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Josh Boyer Conference Call Transcript

Patriots assistant coach Josh Boyer addresses the media during his conference call on Tuesday, January 17, 2012.

Q: How do you assess the play of Devin McCourty, especially at safety?  

JB: I would say Devin, like all of our guys, has position flexibility.  I think he has worked really hard in the film room and on the practice field trying to improve his techniques.  With some things that haven't gone so good, we work hard on those, and then the things that do go well, we try to improve upon those.  Just from a position flexibility standpoint, we have a lot of guys that have done some of the stuff that Devin is doing.  Sterling [Moore] has had positional flexibility for us, as well as Patrick Chung.  So all of our guys back there, Kyle [Arrington] included in that mix, they are very aware of what is going on [and doing] what we feel is best for the team that week of who is going to be in what spot.  

Q: What specific skills does Devin McCourty have that make him a good fit at safety?  

JB: For the safety, one of the things you are looking for is a guy that can track the ball in the air, which Devin has been able to do.  You have to have a little bit of range.  You have to be kind of a physical player being able to step up in the box.  Devin has done all of those things at points in times for us in the season.  There are things that we can still improve on in all those areas.  

Q: How much extra work does Devin McCourty have to put in to learn another position?  

JB: Again, when we put in defenses or teach a technique it is kind of a holistic approach, so all of those guys understand what is going on in the back end.  It is really a defensive back position and then like I said, it is probably as a staff whatever we feel is best or whoever fits what spot that we can plug them in there.  It is not a lot of extra learning or extra time on film study or this.  Everybody kind of gets what we are putting in defensively from a holistic approach.  

Q: Can you talk about the challenge of bringing out the individual strength of each player?  

JB: There is no doubt about it that the players when you can put a group out there that is consistently out there they get comfortable playing with each other and they can play off each other's strengths.  Our guys have done a really good job of when guys are coming in and going out.  That is why, for us, it is very important that everybody understands what we are doing at all positions.  When we put them in everybody has confidence in them that they know what they are doing and that they can go out there and perform.  

Q: What stands out the most about the Ravens' passing game?  

JB: The first thing that you look at is one, that Joe Flacco is a very capable quarterback.  He is a guy that can throw the ball 65 yards down the field.  He can hit the intermediate routes.  He is very smart; he understands when to go to the check downs.  Even at times he takes some good sacks; he doesn't put his team in bad situations.  I would say the passing game really starts with him.  Their receivers, Torrey Smith, he is very explosive, very fast and can get down the field in a hurry.  Anquan Boldin, a veteran player who can go up and get the ball as good as anybody.  Then Lee Evans, we saw that last week in the game, made a big catch, big play for them.  We faced him at Buffalo.  I would say that the receiving core is very good.  Ray Rice and Ricky Williams out of the backfield, those guys do an excellent job, and then their tight ends.  They have two tight ends, Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta that they will throw the ball to; they will run routes just like receivers.  Kris Wilson had a touchdown for them last week that was a big one for them down on the goal line.  I would say it is a very good passing game.  They can hit them deep, intermediate or short.  

Q: Was Sterling Moore a really raw player or did he come in and fit in pretty easily?  

JB: I think the thing with Sterling is that one, he is pretty athletic.  When he came in here, he has worked really hard to assimilate into our program.  He has improved throughout the year on techniques.  We have asked him to do multiple things, back the previous questions on guys having multiple roles.  He has been able to do that for us.  He is just like everybody else, there has been some good and some bad, and we are working hard to improve the things that we can improve.  The things that have gone good we are working to improve those as well and just kind of build on those.  

Q: When you have offensive players moving over to defense like Julian Edelman and Matthew Slater is a lot of it instinctive or is there a lot of teaching?  

JB: I would say that it is a little bit of both, especially with those guys being on the offensive side of the ball, they understand route concepts and what offenses are trying to do.  They kind of got a jump on that and then from a technique standpoint a lot of things that we do are a little bit different from the offensive perspective, so that takes a little bit of time.  Both of those guys have been excellent.  Those are two guys that have put in probably more time because they have to learn both sides of the ball.  

Q: Is it that easy or are they just that versatile that they are making it look easy?  

JB: I think they work hard at it.  Again there has been some good and some bad and it is the same thing.  I probably sound repetitive here with all of these guys, that is the approach we have taken all year, trying to build on the things that we have done well and then the things that we need to improve, those guys have worked very hard to try to improve those things as well.

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