Could Devin McCourty move back to cornerback?

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Devin McCourty entered the NFL as a cornerback. Eventually, Patriots coach Bill Belichick moved to McCourty to safety. Now, with a constant stream of cornerbacks leaving New England, an intriguing question has emerged, via Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald, as noted in Sunday’s one-liners.

Will Belichick move McCourty back to cornerback?

It would be a shrewd move, given that McCourty signed a new contract premised on playing the position of safety. And if wouldn’t be out of character for Belichick to move the pieces of his roster to address a need; he’s done it before on multiple occasions by moving receivers to defensive back.

But as Guregian notes, it could be better to have McCourty playing centerfield, guarding against largely unproven cornerbacks getting toasted. Or maybe McCourty will do a bunch of different things, with the opponent never quite knowing whether he’ll be covering a specific receiver or a general swath of real estate.

Regardless of how and where he’s used, McCourty becomes more important than ever to the Patriots. So important that, if he’d known when negotiating his contract what he knows now, he could have squeezed a lot more cash out of the team’s coffers, regardless of whether he’s listed as a safety or a corner.

34 responses to “Could Devin McCourty move back to cornerback?

  1. I think the Patriots are a 9 win team this season. That division has gotten tough. Their secondary sucks now. And I think Brady has at least 4 game this year that look like the KC one. They are really gonna miss their RBs who were so good catching out of backfield. Brady has turned into a modern day Steve DeBerg mostly dump off passes and 6 to 8 yard passes. 9-7 Patriots

  2. They can get away with these corners based on their competition in the AFC, but come the Super Bowl, they might want to consider moving him, depending on the matchup.

  3. Never gonna happen. Although McCourty plays a little CB here and there, moving him would weaken them at two positions. The fact they tagged him as a safety(3.5 mil less than a CB) and payed him like one(also less), moving him to CB wouldn’t make for a happy player. They has no chance to keep Revis, but as I’ve said all along, I have no idea what the plan is at CB. MButler made an historic play in the SBowl, but he’d be lucky to be a #2 CB on almost any roster. They dump Browner, Arrington and Dennard because they make too much. LRyan has done nothing. They sign a few FA CBs that were terrible last yr. They don’t draft a CB until the 7th rnd, yet wildly overdraft 2 guys on day 2 they probably could have gotten in rnds 5-7. It seems like the plan is to throw enough stuff against the wall and see what sticks. With Pitts, Denv, Giants, Dallas and Philly on the schedule I’m not optimistic. Maybe they go get someone with a bad contract like the Colts did with VDavis(Verner?)

  4. Pats are doing away with cornerbacks altogether. They will have 5 safeties out there in the dime.

  5. McCourty originally played cornerback. His rookie season he was nominated the Associated press All-Pro second team.
    He had a horrible sophmore season at CB. He struggled in man to man coverage and the safety help wasn’t good enough. In the third season the Patriots went to a more zone look and McCourty looked to be gaining confidence and started to look more like the player he was in his rookie season. Because of injuries they needed help at safety and Patriots moved McCourty to free safety where he has excelled. There was some talk of moving Harmon to free safety and McCourty this year but only as a last resort.

  6. I think they will play him there as needed. His ideal position is obviously free safety, but when you have guys like Logan Ryan and Bradley Fletcher penciled in for big roles at CB necessity might dictate that McCourty moves.

  7. Wait, did someone just compare Brady to Steve DeBerg? Is this the Comedy Channel or am I in the Twilite Zone?

  8. deflated footballs,

    …………since when if McCourty an “elite” FS?

  9. Shoot, I hope they don’t. They were awful with him at CB and no Safeties behind. Maybe someday the Richards kid will blossom into that player, but right now, I want McCourty backing up the weak link in the defense.

  10. Steve Deberg Career stats :

    W/ L – 53-86-1
    COMP % – 57.2
    Yards – 34241
    TDs – 196 / 206 games

    Tom Brady Career Stats :

    W / L – 160 – 47
    COMP % – 64.1
    YARDS – 53258
    TDs – 392 / 209 games

    @jhein – You Nailed It !!!!!!

  11. Brady have ALWAYS been a QB who thrives on the short pass, look how great he made Welker. WW looked great until he was asked to do more with Peyton. Is there another DeBerg who is currently in the HOF? LOL.

