By Danny Picard
FOXBORO -- They call it the "Dirty Show" championship belt. This week, it's sitting in the locker of cornerback Darius Butler.
Butler has seen a shortage of playing time this season, and has even been benched in favor of rookie Devin McCourty and sophomore Kyle Arrington.
But this week, Butler is the reigning Dirty Show champ -- the title given to the Patriots' practice player of the week.
So what exactly do you have to do to earn the belt?
"Practice hard and make plays out there, and that's what I've been doing the last couple of weeks," said Butler after Friday's practice at Gillette Stadium. "Just trying to be physically and mentally prepared every day."
Earlier on Friday, coach Bill Belichick said Butler is still "in the mix." But he added anyone who's active for the game is in the same boat.
"He had a good week of practice," said Belichick. "He did a good job. He got his hands on a lot of balls. He made it hard on our offense.
"I think every player that's active, they're in the mix. If they're active for the game, then you have some role in the game. Whether that materializes or not, that depends on the situations in the game. Anybody that's active for the game, we have confidence putting them in the game. They have a role, and we expect them to do well, if they're inserted in that role."
Butler hopes that his successful week of practice pays off, and earns him some more playing time on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.
After all, he is the Dirty Show champ.
"I'm always ready," said Butler. "I go out and practice every day like I'm going to be a starter. You never know what happens, if it's a game plan thing or an injury thing, or anything. You can be thrown in there, in the mix anytime."
Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard