New England Patriots cornerback Darius Butler is taking the right approach to losing his starting job, working doubly hard to get back. Butler spent this week attempting to win back a job swiped by former special teamer Kyle Arrington before the Bills game.
Yet the reward won’t come this week.
From talking to several people, it appears that Butler has not quite earned the start against the Dolphins, so expect to see Arrington out on the field for the majority of snaps again. Unlike last week, the play figures to be divided more evenly, and Butler should get more than four snaps.
But the tentative plan is for Arrington to be on the field first. The reason doesn’t just have to do with Butler’s struggles playing the ball in the air. Instead, it’s a matchup issue.
The Dolphins are physical. They are tough. Their receivers, such as Brandon Marshall, are big and athletic.
The possibility of the Wildcat means there is pressure for everyone to stop the run, not just the front seven. The Dolphins will attack the edges of the Pats defense, and wrapping up and tackling will be a focus this week.
Essentially, Arrington is a better run-support corner than Butler is. And he’s more physical. Combine Arrington with rookie Devin McCourty and the Patriots will boast two corners who freakin’ love to hit.
Butler can still be a successful corner, and he’ll have his chances to prove it. But don’t expect it to be right after the opening kickoff.