Devin McCourty on secondary: I’d be lying if I said today that we’ll be great

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The 2014 Patriots secondary had three key members heading for free agency when the season came to an end and they wound up retaining one of them.

Safety Devin McCourty re-signed with the team while cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner opted for deals with other teams, leaving them team with uncertainty about how they’ll line up at the position come September. On Tuesday, McCourty stopped well short of predicting that all will be peachy regardless of who is in the lineup because of how much work needs to be done before the team gets to that point.

“I’d be lying if I came out here and told you we were gonna be great,” McCourty said, via ESPN.com. “Same thing last year — when we all got together, we didn’t know what to expect. We gotta put the work in now. We’ll grow as the process goes on, once we get on the field for OTAs and we’ll start practicing, doing things like that. That’s where you put the work in, and give yourself a chance to be a good secondary.”

There will be a lot of moving pieces as the Patriots figure out how they want to play things, but McCourty will give them a reliable center to build their defensive backfield around this season after signing a contract that makes his statyse as a team leader impossible to argue.

57 responses to “Devin McCourty on secondary: I’d be lying if I said today that we’ll be great

  1. We’ll find out week one when the Steelers bring their offense to town that was 2nd in the league last season.

  2. I’m glad that Devin stayed on as a Patriot, but I am afraid that he may have missed a memo about keeping his mouth shut.
    The secondary is going to be just fine.

  3. As always…the headline takes away from the story and what he actually means.

    He’s right, the work has to be put in. People wrote off the Pats and their secondary after 4 games, and said they’ll be facing a “gauntlet” of good QBs and receivers in the coming weeks. Right…….

    It’s only April

  4. Humility and pragmatism in the off-season? That is certainly a sharp contrast with some other franchises in the AFC East.

  5. That is the type of attitude that is needed. There should be no expecting to be what you were the previous season. When you expect to win the division…or the conference, you don’t do all you need to do to actually get there. Each year other teams are trying to do what you did…and the AFC East promises to be a bit tougher this year.

  6. Looking at the Pats schedule they, they need to get the secondary figured out by the end of week 3 or durring their bye week durring week 4…. Really don’t like the bye week being so early this year as it makes for a long season!!!
    They got 3 tough stretches: weeks 5-8, 10-14, & the last 2 road games against div foes weeks 16-17…. Those last 2 games could be very important to playoff seeding & bye week durring the playoffs which a very tired team will need badly!!!
    Go pats!!!!

  7. Devin – just zip it. Patriot Way is silence and listen to BB develop his plan.
    Yes, Revis and Browner are big losses but the entire Patriot Nation has confidence that you and others will excel. The reality is that Belichick and Brady are back and they are the very best. They will be expecting another Super Bowl ring each, to make it 5.
    Don’t buy the BS that the Dolphins, Bills and Jets are suddenly great. They don’t have anyone in Belichick and Brady’s league of talent.

  8. People act like the Pats never won a game before Revis. Welker catches a ball that hits both palms in Super Bowl XLVI the Pats have 2 rings in the past 4 years. And the ensuing 2 seasons they were in the AFC Championship Game playing WITHOUT Gronk.

    Winning the Super Bowl will make players like McCourty, Jones, Hightower, Butler and Collins much better and they get Mayo back. See you in Santa Clara. #DriveforFive

  9. McCourty knows the drill by now. He got his money and we all know that there’s no way the Patriots can replace Revis (Browner is another story–but penalties aside, he brought a certain veteran toughness–we’ll miss that).

    The Patriots will look shaky in the secondary for awhile, possibly losing a game or two they shouldn’t because of it, and then as mid-season rolls around, they’ll start to take form. Detractors will say “the Patriots are finished, Brady has lost it”, etc. and they’ll of course be wrong yet again.

    Belichick’s greatest strength has always been that his teams get better and better as the year progresses. It’s the most accurate indicator of the head coaches value. I usually take note of the teams that continually stumble into the end of the season. Those are the coaches teams should avoid hiring in other cities. There will definitely be a lot of close games this year, but the Pats tend to win those.

