Patriots praise McCourty for leadership
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (WHDH) -- One of the keys to the Patriot’s success this weekend is a playoff playmaker on the defensive side of the ball.
Devin McCourty changed positions this season and his teammates say that has changed how the Patriots play on that side of the ball.
“I follow in Devin’s footsteps all the time. I feel like I can go to him about anything. He’s a great guy to surround yourself with,” said Tavon Wilson.
As a player heading into just his second season in the league back in 2011, McCourty was named a Patriots captain and now an unquestioned leader on the Patriot’s defense.
“Devin has done a great job lining up different spots on the field. He’s one of the best communication guys. He makes sure everyone is on the same page. Very versatile, plays corner, he can play in the slot, he plays safety. He leads by example,” said Jerod Mayo.
As it turns out, it's an example guys like Jerod Mayo taught him.
“The biggest one really was Slate and Mayo just because Mayo was named captain his second year and Slate was also a younger guy last year in his third year. So, just learning from those guys and seeing what they do and just modeling myself after their actions and how they lead,” said McCourty.
Since moving almost exclusively to safety for most of this season, McCourty is now also leading the secondary on every play, an added responsibility that he enjoys.
“You have to put the work in, the studying in and knowing what different guys are doing, what the offense is doing, what your guys need to do. That’s always key when you can get guys on the same page. I think that’s when we play at our best,” said McCourty.
“Playing safety I think you kind of have to be accountable for the whole defense and the coverage as a whole just because so much of the communication is between the two safeties,” he said.