When the New York Jets and New England Patriots squared off in Week 7, cornerback Malcolm Butler struggled to contain Eric Decker. The 6-foot-3 wideout had one of his best games of the season, catching six passes for 94 yards. However, that was nine weeks ago, and Todd Bowles hasn’t let that game chance his perception of Butler.
On Tuesday, Bowles gave the young cornerback some high praise, and considers him one of the best, if not the best, in the league.
"Malcolm’s probably the best in the league," Bowles said, via WEEI. "He shows up. He takes the best [receiver]. They can play zone, they can play man. They’re both big. They’re physical. They can tackle.”
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Bowles also said Butler clearly studies the game and said he has rare technique. One of the things that makes Butler so great is his ability to play both man and zone, as Bowles noted.
“He studies the game,” Bowles continued. “He’s not just a man corner, he’s a zone corner, too. He’s feisty. He has very good technique, which is rare. He’s got great hand-eye coordination. He reads the ball. He accepts all challenges. You can tell he works at it. I enjoy watching him play.”
Coming from the guy who coaches Darrelle Revis every week, that’s about as big of a compliment as it gets. Butler’s game backs it up, too. He, along with Revis, was named to the Pro Bowl on Tuesday night, the first of his career.
Butler will have his hands full this week, though. He’ll be tasked with covering Brandon Marshall and Decker on the outside, which is no easy task. It’s unclear which one he’ll be assigned to since Logan Ryan has been covering teams’ No. 1 wideouts of late. However, he’s never backed down from a challenge in his two years in the league.