Josh Norman on Malcolm Butler’s Super Bowl benching: ‘Who is Eric Rowe?’

"He could've affected that game."

Malcolm Butler New England Patriots
Malcolm Butler during the AFC Championship Game in 2018. –Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images

Josh Norman was more than willing to sound off on the Patriots’ decision to bench fellow cornerback Malcolm Butler in Super Bowl LII. And he apparently isn’t overly familiar with New England’s defensive backfield.

“Who is Eric Rowe?” asked the 30-year-old Washington cornerback during a segment on FS1’s “Undisputed.” The line was meant as a genuine question, Norman acknowledged. He didn’t appear to have knowledge of Rowe, who replaced Butler in the Patriots’ defensive lineup as the team fell to the Eagles, 41-33.

“No offense, I don’t know either,” Norman told Skip Bayless, a co-host of the show. “I don’t know the guy and I’m not trying to disrespect him at all, and I think he’s going to be a hell of a player once his time comes. But at the end of the day, Malcolm Butler, is he not senior to Eric Rowe? So he’s been playing the position, he has that experience, he’s played in those Super Bowl games.”

Advertisement

Rowe also played on 65 percent of the Patriots’ plays in Super Bowl LI, when he was part of the team’s comeback win. Butler was one of five Patriots defenders to play in 100 percent of the defensive snaps.

Butler has subsequently left the Patriots in free agency, signing with the Titans. Rowe is still under contract with the Patriots for one more season.

“At times I do understand coaches, and they try to make a point, and that point is reasonable,” Norman said. “But you’re in the biggest game of all? No, you don’t toss your weight around like that.”