Malcolm Butler was a no-name cornerback for the New England Patriots last season, as not many really knew who he was until one of the final plays of the season. Of course, that play was his Super Bowl-saving interception in February, which put his name on the map for the future.
Now in his second season, Butler has established himself as the No. 1 cornerback for the Patriots and an overall solid player in the NFL. It's not easy to top a play like his Super Bowl interception, but his consistency thus far has earned himself some serious respect from New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
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"He came in and did a great job versus Alshon [Jeffery] on a couple of plays in that game," Marshall said, via Rich Cimini of ESPN. "I was a little shocked. I was like, 'This kid can play a little bit.' I overlooked him when he was standing in front of me. He made a few plays and I'm like, 'This kid can be special.'"
In retrospect, it didn't take long for Butler to get noticed by opposing players. In less than a year, Butler went from unknown, to Super Bowl hero, to a potentially-special cornerback. He's now on the radar of every NFL team that crosses his path.
"He's feisty," Marshall added. "He reminds me a lot of Buster [Skrine]. It's going to be tough to make plays on him. He has tremendous makeup speed, and he competes. He's tough."
Of course, Marshall will get a chance to line up across from Butler on Sunday when the Patriots host the Jets. He's already admitted it will be tough to make plays against Butler, but with the way Marshall's been playing, it wouldn't be surprising to see him top 100 yards once again.