SBLII: What Did the Butler Do?

Super Nomario

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Looking at the snap counts today, the Patriots played really tight substitution patterns. Flowers played wire-to-wire and Harrison sat only 7 snaps. Ten guys played at least 75% of snaps, so there really weren't a lot of opportunities for some of the guys. Wise played only 6 snaps and Adam Butler just 13. Weird that they decided to do it that way, and obviously ineffective.
 
Nov 24, 2015
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My original thoughts were that Rowe and Gilmore would be on Jeffrey and Smith because of their size and Butler would be kicked inside on Agholor. That's what should have happened. It's inexcusable that this wasn't the plan. Hell, they didn't even have Gilmore follow Jeffrey until the 2nd half. The game plan was absolutely horrible.
BB has said repeatedly that slot corner and outside corner are different positions that require different skills. He's even gone so far to say that some corners can only play one side of the field.

Butler played almost no time in the slot this year, and the two previous years he played 225 snaps, and was terrible (128 passer rating against).


The guy who has consistently been the best in the slot is Patrick Chung.
 

RedOctober3829

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BB has said repeatedly that slot corner and outside corner are different positions that require different skills. He's even gone so far to say that some corners can only play one side of the field.

Butler played almost no time in the slot this year, and the two previous years he played 225 snaps, and was terrible (128 passer rating against).
If you want to put Rowe inside, fine. But Butler needed to be on the field. He's their 2nd best cover corner and by far their best tackling corner.
 

Comfortably Lomb

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BB makes risky decisions all the time, though. If Butler doesn't intercept Wilson in SB 49, BB gets roasted for not using his time outs at the end of the game to save time for Brady.

He made a risky move that superficially makes little sense, and it didn't work out. He'll get attacked for it, but I highly doubt he's going to change his approach.
Do you even want him to change his approach? His approach is part of what makes him the best ever or at least best of his generation. It’s part of the package.

What is really the plan here in this thread? Vent for a day or two about not winning a sixth!!! super bowl and then cool down and realize there is no one on the planet anyone wants coaching the team more than BB?
 

PedroKsBambino

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At the risk of going off-topic, and with the caveat that there's been some unusual replay reversals this season:

I can see why the Clement catch was upheld. I get the feeling from the replay that it was a very close play, and too close to reverse. The ball did slide, but it's a judgment call on whether he truly "lost" possession. He had one hand on it at least the whole time. I realize that alone is not enough to establish a catch, but it was about a close as a call can be, so letting the call on the field stand is a defensible decision in that situation.
I don't think one can really look at all the plays called non-catches this year and the Clement play and feel good about consistency. There are a bunch of plays that look like that, and were called catches live, that were reversed. This one should have been as well, by the rules---the ball was moving and not fully in his control after his first foot touched down, and he failed to get both feet down again before touching OOB.

I also think the current rules interpretation is too technical and those types of plays should be called catches. So it's a question of 'follow the rules' or 'do right' and I can't too worked up about landing on the latter. if the Pats had lost a TD on a technical rules interpretation in the game I'd feel differently, but they did not.

On the illegal formation, didn't Jeffrey check with the linesman? I get the complaint there, but seems like he did and also it was irrelevant to the play...for me, that's another 'ehhh....' kind of situation, not one I care to focus too much on
 
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I don't argue that Belichick may have put himself into a more difficult situation in the coming months (and maybe the coming seasons) with how he treated Butler last night, but when we talk 'legacy' I'm defining that as how Belichick will be remembered down the road and especially after he retires. Two Super Bowl rings as a member of the Giants staff, building the Patriots into the greatest modern-era dynasty to date, eight trips to the Super Bowl and five championships as a head coach, an undefeated regular season - how can anyone argue that all of those accomplishments will be tarnished by a single player personnel decision in one game?
Because all we keep hearing and talking about (myself included) is how the braintrust doesn't make mistakes in the areas of preparation and execution and adjustments. But last night, on the biggest stage, with two effin' weeks to prepare against Nick Foles.....BB and his rocket scientist (who everyone has been fawning over) provided a game plan that (if they didn't already have plenty of wind in their sails via past success) could very well lead to a firing / replacement of the Defensive Coordinator and some of his support staff.

