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Devin McCourty Press Conference Transcript

New England Patriots CB Devin McCourty addresses the media during his press conference at Gillette Stadium on Friday, January 20, 2012.

Q:  How's the team's preparation been this week?  

DM: We came out and worked hard. That's the goal, to come out and work hard all week at practice and give yourself a chance to play well on Sunday. We feel like we came out here and worked hard and now it's time to execute on Sunday.  

Q:  What's the confidence level of the defense heading into Sunday's game?  

DM: It's a different week, but we feel confident going into the game. We feel like we practiced hard and got some things done. We'll go in there with confidence on Sunday and now we have to execute.  

Q:  How have the Patriots tight ends helped in practice preparation this week?  

DM: The two guys have helped all throughout the year. From the beginning of training camp all the way to whatever week this is, counting preseason. Going against those guys everyday helps us, not only to cover other good tight ends, but going against [Aaron] Hernandez helps cover big, physical receivers in this league. So, those guys are a big help to us each week in practice.  

Q:  Can you talk about the crowd last week and your expectations for the crowd this week?  

DM: It was a good showing and it was fun being out there last week. Hopefully they'll come out and support the same way. We have to give them something to cheer for. We have to play hard and as long as we're playing hard, our fans will be there for us.  

Q:  Why has the Ravens defense played better at home than they do on the road?  

DM: I'm sure with this game they'll come in focused and trying to play well. It's tough. Sometimes those stats really don't mean anything. You really have to look at the game. But, I'm sure they'll come in here ready to play.  

Q:  Can you talk about the advantage of playing in Gillette Stadium?  

DM: Our crowd. We love having our fans here to support us, yelling and screaming. You have the momentum and the crowd noise helps out a lot.  

Q:  Can you talk about the Patriots playing in London next year?  

DM: No. I'm focused about Sunday. London will be here sometime next year. Right now the goal is to play well on Sunday.  

Q:  Can you talk about Ray Rice and why he's as good as he is?  

DM: We got to watch him on defense in college make play after play. I think it's his versatility. He plays hard, his vision is good and he has good balance. The same things I see watching film on him now I used to see up close in practice. I always knew he was going to be a great player and it's fun to watch him.  

Q:  Can you talk about going one-on-one against Ray Rice on previous occasions?  

DM: A couple of times we went against each other. I'm going to say I won them all.  

Q:  Is the feeling that the defense has turned a corner and is playing their best football now?  

DM: We feel like we played better last week. We feel like we improved. We came in this week and worked hard, tried to improve on some things and now we have to show it. Just doing it in practice and playing well in practice is not enough. We have to execute on Sunday.  

Q:  How has it been switching to a new position and how difficult that can be?  

DM: It was just about playing football. I went head first at it just trying to make plays and using whatever skill I had just as a football player, playing defensive back. I think my attitude, just like a lot of other guys was, any way we can help the team win; we're ready to do it. Hopefully we can play well with whatever position they put us in.  

Q:  Can you talk about the process of switching to a new position?  

DM: At this time of year for everyone I think it's been added film work. Trying to learn and know as much as you can going into these last games with no tomorrow if you lose. I think everyone has put in that extra work to make sure we go out there and play well. That's probably the biggest thing, the extra film work.  

Q:  Can you talk about the versatility of the guys on the team?  

DM: We don't even think about it. Guys just go out there and play football. At the end of the day, we try to get wins. We just go out there and play. Having those guys out there making plays, we're all having fun with each other.  

Q:  Is there more confidence on the defense with the injured players back?  

DM: It helps a lot. Those guys have game experience and they make plays on the field. Having them out helps because of their emotion and the passion they bring to the defense as well as their playmaking abilities. They give us confidence and now it's just going out and doing it."  

Q:  What's your scouting report on Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco?  

DM: He makes all of the throws on the field. When you watch him throwing the ball down the field, he can definitely get it deep. The biggest thing people don't give him credit for is his ability to run if he has to. Certain games you see him taking off down field and if you don't account for him, he gets a lot of yards. We have to be ready to stop him at different times. He gets the ball to the right guys. As a defense, we'll have our hands full on Sunday.  

Q:  How special is it to get this deep in the playoffs?  

DM: I think getting here and we're talking about taking advantage of the opportunity. [That means] going home at night and studying more film. Studying the game plan and doing everything you can. You don't get these opportunities every year. Just going out there and making sure we do everything we can.  

Q:  Is Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker difficult to practice against?  

DM: From the standpoint of running around, yes. The real reason is because of how good he is. Covering him is not easy. He's very quick. Us as defensive backs, even though he's running around full speed, it's hard to cover him. That's the biggest challenge. But, Wes helps us get better each day. Going against him on one-on-ones is very tough, but we feel like we get better going against him.  

Q:  Can you talk about Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith being a big-play receiver and the difficulty covering him?  

DM: He's fast. He flies down the field and runs by guys. The biggest reason why [Joe] Flacco has confidence in him is because he comes down with the catch. We really have to be ready to cover him. He makes plays down the field, but he also makes other plays where he catches the ball and is able to run. We just have to be prepared. When he gets the ball in his hands, he's dangerous and trying to cover the deep ball.

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