Patriots defensive backs coach Josh Boyer addresses the media during his conference call, on Tuesday, December 14, 2010.
Q: How effective have you guys been in disguising and confusing the quarterbacks?
JB: The thing with disguises is that we try to do different things each week with the quarterbacks. Sometimes it works better than others. The more our guys are playing together, the better we're getting at disguises and the more things that we can do.
Q: Do you feel that the comfort level expanded the second time around against the Jets and you could disguise more??
JB: I think there are a lot of factors that go into the disguise, the techniques we play, the coverages we can use. You've got to get good at point A before you go to point B. The good thing about our guys is that they work really hard and I think they're improving. The good thing is they come into work each and every day [and] they try to improve day after day. When those things all combine together then, collectively as a group, we can do some more things.
Q: What have you seen over the course of the year from Devin McCourty in terms of his rate of improvement?
JB: I would say he improves every day. Again, the thing with him is that he has such a great work ethic. He has the good ability to pick things up quickly. You see things like that from the Bears game. The first play of the game was very similar to that third-and-one play that he was able to make a stop on. He just kind of picked up on that and was able to make a good play for us and get us off the field on third down. It's little things like that. Once he sees it, the more experience he has with it. He's just very instinctive on things like that. It's just kind of a process for him seeing things. The more he sees, the better he is. And the more he works at it, the better he is. He's got a great work ethic. So, that's why the improvements happen at a consistent rate for him.
Q: One of the things Coach Bill Belichick mentioned when he talked about Charles Woodson is he called him an all-around cornerback. Do you see McCourty having that same ability to be an all-around guy?
JB: Charles Woodson - he's done it year after year after year. He's been very successful in the league. The thing with Devin is that he's done some good things and he's working hard to improve it. We expect that to continue to improve from him. With his work ethic and his skill set, the more he works at it - hopefully he can do that for a continued period of time.
Q: The last time we had talked to you we talked about Darius Butler. How has Darius Butler rebounded from the benching? What has he particularly gotten better at?
JB: He's been very consistent in the way he's approached the game. He's approached it each week like he was going to approach every snap. The other thing with Darius is the technique that we've asked him to work on, he's improved on that. There is still a ways to go as with all of our guys in the back end. We're always trying to improve. He's been very consistent on his approach. He has stepped in the last couple weeks and he's made some plays for us. He had a breakup in the Jets game for us. He had a breakup in the Chicago game for us. He's been able to make some plays for us and we feel good about his progress and where he's going. The guys that you see on the field, those are the guys that we have confidence in. I give a lot of credit to Darius for his approach week in and week out.
Q: It's been interesting the last couple of weeks to watch the safeties. What goes into the decision about which safeties will be featured and put into the regular package? What about the matchups dictates who plays?
JB: We've had four safeties that have played pretty consistently back there for us. They all have different strengths [and] different weaknesses. But they're all pretty good players. Each week, the matchups may be a little bit different and we just kind of roll them as we see fit [and] what we think gives us the best chance to win.
Q: How would you describe the way coaching works with the defensive backs between you and Corwin Brown?
JB: One of the things as a defensive staff, whether it be Bill [Belichick], Matt [Patricia], Pepper [Johnson], Corwin [Brown] or myself - I think we're all working to put the best collective group out there as we possibly can. Obviously Corwin and I work a lot more with the back end guys, but I kind of lean on him, and he can lean on me. It's been a good situation. But like I said, collectively as a group, we try to put together the best product out there on the field that we can.
Q: What have you seen in terms of rate of improvement from Kyle Arrington??
JB: Along the same line as Devin [McCourty] and Darius [Butler] and all their improvement, it's a combination of things. Number one, improvement of individual techniques, number two, actually getting some experience, and number three, just having confidence in the techniques and seeing things over and over again just allows them to play with a little more confidence in the techniques. It's pretty much a culmination of a bunch of factors that have allowed our players to improve over the last few weeks.
Q: When you look at the Packers receivers, what stands out to you?
JB: They're very explosive. They all have good hands. They all have a good ability to run after the catch. They can take a five-yard reception and turn it into 70 yards in a hurry. Each week we come into it, we have to prepare for very good receivers. It's no different this week. They're a very good group. You can tell they're very well coached. They won't run routes into coverage. They're good players. We're going to have to be very sound in what we're doing to compete with that.