Howe: Malcolm Butler Speculation ‘Up There With The Dumbest Analysis Ever’

BOSTON (CBS) — A certain show that airs from 2-6 p.m. on 98.5 The Sports Hub threw some speculation out there about Malcolm Butler on Tuesday. And apparently, the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe was none too pleased about it.

Michael Felger mentioned during the Felger & Mazz program on Tuesday that he’s heard about Butler being “stand-offish” at Patriots training camp and generally not having the best attitude with his teammates. Guest Greg Bedard, who has covered this year’s training camp for the Boston Sports Journal, said that he initially felt that way but not recently.

“I was watching [Butler] pretty closely, and his body language was ‘It’s all business now,'” said Bedard. “It wasn’t the happy-go-lucky young Malcolm anymore. … He was not talking to his teammates between drills when the cornerbacks were working on things. It was very sort-of cold.

“I will say, that has gotten better since then. You will see him and Gilmore laughing and things like that, but I think he came in with the attitude like ‘I have a chip on my shoulder, I don’t like how things are going on.’ But I think its sort of subsided a little bit.”

It’s unclear whether it was the Felger and Bedard speculation in particular that had Howe miffed, but Felger threw it out there on his show and Howe alluded to Bedard’s “body language” comment. (UPDATE: Felger later clarified on Felger & Mazz that he had heard the Butler speculation from another show, and Howe said on CSNNE that his problem was with Bedard’s reporting).

No matter who speculated on Butler first, Howe was quick to shoot it down.

“That ranks up there with the dumbest analysis I’ve ever heard in my nine seasons covering this team,” Howe told Toucher & Rich on Wednesday. “For somebody to put that out there who doesn’t routinely cover training camp … Malcolm Butler is who he is. He’s always been the same way. He’s not Gronk after drills. The guy performs on the field.

“I think this was an instance of trying to connect two dots that weren’t there. The kid’s been electric on the field from start to finish. I think analyzing body language on the sidelines is, more often than not, reckless and irresponsible.”

Howe also touched upon the development of backup quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett and Jimmy Garoppolo, as well as the likelihood of seeing Tom Brady and the other “big guns” on the Patriots in their first preseason game against the Jaguars. Listen to the full podcast above!

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