New England Patriots safety Devin McCourty claims the Patriots players knew Malcolm Butler would not be starting in the Super Bowl.
Whether that means they were aware the cornerback wouldn’t play at all is open for debate. McCourty tried to clear the air in an interview with NJ.com. Devin McCourty said he does not believe discipline was the reason for Butler not playing in the biggest game of the year.
“As far as I know, all of that is the furthest thing from the truth,” McCourty said. “We all knew he wasn’t starting all week. That wasn’t a secret to the guys on the team.
“I get why people are fishing. 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.”
Added McCourty: “It sucked for him. 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 stuff come out after.”
I can buy in that they may have know that Butler was not starting. Things start getting fuzzy when McCourty says he believes discipline was not a factor. There is no way Bill Belichick was going to withhold Malcolm Butler from every defensive play while the secondary was getting lit up. Butler would have either had to be injured or sick for him to go that route. Belichick obviously decided not to throw Butler under the bus and will probably forever be questioned on that decision. Chances are we will never know what really went down