Matt Patricia stays mum on Malcolm Butler’s benching at 2018 NFL Combine

"I have obviously a lot of love for New England, but I have a new team.”

Bill Belichick Matt Patricia
After six seasons as Patriots defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia is head coach of the Detroit Lions. –Barry Chin/Globe staff

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Don’t expect former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia to spill all the juicy Patriots gossip now that he’s left New England.

Speaking at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, the newly hired Detroit Lions head coach said he’s going to defer any and all Patriots questions — including those about Malcolm Butler’s benching in Super Bowl LII — to head coach Bill Belichick.

“To be honest with you, as far as the Patriots are concerned, and this is really how I feel about it, I’m going to be extremely respectful to coach Belichick and his organization,” he told reporters. “I’m going to let him answer any questions that have to do with the Patriots. I have obviously a lot of love for New England, but I have a new team.”


Butler, who will enter free agency this offseason, reportedly is not expected to stay with the Patriots in 2018. Although Detroit has been floated as a potential landing spot for the cornerback, his next destination is very much unknown. Patricia, however, had nothing but praise for his former player.

“I would characterize my relationship with Malcolm as extremely strong,” the 43-year-old said. “I love Malcolm a lot. Like all my players, he’s like one of my sons. I want to make sure that he does everything to the best and I hope the best for him. That’s really all I’m going to say about Malcolm.”