Super Bowl 49 Hero, Malcolm Butler Benched in Patriots SB Loss

New England Patriots Malcolm Butler breaks up a pass to New York Jets Robby Anderson during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday Oct. 15 2017 in East Rutherford N.J

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick speaks to the media after losing 41-33 to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII on February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis. "I'm pretty sure that he was a little upset that he didn't play".

"I appreciate the question", Belichick said, "but it would be a much longer discussion".

"There's a lot of things that go into that", he said. "After the first touchdown, he came up to me and said 'Keep playing.' He's a great teammate". Bill Belichick didn't divulge many details other than to say he did 'what was best for the team'. The former West Alabama standout was on the field for 97.8 percent of New England's defensive snaps. He told ESPN's Mark Reiss that the team gave up on him.

"I respect Malcolm's competitiveness, and I'm sure that he felt like he could have helped". We just felt good about some of those situations that we had out there and some of the matchups that we had that they possessed based on the skill sets that they have. "Coach makes all the personnel decisions and I just play football". I didn't know whether to cheer for they ass.

Butler was just as effective a year ago in helping the Patriots defeat the Falcons.

Had Butler started, he most likely would've been responsible for Eagles number one receiver, Alshon Jeffery, who finished the game with 3 catches for 73 yards and a touchdown - somewhat modest numbers for a player of his caliber.

They didn't just get to the Super Bowl. And Butler kept sitting on that bench as time after time, Nick Foles sliced and diced the Patriots defense. He would end up being the hero back in 2014 against the Seattle Seahawks. he would also start in 15 regular-season games this year, ultimately appearing in all 16 for the Patriots.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick apparently benched Butler, telling NBC Sports it was a "football decision" at halftime and that he "made the decisions that give us the best chance to win". Butler was a linchpin in their secondary for three years, and he was able to shut down some of the game's top wide receivers during the playoffs.

Butler, who was emotional before the kickoff and wore his helmet on the sidelines during the game, was confused why he never got on the field. "I'm just anxious about the Eagles", he told's Ian Rapoport before Sunday's big game.

Malcolm Butler teared up in front of the estimated 111 million viewers during the pre-Super Bowl rendition of the national anthem.

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