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Devin McCourty on Pats D: I think we can impact games like Seahawks

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The Patriots have a key free agent in their secondary in cornerback Aqib Talib, but he’s not the only defensive back who might be in line for a new contract.

Safety Devin McCourty is entering the final year of his rookie deal, which will pay him $3.92 million while counting $5.115 million against the cap after hitting escalators. An extension could bring that number down a bit as well as wrap up a player who thinks the Patriots defense is capable of big things in 2014.

McCourty was asked Tuesday if he thinks the Patriots defense is capable of influencing the outcome of games the way that Seattle’s defense did last season and said he thought the unit did “great things” last year.

“I think we can,” McCourty said, via ESPNBoston.com. “Those guys had a great game plan and they went out there and executed it on the biggest stage of the year. That’s what it really comes down to in games like that. Just last year, we went through a lot defensively and as a team, and to see guys continue to work hard and try to get better and go out there to win as many games as we did -- to fall a little short, but it gives you the confidence going forward we know we have the right guys to build something.”

It was hard to see the similarities between the two defenses even before they lost players like Vince Wilfork and Jarod Mayo to season-ending injuries and the Seattle defense was so good that it’s level may be out of reach. That said, it probably won’t take a gargantuan improvement on defense for them to be a contender to make it at least as far as the AFC Championship Game for the fourth straight season and there’s a whole offseason to upgrade the talent on hand.