I find this very very hard to believe, but Rapaport is now reporting that he was benched for a variety of reasons, among them the fact that he showed up a day later because he was sick, and because of a "minor violation of team rules." If this is true, Belichek is a fucking idiot and in all likelihood cost the Patriots ring #6. Definitely a black mark on the record of what many consider to be the greatest coach of all time, a position I am now going to have to re-evaluate.
"One thing that Bill Belichick said this morning was that a lot goes into it," Rapoport said. "And yes, from what I understand, there are several factors that led Malcolm Butler, one of the team's top defensive players, to not be out on the field for the Super Bowl. Among those, he showed up a day later than teammates because he was sick. Remember, he was not at Opening Night. That was a factor. I'm also told that during practice this week he really struggled. Had a rough week of practice, perhaps because of illness, but maybe because of other things. That was one thing they had to consider in putting Eric Rowe out there instead of him.
"But I'm also told there were some other issues, disciplinary issues. There was a small or minor violation of team rules that happened earlier in the week that is one thing. And then there are some attitudes, frustrations as well. All of this combined to put Malcolm Butler not on the field with his teammates trying to win the Super Bowl, but on the sideline watching."
Edited by Thanatos, 05 February 2018 - 07:35 PM.