|Devin McCourty: Deflategate situation ‘ridiculous’||04.26.16 at 10:31 am ET|
It’s been 15 months since Deflategate began and it’s still going in full force following Monday’s ruling that Tom Brady will in fact be suspended the first four games of the 2016 season.
For one Patriots player, Devin McCourty, he just wants it to go away.
“I’m kind of over everything with it,” McCourty said Monday night on CSNNE’s Quick Slants with Tom E. Curran and Kay Adams. “I mean, it’s pretty ridiculous. I don’t know. I think everybody will be ready to go and do whatever we have to do, but I am pretty sure a lot of people are just over everything that has to do with this whole situation — thinking it’s over, it’s not over. It’s been 15 months, so we’ll just move on and do whatever we have to do.”
McCourty isn’t pleased with Brady having to go through all of it, but hopes it can be over so the team can move on, as now it’s the second offseason they have had to deal with it.
“It’s ridiculous,” McCourty said. “The guy will be used as a front-center guy in the NFL with what you want to be as a player, or a person off the field and then he has to go through all this. We’ll see. I don’t know how it will all work out for him and what the next step he’ll have to do or chooses to do. We’ll see what happens from it, but I think as a team, it’s just when can we move on and just get past everything. I think coming off the Super Bowl a few years ago now, getting ready for last season and dealing with it and putting it behind us saying we’re moving forward, we go on, have a pretty good season and then now you come back and deal with it again. Crazy.”
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|Devin McCourty knows attitude matters, even in offseason in Foxboro: ‘This place is a little different’||04.21.16 at 3:32 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Devin McCourty has been around long enough to know that attitude matters year-round in Foxboro.
Obviously, when you start lifting weights in April, it’s not do-or-die. There’s bonding and friendship-building that takes place. But it’s all with the understanding that how you approach your work when you’re there does make a difference.
During the first offseason player availability at Gillette Stadium Thursday, McCourty said he doesn’t really need to sell new players – whether they be free agents, acquisitions or draft picks – on the idea of work ethic when they enter the building.
“No, I think guys know from the first day and I think it’s known throughout the NFL that this place is a little different,” McCourty said. “Obviously, guys come in, you don’t know how different. You might say, ‘This is really different’, or for some guys, ‘This is kind of what I expected’, but I think that is true. Those two guys were both new to the team and probably riding together like, ‘Wow’, and I think that’s the good part, when guys come in and they say it’;s different but they understand it’s different for a reason. [There are] higher expectations.
“The guys that we have that are here for a while they expect to play at a certain level and you understand that we have a guy in charge that knows what it takes, and if we follow that lead we’ll be OK no matter how hard it is, how much you might not want to do it one day, you know what it’s for and I think that’s what makes it tough when you don’t get to where you want to get, because you know what you put in and what you thought was going to happen and what you envisioned and dreamed of, and then when it doesn’t happen that’s what makes it hard when the season does end. You understand that’s a part of the game. You have to do the same thing again and hope you take that next step forward and win it.”
McCourty made it clear that he, like a lot of fans, are still learning the new names and faces. It’s just that his introduction usually comes in the weight room.
“I don’t know the guys. I know like when we signed [Martellus] Bennett I was like, ‘Well, he’s pretty good’. We played him in Chicago and playing safety we had to cover him and different things like that, so you’re like well if he plays how he had played there and we have another good tight end we should be pretty good. But I’m past the point of I’m not sitting in my room like, ‘This is great. We’ve got the master’.
“But it’s exciting. I think it was cool when [Chris] Hogan signed I was already working out with him like the week before and then he came up here and he actually signed so it was just funny how that all came together, but I think you know just from guys that are in the league you get to teams and you know there are other good players coming in. They see you walk, see how things are here, and you just catch up and you understand how much work needs to go into it.
Chemistry is not automatic, nor is it immediate.
FOXBORO — When there’s a coaching change at the position you play, it’s natural and understandable to have some trepidation and anxiety.
But when Brian Flores was moved from safeties to linebackers coach this offseason and Steve Belichick took over, Devin McCourty, the veteran member of the safeties group, had no worry whatsoever.
