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Robert Kraft on Butler benching: 'I have faith in Bill'

Robert Kraft the Patriots fan didn't appear to like the move of benching cornerback Malcolm Butler in Super Bowl LII. Robert Kraft the owner, however? He was all for it.

In speaking with reporters at the NFL Annual Meeting on Monday, Kraft explained why even though he didn't necessarily enjoy seeing Butler on the sidelines while Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles carved up New England's secondary, he was all for the move because it was Bill Belichick's idea.

"Here's the deal, we in New England are privileged to, I believe, have the greatest coach in the history of coaching," Kraft said. "We're involved in a number of businesses in our family and we're in 95 countries in the world and we try to encourage to have good managers. We want them to be bold, we want them to take risks. And sometimes they work out, sometimes they don't."

Benching Butler clearly was one of the few moves Belichick has made that didn't pan out. Without the Super Bowl XLIX hero on the field, Foles torched the Pats for 373 yards on his way to being named MVP.

But Belichick has made plenty of moves in his New England tenure that have worked out. And since the record is still clearly on the coach's side, Kraft is more than happy to take some of the bad with all of the good.

"I have faith in Bill as a coach that I don't think there is anyone who has the football knowledge and expertise combined with understanding personnel," Kraft said. "No one can merge those two worlds. And he's done pretty well for us over the last 18 years. So, as a fan, I can question some of the moves. As someone who's privileged to be the owner of this team, I encourage him to keep going with his instincts and doing what he thinks is right."

As Kraft stated, sometimes he does question the moves. That perhaps led to some perceived strife when the Pats traded away Jimmy Garoppolo to San Francisco for a mere second-round pick. But Kraft said he, Belichick and Tom Brady did meet this offseason to iron out the wrinkles that cropped up after that trade.

For the owner, it appears to be In Belichick We Trust for the foreseeable future.

"There's no doubt in my mind, even if he made an error -- and this is true with any of our managers -- if they're doing it for the right reason, then I support it 100 percent," Kraft said. "And I've never had one incident in 18 years where Bill hasn't done what he believes is in the best interest of our team and help us to win games."

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