PATRIOTS DEFENSIVE BACK DEVIN McCOURTY
Q: I know everybody has to do them, but how tough are these short turnaround games from Sunday to Thursday?
DM: It's hard. I mean, just the preparation, everything that goes in - no day off really from playing Sunday. But, like you said, everyone has to do it, so try not to think about that and just do anything possible to try to go out here and get a win.
Q: How much of a boost does this team get when you get a guy like Julian Edelman back?
DM: He just has great leadership, obviously in his 10th year here. You guys see it - full of energy always, hyper, talking. So it's just, I think for a lot of guys that have been here, you're just used to him, used to him being there. Even at times when he was hurt, he was still yelling and screaming in the locker room. Obviously, a really good player, he's made a lot of plays here, so it's just good to have him back.
Q: Because of the short week, has it been easier to keep that momentum that you've had from the last game to this next game?
DM: Only if you do it. I think it's always kind of - Bill [Belichick] always says it's like emptying a tank every Sunday and then you've got to fill it back up and get ready to go the next week. We've just got to fill it up quickly and get ready to go Thursday. But, I think, playing well Sunday, you want it to keep going, but I think you have to understand playing Thursday night involves a lot of mental preparation that you need to do in order for that to happen. I thought we got off to a good start, guys working together a lot, watching film together, so we've just got to keep that going. It doesn't really even stop tomorrow. We've got to keep it going all the way up until game time.
Q: You mentioned the mental preparation. Is it weird to go through these games when you're not really physically preparing because it's such a short week?
DM: Yeah, I don't mind it. At my age, I don't mind a couple walk-throughs and watching film. But, that's key for guys to understand how to take what we do in the meeting room, what we do in our walk-throughs outside or if we do a walk-through in here and taking that to the field where it's going to be faster. Like, we're not going to see it full speed this week. But, that's where you hope all the studying that you've been doing to go along with the practice for the first four weeks, that's where you want it to kick in and this might happen again. Like we don't know what happens sometimes, guys get hurt, you don't get to get the same reps. These are all good learning experiences.
Q: When you talk about the energy Julian Edelman brings, is that something that's noticeable even at practice?
DM: I mean, in practice, not for us defensively. He's just not with us. But, I think he has a presence in just how he is, very competitive. I think it always sticks out.
Q: When you first met Julian Edelman, what did you think? What was your reaction when he came in?
DM: I don't know. I can't even tell you, like he was cool. I didn't see him as like 'Julian' so - he wasn't Tom Brady I'll say.
Q: A week ago you were coming off your worst game of the season and now you're coming off your best. How do you keep an even keel?
DM: Not going up and down? I think that was something that even Flo [Brian Flores] said yesterday coming in here, like it's time to now put them together. Have good weeks, have good days and string those together and not be a team where we're on a roller coaster and we don't know what we're going to get each week. So, I think that just comes with, like I said, preparation and being ready to go. I think we all understand what it looks like when we don't do it right and how we need to do it. So I think we have to keep that in our mind. We're not some 'Monstars' walking around and we just go out there and show up and dominate games. Like we put in a lot of work last week and I think we have to continue that blueprint each week if we want to go out there and have those kind of results.
Q: What are your thoughts about Andrew Luck? What did you see in particular in the Houston game?
DM: See him slinging that thing everywhere. I think for football, it was good to see him back out there. I think as players, anytime you see a guy hurt and go through a long recovery, seeing him back out there. But, as a defensive player, you see it as stress it puts on you. Even in that second half without T.Y. Hilton, spreading the ball out, getting the ball to a lot of different guys, catch-and-run plays, vertical plays. So, he's still the same type of guy that can get the ball wherever he wants, and you saw in the Philly game if you don't keep a guy or keep him in the pocket, he's very capable of running 30 yards down the field and changing the field position. He's always a tough guy, very competitive, is able to make a lot of plays and you can't really count him out. He's had numerous times where he's gone in the fourth quarter either behind or a close game and won it for them. So, we have to be prepared to go 60 minutes against him.
Q: Are there any similarities in their offensive philosophy to what Philadelphia did with Frank Reich coming over from there?
DM: Yeah, there's definitely some similarities. So, we'll see how they try to attack us, but I'm sure we'll probably see some crossover from playing Philly in the Super Bowl last year and show up in this game.