At the very least, if he wasn't Bill Belichick - he'd be 'Grady Littled' in the New England Region.

As an aside: last year we ridiculed Atlanta's OC (Shanahan) about his putrid / stubborn performance in the second half of the SB. We all wondered aloud if he would be fired had he not already obtained the 49ers gig. I don't think this is any different.

I would want Patricia replaced if he wasn't already headed to Detroit. "That" is on Belichick....this was his guy and it was an inexcusable performance.

Now on top of all this we have the second best CB on the roster --- dressed in uniform and on the sidelines --- while watching this debacle play out. While a 40 year old QB (with a closing window) is providing the owner with a chance to win his sixth Super Bowl. But the head coach is doing it 'his way' and will provide a self-inflicted handicap on the team's chances and if someone (owner, players, fans) doesn't like it, it's too God Damn bad.

And you don't think this stains his legacy?!

This was self-inflicted and BB is going to have to answer for it and deal with the tarnishment.
 

RetractableRoof

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For those that are hypothesizing that Butler was sick - and BB should have tried to put him in there anyway to see if he could hang - "what would it have hurt?".

This game came down to one TD. Butler is not a tall guy, it is not his strength to be outjumping taller receivers in the red zone. So he couldn't really be asked to go into a partial field situation. If he had been put in to start a series and couldn't handle it, isn't there a good chance the Eagles hit his guy for a big play for a quick TD? Or that they speed things up and not let him get off the field? I'm not a coach, but if he was sick enough to not be reliable, one score to find out could have been the game anyway. People are talking about his ability to tackle - but if he was sick and wasn't in the right position to begin with, maybe he doesn't have the opportunity to make the tackle he is assumed to be better at. I'm not defending BB, but none of us really know the variables/parameters that went into BB thought process.

That said, I don't know if he was too sick to play, or what. But I do know that BB systemically prefers known quantities to variables in most any situation.
 

Ralphwiggum

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Do you even want him to change his approach? His approach is part of what makes him the best ever or at least best of his generation. It’s part of the package.

What is really the plan here in this thread? Vent for a day or two about not winning a sixth!!! super bowl and then cool down and realize there is no one on the planet anyone wants coaching the team more than BB?
I don't think anyone wants him fired. I think people would like to understand the decision. Of course he's never going to say anything about it so we'll be left grasping at reasons why on the internet. But there's something that just does not add up here. How does a guy go from playing 98% of the defensive snaps to stapled to the bench in the SB in favor of Johnson Bademosi? And if it was the game plan to not play Butler, why not adjust when things were going horribly wrong on defense on basically every single Eagle possession?

I would never presume to know what is better for the Patriots than Belichick. He's the best coach of all time. He doesn't think he owes fans an explanation of these kinds of things, and typically I am ok with that. But at times like these it makes it tough to stomach what we saw on the field last night.
 

j44thor

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Did Butler play regularly on ST in the reg season? If not then why have him active over someone who would normally get those ST snaps?
 

jablo1312

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My theory: they wanted to go with bigger corners on the outside, which would mean moving Butler into the slot. He is not a slot corner, and hasn't played well inside (backed up by the numbers above, but also anecdotally- he's been beat on drag routes from the slot a number of times in recent games). In addition to this, he was sick and unable to practice at his new position this week, and Belichick was uncomfortable with him out there w/o any reps at the slot. They felt more comfortable going with Bademosi.

After typing that out, it still feels like something is missing (could be a discipline issue), but that's my best shot at Occams' Razor.

I will say, I thought they big plays they gave up were more due to the safeties getting worked (Richards on the wheel route, Ertz downfield) or really, really good Nick Foles throws (Jeffrey TD, Torrey Smith on the right sideline, Clement TD). The defense has always been bend but don't break, and will concede yards in parts of the field with the intent of forcing the other team to make really tough plays near the red zone. There were a lot of pretty bad breakdowns, but at the end of the day Foles made pretty much every throw he to make. Not sure what else they could have done.
 

slowstrung

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So BB is fed up over tardiness and weed, tells Butler that he won't play defense because of it, but what the heck, you can play on ST. How does that make any sense?
 

