Following the Patriots loss to the Eagles in the Super Bowl, Monday morning quarterbacks across Patriot Nation were aiming their fire at Bill Belichick’s surprise decision to bench starting corner Malcolm Butler in favor of little used backup Eric Rowe.
The move caught fans by surprise, and rumors were flying that Patriot players were also blindsided by the decision.
While speaking with NJ.com at a charity function in Jersey, New England defensive captain Devin McCourty revealed that Butler’s benching may have been a game-time shock for fans, but Patriot players knew about the decision well ahead of kickoff.
According to McCourty:
“As far as I know, all of that is the furthest thing from the truth. 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.”
The decision is still a bad one, but it wasn’t done in the locker room shattering manner, 5-minutes before kickoff as some have described. As often happens, the truth comes out well after the narrative has already taken a foothold with the public.
Either way, the rest is history:
What a throw.
What a catch.
Alshon Jeffrey Moss’d Eric Rowe!
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) February 4, 2018