FOXBOROUGH, Mass -- Malcolm Butler was an undrafted rookie hoping to make the roster in August of 2014 when the New England Patriots visited Richmond, Va., for two days of practice sessions with Washington leading into the teams' preseason opener.
With the thought of making a good impression, he wanted to face the toughest challenge possible -- receiver DeSean Jackson.
"I asked coach to go against him," Butler recalled Tuesday. "That didn't turn out too well."
Butler might have had a rough day against Jackson, but a lot has changed since then. After exploding onto the national scene with his interception in Super Bowl XLIX, he is now the Patriots' No. 1 cornerback and looking forward to facing Jackson in a regular-season game when Washington comes to town Sunday (Fox, 1 p.m.).
Butler said Tuesday that part of his preparation will be to revisit practice film from his practice matchups against Jackson.
"I was just getting here my rookie year, and I saw DeSean Jackson, I've been a big fan of his, and I said, 'I want to try [covering] him.' I went out there and ..." Butler said, cutting his thought short as he smiled.
The 5-foot-10, 178-pound Jackson shook Butler multiple times on that day.
"Pure speed. Can stop on a dime and take off. That's a lot to prepare for," Butler said, pointing out that Jackson didn't play in the 2014 preseason opener. "You have to be careful when you go out there and put your hands on him.
"He's a very good deep threat," Butler continued. "I've been a fan of him since way before I even got here. A lot of respect for that guy. He's just getting back, so I know he'll be excited to get out there."
Jackson has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since the season opener, but declared himself ready to go for Sunday.