By: Ian Logue
After sitting through minicamp and OTA’s, we’ll be taking a look at each of the new guys over the next couple of weeks to see exactly what we’ve learned from published news reports about each of them heading into Training Camp next month. Today we’ll look back at what we’ve heard from reports on 1st Round Draft Pick Devin McCourty.
The former Rutgers defensive back seems to be fitting in quite well so far with the Patriots defense.
(PHOTO CREDIT: Icon/SMI)
So far, most reports have been positive. He’s filled a lot of different roles – including joining Julian Edelman, Brandon Tate, Darius Butler, and Kevin Faulk returning kicks. Not exactly a real surprise that Bill Belichick would try him out there since he averaged 25.4 yards on kickoff returns during his college days, including had a 98-yard kickoff return, third-longest in his school’s history. Ian Rapoport at the Herald wonders if McCourty will be fighting with Butler for playing time? According to Jeff Howe of NESN.com McCourty is getting snaps with the second team, while Butler has been seeing time on the first team opposite Leigh Bodden. However, when Bodden was out for a session, McCourty worked with the starters on that side of the field.
McCourty for now is still not under contract, but Chris Price of WEEI.com reports that when a deal finally does materialize, he expects it to be for 5-years but doesn’t mention what he expects the rookie to get for a salary.
We know on the special teams end, that McCourty seems to be fitting in. He told CSSNE’s Danny Picard that his competitiveness meshes well with Patriots special teams coach Scott O’Brien’s high energy level during mini-camp.
“He’s very energetic,” said McCourty It’s good. As a guy who likes special teams, I’m just trying to learn from him.”
Other reports have said he’s done well in coverage, including holding his own against Randy Moss. Erik Scalavino of Patriots.com reported that when he covered Moss, he stayed with him and even knocked away a few balls.
Rookie CB Devin McCourty found himself matched up one-on-one with WR Randy Moss on several occassions during Thursday’s action. Moss made his share of catches, but McCourty handled himself well, knocking away a few balls and never letting Moss separate too much from him in space.
Before the team broke for the final time prior to the start of camp, McCourty told the Patriot Ledger that he’s planning on working hard in the next few weeks to make sure he’s more up to speed when training camp begins.
“Study the playbook and keep working out,” said cornerback Devin McCourty, the Patriots’ first-round draft pick from Rutgers, echoing Spikes’ sentiments in mapping out his personal game plan for the next five weeks or so. “That’s the biggest thing. Make sure I stay in shape and work on the things I’ve learned.”
It will be interesting to see him for the first time when camp starts, but so far things look like they’re off to a good start.