Patriots

Safety or cornerback? McCourty's 'just gotta play'

devin_mccourty.jpg

Safety or cornerback? McCourty's 'just gotta play'

After a week spent almost exclusively working at right cornerback, Devin McCourty played there on Saturday night in New Orleans to mostly negative reviews, including one from himself.

“It didn’t feel great, and I don’t think it looked great so we’ll see,” said McCourty in the aftermath at the Superdome.

Today, during the open locker room period, I asked McCourty if his frustration over Saturday had waned, and if he felt more comfortable with his role after talking with the coaches.

“Just gotta play,’ said McCourty matter-of-factly. “As a player, you just gotta go play football. Obviously a new week, gotta prepare and get ready to go for a new challenge this week. That’s all I can do.”

But does McCourty hope the new challenge is the “old” challenge of playing safety again?

“We’ll see,” answered McCourty with a smile and a laugh. “We’ll have to see.”

McCourty made the transition from Pro Bowl cornerback as a rookie to safety during the 2012 season and settled there permanently in that role to start 2013. He signed a new contract this offseason for $47.5 million dollars over five years. That made the former Rutgers product the highest paid player at the position.

Eagles OT Lane Johnson invites Patriots fans to 'raise hell' at him

Eagles OT Lane Johnson invites Patriots fans to 'raise hell' at him

After Patriots fans seeth about the billboard near Gillette Stadium that celebrates the Eagles' Super Bowl victory, they can direct their anger at a certain Philadelphia offensive tackle when the champs visit Foxboro Thursday night.

In fact, noted Pats troller Lane Johnson welcomes it.

The Eagles lineman, who tried to make a name for himself all offseason with his anti-Pats diatribes ("fear-based organization" etc.), was asked after practice if he expects a less-than-pleasant reception Thursday night in New England. 

"Oh yeah. I hope so. I hope they raise hell," Johnson said. "They can cuss me, they can say whatever they want. At the end of the day, I'm not blocking them, I'm blocking guys on the edge, so it really doesn't matter what they say. I know that I'm not going to be well-liked, this team is not going to be well-liked going there, so it's going to basically bring out our best."

Then, of course, it was on to more trash-talking the Pats. The starters don't expect to be out there long Thursday, giving Johnson plenty of opportunity to hear from Patriots fans from his spot on the sidelines

"I just felt like we weren't even given a chance going into the game. I felt like we were disrespected, and we were by them," he said. "I made plenty of comments about why I said what I said. It's not like I was coming out of the blue just to talk. It's because I felt like I've been disrespected and the team's been disrespected. It's not like I'm coming out here running my mouth because I want to. No other teams really came out and ran their mouth."

After yet another anti-Pats harangue, Johnson then said he's "over it."

"At the end of the day, man, I'm over it. ... It's a totally different year."

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