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Devin McCourty: Hard work will help Patriots bounce back against Bills

09.26.12 at 1:56 pm ET

FOXBORO — When it comes to climbing out of a 1-2 hole, Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty knows that there won’t be any quick fixes. Instead, it will come through hard work.

“We just have to keep playing,” McCourty said before practice on Wednesday. “Coach Belichick tells us that all the time. We just have to keep working hard and keep doing things that we’ve been doing. And things that we need to work on, we need to improve them and get back on the right page and get a win. We just have to keep going at it. There’s nothing special that we can do to turn it around right away. Just keep working and pressing.

“You just have to keep working. That’s the only way it can get done.”

McCourty played well over the first two games of the season and for a large portion of Sunday’s game against the Ravens. However, he dropped a pair of possible interceptions, and committed a game-changing penalty late in the fourth quarter that allowed Baltimore to get into field goal range for the game-winner.

Like his teammates, he must shake the collective memory of Sunday’s late meltdown against the Ravens before heading into Buffalo Sunday to face the Bills.

“I always want to perform well,” he said. “I count on myself to go out there and play well each week.”

McCourty will likely see plenty of time matched against Buffalo’s Stevie Johnson, the Bills leading receiving (13 catches, 172 yards and three touchdowns). According to McCourty, Johnson (a very good pass catcher and birthday cake aficionado) presents an interesting set of challenges.

“He’s tough to defend,” McCourty said. “When you watch him, he does some different things, especially at the line of scrimmage, things that you don’t see every week from wide receivers. He’s going to be a big challenge for us this week — in the secondary, we’re going to have to know where he’s at, and we’ll have to make some plays against him.

“It’s going to be a tough challenge,” he added. “They’re a team that does a lot of things well, especially their offense. They have a lot of guys who can spread you out and they have a lot of guys who are very good in space. We’ll really have to come ready to play. We’ll have to make some tackles in the open field. We’ll really have to go hard this week in practice and be ready to go.”

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