Desperation move? McCourty responds to Bart Scott's shot at Patriots

/ by Darren Hartwell
Presented By DraftKings
Devin McCourty

The New England Patriots wanted to get acclimated to the South Florida heat and humidity ahead of their season opener against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, so they decided to fly down a few days early. No big deal, right?

Tell that to former NFL linebacker Bart Scott, who labeled the Patriots' decision to arrive in Florida on Tuesday (instead of Friday or Saturday) a "desperation move."

"You're trying to change the narrative. You understand that you're struggling, but South Beach is undefeated," Scott said Tuesday on ESPN's "Get Up!"

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Needless to say, Devin McCourty sees things differently. The veteran Patriots safety was asked about Scott's comments Friday on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show" and said he was all for Bill Belichick trying something different after his team lost in Miami in 2020 and 2021.

"I don't know, man," McCourty said when asked about Scott's comments. "We played down here the last two or three times (and) haven't won, so I think switching it up and getting an opportunity to try to get used to the heat -- being down in Vegas two weeks ago, you can feel that a little bit. I think being down here has gotten guys acclimated to the heat."


The Patriots have practiced this week at Palm Beach Atlantic University, a Division II school that doesn't have a football team. The players have traveled from their hotel to the practice field on buses with their pads on, and the team has had to bring its own goalposts to the practice field.

But McCourty seems fully on board with the plan, which he believes is motivated by a simple goal rather than "desperation."

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"I think for all of us, the point is that we go out there and play well and try to get a win. So, I think all of this comes from that," McCourty said. "A desperation (move), I don't see it like that, but I'm playing on the team, so I don't think I would.

"I think it's been good for us. Guys have been out there practicing and felt good practicing in the heat, so hopefully it pays off for us."

McCourty's defense will have its hands full with a revamped Dolphins offense featuring speedy wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle and a new play-caller in first-year head coach Mike McDaniel. If the Patriots can come away with a win, traveling to Florida a few days early won't be the sole reason. But why not eliminate a potential reason for playing poorly?

"Hopefully this makes a small difference and the heat isn't much of a factor," McCourty added.