PATRIOTS DEFENSIVE BACK DEVIN McCOURTY
Q: How would you explain Brian Flores' coaching style?
DM: I guess I've had him for so many years now, but he's always straight to the point. I'd say he's an aggressive coaching style guy, but I think the thing I loved about him when he was our safety coach - same thing now as D coordinator - he's going to tell you exactly how it is and how he feels - what he thinks is best for you individually, for the team. So, I think we always get that from him. I will say that's more the kind of culture here anyway, starting with Bill [Belichick].
Q: Dont'a Hightower was talking about how it was a faster defense under Flores. Do you agree with that?
DM: Not really. I mean, we're doing the same things.
Q: So, not much is different then?
DM: No. I mean, it's always going to be different because somebody else is calling it, you know what I mean. He's not going to be the same as Matty P [Matt Patricia], but our defense is kind of the same, you know what I mean - like we don't have a whole new defense because Flo's been in this system for years. It's a lot of crossover.
Q: There was a lot of talk at the beginning of last season about communication struggles. You also talked about that. How is the communication on this defense?
DM: I would say you guys spoke more about communication and asked me about it last year than me talking about it. But, communication is always a part of what we need to build each year. I don't care if you return the same guys across the board. It's just something when you play your last game - for us, last year it was in February - and you don't play a game for months, you just need to get comfortable with that, you need to get back in rhythm, you need to get used to seeing things happen fast and being able to communicate it to each other. So, that's always, to me, a work in progress of getting it to the level that you need to be out there to compete in games.
Q: How is Flores different with communication?
DM: He's the same. Communication is a big deal around here, and I think that just comes from Bill. It's just not acceptable for us defensively to cut guys loose, not cover - you know what I mean - 10 guys on the field. All of that falls into communication. So, that will never change, and Flo will be on us more than anybody about that defensively.
Q: How different a player is Stephon Gilmore now compared to this time last year? Is there any difference?
DM: He can cover, covers well. He did it last year. No, I think - no, I mean, it probably looks good on the headline, like, 'Stephon Gilmore improved.' But, to me, I think he's more comfortable, which just happens over time. You know, you get to know guys. This time last year, we all knew each other for a couple months, whereas now we've got a year and change. So, we're all out here just having fun. But, I think he came to us as a really good football player and he continues to show that in coverage.
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