BaseballJones

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BB is far and away the greatest coach in the history of the sport. He's led them to EIGHT Super Bowl games and FIVE Super Bowl championships. For a franchise that would have killed for ONE. Even if BB had a pretty terrible reason to not play Butler, does Bob Kraft really want someone else coaching the Patriots other than Belichick, given his unprecedented success? It's hard to imagine.

EDIT: I will add this though. Even though I don't want anyone but BB coaching this team, this is 2 of the last 3 years that he has made a decision that very well may have cost the team a Super Bowl. In 2015 we had the whole run straight at Miami for a whole game, not appearing to care that much about HFA deal. And then the Butler call last night. None of us really knows what's going on, so it's admittedly speculation. But still - last night and 2015 very easily could have been SB victories. Doesn't change that I don't want anyone but BB as the HC but...it's not a small thing either.
 

Hatcher Steals Home

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So BB is fed up over tardiness and weed, tells Butler that he won't play defense because of it, but what the heck, you can play on ST. How does that make any sense?
He played one snap on ST. It's not like he was on the field all evening (if the defense forced at least one more punt, not only would we have seen if Butler was on the punt return unit only, we may have a different perspective today anyway).
 

lexrageorge

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One explanation with Butler: there is "sick", and then there is truly sick. The illness slows him down some, Belichick decides that he ain't starting. But he has him dressed in case of injury. And there is the possibility that he could play a couple of special teams snaps in a pinch. He only played one, but the Eagles only punted once, and the Pats never punted.

Probably should have subbed him in sometime in the game, but for whatever reason it never happened. Bill could very well be kicking himself over that.

Or, it's the discipline thing. We'll see if there's fire around the (pun intended) smoke.
 

RG33

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The defense was a fatal flaw and Theo didn’t trade Nomar. Pretty simple.
 

DJnVa

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That flies in the face of BB's response that it was not a disciplinary move.
Sure, but then BB could somehow argue semantics--with a lack of focus he wasn't being punished per se, but we thought others were better positioned mentally.
 

DannyDarwinism

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This guy is utterly full of shit with 90% of his NBA stuff, and has the corresponding reputation. As far as I can tell, he just makes up outrageous stuff in the hope he gets retweets and followers.
 

nolasoxfan

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For those that are hypothesizing that Butler was sick - and BB should have tried to put him in there anyway to see if he could hang - "what would it have hurt?".

This game came down to one TD. Butler is not a tall guy, it is not his strength to be outjumping taller receivers in the red zone. So he couldn't really be asked to go into a partial field situation. If he had been put in to start a series and couldn't handle it, isn't there a good chance the Eagles hit his guy for a big play for a quick TD? Or that they speed things up and not let him get off the field? I'm not a coach, but if he was sick enough to not be reliable, one score to find out could have been the game anyway. People are talking about his ability to tackle - but if he was sick and wasn't in the right position to begin with, maybe he doesn't have the opportunity to make the tackle he is assumed to be better at. I'm not defending BB, but none of us really know the variables/parameters that went into BB thought process.

That said, I don't know if he was too sick to play, or what. But I do know that BB systemically prefers known quantities to variables in most any situation.
They shouldn’t have dressed him if he was too sick to play. Activate a freaking healthy body if that was the case.
 

OurF'ingCity

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One explanation with Butler: there is "sick", and then there is truly sick. The illness slows him down some, Belichick decides that he ain't starting. But he has him dressed in case of injury. And there is the possibility that he could play a couple of special teams snaps in a pinch. He only played one, but the Eagles only punted once, and the Pats never punted.
I guess, but when asked, wouldn't Butler have said that rather than "they gave up on me?" I do think the sickness played into it, though - my guess is he was limited in practice all week due to sickness and they thought that combined with Rowe being taller was the better choice. That still doesn't explain why they didn't at least throw Butler in there for a series to see how he performed in the second half, though, or put him in in limited roles. That's where I come back to the fact that this could only be needless rigidity on the part of the coaching staff - "we have our game plan and we're sticking to it regardless" - which just strikes me as very un-Belichickian.
 

