A lot of media are talking about Malcolm Butler today, and not in the way you might have expected heading into this season. When the cornerback was left out of the starting lineup against New Orleans (in favor of Eric Rowe) and played a limited role versus the Saints, many observers became curious about Butler's future with the Patriots.
Comments by head coach Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia this week are only furthering the speculation. Here's a sampling:
"Malcolm Butler is on notice. Plain and simple," a CSNNE.com editorial declares. "Improve your play, improve your attitude, improve your focus or else…"
"It doesn't take much reading between the lines to figure out something is up with Butler, and it isn't all that surprising, either," a WEEI.com scribe asserts.
"Nearly four weeks ago, Belichick raved about Butler's ball skills, calling him aggressive and instinctive," a *Boston Globe *writer notes. "It's unknown whether Butler fell out of favor with Belichick in recent weeks, but his playing time will be important to monitor as the season progresses."
And in the Boston Herald, you'll read, "It's no secret. Belichick is going to play the guys who give him the best shot to win. He's going with the players who are performing the best now and are fully on board with the program. He doesn't care who you are or how many Super Bowls you've won for him."
Elsewhere, it looked as if wide receiver Phillip Dorsett left New Orleans with a potentially serious knee injury, but he seemed more optimistic when asked by reporters about it this week. CSNNE.com offers details.
Another Boston Globe story focuses on Belichick's communication issues during the Saints game.
And on a lighter note, Boston.com provides a feature on one of our patriots.com colleagues, magician John Logan. Among the topics he discusses is New England's magically historic come-from-behind win in Super Bowl LI.
"For me personally, achieving something that you didn't think was possible, that's real magic."