New England Patriots kick-off in 21 days: profiling No. 21 Malcolm Butler


Opening day countdowns are great. So are player profiles. Here at Musket Fire, we decided to combine them and create a Week 1 countdown-oriented, jersey number-dictated player profile series. Yesterday we looked at No. 22 Robert McClain, and the day before that it was No. 23 Patrick Chung. Because today marks 21 days until the New England Patriots open 2015, we are profiling No. 21, cornerback Malcolm Butler.

After going undrafted out of West Alabama last spring, Butler simply didn’t allow the Patriots to cut him. Although he was among a crowded cornerback group of Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner and a bunch of Patriots returners last summer, Butler appeared in 11 regular season games. Of course, he is most famous for delivering a fourth Super Bowl ring to Tom Brady’s hand by intercepting Russell Wilson in the waning moments of Super Bowl XLIX.

A year after being the kid in the secondary, Butler is now the Patriots’ best cornerback. He is the clear-cut No. 1 corner, and he’s playing with outstanding confidence. In the preseason opener against Green Bay, Butler walked, talked and played like a true No. 1 corner. It was great to see.

Unfortunately for Butler, he had probably his worst practice as a Patriot yesterday in the first joint session with the New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees picked the sophomore pro apart throughout the day.

However, one shouldn’t read too much into Butler’s off day. Every corner gets toasted now and then; it’s a good sign that Butler’s first bad practice happened so far into the month of August.

Patriots fans should be all-in on Butler. He is the future of the cornerback position for the Patriots.

In case you missed them, here are the profiles for No. 25 Daxton SwansonNo. 26 Logan Ryan, No. 27 Tavon Wilson, No. 28 James White, No. 29 LeGarrette Blount, No. 30 Duron Harmon, No. 31 Tarell Brown, No. 32 Devin McCourty, No. 33 Dion Lewis, No. 35 Jonas Gray, No. 36 Tyler Gaffney, No. 37 Jordan Richards, No. 38 Brandon Bolden, No. 39 Travaris Cadet, No. 41 Dekoda Watson, No. 42 Xzavier Dickson, No. 43 Nate Ebner, No. 44 Matthew Wells, No. 45 D.J. Lynch, No. 46 james Develin, No. 47 Michael Hoomanawanui and No. 48 Geneo Grissom.

Because there is no player wearing the No. 20 jersey, this series will be taking a break tomorrow. Be sure to check back on Musket Fire Saturday morning as we celebrate 19 days until Week 1 by profiling the owner of the No. 19 jersey, wide receiver Brandon LaFell.