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 http://www.billsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-marshall-newhouse-jersey , 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 Johnny Townsend Color Rush Jersey ,” 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.
The clock had ticked down to zero, and Minnesota fans were already deep into a celebration like no other.
In this city’s legal sports books, though, the outcome was still in doubt.
An extra point that wasn’t needed had to be attempted anyway. New Orleans players had to be brought back from the locker room to make a token effort to defend it.
In the minutes it took for the Vikings to finally line up and take a knee, many bettors who wagered on the point spread didn’t know whether to stand in line to cash their tickets or tear them up and toss them in the garbage.
”Millions and millions of dollars exchanged hands when they kneeled down at goal line Lamar Jackson Jersey Elite ,” said Jimmy Vaccaro, oddsmaker at the South Point hotel.
One of the most unimaginable endings in a playoff game made for some dicey moments in sports books around Las Vegas. While bettors on the money line either cursed or celebrated the final touchdown play, those who bet the point spread weren’t sure whether they were winners or losers.
If the Vikings had kicked the extra point, those who took the Saints at plus 5 1-2 points would go from winners to losers. Those who had the Vikings minus the points would swap places with them.
Just another playoff Sunday in a world where it’s not so much who wins, but which team covers the spread.
”When that play took place, the ones that knew they won were headed to the cashing line http://www.patriotsauthorizedshop.com/authentic-jason-mccourty-jersey ,” said Jay Kornegay of the Westgate Las Vegas sports book. ”Then the reality of the extra point came into play and everybody started talking about what they were going to do.”
The game capped a weekend that for the most part was spectacular for sports books, which won big on Jacksonville’s, win over Pittsburgh and also cashed in on Philadelphia’s home underdog win over Atlanta.
Though many books lost money on the Vikings game, they would have been even worse off without the final touchdown because so much money was bet on the Saints to win straight up on the money line.
”We did really well overall,” said Nick Bogdanovich of the William Hill chain. ”We just murdered those two games, Jacksonville and Philly.”
Things would have been even better had Tennessee not scored a meaningless touchdown in the final seconds that pushed the game against New England past the over/under and rewarded bettors who tend to favor the over in most games.
”In our world all those games came down to the last second Danny Shelton Color Rush Jersey ,” Kornegay said. ”Even in the one blowout the total was hinging on the last drive by the Titans.”
Oddsmakers said they had packed houses for both games, thanks to a strong economy and the exploding popularity of sports betting. Wagering on the NFL is up again this year, and most bookies say they expect a record Super Bowl handle, no matter which teams make it to the big game.
At the South Point, Vaccaro said he judged the crowd by the line at the hot dog cart, which was 25 long most of the weekend.
”All I can tell you is the handle is through the roof http://www.redskinsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-pernell-mcphee-jersey ,” Vaccaro said. ”We did as much on the two games each day as we do on a full plate of NFL on a regular season Sunday. It’s incredible to see.”