BOSTON (CBS) — It’s going to be a while until we hear from Bill Belichick again, and the Patriots head coach really didn’t answer any of the lingering questions from Sunday night’s Super Bowl loss on a Monday morning conference call.
Plenty of questions still remain after New England’s 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, the biggest of which is Belichick’s decision to not play No. 2 cornerback Malcolm Butler. People really want to know the “why” behind that decision, but per usual, Belichick isn’t saying much.
“It would be a much longer discussion. There are a lot of things that go into that. In the end, the final decision is what I said it was,” Belichick replied on Monday.
“I respect Malcolm’s competitiveness. I’m sure that he felt like he could’ve helped. I’m sure other players felt the same way,” he added. “In the end, we have to make decisions that are best for the football team.”
Eric Rowe saw the bulk of the action when the Patriots went with a two-corner set on Sunday, and it was Johnson Badamosi getting the call when they went with three corners. Asked why he would go with an undrafted rookie over Butler, the hero of Super Bowl XLIX three years ago, Belichick didn’t offer up much of an explanation.
“He practiced it the most,” he said of Bademosi.
Rowe said he didn’t know he’d be getting the start until just before kickoff on Sunday. He also said Butler practiced as part of different packages during the week leading up to Super Bowl LII, making Belichick’s decision even more baffling.
This was the head coach’s final media obligation following the Super Bowl, so we may not hear from him again until the NFL Draft gets closer. By then, Malcolm Butler will likely be on a new team.
So that shroud of mystery will remain, at least until some of the juicy details start to leak out from either camp. But it’s a decision Belichick won’t live down anytime soon.
The Patriots coach got a little snippy when he was again asked about his future with the Patriots, a question that came up several times on Monday. Belichick said he expects to be back next season on Sunday night, and doesn’t think he needs to expand on that response.
“I’ve addressed that question,” he said. “I’m not going to be asked the same question every day. That’s ridiculous.”