Read the exchange between Bill Belichick and Dan Shaughnessy about Malcolm Butler’s benching

"Would you do it any differently?"

Bill Belichick
Coach Bill Belichick as the Patriots opened training camp at Gillette Stadium. –John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Patriots coach Bill Belichick on Wednesday held a news conference ahead of training camp opening on Thursday.

Although he was tight-lipped about everything that did not have to do with the 2018 New England Patriots, he was asked by the Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy about why Malcolm Butler didn’t play in Super Bowl LII. And he didn’t say much. Here’s the exchange:

Shaughnessy: “Bill, I know you’re all about this year and we all understand that. You’re about this year.’’

Belichick: “That’s right.’’

Shaughnessy: “And I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t ask about last year.’’


Belichick: “Last year is last year. I’m not focused on last year.’’

Shaughnessy: “What about the fact that everywhere we go, folks want to ask about Malcolm Butler? Sports coaches, players, universally. You’re a sports fan.’’

Belichick: “We talked about that. That’s multiple months ago.’’

Shaughnessy: “Is there going to be any more explanation about why he didn’t play?’’

Belichick: “Focused on training camp.’’

Shaughnessy: “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.’’

Shaughnessy: “Does it matter to you, 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 I’ve coached here, I’ve done the best that I could for this football team. I’ll continue to do that. Right now my focus is on the 2018 season. Not 2017, not 2014, 2007, not 2004, not 2001, not 2000. I’m not focused on any of those seasons. They’re done.’’


Shaughnessy: “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. That’s what I’m going to try to do. Hopefully you can respect that, but maybe not.’’


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