lexrageorge

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I guess, but when asked, wouldn't Butler have said that rather than "they gave up on me?" I do think the sickness played into it, though - my guess is he was limited in practice all week due to sickness and they thought that combined with Rowe being taller was the better choice. That still doesn't explain why they didn't at least throw Butler in there for a series to see how he performed in the second half, though, or put him in in limited roles. That's where I come back to the fact that this could only be needless rigidity on the part of the coaching staff - "we have our game plan and we're sticking to it regardless" - which just strikes me as very un-Belichickian.
Again, using Occam's Razor: it could have been one of those situations where Belichick and Patricia are thinking they really cannot count on Butler playing on defense. And so they never really think to stop and think for a minute "Hey, let's move Butler into backfield rotation and see if he can help". Perhaps they thought by adjusting Rowe's and Gilmore's assignments some, that would suffice.

Before you know it, it's the 4th quarter, Butler hasn't played a meaningful snap, and Patricia is thinking that bringing a cold Butler off the bench is not a better option than trying to coax some plays out of the guys they have.

Yeah, it's still unlike Belichick, but while he's a great coach, he makes mistakes, too. The above scenario is simply a case of the game getting away from them a little bit, which is truly unusual with BB (although it does periodically happen).

Butler does not seem like the type of player that would say "I was too sick to play". Most athletes at that level want to play no matter what.
 

Otis Foster

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Because all we keep hearing and talking about (myself included) is how the braintrust doesn't make mistakes in the areas of preparation and execution and adjustments. But last night, on the biggest stage, with two effin' weeks to prepare against Nick Foles.....BB and his rocket scientist (who everyone has been fawning over) provided a game plan that (if they didn't already have plenty of wind in their sails via past success) could very well lead to a firing / replacement of the Defensive Coordinator and some of his support staff.

At the very least, if he wasn't Bill Belichick - he'd be 'Grady Littled' in the New England Region.

As an aside: last year we ridiculed Atlanta's OC (Shanahan) about his putrid / stubborn performance in the second half of the SB. We all wondered aloud if he would be fired had he not already obtained the 49ers gig. I don't think this is any different.

I would want Patricia replaced if he wasn't already headed to Detroit. "That" is on Belichick....this was his guy and it was an inexcusable performance.

Now on top of all this we have the second best CB on the roster --- dressed in uniform and on the sidelines --- while watching this debacle play out. While a 40 year old QB (with a closing window) is providing the owner with a chance to win his sixth Super Bowl. But the head coach is doing it 'his way' and will provide a self-inflicted handicap on the team's chances and if someone (owner, players, fans) doesn't like it, it's too God Damn bad.

And you don't think this stains his legacy?!

This was self-inflicted and BB is going to have to answer for it and deal with the tarnishment.
Did BB diss you somehow? You seem to have a real thing about him that goes beyond legitimate criticism of last night's performance (which is btw appropriate). In a run of victories practically unmatched in NFL history, he mails in one stinker. Agreed, but how does that justify the vitriol you dump on him?
 

dcmissle

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“You know it, I know it, the country knows it — and most importantly, the Patriots themselves know it — that keeping Malcolm Butler on the bench cost them Super Bowl LII,” Curran writes.
Wow. I disagree as framed -- defeat did not have one dad.

But this is a very strong take from a judicious, knowledgeable and highly respected source, somebody as far removed from Shank and Felger as exists in this market.

Put the popcorn back on. This has legs.
 
Nov 24, 2015
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If you want to put Rowe inside, fine. But Butler needed to be on the field. He's their 2nd best cover corner and by far their best tackling corner.
I think their thought was that Butler was too small to cover the outside guys and is terrible in the slot, so Rowe outside and Chung inside was a better alignment than Butler outside and Rowe inside. Maybe that was incorrect, maybe not. With the reports that Butler was sick - its probably correct.

Is Butler with the flu their second best corner? I doubt it.
 