The 28-year-old Belichick has been in the Patriots program since 2012, when he joined as an assistant on dad’s coaching staff. He has worked extensively on the defense with other members of the coaching staff. Before that he was a lacrosse and football player at Rutgers, which makes him the perfect fit for McCourty, a 2010 product of the school.
“It’s the greatest thing. Why would we not do that? But I think it’s really encouraging,” McCourty said Thursday in a media session at Gillette Stadium. “Steve’s a guy that’s been here and just been a sponge learning everything. It’s been cool for me. I’ve been here since he got here and just to see how much he’s developed and worked hard and it seems like he’s always here so he’s very excited to be the safety coach and have a good group coming. We have some leaders and guys that are definitely going to try and help him out as much as possible.”
And oh yeah, there’s his family lineage.
“I think his dad is a pretty good coach so I’m sure he’s learned a lot from him and I think it’ll just be important for us to learn from what he’s going to bring and how it’ll change us a little bit,” McCourty added. “He really believes in a lot of the things Flo [Brian Flores] was saying to us in the previous years but he’ll have his own style and what he wants to do, so I’m excited to have a young guy come in and we know he’s going to be full of energy, ready to go every day. I’m just excited just to learn with him and go through the process.”
Steve Belichick was named after his grandfather, the former Hiram College and Navy coach who literally re-wrote the book on modern scouting. Steve, like his father, has a love for lacrosse as well. He played lacrosse at Rutgers and walked onto the football team as a long snapper under then-coach Greg Schiano.
In his Patriots bio, the team writes, “Belichick walked on to the football team as a long snapper to help in preparations for a career in coaching.” Belichick was a three-year starter at linebacker, tight end and fullback as well as a long snapper at The Rivers School in Weston, Mass., before heading off to Rutgers.
|Devin McCourty: ‘Tough’ to replace Jerod Mayo||02.17.16 at 1:37 pm ET|
It’s clear Jerod Mayo meant much more to the Patriots than what he did on the field. It went beyond football as Mayo was a person who cared about everyone in the organization and everyone felt the same way about him.
Speaking on Sirius XM NFL Radio Wednesday, safety Devin McCourty talked about what it will be like without Mayo on the team after the linebacker announced he will be retiring Tuesday night.
“First of all, I just think we’ll miss probably one of the best leaders that I have ever got a chance to play with,” McCourty said. “The thing I think with Mayo, he’s a special person. I think that is why going through the last couple years of his career — injuries, not being able to do the things he wants to do on the field because of rehab and different things like that, it didn’t bother him as much just hanging it up because he knows he has so much more he wants to do. I’m happy for him to be able to be at a space and time in his life where he’s OK not playing again.
“For us, from a football standpoint, it will be tough. That guy, no matter what, if he was on the field, if he was rehabbing, he kept the locker room light. He kept practice always entertaining and fun. I don’t think you will find a person in the building, top to bottom that doesn’t love Mayo and loved having him around. It will be tough.
“I don’t think we can replace him with a guy or even several guys. It will just be different, especially for me being there six years and him being there every year I was there. It will be tough going out here envision him playing and practicing and doing all those things not hearing his voice and him there in person.”
Mayo spent eight seasons in the league, all with the Patriots after being selected No. 10 overall in the 2008 draft.
|Patriots players pay tribute to retiring Jerod Mayo on social media||02.16.16 at 8:46 pm ET|
Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo announced his retirement on Instagram early Tuesday night and in the hours following, a few Patriots players took to social media to pay tribute to their former teammate, who spent eight years with the team.
Can’t imagine playing a season without this guy @jerod_mayo51 …can’t thank him enough for what he’s done to help my career and help me as a man. Been a blessing how teammates turn to brothers…one of the greatest Patriots to lace the cleats up…I gotta come hit the basement with the Fam…always I appreciate you and @mrsmayo51 adopting me LOL -Dmac
|Patriots position-by-position breakdown: Secondary||at 6:00 am ET|
With the Patriots done for the season, we’ve got an end-of-the-year position-by-position breakdown of where the Patriots stand and what figures to be the strengths and weaknesses for the team at that position going forward. We kicked things off at quarterback and now is the secondary.
