Roughly two months after his Super Bowl benching, ex-Patriots turned Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler is still wondering what the hell happened. He admitted as much to Sports Illustrated during a recent interview where he talked about playing zero snaps in the biggest game of the season just two weeks after playing every snap in the Patriots' 24-21 AFC Championship Game win over the Jaguars. In addition, Butler stated that he considered asking head coach Bill Belichick mid-game about the snub but ultimately decided against it (no doubt to the chagrin of NBC executives looking for plotlines to talk about).
“There was times when I was on the sideline and I just wanted to go up and say to Belichick or [defensive coordinator] Matt Patricia and just say, ‘Is this how we’re gonna end this?’" Butler said. "I grew up in the Patriots system and I’m a man of God. I respect my authority and I just couldn’t ask them for something they didn’t want to do. I just was doing my job. I was close to going up there and saying what I wanted to say to Matt or Belichick, but I just stayed in my lane and just did my job. And I really wanted to go ask him, but I didn’t."
Because it's not the way he does things (at all, really), Belichick still has not explained Butler's benching outside of saying it was a "coach's decision" unrelated to disciplinary issues. However, rather uncharacteristically, Belichick did say that there could've been a "much longer discussion" over Butler's benching but failed to elaborate because, again, that's how he does things. Given his track record, it does seem a little weird to be questioning him, but that's how it goes, especially when your defense gets humiliated by yielding 41 points in a loss.