Bill Belichick has moved on from the 2017-2018 season and has no interest in talking about anything that happened last year. However, that doesn’t mean that questions about last season weren’t asked during Wednesday’s pre-training camp press conference.
Many fans were shocked that Belichick decided to bench Malcolm Butler in the Super Bowl, and without ever getting a real explanation about Belichick’s reasons for doing so, it was a hot topic during this morning’s presser. In typical Belichick fashion, however, the New England Patriots coach refused to discuss Butler — or anything that happened in previous seasons.
You can read the exchange that Belichick had with a reporter below.
“Bill, I know you’re all about this year, and I understand that here –”
Belichick: “That’s right.”
“But I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t ask about last year and –”
Belichick: “Last year is last year. I’m not focused on last year.”
“What about the fact that everywhere we go, folks want to ask about Malcolm Butler?”
Belichick: “We’ve talked about that. That’s multiple months ago.”
“Is there going to be any more explanation about why he didn’t play?”
Belichick: “Focused on training camp.”
“Would you do it any differently?”
Belichick: “Training camp? Well, we’re getting started. We’ll work on that right now. We’ll do the best we can.”
“Do you care that the fans want to know more about this?”
Belichick: “I’m focused on doing the best I can for the 2018 New England Patriots. That’s my job. That’s what I’m going to do. That’s what I’ve always done in the past. Every day that I’ve coached here, I’ve done the best that I could for this football team, and I’ll continue to do that. Right now, my focus is on the 2018 season. Not 2017. Not 2014, not 2007, not 2004, not 2001, not 2000. I’m not focused on an of those seasons. They’re done.”
“For this season’s team, is it important for you to address the Malcolm Butler thing with your team?”
Belichick: “It’s important for me to have a good season in 2018. I’m going to do everything I can to do that. Do the best that I can for our football team — that’s my job. And that’s my responsibility, so that’s what I’m going to try to do. Hopefully, you can respect that, but maybe not.”
Rumors about why Butler didn’t play in Super Bowl LII have been abundant. Some people believe that Butler missed curfew the night before and was punished for doing so. Others believe that he might have been caught smoking weed.
However, after Butler’s incredible end zone catch during Super Bowl XLIX back in 2015, fans simply couldn’t get over Belichick’s decision to bench him in the biggest game of the year.
Malcolm Butler has signed a contract with the Tennessee Titans for the 2018-2019 season — and beyond. According to the Tennessean, Butler inked a five-year, $61.25 million deal with $30 million guaranteed.
You can watch the aforementioned catch that saved the Super Bowl for New England in the video below.