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Bill Belichick's coaching methods in spotlight with Malcolm Butler 'benching'

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Cornerback Malcolm Butler has been heaped with widespread praise since his improbable Super Bowl-clinching interception thrust him from unknown, undrafted player to budding star.

Bill Belichick, with his discipline-based iron fist, has brought him back to earth in a move that sparks passionate discussion over some of Belichick's coaching methods.

By "benching" Butler from at least the first two weeks of voluntary OTAs as a result of being late for the team's first OTA on May 26 (per the Boston Herald), Belichick took a harsh step to teach Butler a lesson. I've heard of him sending a player home for the day from voluntary OTAs for being late (that happened to tight end Aaron Hernandez once), but never sidelining him multiple weeks because of it.

There are a lot of ways to view it, and these are the main thoughts that come to mind:

Not having Butler on the field for at the least the first two weeks of OTAs is not good for his football development. He needs every bit of practice time possible if he is to elevate to the starter-level player that several of his teammates believe he can be, and given all the change the Patriots are undergoing at the position, they need him to deliver on that promise in 2015.

Belichick knows this, but he also knows that two weeks of an OTA is not an overwhelming sacrifice to send a decisive message to a player who has flashed potential -- but who has had to quickly learn how to handle stardom -- to be a longer-term answer at the position. The message also resonates with other impressionable young players and the fact Butler is disappointed in himself, as the Herald reports, is exactly what Belichick wants.

So this is Belichick thinking of the bigger picture.

Agree with it or not, his methods are always fascinating to chronicle.