    Until further notice, (not off-season crowing by the Bills, Dolphins, Jets taking over the AFC East), the Patriots will most likely finish 12-4, or 11-5 and will stay there until Brady retires, and Belichick walks away.

  10. Now, if this had been another team, the player would have said, “Well, I think this secondary is gonna be outstanding and we can get to the Super Bowl,” and then everyone would comment on how its good to be confident and really, what else was the player going to say, of course he’s going to say they’re going to the Super Bowl and he’s confident everything will work out….

    Yeah, well, this is a pretty good response to that.

  11. 2004 – 2014. Pete Carroll will be punished by the football gods for not running Lynch at the 1. This one decsion has unleashed the bandwagoneers after 10+ years of SB futility.

    There will no back to back. Get that out of your heads now with that bum defense. The Pats defense is leaky upp the gut, up the side and in the air.

  12. @corvetteman

    I, too, am flummoxed by the Steelers lack of attention to their secondary. They have a little cap space, but declined to sign even the low price FAs. It’s a real optimist who thinks you can find a plug and play CB at pick #22. Plus, their schedule includes most of the league’s top offenses and QBs ( Brady, Manning, Wilson).
    .

  13. Every year or for the past 5 or so Brady gets older and as a Dolphin fan I think “maybe we will overtake the Pats this year”. I look at their roster and they don’t have a great RB and their WRs look like horse jockeys.. However Brady is Brady and Bill is Bill. They do not have a sexy team on paper but they win so as bad as I want to dethrone the Pats, I will believe it when I see it. This year with Miami making solid moves, the Bills and Jets both making solid moves and the Pats loosing a lot of their players from last year it seems as though it may be the year… But we will see.

  14. “Shoulda signed Revis!”

    They had virtually no shot at re-signing Revis. The Jets had tons of cap space and would have outbid the Pats no matter how much they offered him. And as we all know, Revis was always going to sign with the highest bidder, even if they were a last place joke of a team. Winning has always been secondary for Revis.

    The only way the Pats could have re-signed Revis would have been to exercise that $25 million option, and there was no way they could do that without devastating their roster.

  15. I called their championship last year after they signed browner. Browner put them over the top. Losing browner and their lockdown in revis is too much to overcome. They may go to the Super Bowl but they won’t beat the packers.

    You heard it here first. Packers patriots Super Bowl. Pack wins.

  16. Apparently most people just read the title and started assuming.

    If you actually see what he said, all he did was say that they are just starting to get together and they have a long way to go until they are season ready. You know, just like 95% of all sports players say on the first couple days they get back together at the start of the pre-season.

  17. Teams that predict a Super Bowl win at this time of year never make it.

    The Pats know quite well they have a mountain of hard work to put in before the season even starts. Both Revis and Browner commented last year that the Pats work much harder preparing than any of the other teams they’ve played with.

    Last year and it’s SB ring no longer exist to Belichick and the Pats as far as this season is concerned. BB and Brady are well aware of what it means to have the SB winner target on their backs. Every other team plays it’s hardest against you. They also know what it takes to keep winning in that circumstance.

  18. DMac knows the drill. Everyone questions them at first. Belichick tries a few combinations and the secondary starts to gel. By mid season it comes together and everyone has moved on to talking about a division rival coach’s leaked foot fetish videos or something.

  19. Yeah, what a crazy controversial thing to say. Pats defensive backfield isn’t quite ready yet. It’s not like they have any time to gel or anything. Just 6 months or so.

  20. No worry – Bill is busy installing his “faulty” sprinkler system that will keep the league’s speedy receivers from running away from your secondary for the Foxboro games.

  21. Belichick typically does well with role oriented DBs and zone coverage. When you can get guys like Revis on the cheap there is no reason not to do so.