Al Zarilla

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Confess to not having read the whole thread here but as far as the height reason for using Richards and Bademosi instead of Butler, Butler is listed at 5’11”, Bademosi at 6’ and Richards at 5’11”. Now, Butler at 5’11” sounds generous. Still, I’d bet height had little to nothing to do with it. Bill’s a football historian par excellence, so he knows about guys like Darrell Green who’s 5’9”. Baffling.
 

ifmanis5

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For what it is worth, WEEI is reporting that Kraft is furious that Butler did not play.
And he should be.

For now let's take everyone at their word.
BB: Football decision
Butler: Football decision.

The defense gave up 41 points based on that football decision. The results speak for themselves.
Yes, let's see what comes out about this but as of now, it looks like what it looks like.
 

dcmissle

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And he should be.

For now let's take everyone at their word.
BB: Football decision
Butler: Football decision.

The defense gave up 41 points based on that football decision. The results speak for themselves.
Yes, let's see what comes out about this but as of now, it looks like what it looks like.
For the record, I think somebody who listened to the station this morning stated here that '
eei is ESPNing this. Imagining how Bob Kraft reacted, just like imagining the reactions to BB/TB retirements after the game.
 

TheoShmeo

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Did BB diss you somehow? You seem to have a real thing about him that goes beyond legitimate criticism of last night's performance (which is btw appropriate). In a run of victories practically unmatched in NFL history, he mails in one stinker. Agreed, but how does that justify the vitriol you dump on him?
Otis, I'm as grateful to Bill Belchick as anyone. And while Buck's tone is a little strident, I have trouble disagreeing with anything he said. What specifically do you disagree with? Last night was well beyond "mailing in a stinker." It was about a piss poor defensive game plan and a series of personnel decisions (Butler out at 2, Rowe in at 2, Richards getting a lot of playing time, last second informing of both players and keeping Rowe on Jeffrey for a half) that were indeed putrid. Said differently, my gratitude to Bill doesn't change, even a little bit, my disappointment over coaching blunders that seemingly contributed mightily to a SB loss.

One of the great things about being a Pats fan during this run has been the knowledge that we have a brilliant HC (and GM). The most frustrating times for me as a sports fan are when the manager makes winning much harder. That's why I took the Pedro/Grady game so hard, and why having John Farrell as the manager was tough for me as a Sox fan. We can quibble about my analysis there, but the wonderful difference with the Pats has been that they almost always did the smart thing. Sure, individual decisions have made me wonder, and I still hate the Jimmy trade in the middle of the season given the lack of QB insurance and still wonder about the last two games of the 2015 season and the resulting loss of the HFA in the AFCCG. But until last night, I have never thought that Bill had a Grady Moment or series of them. To the contrary, I thought that was impossible. That he was well above that. And now we have last night and whatever fall out comes from it.
 

Leather

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It's not a "Grady Moment" because we still don't know the whole story. Grady Little A) left Pedro in too long; when B) he had an awesome bullpen to rely on. And there was really no justifying it. If it had turned out that Embree, Timlin, and Willimson all had the flu that day, or had suddenly lost 5 MPH from their fastball that week for some reason, suddenly Little's decision wouldn't look nearly as bad.

Here, we have no idea what was going on with Butler.

People here who are reluctant to jump on Bill Belichick, and wave away the "tarnished legacy!" stuff aren't defending the defensive performance or the coaching thereof in general. But to ascribe motive to Belichick beyond "He did what he thought was best" isn't justified, at least not yet. Every few years, it seems, Bill "loses his fastball!" and "lets his ego take over!" It's happened before on this site. When they went for it on 4th and 15 against the Giants, and 4th and 1 against the Colts, people were making the exact same pronouncements. Hell, they/you said it when he cut Milloy and again when he traded Seymour. I'd wager that some people were saying it when Bledsoe came back and didn't get his starting job back. It wasn't true then and I'm confident it's not true now. That a decision is bad in hindsight does not necessarily mean it was ill informed or misguided at the time it was made.
 
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Deathofthebambino

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It's not a "Grady Moment" because we still don't know the whole story. Grady Little A) left Pedro in too long; when B) he had an awesome bullpen to rely on. And there was really no justifying it. If it had turned out that Embree, Timlin, and Willimson all had the flu that day, or had suddenly lost 5 MPH from their fastball that week for some reason, suddenly Little's decision wouldn't look nearly as bad.

