Good stuff from Frenz on McCourty’s transition to safety.
Free safety Devin McCourty leads the defense in snaps played (652 of 659) and has been one of the NFL’s best this season. He leads all safeties with five passes defended, has two forced fumbles and an interception, hasn’t committed a penalty, and his tip-drill assist on Marquice Cole’s interception against the Dolphins was unbelievably heady.
McCourty is clearly a foundation-type player, so the question from here would be more “when” not “if” in terms of making it happen.
McCourty makes the first team, Gostkowski gets second team.
Free safety Devin McCourty has quietly graded as our top safety this season, and he continued his strong play on Sunday. He made plays in all phases of the game, perhaps none better than his touchdown-saving pass breakup in the end zone with 5:57 to go in the third quarter. TE Jeff Cumberland beat linebacker Dont’a Hightower down the seam, but as he looked to secure the well-thrown pass from QB Geno Smith, McCourty swooped in and pulled the ball from his grasp. McCourty made another key play later in the quarter as he blitzed off the edge and batted Smith’s pass to force the punt on 3rd-and -8. He got involved against the run as well, as he cleaned up for the tackle for loss at the 7:59 mark of overtime. The only throw completed into McCourty’s coverage was a swing pass to running back Chris Ivory that also resulted in lost yardage.
[T]he Patriots have an elite free safety in McCourty ( 10.0 at the position last year including playoffs), and a number of safeties with unique skill sets: Wilson is a smart veteran who can contribute close to the line of scrimmage, Gregory is a nice compelemnt to McCourty’s single-high looks, Wilson can stick with tight ends, while Harmon has nice range in two-high looks. Belichick mixes and matches on a week-to-week basis as much as any defensive coach in the league, so look for him to tap into the various skill sets in his defensive backfield.
It’s more technique," he noted on Saturday. "I think I know most of the stuff we do here [from] the defensive standpoint, [but] you can always learn more. But technique and as we get into the season seeing different teams, seeing what they do and viewing it from the corner standpoint and the safety standpoint is one of the biggest differences.
Devin McCourty needs us, Patriots fans!
The McCourty twins have announced they’re putting together a 5K Run/Walk in Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ, as part of the Tackle Sickle Cell campaign.
However, there’s a twist. The twins have have each set up their own fund raising team for the 5K to see which brother can raise more money, with the loser agreeing to fly to the other’s home football city (New England or Tennessee) and make a public appearance dressed up as the team mascot!
So unless you want to see D-Mac dressed up T-Rac (the Titans mascot) visit TackleSickleCell.org and either join the team as an active event participant or if you are unable to attend on June 9th, you can simply donate.
I’ve made it simple for you Pats fans, here’s the direct link to Devin’s page. Let’s do this!
Nice read from Frenz. Seems to me all but a forgone conclusion he’ll stay at safety, but it’s nice to know you can always kick him back to corner if needed.
[A] very valid point comes from Greg Bedard of The Boston Globe in the video above: McCourty has played very well at safety, given almost no offseason practice or preparation at the position. With a full offseason at safety, McCourty could very well emerge as a top free safety in the NFL. Should McCourty play cornerback or safety in 2013 and beyond? Cornerback Safety Submit Vote vote to see results The Patriots have a lot of options in the secondary and part of the reason why is McCourty’s versatility.