    The Jets however have put all their eggs in one basket for the next several years. The Patriots will use that same money for 3 quality players

    This works out best for both teams. The Jets make the jump from exceptionally bad all the way to mediocre for the next 5 years and maintain their Super Bowl streak of 40 plus years

    The Patriots will remain SB contenders as long as they keep Brady healthy

  22. Can he move back to corner so we can all see him get smoked on a regular basis??? That secondary is going to look worse than my Jets secondary did last year!! I thoroughly enjoy how Pats fans have so much hope for a guy who makes 1 big play in the SB but every guy not named Revis or Browner got worked for that entire game. 1 safety can’t save you but hey, maybe the O can put up 35-40 a game to bail you out.

  23. @patriotinvansion
    To blame Welker for the Pats losing SB XLVI is delusional. You make it seem like he dropped a pass that should have been caught. That was a bad pass (at best) that he still almost caught. IMO Welker as about as sure handed a receiver as there is. So if you want to blame somebody for losing that game try blaming #12.

  24. McCourty is allowed to speak because he is the defacto defensive leader with Vince Wilfork now playing for Houston. This player has earned this role and the team is good hands. I am surprized at the tone from Steeler fans. Your team has played competitive football for decades and possess one of the best QB’s in the game. Cheer up!

  25. If a pro WR gets 2 hands on the ball, he’s gotta make the catch. Period. Brady’s pass was not great, but he tried to lead Welker away from coverage. Welker was a great player for the Pats, I enjoyed his time here, and hold no bitterness for him leaving. Especially with the emergence of Edelman. But…sure handed? That’s delusional. Welker is among the league leaders in drops every yr.

  26. They have the 22nd hardest schedule in the league. There won’t be much to figure out. Plus they get a break opening week. The Steelers won’t have Bell. It should still be a great game…2 great franchises. BTW…I am a Steelers fan.

  27. How can you call Welker a great player for the Pats (which is what I was obviously talking about) then say that he’s among the league leader in dropped passes every year? Make up your mind.

  28. fishfan39 says: Apr 22, 2015 12:08 PM

    @patriotinvansion
    To blame Welker for the Pats losing SB XLVI is delusional. You make it seem like he dropped a pass that should have been caught. That was a bad pass (at best) that he still almost caught. IMO Welker as about as sure handed a receiver as there is. So if you want to blame somebody for losing that game try blaming #12.

    ——

    Welker lead the league in drops in 2012.

    Care to revise your argument?

  29. jetfan74 says: Apr 22, 2015 12:03 PM

    Can he move back to corner so we can all see him get smoked on a regular basis??? That secondary is going to look worse than my Jets secondary did last year!! I thoroughly enjoy how Pats fans have so much hope for a guy who makes 1 big play in the SB but every guy not named Revis or Browner got worked for that entire game. 1 safety can’t save you but hey, maybe the O can put up 35-40 a game to bail you out.

    ———-

    He actually made 3 GREAT plays down the stretch in that Super Bowl.

    Browner was not good and is a penalty machine. 14 I believe last year.

    Guess who upped the pass rush since the secondary will be in zone more often? Yea….Sheard, Mayo back, Hightower, Collins, Jones, Nink, Easley…

  30. 12coltsfan12 says:
    Apr 22, 2015 7:43 AM
    As a colts fan I get kinda tired of these guys saying the right thing all the time

    ——–

    Boring but good. Like a Volvo.

  31. fishfan39 says:
    Apr 22, 2015 12:08 PM
    @patriotinvansion
    To blame Welker for the Pats losing SB XLVI is delusional. You make it seem like he dropped a pass that should have been caught. That was a bad pass (at best) that he still almost caught. IMO Welker as about as sure handed a receiver as there is. So if you want to blame somebody for losing that game try blaming #12.
    ………………………………………………………………….

    Wes Welker has dropped a lot of clutch passes and I remember that game as the highlight IMO was when Wes was wide open and true Brady through a high pass BUT it went off Wes Hands.. He should have caught that pass and I put the blame on other receivers dropping passes that entire game. I agree with the Pat fan that Wes should have came down with it. This was what prompted Bradys wife to say something like he can’t throw and catch the ball. Brady stayed classy and actually took Wes on their vacation.

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