exactly. Arguably, 1 more stop would have been enough.
 

I am an Idiot

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He was the leak for the Wickersham article.

That’s the only thing I can come up with that puts him on the sidelines all game. Hell, Chandler Jones showed up to FPD high on “spice” and didn’t sit a series.
 

gryoung

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I doubt Butler playing would have made a significant difference. The pass rush was non-existent. The Eagles game plan was terrific and highlighted the NE linebackers’ issues with pass coverage. Sure Butler may have made a tackle that another D did not. (May) being the key word there. But he would not have flipped the final score of the game I watched yesteday.
 

dcdrew10

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So where does that leave us? As far as I can see, the only possibility is that Butler said or did something that convinced BB (rightly or wrongly) that his head was not in the right place, and that he could not be trusted to execute his responsibilities in the defensive game plan. So BB was telling the truth: it was a football-related decision in that sense, rather than something like "you violated a team rule, so no Sup[er Bowl] for you!" But conversely, it also does not lead to the ridiculous conclusion that Jordan Richards suddenly became a more useful player than Butler.

Admittedly, this still leaves the further puzzle of why he played on special teams but not defense - we can't answer that without descending back into useless speculation. Regardless, the general point stands that it is entirely possible to find an explanation that satisfies both conditions above - and that this is really the only possibility that makes any sense.
This is the first thing i have read that makes whatever little sense of the situation. Butler has seemed off on the mental aspect of the game all year. Who knows if the contract issues/almost trade/Gilmore signing messed with his mental preparations or how he played, but something just seemed off about his game this year. That being said the number of missed tackles were my number on frustration in this game and that seemed to be the one thing Butler did consistently well this year.
 

kartvelo

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My biggest issue with Butler being on the sidelines wasn't coverage. He's probably the best tackler in the entire secondary. I'm not sure it's even close, and if there was one thing tonight that stood out as the biggest problem for the defense, it was shitty fucking tackling. That's what's killing me about the decision.
+1.
If he'd been playing underneath and stuffed just one of those long runs with a good tackle,......
 

NortheasternPJ

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This is the first thing i have read that makes whatever little sense of the situation. Butler has seemed off on the mental aspect of the game all year. Who knows if the contract issues/almost trade/Gilmore signing messed with his mental preparations or how he played, but something just seemed off about his game this year. That being said the number of missed tackles were my number on frustration in this game and that seemed to be the one thing Butler did consistently well this year.
Agreed, it's the only thing that makes sense. Combining that with the fact he missed the week of prep with the flu or sickness, they must have felt he wasn't the best option. If it's purely political or anything else, that'd be very disappointing.
 

OnWisc

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I doubt Butler playing would have made a significant difference. The pass rush was non-existent. The Eagles game plan was terrific and highlighted the NE linebackers’ issues with pass coverage. Sure Butler may have made a tackle that another D did not. (May) being the key word there. But he would not have flipped the final score of the game I watched yesteday.
Your last sentence seems to contradict everything that comes before it. Butler would not have needed to make a significant difference. Even if he just MAY have made a tackle that was otherwise missed, that tackle very easily could've been one that flipped the final score. It was that close.
 

Dotrat

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I doubt Butler playing would have made a significant difference. The pass rush was non-existent. The Eagles game plan was terrific and highlighted the NE linebackers’ issues with pass coverage. Sure Butler may have made a tackle that another D did not. (May) being the key word there. But he would not have flipped the final score of the game I watched yesteday.
This--a thousand times. Being a very good open-field tackler, Butler may have made a difference on a few plays where the ball went his way, but aside from Van Noy and Brown, the front seven played like ass pretty much from start to finish. I'm not sure it would've mattered, as close as the final result was.

They really missed Hightower. That's screamingly obvious. Less commented on is that they also really missed the 2016 version of Alan Branch. And Philly's OL, however, handsy, played a great game.
 

