Malcolm Butler won’t be demoted ahead of facing his former team.
Despite the struggles of the Tennessee Titans’ cornerback, coach Mike Vrabel said Tuesday that Butler would remain in the rotation against the New England Patriots.
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"I don’t think at this point in time no," Vrabel replied when asked if Butler would be replaced by LeShaun Sims. "Because I don’t think he’s as good as Malcolm and the way he practices and where I see him going. We’ll continue to evaluate that, like we do all the positions on the roster but I don’t think that’s necessarily the case right now."
After starting the first five weeks of the season, Butler has trailed starters Logan Ryan and Adoree’ Jackson in snaps the past three games. Butler still plays a lot, seeing 120 defensive snaps the past three weeks.
Butler has struggled since leaving New England, allowing the fourth-most yards among all cornerbacks this year, per Pro Football Focus. He also got burned by Amari Cooper and Allen Hurns for touchdowns on Monday night.
Vrabel said Butler’s struggles have been exacerbated by poor technique and not reading his keys.
"When you play man coverage you have to look at your man, and Malcolm knows that, and we talked about that, and we continue to practice it," the coach said. "We continue to coach it, and we try to show it to him. When we does that it’s pretty good, it’s competitive, it challenges the receivers. And when you look back at the quarterback your man has a tendency to go in another direction."
Butler will have a chance to right his season against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, the coach who benched him in the Patriots’ Super Bowl loss.
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