Devin McCourty Makes Interesting Admission About Malcolm Butler Benching

by abournenesn

Feb 19, 2018

Devin McCourty would like to clear up a few things about Malcolm Butler’s benching in Super Bowl LII.

The New England Patriots safety on Sunday night addressed head coach Bill Belichick’s much-criticized decision not to play Butler on defense against the Philadelphia Eagles, insisting the move wasn’t for disciplinary reasons — and that his teammates knew Butler wasn’t playing several days before the game.

“As far as I know, all of that is the furthest thing from the truth,” McCourty told NJ.com’s Ryan Dunleavy during an appearance at a Rutgers-based fundraiser for his Tackle Sickle Cell charity. “We all knew he wasn’t starting all week. That wasn’t a secret to the guys on the team.”

McCourty’s comments don’t quite line up with reports that Belichick made the call to bench Butler hours before the game. Cornerback Eric Rowe, who started in Butler’s place, also claimed he learned of Butler’s absence right before kickoff.

Timeline aside, McCourty was adamant Butler didn’t do anything wrong off the field.

“I get why people are fishing,” McCourty said. “The guy played 98 percent of the plays. I just hate that for him character-wise going into free agency. It’s just not true. As far as I know — and I was there all week — not one time did anything come up.”

McCourty also seemed peeved by the anonymous reports suggesting Butler may have gotten into trouble during Super Bowl week.

“It sucked for him,” McCourty said. “He put a lot of time and effort in. However it falls, the last thing you want to do is not play a snap. To me, the worst part was to see all that (anonymous) stuff come out after.”

That part of McCourty’s story appears to hold up, as reports since have suggested Butler’s benching was “strictly performance-based.”┬áBut just when the Patriots found out their starting cornerback would be sidelined still seems murky.

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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