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Malcolm Butler won’t be demoted ahead of Patriots game

Tennessee Titans v Dallas Cowboys

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 05: Allen Hurns #17 of the Dallas Cowboys scores a touchdown against Malcolm Butler #21 of the Tennessee Titans and Kevin Byard #31 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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One of the storylines for this weekend’s game between the Patriots and the Titans will be cornerback Malcolm Butler facing the Patriots for the first time since leaving for Tennessee as a free agent.

Butler didn’t play at all on defense in his last game with the Patriots and thoughts of his Super Bowl benching were hard to avoid during Titans coach Mike Vrabel’s press conference on Tuesday. Butler has struggled this season and got beaten badly by Amari Cooper and Allen Hurns for touchdowns on Monday night, which meant Vrabel was fielding questions about whether Butler would be pulled from the lineup.

Vrabel said that he would not be demoting Butler, saying that Butler has issues with his technique that have to be corrected and that the team will work to make that happen.
“When you play man coverage, you have to look at your man,” Vrabel said, via Paul Kuharsky of PaulKuharsky.com. “Malcolm knows that and we talk about that, continue to practice it, continue to coach it and try to show it to him. When he does that, it’s pretty good. It’s competitive, he challenges the receivers. When you look back at the quarterback, your man has a tendency to move in another direction.”

Among the questions Vrabel was asked was whether LeShaun Sims deserved a look at corner in place of Butler. Vrabel said he didn’t think that was the case because “he’s not as good as Malcolm” in the way he practices.