Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports

Are Bill Belichick, Matt Patricia pleased with Malcolm Butler?

Ryan Hannable
September 19, 2017 - 1:23 pm

On Sunday against the Saints, Malcolm Butler didn’t get the start opposite Stephon Gilmore at cornerback, instead it was Eric Rowe.

Some thought this could have been because of how big the Saints are at wide receiver and Rowe being taller than Butler was the reason why, but maybe that wasn’t the case after all.

On Tuesday’s conference calls, Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia were asked about Butler and Rowe. Belichick had plenty of praise for Rowe, but when the two were asked about Butler, the focus of the responses was the past is in the past and this is a new year.

“Well, look, we’re into a new season, so I don’t think anybody’s performance this season is really where it needs to be or where it will be,” Belichick said when asked about Butler’s consistency. “We all need to do a better job – players, coaches – all of us across the board. Hopefully, we’ll all continue to get better during the course of the year. That’s why we practice, and meet, and come in here and work hard, so hopefully we’ll all be able to improve.”

Added Patricia: “In terms of asking me as far as for us defensively, you know it’s all about this year. I think what things have gone down in the past doesn’t really matter to us. We’re trying to get better for this year and the guys that are out there and positions or where we think they need to be right now currently and to help us win that particular week. Certainly with Eric Rowe involved coming in and having a full offseason, OTAs, training camp and doing a good job for us from that standpoint, I think all those guys that go out there and play have earned some time on the field and whatever that is depending on how the game is going kind of just plays itself out when we’re in the particular situation we’re in as far as the game is concerned.”

These comments would suggest the coaching staff is down a bit on Butler this season and is a situation worth monitoring.

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