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Devin McCourty talks about rookie life, playing against Randy Moss and motivation

05.19.11 at 4:35 pm ET
By

Devin McCourty (AP)

Earlier this week, Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty talked with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk about several topics, including his brother Jason, his Pro Bowl rookie season, facing Randy Moss and the possibility of Moss returning to New England. Here are a few highlights (click here for the entire Q&A):

Do you hope they’ll be a day where you and your brother play on the same team at the NFL level?
“Yeah, I think that’d be pretty cool. Coming through Pop Warner and high school, and being fortunate enough to play together in college, I think it would be excellent for my Mom to come to one game and watch her two sons play together in the NFL. Hopefully, some day we can pull that off.”

On being successful as a rookie — what do you attribute that to? How did that happen?
“Really, the coaches and my teammates. I was able to stay after it a little with my corners coach, Josh Boyer. He helped me out a lot, watching extra film. And then, the older guys in the secondary — James Sanders, Brandon Meriweather, Leigh Bodden and Jarrad Page — a lot of those guys would just tell me little things like how to keep my body right during the season, watching film with them, they could tell me little things that they see that I couldn’t see yet. Just being able to learn from those guys and me putting in extra work myself, I think that was a big part of why I had success this year as a rookie.”

On the rookie wall and how he got through it:
“We joked about that a lot. I felt like I hit my wall early in the season, just after training camp and preseason. I think, maybe, the first two or three games, it was just nonstop. After we had the bye week, it wasn’t too bad. Toward the end of the season, I don’t think I hit a wall, but you really did have to tell yourself to try and stay focused and keep after it, because it’s definitely longer than a college season. Your body starts to wear down. I don’t think I hit much of a wall, but I definitely had to tell myself to keep going and stay focused.”

On being described as a “safe pick” — did that give you some extra motivation?
“It definitely did. I remember as soon as I got to Boston, I had to do an interview for the media about being drafted, and the first thing someone said to me was, ‘Did you realize to the fans and the media you’re not a popular pick – not many people wanted you?’ And I just think as a player and as a competitor, when you hear those things, it’s a challenge. Throughout the whole season I had that in the back of my mind and play the role I knew I could play and prove people wrong who doubted me. I was happy I was able to go out and perform at a high level throughout the season.”

On facing Randy Moss as a rookie in camp:
“I guess the first time I stepped on the field I looked inside and I saw Tom Brady. I looked right across and I saw Randy Moss. As a kid, I watched these guys make some of the greatest plays in NFL history, and I’m just sitting on the other side, nervous, trying to remember what the defense was, trying to remember what I had to do. I think that was just a great experience, because it got me ready for a season where I went up against a lot of guys I grew up watching, guys that I idolized throughout high school and college. To line up against Randy and Tom [Brady] every day in practice, and get beat numerous times. It definitely got me ready for the season.”

On the possibility of Randy Moss coming back to New England:
“I would definitely welcome him coming back. He’s a great teammate, and just a great veteran guy to have on the team. He helps you out with things off the field, telling you how to take care of your body and smart decisions to make. I mean, I think his career speaks for itself, to have a guy of that caliber to practice against, and then, to help you out on game-day. I don’t think anybody on the team really would have a problem with Randy being back.”

Read More: Brandon Meriweather, Devin McCourty, James Sanders, Jarrad Page Print  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
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