Skip Bayless reveals why the benching of Malcolm Butler was one of the worst coaching decisions in SB history

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In his reaction to the Philadelphia Eagles defeating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, Skip Bayless reveals why he believes Bill Belichick's decision to bench Malcolm Butler was 'the most controversial, if not the worst coaching decision in the history of the Super Bowl.'

- I'm going to frame everything I'm about to say with the most staggering stat I have ever heard in my 40 years of covering the National Football League. No team in NFL history-- regular season or post-season-- had ever lost a game in which it totaled more than 600 yards of offense. No team had ever done that in history-- regular season, postseason-- dating to 1922 until Sunday night in this Super Bowl. The Patriots had 613 total yards and lost the game, because Bill Belichick's defense gave up 41 points. It's nearly impossible to do that, but they managed to pull it off.

And this had a lot to do with it. This will go down as the most controversial, if not the worst, coaching decision in the history of the Super Bowl. Now, let's go back to my gut feeling is very different than yours, because the harder I look at this and try to explain it, the worse it gets and the more suspicious it gets to me. So do we have any reports out of New England from any of the Boston area reporters?

We have none, nothing except Mike Reiss, who covers the Patriots for, got a hold of-- he caught Malcolm Butler, obviously, leaving the field and walking to the bus and all the quotes we've heard from Malcolm Butler came from him. So we have one report so far from Ian Rapoport, who covers the NFL, is an insider for NFL Network and I have followed closely Ian's work for many years. And he's been often right about some things. And he's been very not right about some things.

So he says, in his report, that Malcolm was sick and missed the flight because he was sick. So he attributes that to illness. He said he had a rough week of practice. That could have been because he was still ill, but he's not sure about that. There could have been some attitude problems during the week. I think there have been attitude problems with Malcolm Butler going for two years now, as you point out.

REPORTER: If he wanted a contract.

- Yes, he made the Pro Bowl the year after the breakthrough defensive, right at the end of the Seattle Super Bowl. So he makes the Pro Bowl the next year, and then they've been at odds over the contract since then. And Ian also reports, in the end, that there was a minor, or what he calls small, violation of team rules that happened earlier in the week. It wasn't like a Saturday night before curfew was missed. So my question is this, if it was strictly about just discipline, why did he practice all week? Why was he in his same position practicing all week?

REPORTER: If he was so sick, why was he practicing? Yes, I'm asking you.

SKIP BAYLESS: No, I'm asking everybody.

- If he was so thick that he missed the flight, why was he practicing to begin with?

SKIP BAYLESS: I don't know. But I mean, I guess he was OK to practice. And the Boston reporters have all said, every time they-- and he missed that Monday night extravaganza, or whatever they call that opening night. But he was there for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of player interviews. And the Boston reporters say he was very happy and almost giddy happy in all three of those sessions. So clearly, he got rocked by the announced decision that came just before the game, because we saw him on the sideline arm in arm in arm with a couple of his teammates.

He was bawling his eyes out just before kick off. OK, so my question is, if it's strictly about discipline, if you're right about all that speculation, then why wouldn't he be deactivated? Because you could have used another body. If you're only going to play him one play in the game on a special teams on punt coverage-- that's all. He got in one special teams play. Now, you don't know going in that you're not going to punt or they're going to punt one time, right? But the point is, why wouldn't you activate-- could they have not used Kenny Britt? I thought they could have used him.