Devin McCourty, Aqib Talib and Logan Mankins recognized as All-Pros
|01.03.14 at 2:06 pm ET|
McCourty is in the midst of one of the finest seasons of his career — the defensive back has been a tremendously steadying influence along the back line of New England’s defense, and with the losses of Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo to season-ending injuries early in the year, has stepped up and assumed more of a leadership position. He started 15 games for the Patriots this season, and the 26-year-old has 69 tackles (48 solo), nine passes defensed and an interception.
McCourty said it was an honor as a secondary to have two defensive backs named All-Pros.
‘I think when you’ve got two guys, not at the same position, but both in the secondary, that speaks volumes to the work that you’re putting in as a group,” he said. “For us two to be named to [the All-Pro team] means we’ve been playing pretty well. Now it’s all about continuing to do it in the postseason.’
Talib has also enjoyed the finest season of his career, as the corner has played in 13 games, and come away with four interceptions and 13 passes defensed. The 27-year-old, in his first full season with New England (he was dealt to the Patriots from Tampa Bay midway through the 2012 campaign), has spent the bulk of the season shutting down some of the league’s elite pass catchers, including Jimmy Graham of New Orleans and Vincent Jackson of Tampa Bay. For his efforts, he was also named to his first Pro Bowl late last month.
‘It’s an honor, I guess. I really didn’t even know about it,” Talib said Friday. “Just like that Pro Bowl, man, I’ll find a way to celebrate that after we finish our business. Simple as that.’
Mankins, a 2010 first-team All Pro, has been the centerpiece of New England’s offensive line, working as both the left tackle and left guard over the course of the season. Earlier this month, he was voted to his fifth consecutive Pro Bowl and his sixth overall. Since entering the starting lineup in 2005, Mankins has helped New England finish in the top 10 on offense eight times.
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