Pro Bowl Player
The fact that you believe this proves anything is laughable.The one being obtuse here is you. To repeat:
Butler DID play in the game. Therefore, saying that Belichick was maintaining a principle by not playing Butler fails because, again....
Butler DID play in the game.
Now, would you care to try arguing that Butler somehow snuck a snap in, in an attempt to salvage your argument? If so, we can talk about BB's incompetence for having that happen.
1. Multiple players are on record as saying they know what Butler did to deserve the punsihment. But you know better than actual Patriot players. Laughable.
2. Belichick has played players plenty of times in the same game he punished them. For instance, Wes Welker was benched for a series or a quarter. But he played. This is not contradictory at all.
3. If Butler did something that prevented him from taking part in that week's preparations on defense, it's not a mystery as to why he wouldn't see the field, even after he saw time on special teams. He was still punished.
You're the only one here arguing he wasn't being punished.