Depth chart: Cornerbacks Malcolm Butler (56 tackles, 2 interceptions), Logan Ryan (58 tackles, 4 interceptions), Justin Coleman (17 tackles), Leonard Johnson (8 tackles), Rashaan Melvin (2 tackles). Safeties Devin McCourty (49 tackles, 1 interception), Duron Harmon (14 tackles, 3 interceptions), Patrick Chung (49 tackles), Jordan Richards (14 tackles), Tavon Wilson (8 tackles).
Overview: For the most part, the secondary played pretty well for the majority of the 2015 season. Overall, the defense ranked ninth in total defense and 10th in points per game, allowing 19.7. Specific to the secondary, the Patriots were 17th in passing defense, allowing 240.7 yards per game, which certainly could be improved upon. It did get better as the season went on, as in the last seven games including the postseason, New England allowed just 208.6 yards passing per game.
The yards the Patriots did allow through the air come down to a few things. One, the Patriots especially at the beginning of the year were playing with a lot of large leads so they were in prevent defense a lot of the second half, which allowed opposing offenses to pick up chunks of passing yards through the air. Second, they had issues finding a consistent third corner and often times opposing quarterbacks would take advantage of that picking on players like Coleman, Johnson and Melvin. If there was one area to improve upon or add to, it would be finding a No. 3 corner to play with Butler and Ryan.
Who will stay? The positive thing for the Patriots is besides McCourty, who is 28 years old, the secondary is very young and will only improve with time. It would seem like the entire secondary will stay in tact for the 2016 season. Butler made the Pro Bowl in his second season in the league and first as the Patriots’ No. 1 corner and Ryan made huge strides going up against some of the best receivers in the league. McCourty is one of the better safeties in the game and Chung and Harmon are nice complements. Richards and Wilson, Richards especially, showed promise when it came to defending opposing tight ends.
Who will go? The only real area of concern is the No. 3 corner/slot corner and that could be where the Patriots try and improve by adding a player or two. They certainly won’t break the bank for it, but maybe bring in a few guys at the league minimum and see how they work out. One name to keep an eye on is Darryl Roberts, the Patriots’ seventh-round pick in 2015, who missed the season due to injury.
By the numbers: 12 — The Patriots finished the year with just 12 interceptions, their fewest since 2005 when they had 10.
|Patriots bring back the bag: New England defense continues to secretly stash takeaways||01.21.16 at 1:26 pm ET|
FOXBORO — If a tradition works, you keep it up. Right?
And so when the Patriots defense introduced the turnover bag last season — and New England ended up winning the Super Bowl as a result — according to defensive captain Devin McCourty, it just made sense to bring it back for another season.
“You introduce it and you go with the Super Bowl, you might as well keep it in there,” McCourty said with a smile before practice on Thursday.
The turnover bag was the brainchild of linebackers Patrick Graham last season, and was created as a way to get the defensive into a mindset to go “hunting” for the football. After each takeaway, the footballs were stashed in bags in a defensive meeting room at Gillette Stadium.
“The point of emphasis at the beginning of the year for us was to get the football,” Graham said before the Super Bowl last year. “We talked about hunting the football down and getting the football, and I thought that was the most descriptive imagery I could give them — to hunt for the ball. … And those guys, from day one, the first game of the season, they hunted the football down.”
So even though there was sizable (ahem) turnover on defense this season — cornerbacks Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner and Kyle Arrington all departed, while defensive lineman Vince Wilfork also left — the Patriots have kept the tradition of the turnover bag alive.
“It was something we started last year and it was good for us, so we went with it again this year,” said safety Duron Harmon. “We definitely do have a bag and we try and force ourselves to fill as many bags as possible. We provide ourselves on trying to create turnovers.”
“I think that’s become a tradition of the defense,” McCourty said. “[Graham] came in last year and started it — it had nothing to do with the guys who were here last year. It was just a mentality that he felt we needed to play with as a defense. I don’t think that’ll leave.”
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