  12. jhein23 you NAILED it man!!!!

    Brady was EXACTLY like Steve DeBerg when he marched the Pats to two long scoring drives in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl against the best passing defense in the past 20 years and winning the game, winning the MVP award. Just like Deberg used to do all the time.

    jhein u soooo smart at football.

    With Garoppolo the Pats have the second best QB in the division until TB12 returns from his vacation with Giselle.

    Pats: 13-3 record, Super Bowl winners over Green Bay.

  13. Wait, did someone just compare Brady to Steve DeBerg? Is this the Comedy Channel or am I in the Twilite Zone?

    Hey tough guy Teddy did you throw a tantrum and throw the remote saying, if I can walk on Obama I sure as hell can turn of the Twilite Zone. What a big bag of wind….and D Phil concurs.

  14. Annnddd….the Thumbs Down King of the world chimes in. Even steeler fans want him to go away.

  15. Mike Florio would be more successful at Cornerback than McCourty… We actually found a position that the guy excels at, no one is that stupid to move the guy back to a position the guy has REPEATEDLY failed at!!! Forward ever, backward never.

  16. He graded out as one of the top safeties in the league, so yeah, he’s elite.

    I can’t see Belichick moving him back though. He provides a blanket over the top, something they’ll really need given the drop off in talent at the CB spot. Not exactly sure what Belichick was doing when he cut Arrington and Dennard, but the plan this season seems to be to pressure the QB before he gets a chance to look down the field. I also can’t see Belichick putting Harmon and Tavon Wilson back there while taking McCourty out of the position where he has done his best work

  17. There are three cornerbacks that are irreplaceable. Sherman, Revis, and Peterson. There are only three teams that have one of those players, everyone else is in the same boat. Brandon Browner, while good, was not outstanding and a PI penalty waiting to happen. (which was often)

    For everyone panicking (or celebrating) the Pats secondary, it is important to remember that. They really only need to replace one cornerback, albeit one of the three best in the league. The secondary will be fine and once the LB corp is healthy the defense will be one of the best in the league.

  18. Nope.
    Just looking at what BB did this offseason, he changed back to his NYG version of defense. With Revis it was still a 3 point game in the SB. Why?
    Because the defense was built for coverage, and not getting to the QB. In this league, the whole thing rests on the arm of the QB. Coverage more often than not = a penalty. There are a handful that can successfully beat the rush, Rogers, Brady, Brees, Wilson.
    So Bill built the 2015 Pats defense to be on the blitz most of the time. There is a full rotation of pass rushers on the roster right now. Two run stuffers.
    CB goes back to Zone, McCourty plays centerfield, and we live and die by making QB’s uncomfortable.
    Other teams do this very well- the Ravens for example, and the NYG also.

  19. I said this months ago! McCourty and Ryan will be CBs, Super Bowl Hero Malcolm Butler as Nickel. Chung and Tavon Wilson as Safeties. its actually not as bad a secondary as people think.

  20. Tavon Wilson counts 1.3 mil on the cap, is little more than a special teamer and they drafted(yet another) safety in the 2nd rnd. Night, night.

  21. He could, but he wasn’t very good there. The team’s lack of activity to replace Revis/Browner may be an indicator that Butler could be the real deal. He played like an all-pro in the SB (yes, other than the game winning play as well).

  22. Pats are going to get corners…as soon as teams start cutting their rosters down.l

  23. You know, I have a solid respect for Belechick and Brady. They stack up well with the immortals of the game. I tend to think that both of these guys make everyone on the team look that much better just by doing what they do.
    That said, I’ll be interested to see how things go when one part of that equation–namely, Brady—is gone in a few years.
    McCourty is an average defensive back, nothing more, and he doesn’t need to be anything more when his QB can put up 42 or 49 points with relative ease.

  24. PFT NE Patriots Blog has become the land where all of the crappy teams fans come to tweak Pats fans.

    I mean how else to you explain the ridiculousness of comparing Tom Brady to Steve Deberg unless it is just to get under peoples skin.

  25. Every team has almost 100 players right now. Belichick will be Belichick and another teams training camp trash will be the pats treasure

  26. To the guy saying Pats are a “9 win” team this year — I don’t care about your opinion and neither does anyone else.

    Place you bet on the UNDER and post your ticket. An opinion on sports without money behind it is worthless.

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