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Malcolm Butler has 'a lot to prove' in return to Patriots

The unexpected reunion of Malcolm Butler and the New England Patriots this offseason led to a second chance for the former Super Bowl hero.

Five years after his Super Bowl benching, Butler returns to Foxborough following an abrupt retirement before the 2021 season. After sitting out all season, he's back on the field as the Pats begin OTAs.

Butler said Tuesday he's out to prove he can still be a difference-maker in the Patriots secondary.

"I feel like I have a lot to prove, especially to myself," Butler said, via Mass Live. "If I do it myself, I'll prove it to my teammates at the same time. So that's why I'm working hard every day and trying to stay focused."

Butler retired due to personal reasons last year before deciding to make his return. Not only did he come back to football, but he also did so in New England, where he got his start after going undrafted out of the University of West Alabama.

"Feeling good. Feeling fresh. Well, I was until I got here and started running around. Rejuvenated," Butler said. "Took some time off to handle some things and I'm back here now. ... I'm back in football shape, but I've got more work to do."

If that rejuvenation sticks, Butler has a shot at swiping a starting corner job in New England.

Bill Belichick sees the same time of competitor in Butler that was there during his first four seasons with the Patriots.

"Malcolm works hard, like he always has, very competitive, out there scrapping for balls," the coach said. "His aggressiveness, play style -- we're not in pads, but yeah, looks like it's about the same."

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