Bowles: Butler one of the best cornerbacks in league


Malcolm Butler forever earned himself a place in New England sports lore with his game-sealing interception in Super Bowl XLIX. But the second-year cornerback has proved in 2015 that he isn't a one-hit wonder.

Jets coach Todd Bowles has taken notice.

"Malcolm is probably one of the best in the league," Bowles said Tuesday on a conference call with Patriots reporters, via "He shows up and takes the best guy."

Every game, all season

The Jets played a direct role in Butler's ascension to the top of the depth chart in New England. When New York brought Darrelle Revis back with a massive contract this spring, the signing enormously bolstered a previously porous Jets secondary while significantly weakening their ever-superior rivals.

The pressure fell on Butler to make the leap. He did.

Butler has played 98 percent of New England's snaps this season, collecting two interceptions with a team-leading 15 passes defensed. On Tuesday, he was named to his first Pro Bowl. ranks Butler 16th out of 116 qualified corners this season. Revis is ranked 30th on that same list.

"He studies the game. He's not just a man corner, he's a zone corner too. He's feisty. He has very good technique, which is rare," Bowles said. "He has great hand-eye coordination, he reads the ball, and he accepts all challenges and works at it. I enjoy watching him play."

This is where we remind you that Butler -- one of the best young defensive backs in football -- went undrafted out of West Alabama. There's a reason the Patriots have been great forever, and it's not just No. 12.