West Alabama is not exactly getting national coverage, but one of it’s former players is getting attention from members of the media, and for good reason. Malcolm Butler’s stock has been on the rise since hitting the practice field with the Patriots.
“I think he’s done a good job every day, coming out there being ready to compete,” Head coach Bill Belichick said, prior to training camp practice last week. “He’s a got a long way to go. He’s got a lot to learn.”
Butler unfortunately comes with a checkered past, being arrested for the possession of drug paraphernalia. The criminal past, coupled with playing Division II football, it came as no surprise Butler did not hear his name called during the draft. Funny though, it all seemed to work out in the end. Butler is playing for the Patriots, lining up opposite Darrelle Revis in Friday nights game against the Eagles. In practice, working against Tom Brady, even picking off a pass last week, while covering Kenbrell Thompkins. All of these factors is something Butler is soaking up.
“Yeah, I am amazed about it,” Butler referring about ending up with the Patriots, via NESN.com “But it was the long route here. Things just don’t go as you planned, but you just gotta keep pushing at things. Yeah, I am honored, and it’s an honor and a big privilege being here and playing with the New England Patriots. I take advantage of my opportunities every day, every chance I get.”
During the Patriots loss to the Washington Redskins, in week one of the preseason, Butler made six tackles and broke up two passes, followed by a near interception on defense. He also added a stop on special teams. Ending the night as one of the bright spots for the Patriots in a dismal performance by the teams defense.
Butler followed up his first performance with another exciting game against the Eagles on Friday night. Including a pass break-up in the end zone for the second week in a row, and forcing a fumble and recovering it in the third quarter.
Going from a virtual unknown, to a must have, is a surprise and a welcome one at that. It would appear the Patriots are making room for Butler. Moving fellow corners, Logan Ryan and Kyle Arrington, to safety during action against the Eagles. It’s a roster shake up, a newsworthy one, that might continue all the way into the season. With Brandon Browner being suspended for the first four games of the season, it’s inevitable that there is a spot available beside Revis, Butler is going out there and winning it.
Did you enjoy the Patriots vs Eagles game? Want more insight? Or just a different opinion? Boy are you in luck! Our very own CLNSRadio personalities Jeff Kane and Patrick Shankour break down the game. From highlights to the lows, they have you covered with Patriots post game content.