Belichick isn't saying why he benched Butler in Super Bowl - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Belichick isn't saying why he benched Butler in Super Bowl

(AP Photo/Steven Senne). New England Patriots defensive end Eric Lee takes questions from reporters in the team's locker room, Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, at Gillette Stadium, in Foxborough, Mass., following the team's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the ... (AP Photo/Steven Senne). New England Patriots defensive end Eric Lee takes questions from reporters in the team's locker room, Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, at Gillette Stadium, in Foxborough, Mass., following the team's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the ...
(AP Photo/Steven Senne). New England Patriots defensive end Eric Lee takes questions from reporters in the team's locker room, Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, at Gillette Stadium, in Foxborough, Mass., following the team's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the ... (AP Photo/Steven Senne). New England Patriots defensive end Eric Lee takes questions from reporters in the team's locker room, Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, at Gillette Stadium, in Foxborough, Mass., following the team's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the ...
(AP Photo/Steven Senne). Fans wave as a bus carrying New England Patriots NFL football players and staff arrives at Gillette Stadium, in Foxborough, Mass., Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, after the team's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL Super Bowl in ... (AP Photo/Steven Senne). Fans wave as a bus carrying New England Patriots NFL football players and staff arrives at Gillette Stadium, in Foxborough, Mass., Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, after the team's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL Super Bowl in ...
(AP Photo/Steven Senne, File). FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia leaves the field after an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Tennessee Titans in Foxborough, Mass. The Detro... (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File). FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia leaves the field after an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Tennessee Titans in Foxborough, Mass. The Detro...

By JIMMY GOLEN
AP Sports Writer

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick was no more forthcoming on Monday about his surprise benching of one-time Super Bowl star Malcolm Butler.

Speaking on a conference call the day after the Patriots blew their chance at a sixth NFL title with a 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Belichick said "there are a lot of things that go into that." He declined to be specific.

Butler's interception in the end zone in the final minute of the Super Bowl against Seattle clinched New England's 2014 NFL championship. He had been one of the Patriots' steadiest players this season, appearing in 98 percent of the defensive snaps and starting 17 of 18 games this season.

But the defensive back made it on the field for only one play on Sunday - on special teams. He appeared to be crying during the national anthem. And after the game, he told ESPN, that he "could have changed that game."

Belichick said on Monday: "I respect Malcolm's competitiveness, and I'm sure that he felt like he could have helped. I'm sure other players felt the same way."

Butler was not available to the media after the team's buses returned to their home stadium on Monday afternoon. Only a few dozen fans were waiting to greet them.

Only one player commented, defensive lineman Eric Lee.

"That doesn't concern me at all," he said when asked about Butler's benching. "I'm the wrong person to talk to about that."

Butler's locker had unopened packages loaded in front of it. On the shelves were game balls; at the bottom was a stack of cleats.

Butler is an unrestricted free agent this offseason. He's one of many holes the team would need to fill from a defense that gave up 538 yards in the Super Bowl.

Another is defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, who was hired as the head coach of the Detroit Lions on Monday. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is expected to get the top job in Indianapolis this week.

Belichick and owner Robert Kraft are also scheduled to meet to clear the air over the trade of Jimmy Garoppolo that left the Patriots without a successor to 40-year-old Tom Brady at quarterback.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • InternationalMore>>

  • Luxury property ad blitz heralds Trump son's visit to India

    Luxury property ad blitz heralds Trump son's visit to India

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 12:21 AM EST2018-02-20 05:21:37 GMT
    Wednesday, February 21 2018 2:37 AM EST2018-02-21 07:37:11 GMT
    The eldest son of President Donald Trump has arrived in India to help sell luxury apartments and lavish attention on Indians who have bought units in Trump-branded developments.
    The eldest son of President Donald Trump has arrived in India to help sell luxury apartments and lavish attention on Indians who have bought units in Trump-branded developments.
  • Lebanon gets tough on the press ahead of elections

    Lebanon gets tough on the press ahead of elections

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 1:12 AM EST2018-02-21 06:12:57 GMT
    Wednesday, February 21 2018 2:36 AM EST2018-02-21 07:36:56 GMT
    A string of criminal suits against Lebanese journalists and researchers has jolted this small country that is accustomed to styling itself as the main forum for ideas in the Middle East.
    A string of criminal suits against Lebanese journalists and researchers has jolted this small country that is accustomed to styling itself as the main forum for ideas in the Middle East.
  • Ukraine's president signs bill on Russia-backed regions

    Ukraine's president signs bill on Russia-backed regions

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 12:12 PM EST2018-02-20 17:12:39 GMT
    Wednesday, February 21 2018 2:36 AM EST2018-02-21 07:36:48 GMT
    Ukraine's president has signed a bill aimed at reintegrating the territories in the country's east that are controlled by Russia-backed separatists.
    Ukraine's president has signed a bill aimed at reintegrating the territories in the country's east that are controlled by Russia-backed separatists.
  • NationalMore>>

  • States could face severe flooding, other problems in Midwest

    States could face severe flooding, other problems in Midwest

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 1:55 AM EST2018-02-21 06:55:12 GMT
    Wednesday, February 21 2018 2:35 AM EST2018-02-21 07:35:10 GMT
    Several states could see severe flooding and other weather-related problems amid a storm system that has brought rain, ice and snow to the Midwest and Great Plains.
    Several states could see severe flooding and other weather-related problems amid a storm system that has brought rain, ice and snow to the Midwest and Great Plains.
  • 15-year-old shot 5 times protecting classmates from gunfire

    15-year-old shot 5 times protecting classmates from gunfire

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 3:51 AM EST2018-02-20 08:51:44 GMT
    Wednesday, February 21 2018 2:34 AM EST2018-02-21 07:34:46 GMT
    A 15-year-old Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student who was shot five times during the massacre is credited with saving the lives of at least 20 other students.
    A 15-year-old Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student who was shot five times during the massacre is credited with saving the lives of at least 20 other students.
  • Florida shooting survivors in capital, demand action on guns

    Florida shooting survivors in capital, demand action on guns

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 1:43 AM EST2018-02-21 06:43:29 GMT
    Wednesday, February 21 2018 2:34 AM EST2018-02-21 07:34:42 GMT
    Students who survived the Florida school shooting are preparing to flood the Capitol pushing to ban the assault-style rifle used to kill 17 people, vowing to make changes in the November election if they can't...
    Students who survived the Florida school shooting are preparing to flood the Capitol pushing to ban the assault-style rifle used to kill 17 people, vowing to make changes in the November election if they can't persuade lawmakers to change law now.
Powered by Frankly