Undrafted rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler continues to be one of the headliners of the Patriots training camp.
Coming off an outstanding performance in last Thursday's opening preseason game, when he had six tackles and defended two passes in the red zone, Butler opened some eyes when he intercepted a Tom Brady pass intended for Kenbrell Thompkins in Monday's practice.
Earlier, Bill Belichick addressed Butler's training camp in his press conference, cautioning, as always, to not read too much into what's going on right now:
"I think he’s done a good job every day, coming out there being ready to compete. He’s a got a long way to go. He’s got a lot to learn. There are a lot of things different here than where he played and who he played against. But that’s all in the past, so he’s just got to take it day by day. He’s learning every day, he works hard, and he’s gotten better on a daily basis. Still has a long way to go. We’ll see how it goes this week against Philadelphia. It’ll be another big week for all of our young players, and then Carolina, and then at some point we’ll have to start making some type of evaluation of whether some of these younger players, whether their performances are escalating, leveling off or declining. As all the multiples and the practices and the games and all start to pile up, that will take a toll on some and some it won’t and we’ll just have to let that play itself out. There’s really no way to predict how that’s going to go until we see it. So, we’ll see.''
Butler, 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, went undrafted out of the University of West Alabama, an NCAA Division II program.
Brandon Browner did not practice Monday, so Butler got some reps with the first defense.
Belichick was also asked about the signings of veteran tight ends Ben Hartsock and Steve Maneri on Sunday and brought up Maine's own Matthew Mulligan, who signed with Chicago after one year in New England:
"Steve and Ben both have a lot of experience in the blocking part of the game, similar to Mulligan from last year.''