New England Patriots first round selection Devin McCourty addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, April 24, 2010.
PATRIOTS CHAIRMAN AND CEO ROBERT KRAFT'S OPENING REMARKS:
Kraft:First of all, we want to welcome you all here. It's great to see you. It's good to know that football is back and on the map. We think we had a great draft so far. A lot of physical players which is something that we like. We're privileged that three of our players have good lineage in the NFL. Our number one pick has a twin brother, although he's better looking I'm told even though they're identical, who plays for Tennessee. Rob [Gronkowski], our tight end, has a brother who plays for the Lions and Brandon [Spikes] has a cousin who plays for the 49ers, so that's good lineage. For us, this is our 17th year for Jonathan and I, greeting our number one pick in the draft, whatever round it is. It's our 10th year at this site, so it's pretty exciting and to have this young man who's, relatively speaking, about our size. Jonathan says that's where it ends right there - the physical size. What a great young man. I asked him about his mom and if she would have divided loyalty and he told me that his mom, Phyllis, is a New England Patriots fan. New Jersey is much closer to Foxborough than it is to Tennessee. Anyhow, it's with great pleasure I introduce our number one pick, Devin McCourty.
[pause for jersey presentation]
Kraft: Devin [McCourty] didn't know, when I met him this morning, that he had more tackles than any cornerback in college football this past year, just to support the physical part of his game. I asked what you would like me to say in addition to that and he said that I like to compete, I want to come in here and work hard and help the team win as many games as he can. I don't think it gets any better than that. [To McCourty] We support you in that effort.
DEVIN MCCOURTY Q&A
DM: Going through all of this and me and Mr. Kraft and [Jonathan]. I just feel like I'm still on cloud nine right now.
Q: Has this been a whirlwind for you?
DM: Yeah, just getting the call and my mom hugging me and she started crying. Just to be here now and my family is just extremely proud and I can't wait to just come here and start playing football.
DM: I'm just going to come in… Coach Belichick and Mr. Kraft, they believe in me. I'm just going to come in and be able to fit into the organization and work as hard, get to know my teammates and help them win as many games [as possible], like Mr. Kraft said.
Q: What have you thought about the other picks?
DM: I didn't get to see any today, but just yesterday just seeing the tight end - I don't know how to say his last name - [Rob Gronkowski] and then [Brandon] Spikes and I actually met Jermaine Cunningham on a visit, so I'm happy with the choices. I think it's a bunch of guys that are going to come in, work hard and try to win.
Q: What kind of preconceived ideas did you have about the Patriots before you met Coach Belichick?
DM: You just know it's one of the dynasties in football. Each year they're in the playoffs. They won Super Bowls in my era. Just watching football, they are always in the AFC Championship. It's just a team that you know that's competing to win the Super Bowl each year.
Q: What was your favorite team growing up?
DM: Actually my older brother was in the army and he was stationed in Texas, so when he came back he made me and my brother Cowboy fans. He kind of forced it on us.
Q: What's been the most surprising thing for you over these past few days?
DM: Just the attention. I guess playing at Rutgers is not as much exposure. Just how much attention I've gotten ever since I got picked has been crazy.
Q: Have you ever been here before and what are your impressions of the facility?
DM: This is my first time here and I'm just still blown away by being here and just coming out of the locker room and walking out onto the field and realizing this is where I'll be able to come out and play football on Sundays, it's amazing.
Q: What did you and Mr. Kraft talk about?
DM: We were just introduced and we kind of just got to know each other. We talked about my family, growing up and he just talked to me about life and stuff in general.
Q: Did you get a chance to meet anyone today? Do you have any connections with anyone on the roster?
DM: I didn't get to meet anyone today, but I did send a text to Darius Butler. One of my childhood friends went to [The University of] Connecticut. And then one of my teammates met Tyrone McKenzie, so I sent a text to him. They are just telling me congrats and they look forward to being out here and playing.
Q: Do you go back a long way with Darius?
DM: No. My childhood friend went to school with him, so that's how we are connected.
Q: What's your friend's name?
DM: Terry Baltimore.
Q: [On if he has a sense of urgency to get on the field and start playing]
DM: I think it's very urgent. I'm not used to being a guy that's not practicing. I told my agent that I want to be able to play and get with a team and get going as soon as possible. The first day of camp I want to be here playing.
Q: What do you think about the other cornerbacks on this roster?
DM: I didn't get a chance to watch much football last year, just because Sunday's we were always in the facility, so I don't know much, but the Patriots are always winning so you've got to know they have a good bunch of guys back there in the secondary. I just can't wait to get to know them and start working together.
DM: I think I'm still learning, getting used to all this. I feel like I'm ready just to go out there and play. Me and Coach Belichick talked and he was just getting to know me. He was telling me about, like you said, there're just different things that come along with being a first round pick. He said the main thing was to be yourself and do what you've been doing as far as just going out there and playing football.
Q: How much did you have contact with the New York Jets?
DM: My meeting with the Jets was similar to every other meeting. They said they liked me, kind of what everyone else said that you just can't predict the draft. I thought there was a possibility, but I also thought there was a chance I wouldn't be a Jet. It was all up in the air. No one gave any specific answers when we were going through the process.
Q: Did the Patriots visit have a different feel?
DM: All my visits were the same kind of deal - "we like you, but you can't predict the draft." As I'm sitting there you start seeing teams trade up, trade down. I got that feeling that you really can't predict anything that's going to happen.
Q: Coach Belichick talked highly of your special teams ability. Is that maybe where you see yourself having an impact quickest?
DM: Hopefully. I haven't gotten a chance to meet with the special teams coach, but special teams is a part of my game that I love doing. I'm excited to see how I can help not only on defense, but in the special teams area.
Q: What positions did you play on special teams?
DM: I was a gunner on the punt team, kickoff returner and I rushed the punt on our punt return team and I was a guy that ran down on kickoff.
Q: What other teams did you work\out with?
DM: I went to San Diego, Dallas, Cleveland and St. Louis.
Q: How involved were you in stopping the run game?
DM: Just in our system, when we played in cover two in college. When the team runs to the outside I was a guy that you have to come up and make a tackle on. Early in my college career, the first two years, I played safety. I was used to playing physical and kept that a part of my game when I moved to corner. It was natural to me to come up and make tackles when you have to.
Q: One name that's been thrown around a lot in the last few days in comparing you to Darrelle Revis. Is that something you've been hearing for awhile?
DM: I think it all started in the draft process because I played at Rutgers and the Jets are so close and he's one of the top guys in the NFL. I think everyone started making that comparison. He's a great player. He was in the Pro Bowl last year. I think it all started around the draft process time.
Q: How would you describe yourself as a corner?
DM: I think I'm a guy that's quick. I think I have a good knowledge of the game as far as preparing and studying. [I'm] a physical guy that's not scared to just go out there and compete, whether it be man to man or going to make a play in zone coverage. I think I'm a guy that competes and uses quickness and speed.