All the reports about New England Patriots players being bothered by Malcolm Butler’s benching in the Super Bowl seem to be accurate.
Tom Brady spoke at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Santa Monica, Calif. on Monday and was interviewed by host Jim Gray. Gray asked Brady about Butler being benched in the Super Bowl. The veteran quarterback said he wished Butler had played.
“I don’t make the decisions, I wish he would’ve played but the coach decided not to play him,” Brady said.
Tom Brady was asked today why Malcolm Butler didn't play in the Super Bowl?
— Chad Amaral (@chad_amaral) May 1, 2018
Brady also said he didn’t realize until after the game that Butler had been benched, though he did acknowledge finding it odd that Butler was talking to him on the sidelines instead of being on the field.
“I’ll say this: For a team, this side of the room is the offense and this side is the defense,” Brady said, as transcribed by MassLive.com. “We don’t interfere with them much. I didn’t know. Malcolm kept coming over to me during the game and was like ‘Come on, TB, let’s go!’ And I kept going, ‘What defense are we in where Malcolm’s not on the field?’ Is it short-yardage, goal line? And then after the game, I found out. So I just didn’t know. And I asked Malcolm and Malcolm said, ‘I don’t know. Coach has just decided something different.’ I said, ‘OK.’ So I don’t know what was a part of that decision-making, but I know we were trying to win the game. I don’t think we were trying to do anything but win.”
Brady publicly expressed his support for Butler after the Super Bowl with his social media activity. Butler has since moved on by signing with the Tennessee Titans, but the surprise benching during the Super Bowl continues to leave Patriots players feeling like they let one get away against Philly.