Here, we have no idea what was going on with Butler.

People here who are reluctant to jump on Bill Belichick, and wave away the "tarnished legacy!" stuff aren't defending the defensive performance or the coaching thereof in general. But to ascribe motive to Belichick beyond "He did what he thought was best" isn't justified, at least not yet. Every few years, it seems, Bill "loses his fastball!" and "lets his ego take over!" It's happened before on this site. When they went for it on 4th and 15 against the Giants, and 4th and 1 against the Colts, people were making the exact same pronouncements. Hell, they/you said it when he cut Milloy and again when he traded Seymour. I'd wager that some people were saying it when Bledsoe came back and didn't get his starting job back. It wasn't true then and I'm confident it's not true now. That a decision is bad in hindsight does not necessarily mean it was ill informed or misguided at the time it was made.

If folks want a baseball analogy to what happened, I'll give you one. Assuming this was a football decision, this would be the equivalent baseball decision:

It's game 7 of the world series, and your #3 starter who went 15-12, 4.10 ERA, 105 ERA+ is rested and ready to go. A half hour prior to the game, the manager decides to go with the #5 starter who was 9-16, 5.89 ERA and an 82 ERA+, because he liked the matchup better. The #5 then goes on to walk 8 batters in the first inning and give up 4 runs. The Red Sox score 3 in the bottom of the inning. The manager still doesn't make a move, and after 3 innings, the Sox are down 9-7.

Finally, in the top of the fourth, he goes to the bullpen, and he doesn't bring in the rested #3 starter to give him some long innings. He goes with a rookie that happened to some how end up on the playoff roster as the last man, and he gives up 5 runs in 2 innings.

This goes on for the rest of the game. The manager never brings in his stud closer, his top relievers, but rather, he just keeps on trotting out the worst guys on the team, the last guys on the bench, as it were, and the Sox end up losing a heartbreaker by the score of 18-16. The Sox set every offensive record, and still manage to lose.
 

axx

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I guess the point should be if it really was a football decision, then he should have played in the second half at least when it was obvious what they were doing wasn't working.
 

dcmissle

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If folks want a baseball analogy to what happened, I'll give you one. Assuming this was a football decision, this would be the equivalent baseball decision:

It's game 7 of the world series, and your #3 starter who went 15-12, 4.10 ERA, 105 ERA+ is rested and ready to go. A half hour prior to the game, the manager decides to go with the #5 starter who was 9-16, 5.89 ERA and an 82 ERA+, because he liked the matchup better. The #5 then goes on to walk 8 batters in the first inning and give up 4 runs. The Red Sox score 3 in the bottom of the inning. The manager still doesn't make a move, and after 3 innings, the Sox are down 9-7.

Finally, in the top of the fourth, he goes to the bullpen, and he doesn't bring in the rested #3 starter to give him some long innings. He goes with a rookie that happened to some how end up on the playoff roster as the last man, and he gives up 5 runs in 2 innings.

This goes on for the rest of the game. The manager never brings in his stud closer, his top relievers, but rather, he just keeps on trotting out the worst guys on the team, the last guys on the bench, as it were, and the Sox end up losing a heartbreaker by the score of 18-16. The Sox set every offensive record, and still manage to lose.
Why must you drag Dusty Baker into this?
 

JimD

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This goes on for the rest of the game. The manager never brings in his stud closer, his top relievers, but rather, he just keeps on trotting out the worst guys on the team, the last guys on the bench, as it were, and the Sox end up losing a heartbreaker by the score of 18-16. The Sox set every offensive record, and still manage to lose.
Wait, the #3 starter was also the team's stud closer?
 

troparra

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If folks want a baseball analogy to what happened, I'll give you one. Assuming this was a football decision, this would be the equivalent baseball decision:

It's game 7 of the world series, and your #3 starter who went 15-12, 4.10 ERA, 105 ERA+ is rested and ready to go. A half hour prior to the game, the manager decides to go with the #5 starter who was 9-16, 5.89 ERA and an 82 ERA+, because he liked the matchup better. The #5 then goes on to walk 8 batters in the first inning and give up 4 runs. The Red Sox score 3 in the bottom of the inning. The manager still doesn't make a move, and after 3 innings, the Sox are down 9-7.

