I’ve said this a few times since the Super Bowl but the Butler situation is the first time I’ve considered straying from the Church of Belichick. His MO has always been “whatever it takes to win championships” and you can very strongly argue that this decision here cost them one. Belichick himself says that players win games, coaches lose them. Well, you left a Pro Bowler on the bench while a backup QB carved you up. I said unless something serious came out then it would be indefensible, Butler says absolutely nothing serious happened and Tom Brady virtually agreed. You tell me what I’m supposed to make of that.
But, an even bigger worry of mine has been the fact that this is the kind of thing that can make people stop believing in your system, because this wasn’t doing whatever it takes to win a football game. This was putting ego first. Look at that screengrab, you’ve got three former or current Patriots agreeing with the message. You had Hightower liking Browner’s post saying Belichick blew it. Is a lesson to a single player who won’t be playing for you next year worth losing a Super Bowl and potentially losing a locker room? Worth at least having two current captains nod in agreement and say “yup”? If Belichick and Brady truly had a strained relationship, as ESPN reported, how will this do anything but fracture it more? Tom Brady is the first quarterback EVER to throw for 500/3/0 and lose (regular or postseason), how can he not go home and think “Bill benching Malcolm for dumb shit cost me my 6th ring”?
I’ll still give my life for Bill Belichick, he’s the greatest coach of all time, but this will always be something I think of. I don’t understand how it can’t be. Belichick made a decision, it was a bad one, it very arguably cost them a Super Bowl, and the captain of the offense and the captain of the defense agree. That’s a fuck up. It doesn’t change what he’s done in the past, but he fucked this up and I hope it doesn’t spill forward.
PS – I’m sure people will say “Tom Brady doesn’t run his own Instagram account!!!!” I’m sure that’s true. I’m sure he has a social team. I’m also sure they don’t double tap shit without his blessing.