At bet365, we don’t do ordinary.
And neither does Washington Commanders safety Percy Butler.
Selected by the Commanders in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, Butler has emerged as a key player in Ron Rivera’s secondary during his second pro season.
As a rookie, Butler was primarily a special teamer, just twice recording more than 10 defensive snaps in a game. In 2023, with Washington’s bad injury luck to the secondary, Butler got an opportunity to shine. The 23-year-old has now started 12-straight games at safety, logging more than 50 defensive snaps each of the last nine weeks.
In Week 15, Butler forced his first career fumble, getting Rams RB Kyren Williams to cough up the ball as Los Angeles entered the red zone.
Butler said the biggest change from last year is his understanding of the defensive playbook.
“This offseason I was all into the playbook,” Butler said. “I feel being slow on the playbook last year was the reason I wasn’t stepping on the field on defense. The coaches, they wanted me out there, but I couldn’t get the playbook like that.”
“My speed, for sure,” Butler said. “The way that I use my brain, how I can see different things.”
Butler is one of the fastest players on any field he steps on. The Plaquemine, Louisiana native ran a blistering 4.36 40-yard dash at the 2022 draft combine, ranking tied for fifth among all defensive backs.
He came into the league with undeniable speed and athleticism, but Butler still had to adapt to the speed of the game in the NFL. Just as it is for every rookie, it was a learning process.
Butler relied on Washington’s veteran defensive backs like Kendall Fuller, Kam Curl, and Jeremy Reaves to guide him through difficult moments in year one.
“With K-Full, Kam, and Reaves, they help me because even if you do make a mistake, they’re not coming at you crazy,” Butler said. “They’re saying, ‘I’ve been there before,’ they’re telling me their experiences and what to look at to make it better so I never go through that again.”