Byrdbrain

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Ben Volin‏Verified account @BenVolin 36m36 minutes ago


Malcolm Butler in the Patriots’ first 18 games: 1,178 of 1,201 defensive snaps (98.1%), 1 special teams snap (Titans game). Butler in SB52: 0 defensive snaps, 1 special teams snap.



It turns out that Butler only played one ST snap last night so it isn't like he was in all night on STs. I assume that was on the punt return team since that only happened once.
 

vicirus

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There were reports that he still had flu like symptoms on Thursday. Is it possible that the coaching staff just decided that they couldn’t chance going with Butler as the #2 corner if he might not be able to play (Tuesday)? If he doesn’t get better on Friday/Saturday and he’s got a 101 temp and he’s yakking on himself, they’d be in a tough spot turning to Rowe if he didn’t get first team snaps. That might line up with the “they gave up on me” quote.

If Rowe did get first team snaps and they thought Butler was a no go for the game, how much of the game plan would he know? Generally curious how much an injured/questionable player would know.
 

dcmissle

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This is the first thing i have read that makes whatever little sense of the situation. Butler has seemed off on the mental aspect of the game all year. Who knows if the contract issues/almost trade/Gilmore signing messed with his mental preparations or how he played, but something just seemed off about his game this year. That being said the number of missed tackles were my number on frustration in this game and that seemed to be the one thing Butler did consistently well this year.
And inserting Butler at some point would have made things worse, exactly how?

I'm inclined to think BB believed that things would eventually get better, and that if they did, even for one quarter, that would be enough to win. They never got better.
 

Dick Drago

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My best guess is the flu--maybe had a really bad week of practice, still lethargic--but even that seems a stretch. Baffling, and leaves an extra level of "would have could of" to obsess over.
 

JimD

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The arrogance of BB here will hurt his legacy and it should. The Patriot Way isn't cutting your nose off to spite your face, it's doing your job despite the all the noise. This was BB being up in his own BS and it hurt the team. The defense played disjointed and confused and they took their cue from the top. You don't run this crap in the SB. This was garbage and it needs to be called out.
No, it will not. The story of SB52 will be of Doug Pederson's brilliant game plan and Nick Foles' terrific execution of said plan to outlast an incredible offensive performance by Tom Brady. Outside of New England, the benching of Malcolm Butler will be a curious footnote at best.
 

Boston Brawler

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I don't think it's flu related. That doesn't explain Butler's postgame comments, it doesn't explain why he was available for special teams (as opposed to being inactive), and, even with large grains of salt taken, doesn't explain Browner's comments.
 

JimD

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Greg Bedard's take on BSJ:

The bottom line was that a Patriots defense that lacked big-time playmakers once Dont’a Hightower was lost for the season, lost the Super Bowl while one of their most proven big-game players watched the entire game (minus one special teams snap) from the sidelines behind his clear face shield.

Could Butler have helped get just one more stop? Could putting Chung on Ertz from the beginning helped keep the Eagles from converting 67 percent of their third- and fourth-down situations, including nine that went for at least 11 yards and two touchdowns?

To be honest, it’s hard to disagree with any of those second-guesses.

Belichick to blame?

But to do that, you have to conclude that William Stephen Belichick screwed up this game. The man who has won the most Super Bowls as a head coach (five) and who has devised some of the game’s most brilliant game plans, just set a course for disaster … for what, to satisfy his ego and to show how smart he was?

I’m sorry, I just can’t go there right now, even if Belichick gave some voice to that train of thought.

“In the end,” Belichick said after the epic shootout, “we just couldn’t quite make enough plays, and that was all on me.”

