Malcolm Butler says his coverage woes stem from being 'over-aggressive'

Malcolm Butler says being too aggressive in gambling for interceptions has caused his pass coverage problems

Tennessee Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler admits that he has being “over-aggressive” and that that has led to his struggles in recent weeks.

Butler, who signed a five-year, $61 ;million deal with the Titans in free agency in March, was reduced to being the Titans’ third cornerback last Sunday against the Ravens, and has been beaten several times in man coverage due to technique issues.

It was something that Titans coach Mike Vrabel addressed when asked at his Monday press conference and an assessment that Butler agreed with.

“Most definitely, I agree with that. I seen it on tape and I’ve just got to fix it, man. I probably was just being a little over-aggressive and trying to attack the ball and trying to take the ball away,” Butler said. “I feel like I’m a ball-hawk, but that’s not the strategy in man coverage. I learned from that one.”

According to Pro Football Focus, Butler has an overall grade of 59.7 this season, listing him 75th among cornerbacks in their rankings.

“Malcolm plays extremely hard. It’s not about effort. It’s about technique when you give up a pass or anything that has to do with eyes. You’re playing a quarterback, or a zone read,” Vrabel said Monday. “If you’re supposed to be looking at the running back and not the quarterback, or whatever you’re supposed to be doing, you have to know where to look. I think that technique comes down to execution.

“It’s about when am I supposed to be reading the quarterback and when am I supposed to be reading my man. We have to make sure that everybody is on the same page so that when I’m supposed to be looking at my man, I have to be looking at my man and covering him and not looking at the quarterback. Then, we have other defenses where we can read the quarterback. We have to be able to mix those two things up.”

Butler admits he is craving more interceptions – his only one came in the season opener at Miami – and that it has gotten him in trouble. He said he has to rein in that aggressiveness in order to play within the scheme.

“Most definitely. I think that’s my problem, trying to get the ball, because it’s all about the ball anyway. But it can hurt you too, when you gamble and do things like that. I’ve just got to get back to the basics, and ball. Get back to my dog-ish ways,” Butler said.

Butler promises that he is going back to basics and fundamentals to correct his woes this season.

“I’m going to be real nasty. Real nasty and play my game, and do what I feel is going to help the team out. That’s all you can ask for. I’ve just got to go out there and do me, man,” he said.