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Devin McCourty sympathizes with Malcolm Butler after CB was benched in Super Bowl LII

Ryan Hannable
February 23, 2018 - 12:41 pm

Despite no new information, the Malcolm Butler story will not go away.

Appearing on Sirius XM radio Friday, for the second time this week Devin McCourty was asked about Butler not playing a single defensive snap in Super Bowl LII. McCourty said it was known he wouldn't start, but not that he wouldn't play at all. He deferred to what Bill Belichick said afterwards, that it was a football decision.

McCourty also sympathized with the 27-year-old after he played 98 percent of the regular-season snaps and then didn't play any in the biggest game of the year.

“We never really knew," McCourty said. "To me, it was bad for him as far as he’s been a great teammate. We have enjoyed obviously a lot of success together, so just being able to not be out there, I think for any guy when you get on a team and make it to the Super Bowl, every guy wants to be out there to help the team. Malcolm has been a great teammate and a great friend of mine for the last four years.”

Added McCourty: “The starting part we knew, but not playing, I think Bill [Belichick] said after the game, it was a straight coaching decision. You know, that is how the NFL works, the coaches coach and the players play. We just played. It was a situation where that’s how it ended.”

As for if having Butler on the field would have made a difference, McCourty said the Patriots defense needed a lot of help that night.

“A lot hurt us defensively in the game," he said. "We didn’t stop much of anything. What was the score? They had 40 points. [Tom] Brady threw for 500 yards, so defensively it was a lot of us — we could go down the list of Hall of Famers both teams could have used. Us more than them, though.”

Some have said the culture is changing in New England with the reported tension between Tom Brady, Belichick and Robert Kraft, but McCourty said the culture is winning, and that will never change.

“No, I would say when you play in the NFL it is something new each year of what comes up that could be a possible distraction," he said. "One year it is Deflategate, the next year it is Bill and Tom hate each other. You could go down the list of things that come up, but I think the culture part of New England is no matter what comes up, let’s just go out there and win football games. As long as Coach Belichick is there and his staff, I think that will be the culture no matter what comes up."

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