Patriots’ Malcolm Butler has ‘a lot to prove’ in New England return; Bill Belichick praises veteran CB

Malcolm Butler last suited up for the Patriots in Super Bowl LII, and while he was a major contributor during the 2017 season, he didn’t take any defensive snaps in the NFL Championship.

New England then lost the game to the Philadelphia Eagles, and rumors spread as to why Butler didn’t play, with no definitive answer as to why. Head coach Bill Belichick said it was a “coach’s decision” and shortly after Butler signed with the Tennessee Titans.

Fast forward more than four years later, and Butler is back in New England preparing for his second stint with Belichick’s team after retiring ahead of the 2021 season and sitting out that year.

Butler feels he needs to step up and show he’s a valuable member of the team.

“I feel like I have a lot to prove, especially to myself. If I do it myself, I will prove it to my teammates at the same time. That’s why I work hard every day and I ‘trying to stay focused,’ he said in Patriots OTAs, through MassLive.

Butler started his career with the Patriots, and now he returns to Foxboro feeling “rejuvenated.”

“I feel good. I feel fresh. Well, I was until I got here and started running. Rejuvenated,” he said. “I took some time to deal with some things and I’m back here now. … I’m back in footballing shape, but I have more work to do.”

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Butler retired for personal reasons, but after a year watching from home, he was ready to return to the field. And whatever reason Belichick and the rest of the coaching staff decided to bench Butler in 2018, it’s all clearly under the bridge.

“Malcolm works hard, like he always has,” Belichick said. “Very competitive, out there looking for balls. His aggression, his style of play – we’re not in the pads, but yeah, it looks like it’s pretty much the same.”

Butler’s time with the Patriots may have ended with a surprising bench, but he’s also known as the hero of Super Bowl XLIX, intercepting Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson on the goal line seconds away. to play. The 32-year-old will look to repeat some of that magic when he returns to New England.

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