FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Undrafted rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler's performance is one of the biggest surprises of New England Patriots training camp. Butler attributes his success to being a level-headed player who is always prepared for anything.
“It’s all about being consistent. You can’t think like have done too much, you got to keep going and make a play every day,” Butler said Wednesday. “You can’t take off Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. You got to do it Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Just doing it repeatedly and show that you are working and can be trusted.”
Butler is off to a strong start in that area. Throughout training camp, he showed that he reacts the same way whether a receiver beats him or he makes a big play.
Butler came into camp as an under-the-radar player who is quickly working his way into the mix for a roster spot, especially considering teammate Brandon Browner is suspended for the first four games. With veteran defensive backs such as Browner and Darrelle Revis and safety Devin McCourty around, Butler is absorbing as much as he can.
“Take every tip. I listen to them when they are correcting," he said. “I listen to the coach when he corrects them. You never can know, never can learn too much. So I take everything in.”
Coming out of Division II West Alabama, Butler had to make a huge adjustment to the NFL.
“Got more people here for practice than I had ever played in front of in my life. It’s a big difference -- on the good side though,” Butler said. “Good facility and I’m here were I wanted to be. I mean, I wanted to be at West Alabama too, but every player wants to be in the NFL. It’s a big change, but for the better.”
One of the biggest changes for Butler is matching up against top NFL talents such as teammate and tight end Rob Gronkowski. In Gronkowski’s first repetitions in 11-on-11 drills on Monday, Butler got the better of him with a forced fumble that fired up Butler and the defense.
“When I see a big guy, any great guy lining up on me or I line up on him, you are going to get the best out of me because you are hoping to get me, but I’ll hopefully get you," he said. "It’s all competitive things."