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Devin McCourty

Getty Devin McCourty

D

evin McCourty is entering his 13th season with the New England Patriots but that doesn’t mean that the veteran is slowing down.

McCourty has been a leader on and off the field for the Patriots. The first-round pick is a two-time Pro Bowler and has three Super Bowls to his name.

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While starting his career as a defensive back, McCourty transitioned to safety. His ability to defend the pass hasn’t been lost as McCourty has racked up 31 interceptions over his career.

Last season, McCourty, 34, tallied 60 tackles and three interceptions. When it came to defending passes, McCourty was one of the best according to Pro Football Focus.


Leading The Way

McCourty has been a leader ever since coming to New England. He was named a team captain in 2021 for the 11th time in his career.

It seems as though just yesterday McCourty was just a rookie but now he is one of the oldest players on the roster. The safety is a relic of the past.

McCourty was a part of some of the best Patriots teams in franchise history. He was a key part of the defense with his ability to defend both the pass and the run. Along with his 31 career interceptions, McCourty has 900 tackles, 11 forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries, and two touchdowns.


McCourty’s Role in 2022

Luckily for the Patriots and McCourty, he will have some help at safety in 2022. New England will have plenty of options at the position due to offseason moves and doing well in the draft.

The Patriots currently have Adrian Phillips, Kyle Dugger, Jabrill Peppers, and McCourty who can line up at safety. With the Patriots losing some key pieces at cornerback, this gives them the ability to fill in the gaps by possibly putting three safeties on the field.

J.C. Jackson signed an $82.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Chargers and New England’s only replacement so far for the loss is signing Malcolm Butler. Jackson, 26, is coming off a 2021 season where he racked up eight interceptions. In the last two seasons, he has snagged 17 interceptions.

Butler came out of retirement and is now 32 years old. While Patriots fans are happy to have the Super Bowl hero back in New England, expecting him to be the top corner is quite a big ask.

With the number of safeties on the roster, New England can also position players all over the field. Bill Belichick could move players such as Phillips, Dugger, or McCourty closer to the line of scrimmage to help defend the run or have a former corner such as McCourty move out wide to help defend the pass.

But Patriots fans should still expect McCourty to be one of the top players on defense. While he might not be as fast as he once was, his football I.Q. helps ensure that he is in the right place at the right time to make a play.

If he puts up similar numbers in coverage as he did last year, New England will be more than happy with his performance.

Source: Heavy

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