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Devin McCourty Press Conference Transcript 11/23

Q: What's up Dev [Devin McCourty]?

DM: What's happening?

Q: How are you?

DM: Good.

Q: Any big Thanksgiving plans?

DM: Nope, nope.

Q: Do you guys have practice tomorrow?

DM: Yeah. We'll be here.

Q: What do you give thanks for when it comes to football?

DM: A job. It's that simple. Once you play in the league for a little while you realize how easy it is to be out of football - friends, teammates that you grew close with. Just being able to have a job and be playing. 

Q: What's your favorite Thanksgiving Day tradition or favorite side dish?

DM: Really for me, just hanging out with family. It's different since I've been playing football. [I] don't always get to be around the family. You know, just hanging out. It'll be me and my wife. We'll probably go to a couple teammates' houses but just being able to relax, watch football and eat. 

Q: What's your favorite side dish?

DM:  Macaroni and cheese, probably.

Q: How great was the impact of Darrelle Revis?

DM: I thought we were talking Thanksgiving. 

Q: What was Darrelle Revis' favorite side dish?

DM: I'm not sure. He's a real different kind of guy. He probably likes something that people don't even usually eat on Thanksgiving. 

Q: What was Darrelle Revis' impact both as who he was and what he taught you guys?

DM: I mean he was just a great player for us. His ability to do what we asked him to do on a defense, which was usually very tough, and to go out there and assign the guys and be able to really stop them. You know, that was a big part of what we were able to do in 2014 week in and week out. Then from a teaching standpoint, just his knowledge of playing in a different system, playing in a couple different systems, how he viewed the game, how he viewed matchups. I think it definitely helped the whole secondary. 

Q: He was really accessible to you guys in terms of being able to transfer knowledge, wasn't he?

DM: Yeah. I think when you're playing football everybody is kind of like that. Him, [Brandon] Browner, we all talked about what we thought whether it be on offense or defensive scheme. A lot of times you get older guys, [and] that's what you're sitting down there talking about. When Adrian Wilson came here he was big. He was a big X's and O's guy and we were able to talk about defensive schemes, what he was used to running. It's always good to have veteran guys that come from different systems and really understand defense.

Q: Have you been a mentor to players in the final year of their contracts and everything that goes along with that?

DM: Not really. [I'm] just playing football. I don't know; I haven't really talked to the guys about that. 

Q: Was it tough for you to stay focused on football when you had that going on with your contract?

DM: Not for me. [I] just wanted to win and keep playing well.

Q: How would you describe what those conversations are like between Bill Belichick and the team captains and how valuable they are as representatives of your team?

DM: I think for us it's the ability to give Coach [Bill Belichick] the insight of the player's perspective and the player's point of view and how things are going that really the coaching staff doesn't see. Then for us it's kind of getting the mentality of the coaches of going forward in that week and how exactly they feel game plan-wise and how the game is playing out. A lot of times the chance to talk and discuss what we like in the game plan and what we don't like and it's really guys from all sides of the ball - offense, defense, and special teams - guys that are usually the signal callers and the guys that have a good beat on what's going on, what the players are mentally [thinking], if there's too much in or if we need to add something. So it's always kind of a good chance to recap and review right before we go into a game. 

Q: Darrelle Revis was previously on record as describing Bill Belichick as a 'players coach' because he was receptive to the players' point of view. Is that the typical reaction you get from a lot of guys who come into the organization for the first time?

DM: Yeah, I think so because I think all they see are his press conferences so you don't really expect him to listen and understand different things, and I think guys come here and they're a little shocked at how much goes into him listening to the players and trying to get a good understanding of how the players feel, especially as you get towards the end of the season and different things like that. 

Q: As your defense evolves, how important are the contributions from players like Trey Flowers, Eric Rowe, and Kyle Van Noy going forward?

DM: I think that's what builds a team. Bill [Belichick] always talks about guys having roles and playing well in your role no matter what that role is. I think especially a guy like Trey [Flowers] who is a younger guy who, as the season has gone on, he has got more and more playing time. So as you would expect he has gotten better and better and it's just fun to watch and see that. I think we have a lot of guys like that, are just excited when they get an opportunity to get on the field and they want to play well to extend their opportunities and play more. 

Q: Did Darrelle Revis ever ask you what the transition is like going from corner to safety?

DM: Not really. I don't really remember us talking about that that much. 

Q: Can you ever imagine a scenario where he goes from being a corner to safety? Do you think he has that kind of ability if he wanted to do that?

DM: Yeah, probably if he wanted to but I wasn't able to do what he was able to do at corner. I think that's up to him. He's still playing corner at a pretty good level. That would be up to him for his future.

Q: Is the biggest difference the way you see the field?

DM: Yeah, and a lot of communication goes in but every defense is different of what they ask for a corner or a safety to do. That factors into it, too.

Q: How do you describe the challenge of dealing with the size of the Jets receivers?

DM: You've got to try to go out and compete and use some of your strengths because both of those guys are big, they're physical, they play to their size. Whether it's in the running game when they're blocking and trying to take advantage of smaller guys, or balls down the field that are kind of up for grabs, you've got to really try to get good position and use that position. For our guys, if you've got good quickness, use your quickness and use your different strengths trying to battle them for each ball that's thrown to them.

Q: How do you like the challenge of having to see the Jets twice in the final six games?

DM: Yeah and it's always a tough game. I think Bill [Belichick] said this morning that seven of the last eight games are like one score or overtime that we played them. It's going to be a tough challenge because I think both teams know each other well. Game planning is tough because obviously I think both sides know each other very well. It's kind of you're thinking of 'What is going to be the exact game plan? What are they going to try to do?' We know what they already do but what's going to be the exact game plan for us and I think they probably think the same thing - what are we going to have that will be a little different going in for them? It's going to be a challenge in both these games, going there and when they come here. Both teams will be ready to play and it'll probably again go down to the last possession of the game. 

Q: As a lot of newer guys get playing time, what is your role as a veteran in trying to bring them along and make sure that they can be big contributors?

DM: Just making sure that they're confident out there, that they know what they're doing, that they can play fast because when guys are out there they have already shown that they can be out there and play on that level and play at a high level. It's nothing for me to do as far as them playing but just giving them the confidence and making sure they fully understand what's going on so that they are able to play fast and do what they need to do and not have to worry about some of the little things of where guys motion and where guys move. If I can help with that understanding or over communicating out there and making sure that you say things and they're assertive and they understand. I think for me when I was a young rookie playing that always helped out a lot when I would hear James Sanders yell out an alert. It would just click faster for me and I would be able to play faster. 

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