Malcolm Butler believes he's had a sub-standard training camp and preseason. He told reporters as much on Tuesday.
Yet, the cornerback welcomes the challenge from opposing QBs, as the Boston Herald details today.
"I'm just playing ball, trying to make the best of my opportunities," Butler said. "I want to play hard each and every play. I want to be great. I want to make good plays. I want to play great and help the team, and help myself."
A CSNNE.com column agrees that now is not the time to panic about the way Butler has, in his words, underperformed this preseason. The piece examines Butler's big plays surrendered this summer and concludes, "For Butler, three plays does not a summer make. He was excellent in joint practices against the Jaguars, and he had some highly-competitive battles against his own teammates -- particularly with Julian Edelman -- that he seemed to win more often than not earlier in camp.
Expectations are high not only for Butler, but also defensive end Trey Flowers following his star turn in Super Bowl LI. High expectations have made Flowers work harder, he maintained in a *Providence Journal *piece.
"You work to a starting job, you got to work hard to get it and then work as hard to keep it. It's just having that mentality each and every day. Coming in here, you obviously understand you have to work on your craft. You got to get better. That's the bottom line."
Elsewhere, with WR Julian Edelman out for the season, one CSNNE.com analyst makes a case for RB James White getting more attention in the Patriots' offense in 2017.
You've certainly heard of Butler, White, and Flowers, but might not be so familiar with Trevor Bates. The New England native and 2016 practice squad linebacker is working hard to stay in Foxborough this season. The Worcester Telegram & Gazette introduces us to Bates.
"I learned the defense the best I could [last year] and every day just went to work with a great ethic, a kind of blue-collar mentality regardless of whatever they asked me to do. And that kind of carried over to OTAs and camp [this summer]," Bates explains in part.
Meanwhile, rookie defensive end Deatrich Wise is trying to overcome an early-camp concussion to contribute to New England's defense again. NESN.com caught up with Wise yesterday.
"I knew the [concussion] protocols and procedures and why they were doing it. I'd rather be on the safe side than going back out there and hurting it some more. It sucked," Wise admitted about being on the shelf for much of August, "but I understand why."
Your daily Patriots 53-man roster projection is brought to you today by The Patriot Ledger. And on WEEI.com, you'll find an interesting "In, Out, Bubble" roster projection in advance of tomorrow's preseason finale here in Foxborough.
Finally, a couple of new Patriots documentaries will premiere in the coming days. NESN.com compiled their trailers on one page.