It will be interesting to see what comes out RE: Butler, everyone blaming Bill for having too big of an ego, I mean fair maybe but I haven't heard too many people blaming Butler, like c'mon man you've been a Pat for a while now, you know Bill doesn't screw around, man up one time on super bowl week.
It will be fascinating to see what it is when it comes out. Belichick said that it wasn't a discipline issue, and when he goes so far as to comment on something, he's honest to a fault. If he doesn't want to answer a question, he's good at "no commenting" it. The amazing thing is that there's a very good chance that the decision cost them the game, it was apparent in the flow of the game, and Bill held firm.
There was a weird element of vindictiveness to it. He dresses the guy. He tells him - literally - seconds before kickoff that he's not going to play. He plays him for one snap on special teams, either to prove that he's not injured, or more likely, to satisfy some weird contract/CBA clause.
As a Pats fan, it was disappointing, because there's no way you're watching that game and thinking that Malcolm Butler isn't an upgrade to the guys on the field (minus Gilmore, who had a great game). OTOH it did signal that our greatest fear over the past month - that Belichick is going to retire - was off the table.
My guess is that there was something about Butler's preparation this week that pissed off Belichick / Patricia. Either they didn't feel like he put the work in, or didn't feel like he was doing what he was supposed to (in a way that was not, per se, against team rules). I have a feeling that if the Patriots won, we'd know the whole story by now...but it's going to take some time to leak it out of Fort Foxboro under these circumstances...