Locker Room Divided: Belichick’s Benching of Star Corner Malcolm Butler

As the Super Bowl came to an end it was clear that the issues with the Patriots was on the defensive side of the ball. The inability to stop the diverse Eagles offensive attack proved fatal in the long run. Missing from the Patriots defense Sunday night was star cornerback Malcolm Butler. Amazingly, Butler played a total of one snap (on special teams) the entire game. Removing this vital piece of the defensive puzzle seemed detrimental. I’m not going to say that if Butler is in the game that the Patriots win but, he sure would have givin them a better chance.  Belichick reportedly made the decision very close to game time. Many players did not hear of the decision until pregame routines began. The decision was  questioned by former Patriot Brandon Browner on social media, stating that “a lockeroom was divided pre game”.

Butler stand sidelineReports came out Monday on the reasoning behind Belichick’s benching of Butler. These reports state three main problems: Butler had been battling illness, Butler had a poor week of practice, and lastly Butler violated a minor team rule.

Butler was sick prior to the lead up to the game, his sickness actually caused him to arrive in Minneapolis a day behind the rest of the Patriots roster. It is believed that this sickness contributed to a poor week of practice. In practice, Butler was removed from some of his first team reps but, no one made any means of the actions. The last reported issues stands out the most to me. Butler reportedly violated a minor team rule. Butlers is believed to have been out past curfew, causing issues with the coaching staff. If true, Belichick stood by his belief in the “system” rather than favoring any one player.

After seeing the results of the decision we have to, for once, question Belichick. Did Belichick have too much pride to go back on his decision? At halftime, it was clearly BB MP MB.jpgevident that the Patriots defense needed a change. Yet, Belichick was still unwilling to give Butler a chance. It shocks me that a player who played in 97.83 percent of the regular season snaps didn’t even get a shot at making a difference in the biggest game of the year. Belichick clearly made a moral judgement. The craziest part is that Belichick will never have to explain or answer to any of us on the reason behind his judgement because he is Bill Belichick.

bxipmctn0rb1j5fwzj16As for Malcolm Butler, Butler will be an unrestricted free agent this off-season and I would be shocked if he chose to return to New England after going through this turmoil. Butler clearly showed remorse as tears rolled down his face during the National Anthem. The future is bright for this young star, and I hope that this moment does not haunt him for the rest of his career.

Update:

As of February 6th, Butler has come out and refuted all reports of disciplinary issues. Stating that he had no such problems leading up to the Super Bowl.

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Doug Pederson carries Nick Foles to Super Bowl Title 

Doug Pederson just out-coached the greatest coach of all time.

Doug Pederson just out-coached Bill Belichick while leading the Eagles to their first Super Bowl victory in franchise history.

It’s amazing to look at Pederson’s story. A mere ten years ago he was coaching a high school football team in Louisiana.  Calling plays for boys who were still worrying about getting into college and what they would be doing this weekend with their girlfriends. In Pederson HS.jpg2008, Pederson left his high school head coaching job for a entry level position with the Philadelphia Eagles. Beginning as offensive quality control coordinator, Pederson spent countless hours breaking down film and doing whatever was asked of him within the organization. Pederson made his way up the ranks, eventually being named the quarterbacks coach in 2011, he further advanced his career by joining Kansas City as offensive coordinator in 2013.   After spending two years in Kansas City, Pederson returned to Philadelphia. In his return he was crowned a masterful new title, Head Coach.

As head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Pederson has transformed the team into a family. It is clearly evident that the locker-room is behind the head coach and every decision he makes. After losing his first-round, MVP caliber quarterback, Pederson turned to Nick Foles and transformed Nick into a Super Bowl MVP.

In the Super Bowl, Pederson shined. Pederson’s offense pulled all its tricks out to top Bill Belichick on the biggest of stages. Pederson proved his genius with his superb play calling. It wasn’t just the play calling that was impressive but the ability of Pederson to adapt and modify the offense to match the skill set of his new starting quarterback, Nick Foles. As I watched the game progress I continually saw the magic of Pederson’s offense. Pederson did a masterful job of blending many college concepts into the NFL game, creating his own unique offensive scheme that outsmarted Belichick and the Patriots defense.

pederson win

Pederson undoubtedly, in my eyes, deserved the Coach of the Year award. It still baffles me that he only received 1 out of 50 votes at the NFL Honors award show. But, his hard work was not unrewarded. Pederson will return to Philly a hero. Head Coach of a Championship team. Etched into Eagles history, Pederson will not soon be forgotten

Super Bowl LII Reaction

What a thriller of a game. Nick Foles showed up and played the best damn game of his nick-foles-wife-daughter-super-bowl-14 (1)life. I never saw any panic from him, he just showed up and balled out. Foles treated the Super Bowl like any other game, shredding the non-existent Patriots defense. Doug Pederson’s genius play calling was on full display as Foles had every opportunity to use the weapons surrounding him, as well as making some stellar plays himself (you know; that one time he CAUGHT a touchdown pass).

Unlike I predicted, Belichick could not make the halftime adjustments needed to win the ball game. Matt Patricia’s defense had no answers all night. Forcing Brady and the offensive unit to carry the Patriots. And boy did Brady carry them. A 40-year-old man threw for 505 yards on 48 passing attempts. Come on, think about that, that is insane. Brady threw for 500 yards in a Super Bowl, the first QB to do so, allowing three receivers (Amendola, Hogan, Gronkowski) to have 100+ receiving yards. New England only committed one penalty and only punted once and some how it wasn’t enough. Who would have thought…

brady field sit.jpg

Entertaining every step of the way, the sports world watched in awe, admiring the beauty of such an unpredictable sport. Philadelphia most likely will not survive the night but, it sure is cool to see droughts end and people rejoice in happiness. Sports fans always win. Nick Foles won. Philadelphia won. Meek Mill won. For the first time in history, The Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl Champions.

Super Bowl LII Prediction

uper bowl LII

With Super Bowl LII approaching, this match-up is a tale of two completely different teams.  The New England Patriots have dominated the league, creating the NFL’s most successful dynasty in the process. The Patriots are aiming to win their third Super Bowl in four years, repeating as champions. Super Bowl XXIX Brady.jpgThis scenario is all too similar to the 2005 matchup in Super Bowl XXXIX, where the Patriots faced a similar foe in the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles look to avoid another defeat and claim the franchises first Super Bowl title. The Eagles have worked through various injuries throughout the season, most notable the season ending injuries to MVP candidate Carson Wentz and All Pro left tackle Jason Peters. The Eagles will have to rely on the talent surrounding their backup quarterback, Nick Foles, who excelled last week against the Vikings.

The game will be a close and tough contested battle. The Eagles will take a lead into halftime, due to the athleticism and talent of the Eagles roster. But, once Belichick has a chance to look at the film and make halftime adjustments the Patriots will begin to take somewhat command of the game. The game will certainly be close, the Patriots have an average winning margin of 3.8 points in Super Bowl victories. I believe that it will come down to Brady being Brady, cementing his legacy by leading a game winning drive to capture his record sixth Super Bowl title.

Final Score: Patriots 34 Eagles 27