Those that follow this team know he says that sort of thing after every big loss. When the Patriots win, the players were responsible. If they lose, it’s on Belichick.
As for the Butler situation, I’m not calling Belichick out on that yet. There has to be more to this story, which is sure to leak at some point because Fort Foxborough has become a geyser of leaks this season.
https://www.bostonsportsjournal.com/2018/02/05/bedard-season-started-butler-issue-ends-one-much/
 

dcmissle

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No, it will not. The story of SB52 will be of Doug Pederson's brilliant game plan and Nick Foles' terrific execution of said plan to outlast an incredible offensive performance by Tom Brady. Outside of New England, the benching of Malcolm Butler will be a curious footnote at best.
And the story will be the stat of the game -- in many ways, the stat of the season -- posted last night by Ed Hillel:

No team has ever gained 600 yards of offense and lost. Playoffs, regular season, ever. Well, had. That has to be the craziest stat. 613 yards and lost lol.
(emphasis added)
Pats also did not punt -- but they at least have the company of two other teams in that statistic.

The Butler piece was a small piece. A significant piece, and maybe even outcome determinative -- along with at least a half dozen pieces -- but relatively small.

Big picture is that the defense was not even professional grade. If they were even the average bottom third defense in the League, the Pats win, maybe comfortably. This is Big 12 level crap.

Edit. I agree with a lot of Bedard writes, but one can believe BB screwed up this game without believing he did it at all intentionally or for spurious, ego-driven reasons.
 

Deathofthebambino

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For those dismissing the Browner instagram post, apparently Bademosi liked it as well as Hightower. This thing stinks, bad.
 

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Pg. 35 of "Win it For"
Grain of salt and all that, but in case anyone is interested, there are a bunch more Butler-related posts on Browner's Instagram. A couple have been "liked" by former Pats (not just current ones like Hightower) and one in particular is pretty pointed ("F** the politics," addressed to BB).
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
30,907
Deep inside Muppet Labs
For those dismissing the Browner instagram post, apparently Bademosi liked it as well as Hightower. This thing stinks, bad.
I can easily see it as being a divisive decision, and Butler seems well-liked by his teammates. I'd love to hear more about the reasoning.

But they got the whole offseason to get over it, plus the usual roster turnover will have a lot of these guys elsewhere, including Butler himself.
 

Deathofthebambino

Drive Carefully
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2005
32,153
Grain of salt and all that, but in case anyone is interested, there are a bunch more Butler-related posts on Browner's Instagram. A couple have been "liked" by former Pats (not just current ones like Hightower) and one in particular is pretty pointed ("F** the politics," addressed to BB).
Link it for those of us that don't do Instaface and Tweetbook.
 

RoyHobbs

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 13, 2005
1,800
Pg. 35 of "Win it For"
Link it for those of us that don't do Instaface and Tweetbook.
DotB, I'd love to but have to confess I'm kind of a luddite when it comes to sharing stuff from those apps. Someone else help out?

Definitely worth a glance...Browner, anyway, seems pretty annoyed that one of his backfield mates got held out. Fierce loyalty to Malcolm at best, signs of chinked armor at worst (and yes, I get how dumb Tom Jackson's remarks were all those years ago, but still).
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2008
28,478
AZ
I don't think it's flu related. That doesn't explain Butler's postgame comments, it doesn't explain why he was available for special teams (as opposed to being inactive), and, even with large grains of salt taken, doesn't explain Browner's comments.
Yup. So far, pretty much everything points in one direction. “They gave up on me” is what he said, and Patricia’s and Belichick’s quotes seem to confirm that was exactly the case.

They decided a guy who played virtually every down all year should play zero snaps, and that would be the highest chance of victory. They elected a defense that left him odd man out.

What they saw is very hard to imagine. Why they stuck with it is hard to contemplate. There is a chance that it was the right decision, but didn’t work out. There is a chance they would have lost anyway.

But, for a team that allowed five TDs and three field goals in ten drives the Occam’s razor answer is that it was a high risk and highly unconventional decision that went down spectacularly in flames on the biggest stage in sports. I want a “why” that makes sense, but I don’t think there is one. I think the coaching staff saw something they thought would help them and they failed profoundly and dramatically. Their track record on those calls is pretty good. That’s why this one hurts.