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Transcript: Devin McCourty Press Conference 12/13
Q: We saw Duron Harmon give a passionate speech to the defense on the sideline Monday night. Does it mean more when a guy who seems mild-mannered speaks up like that?
DM: I don't know. I think you guys put more thought into all of that than I do. So, honestly, I don't pay attention to it. Just trying to play well.
Q: What makes Ben Roethlisberger such a great quarterback?
DM: I think, like all great quarterbacks, obviously the preparation, the ability to figure out what you're in. I think what makes him really unique is him being able to just stand in the pocket, whether it's you hitting him as he's throwing it, whether it's him breaking two tackles, he stands in there, he's launching the ball 50, 60, 70 yards like that's nothing to him. So, I think that's always what's tough as a defense is not just covering the initial routes. It's covering initial routes plus the secondary and third route that they run off of that, which you've seen for years. But, then he's also able to hit his back foot and throw a nine route perfectly to any of those guys. You put his ability with just a whole crew of weapons, and it's tough to just pick out one. Obviously, you have to stop Antonio Brown, but because he's such a good quarterback, he can get it to all of those guys.
Q: How fast is this Pittsburgh receiving corps?
DM: Very fast. I mean, then you throw Eli Rogers in there - quicks, speed, just everything. And then you throw Jesse James and [Vance] McDonald in there - two good tight ends. It's just tough, and then you can't predict what they're going to do. They can easily come to empty, and Le'Veon Bell's another receiver. So, it is very tough. It seems like we were just talking about them playing them last year with all of the threats they have out there. It's just tough to match up against.
Q: What are your thoughts on Kenny Britt being part of the team?
DM: He's a Rutgers guy. Do we need to expand on that? We know what that means.
Q: What do you like about Britt as a receiver and a teammate?
DM: He's a good guy, a joy to be around, always upbeat, always smiling ear-to-ear, a physical guy, obviously big-bodied guy. You know, I'm excited for him - the opportunity to come here and try to catch on. Obviously, it's tough coming in at this point in the year, just trying to learn as much as possible and get out there. It's always exciting to have a guy you played with in college as a teammate in the NFL.
Q: What are your thoughts on the opportunity to clinch the division if you win on Sunday?
DM: Zero. For us, it has no bearing. It's all about us being prepared to play Pittsburgh. All the extra stuff comes with it, but it's just if we worry about the playoffs, we'll go down there and we'll get killed, honestly. This is too good of a football team to worry about anything else that surrounds the game, the implications. We have to be focused in our game plan and what we need to do in really all three phases of the game.
Q: Does the team close the door on what happened in Miami and move on, or do you carry that chip on your shoulder with you into this game?
DM: No, to me, all that's behind you. You have 16 games in this league that you're guaranteed, and you have to move on past all of them, whether it's a win or a loss. You can't take momentum and how you played from a win and think you just carry it over to the next game, and you can't take a loss and how you felt after and think that you can just transfer that and that's going to help you play better. The only thing that helps you play better is being ready to go against your next opponent. This opponent happens to be a team that gives us a ton of challenges. We've got to drop everything with the Miami week and move forward, or like I said, it won't be a good Sunday for us.
Q: When you look at the magnitude of this game and the talent that Pittsburgh has, does this game stick out more than others?
DM: Only because it's next. If you pick this game and you lose every game before it, it won't matter much if you win or lose, I think. Obviously, we've done some good things throughout the season, and this is the next game against a very good football team, AFC opponent. So this time of year, each game's the biggest game that you've played thus far, and this one's no different. It's a huge game for us, and we've got to be prepared and try to go out there and play well.
Q: Mike Tomlin was looking ahead to this game a couple weeks ago and even mentioned possibly playing you in the playoffs. Do you do that? Is there a point where you look at Patriots-Steelers as such a colossal matchup?
DM: No, I focus on the next game and then all my other free time goes to my wife and daughter. That's all I can handle right now.
Q: How confident are you that you guys are going to respond after the loss?
DM: I'm confident we'll compete. I think that's one thing that we do and I think responding comes with that competitiveness in you to come out here, flip the page, short week, come out here today, get what we need to get done, [and] continue that throughout the week. I'm very confident that we'll come out here and give it everything we've got and to me that's all you can do - give yourself a chance at the end of the week and go out there Sunday. I'm confident that this group will come out here and prepare and go out there in Pittsburgh and try to play our best football of the year.
Q: Antonio Brown is a guy that would seem to attract double teams but he's continuing to have this remarkable production week after week. What is he doing to beat double teams that I assume he's getting?
DM: He's really, really, really good and he has a really, really, really good quarterback. I think you start with that. It's tough to contain him. Even if you get, at times you get two guys on him - staying in front of him is tough. I think what you see him do, which usually a lot of receivers that are not 6'3" and 6'4" don't get credit for it, he makes catches in surrounding areas where there's three guys around him or Ben [Roethlisberger] throws it in between two guys and it looks there's no way he's going to come down with it. I think he has really good hands where he goes and plucks the ball in between two defenders. Then you just see at times if he's singled he beats the defender and that's a 40, 50, 60-yard play right there. He's a guy that you saw as well, as good as that game was last week against Baltimore and Pittsburgh, if he continues to produce in that game and have a big game, at a time it's going to hurt you. I think that's what you saw. He has the ability in tough situations and probably the biggest moments of the game late in the fourth quarter, he comes up with a big catch. He beats double team. He beats single coverage. He somehow finds a way to get open and Ben usually finds him. It's trying to, for 60 minutes, make it tough. You're not going to probably come out of this game [and] he has two catches for 10 [yards] - it's just not going to happen. He's too good of a player but you've got to try to contain him somewhat and not let him just ruin the game for you.
Q: Do you ever find it challenging if and when you consume some sports coverage and it says something like ‘are the Patriots done?' and you have to turn it off?
DM: No, I don't watch really any football stuff. The only other sports really is basketball and then I'm a big, big TV show guy. My DVR is usually where I spend most of my time.
Q: What about Quick Slants though?
DM: I don't watch Quick Slants if I'm not on it. Not enough good characters. Read