Tennessee Titans: Relaxed Malcolm Butler optimistic for 2019 season
Tennessee Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler says he’ll be more relaxed in 2019, leading to a better season than his debut in 2018.
Cornerback Malcolm Butler’s tenure with the Tennessee Titans got off to a rocky start in 2018, but he’s optimistic things will turn around in 2019.
The Titans inked Butler to a huge five-year, $61.25 million contract in 2018, and as a result, expectations were understandably high for the 29-year-old. However, things certainly didn’t go according to plan out of the gate.
From weeks one though nine, Butler was nothing short of dreadful and was getting beat on the regular. According to Pro Football Focus, his overall grade was a 51.9, and his coverage grade was just slightly better at 53.4. Butler also allowed a passer rating of 141.8.
Butler was able to salvage his season in the second half, though. The veteran corner was named as one of PFF’s “second-half stars,” and came up with an overall grade of 80.2, a coverage grade of 83.1, and a passer rating allowed of 40.4 from weeks 10 through 17.
Butler will certainly look to build off that this season, but he thinks being more relaxed will be a big key to his success in 2019, per Terry McCormick of Titan Insider.
“I’m very relaxed. It’s not my first rodeo now,” Butler said. “I’m relaxed. I know my teammates, I know my coaches and my playbook. I know Nashville and I know hot chicken, so I’m very acquainted.”
Perhaps the biggest key there: this man knows hot chicken.
Head coach Mike Vrabel gave a very simple insight as to what was a major problem for Butler in his first year with the Titans. Vrabel thinks Butler just needs to keep his eyes on his man when in match coverage.
“I don’t think that he lacked any confidence last year. You’ve just got to stare at your man when you’re playing match coverage. I can’t tell him anything other than that,” Vrabel explained.
It’s hard not to be excited for Butler’s prospects. He was fantastic for the Titans in the second half of 2018, and his success this season will further cement what is a deep and talented Titans secondary.