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Devin McCourty opens up about what he learned as a rookie, when he started to feel comfortable and how he plans on improving

05.31.11 at 1:36 pm ET

We’ve heard from Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty a few times since the conclusion of his remarkable rookie season (most notably here and here), but the fellas over at Pro Football Focus have delivered the most wide-ranging Q&A with the Rutgers product that we have seen yet.

In the interview, conducted by Steve Wyremski, McCourty talks about an array of topics, including what he learned from Tom Brady, Randy Moss and Bill Belichick, how he describes his own game and how he hopes to build on his 2010 season. My favorite exchange detailed when McCourty started to feel comfortable as a rookie.

SW: Breaking down your season, the first 10 weeks you seemed to be adapting and learning the NFL game.  From week 11 on, you really seemed to get your bearings and performed pretty well. We ranked every single one of your games from week 11 on positive ratings. What happened for you week 11 and forward?

DM: I think my confidence went up a lot. Before we played San Diego, my coach and me had drills on how to play the deep ball and how to make a play on it. When we played San Diego, they threw a deep ball and I was able to make an interception.

My coach kept [telling me that] if I could take what I learned in practice and bring it to the field on game day, I could start to make plays and become a better player. I started believing that and taking the field with a lot more confidence. I knew guys were going to throw at me and I’€™d have opportunities. I started just telling myself to try and make a play or two and get [my] hands on the ball to intercept it because I [knew] I was going to get tested. Once I was able to bring that confidence to the field each Sunday and started making plays, I really believed it. I kind of got a rhythm going and it took off. Each week, I felt more and more comfortable being out there.

Click here for the complete interview.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Devin McCourty, Randy Moss, Tom Brady



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