Q: Through Andrew Luck's re-acclimation process, can you see him getting more and more comfortable?
DM: Yeah, I think like every player you start the season, especially when you haven't played - like he didn't play last year, you're just getting back into it. But, like you said, Bob [Socci], watching him last week just throw the ball and the amount of times they threw the ball lets you know that he's very capable of doing everything he's done in this league and they have the confidence in him to go do that. We have to really be prepared for any type of game. Like they can come out no-huddle, throwing the ball all around the field and they still have a good amount of backs that can go in there and then getting [Robert] Turbin back will help them too.
Q: What do you see from Ryan Grant with T.Y. Hilton unlikely to play?
DM: I think all of their receiving core does a good job for when they - they kind of play in different spots but I think when you watch [Ryan] Grant, you see him even against Philly, it was catch the ball three yards short of the stick, break a tackle, get a first down. I think all of their guys are very competitive. They play at a high level, and you watch the Houston game, they're all making plays and you can throw [Eric] Ebron in that category too when they're out there and they're four-wide and he's lined up like a receiver. That puts a lot of pressure on your pass defense.
Q: Any added benefit to playing a team with a similar system to the Eagles since you played them recently in the preseason and the Super Bowl?
DM: Well, I would say we probably shouldn't play how we played in the Super Bowl, but there's some similarities. I think there's some concepts that we talked about leading up to that game and leading up to the preseason game with Philly that show up, so that helps you. I think when you're talking about those things it's not like brand new, guys know, but as always, we've got to go play to that. And, understanding it is one thing, but going and playing it and playing it well will help us out Thursday night.
Q: You mentioned emptying your tank and filling it up again. Is that more of a challenge as a veteran since your body is more beaten up?
DM: Yeah, but I think as you get older you would hope that you have more knowledge and wisdom of what you need to do exactly to get that done. So, I think as you get older, you know it's a tough week but you know exactly what you need to do to get your body, whereas when you're younger, you're kind of still trying to figure those things out. Now, for me, I've played in a good amount of these games where you've got to flip the page and go Thursday night, so I kind of know exactly what I need to do to get my body ready.
Q: This will be the Colts first time back since the playoffs when the whole 'deflate' thing happened. I'm sure that will be mentioned on TV -
DM: I didn't even know that.
Q: From a players' perspective, how big of a deal is that?
DM: Not really. I mean, even when you look at their roster, because even looking, I was like, "Dang, a lot of the guys from the last time we played them, they're not there." Like last time preparing, Dwayne Allen was a tight end we were talking about going against [him]. He's on our team now. So, that's how it is in this league. When you don't play a team for a couple years, you don't even think about a lot of the things that were current at the time because so much has changed personnel-wise, for them even coaching staffs. So, I don't know. I'm sure that'll be, like you said, big leading up to the game, but I'm not sure how much the players will think about it.
Q: Their general manager Chris Ballard had said, "The rivalry is back on." That was after Josh McDaniels didn't go, and when you think of the rivalry, what stands out to you?
DM: [Tom] Brady-[Peyton] Manning and there's no more Manning, so… You know, I think it's two teams that usually would play each other all of the time because of where you're finishing in the division. So, to me, it's always good to see it because there's so many games to re-live and go off of and look at the series numbers and all of that. But, at the end of the day, it'll come down to the 2018 team versus the 2018 Colts, so we've got to just prepare and go out there and play against them and try to beat them Thursday night.
Q: Bill Belichick mentioned he re-watched the Super Bowl before the preseason game against the Eagles to prepare. Did the players re-watch it?
DM: We all did. We all did.
Q: Did you watch it back in February?
DM: No, we watched it for the Eagles game. Yeah, once that game was over I didn't -
Q: Did you have fun?
DM: Watching the game? No. You didn't want to go out there and lose again so you prepare and you go about it.
Q: What are some of the good things about playing on Thursday night?
DM: You know that - the weekend off, man. That's what it's all about. Try to get a win and get the weekend off. I don't want to be a part of where we lose and then we have to figure out what the weekend is. So, the best way is to put it all in now and hopefully you get to relax on the back end.
Transcripts are provided by the Patriots media relations department as a courtesy to the media and are edited for readability. All press conferences are posted and archived in their entirety at patriots.com.