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Malcolm Butler viewing Patriots as “just another game”

Tennessee Titans v Dallas Cowboys

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 05: Amari Cooper #19 of the Dallas Cowboys carries the ball against Malcolm Butler #21 of the Tennessee Titans in the second quarter at AT&T Stadium on November 5, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

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Cornerback Malcolm Butler’s first eight games of the 2018 season have not featured as much success as the Titans were hoping to see when they signed him as a free agent this offseason.

Passes thrown in Butler’s direction are resulting in completions over 72 percent of the time and he’s coming off a game against the Cowboys that saw both Dallas scores come on throws to players covered by Butler. Titans coach Mike Vrabel said this week that Butler will not be demoted and Butler said Wednesday that he has “eight weeks to try to make up for it.”

The first of those weeks will feature Butler matching up against his former team. Butler’s time with the Patriots featured great highs and ended on a low as Butler was benched for Super Bowl LII against the Eagles. Butler said Wednesday that neither those circumstances nor the need to play better have him viewing this week’s game differently than he would if another team was on the schedule.

“It’s just a game,” Butler said, via the Tennessean. “I know I used to play for New England and all of that. I’m not over-hyped. I’m not very pumped. It’s just another game. I’ve got to be ready to play no matter who I play. People are throwing the ball. Just have to be ready.”

Given the way Butler’s played, there’s every reason to think that his preparation for this week would be a big issue around the Titans regardless of who they were playing. The fact that it is the Patriots only increases the spotlight as he tries to fix what’s gone wrong this year.