Finally, in the top of the fourth, he goes to the bullpen, and he doesn't bring in the rested #3 starter to give him some long innings. He goes with a rookie that happened to some how end up on the playoff roster as the last man, and he gives up 5 runs in 2 innings.

This goes on for the rest of the game. The manager never brings in his stud closer, his top relievers, but rather, he just keeps on trotting out the worst guys on the team, the last guys on the bench, as it were, and the Sox end up losing a heartbreaker by the score of 18-16. The Sox set every offensive record, and still manage to lose.
Going with baseball, maybe it's like a Tito/Manny thing, when Tito was fed up with Manny. Maybe BB was fed up with Butler (for doing what, I don't know). The difference is Tito had Theo forcing his hand while BB is all powerful.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2008
43,965
AZ
These Belichick quotes really seem to confirm the most obvious explanation.

They made a strategic call. And they went down in flames with it. If Bademosi gets a pick, I guess we have the theme for Do Your Job 6.

But, he didn't. They tried something. It failed. It very well may have put the defense out of sorts. It may have cost them the game. And it was a decision that ended up with a guy who gave us an awful lot of joy three years ago crying during the national anthem.

Can it really just be that? It is an answer that doesn't compute with us laypeople. It is very hard to fathom. And, so, we want the answer to be something it's not. But the answer seems to be simple. The greatest NFL coach of all time decided the team had a better chance to win without Butler than with him, and he seemingly believed that right up until the very end of the game.

There is no other answer. There is no bad Malcolm. There is no "flu" -- or maybe the flu was part of what went into the decision given reps in practice. There is no bag of marijuana. There is a coach, on the greatest stage, taking a very weird shot to win the Super Bowl and missing the target.

With imperfect information, it sure seems like a very serious miscalculation by a very good coach. But, it is what it is.
 

PaulinMyrBch

Don't touch his dog food
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 10, 2003
8,316
MYRTLE BEACH!!!!
I can understand if for 'what's best for the team reasons' Rowe is out there due to the size of the two primary WR's. I can also understand that due to facts we can't confirm, that Butler was possibly behind the curve learning the game plan and may not have been as ready as Rowe. So for reasons that are completely about what's best for the team, I get Rowe starting and Butler on the bench.

What I don't get is out of 75 defensive snaps, Butler isn't on the field for any of them. So for me this is a mixture. Even if the football related reasons account for 2/3rds of the lost playing time (generous), discipline must account for at least the other 1/3rd. I'm hoping we get the real story at some point, but I'm not hopeful we ever do.
 

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
55,995
deep inside Guido territory
These Belichick quotes really seem to confirm the most obvious explanation.

They made a strategic call. And they went down in flames with it. If Bademosi gets a pick, I guess we have the theme for Do Your Job 6.

But, he didn't. They tried something. It failed. It very well may have put the defense out of sorts. It may have cost them the game. And it was a decision that ended up with a guy who gave us an awful lot of joy three years ago crying during the national anthem.

Can it really just be that? It is an answer that doesn't compute with us laypeople. It is very hard to fathom. And, so, we want the answer to be something it's not. But the answer seems to be simple. The greatest NFL coach of all time decided the team had a better chance to win without Butler than with him, and he seemingly believed that right up until the very end of the game.

There is no other answer. There is no bad Malcolm. There is no "flu" -- or maybe the flu was part of what went into the decision given reps in practice. There is no bag of marijuana. There is a coach, on the greatest stage, taking a very weird shot to win the Super Bowl and missing the target.

With imperfect information, it sure seems like a very serious miscalculation by a very good coach. But, it is what it is.
I'll give them the benefit of the doubt if they wanted to try something like sitting Butler. But, it obviously was not working in the first half. The Eagles completely gutted the secondary in the first half and an adjustment needed to be made.