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DEVIN McCOURTY PRESS CONFERENCE

DEVIN McCOURTY PRESS CONFERENCE

DEFENSIVE BACK DEVIN McCOURTY
(on how the first practice went) “It was good. Everybody got a chance to get out there and get after it. We ran around. We practiced hard. It was a good first day. We felt like we wanted to come out here and practice hard to start off the week. This was an important day to just kind of set the tone.”

(on if he feels fortunate that he got to the Super Bowl in just his second season) “Definitely. Just talking to the other guys on our team and other friends that I have made that are veterans, to be at this level in only my second year, you have got to be grateful for it. I think the biggest thing, is just trying to take advantage of the opportunity of being here – working hard, studying hard and getting ready to go for this game.”

(on how difficult it will be to face the Giants’ wide receivers) “It’s a very difficult challenge. I think it all starts with their offense, how balanced they are with a good running game, a good quarterback and they have three very good weapons outside at receiver. We are really going to have to prepare and come to play, because any of the three of those guys are capable of having big games.”

(on what makes Eli Manning a good quarterback) “I think his poise. Obviously, at this level the quarterbacks can make all of the throws, get the ball down the field and he does a good job reading coverage, but he is always calm and poised back there in the pocket. A lot of times when it’s time to make a big play, he is doing it. Whether it’s scrambling or throwing a perfect pass. So, I think the biggest thing is we have to be disciplined and we have to do a good job covering guys because he is going to put the ball there.”

(on how the Patriots’ defense hasn’t received any love recently) “That’s how it goes. We have a great offense and we have had some down points. I think everyone will keep giving our offense the love and the respect, because they deserve it. As defensive guys, we just got out there and play. We have to do our part in this game. We believe in each other, we play for each other and that’s all that matters to us.”

(on how much of his success he attributes to Greg Schiano and if he is sad to hear he is leaving Rutgers) “It is kind of bittersweet. He is a big part of my development as a player, and as a person. But, you have to be happy for him. I don’t know any coach in that profession that doesn’t dream about being a head coach at the highest level of football. To get that opportunity, I think that’s great for him. But, as a proud alum, seeing him go after the job he has done there at Rutgers. People said we were probably one of the worst programs in college football and then to build it up to what it is today. But, I am sure they will find a replacement and he will do a good job too.”

(on how many points they can give up and still win) “As a defensive guy, you don’t want to allow any points. You start off with the scoreboard 0-0 and that has to be our mindset. We can’t say, ‘Give up a certain amount of numbers and that will be the game,’ because you can’t play like that.”

(on what the difference is between playing inside versus outside) “It’s probably just the spacing. On the outside, you have the sideline and you can use that. On the inside, the guy has two ways to go, so you just try to take one away. That’s probably the biggest thing. Guys run different routes inside than outside, so you just have to study and understand how you will be attacked.”

(on what makes Victor Cruz so good) “I think it’s just his physical nature. He is not one of those just quick guys who wants to avoid contact and make guys miss. He is able to be physical and still has that shifty ability. He definitely can run. I think just the physical nature of what he brings at wide receiver helps him inside and outside.”

(on if the defense is peaking right now) “I hope so. We have been playing well. We have had some good games. I think the biggest thing is like coach (Bill Belichick) tells us, ‘The past won’t matter.’ When we take the field on Sunday, how we played two weeks ago against Baltimore won’t help us play. How we played against the Giants the first time won’t help us play. We have to string it together in practice, have some good days and then come out and execute on Sunday.”

(on how the secondary’s struggles early on have helped make them stronger now) “I think every football team is like that a little. I know last year, coming in I was just a rookie, so it was my first time playing, but the other guys have been playing for a little while. Kyle (Arrington) was kind of new last year and we bonded throughout the season, your ups and downs. I think this season was the same. We had some bigger downs compared to last season but I think you have to, especially in the secondary. It’s an important part of the field, our play determines a lot of what goes on in the game. I think we definitely bonded throughout the good and the bad of the season.”

(on if they had more of a back to work mentality today) “Definitely. Coming off the big pep rally that we had before we left was kind of cool, then you get on a plane and it’s still kind of surreal. But, as soon as we got there and put our equipment on and went out to practice, it was like right back to work. Whatever practice day it is, we are getting ready for Sunday.”

(on how important it is to keep the same routine and understand that this is a business trip) “Very important. When we got here and going out last night to get something to eat, you don’t want it to feel like a vacation. Waking up this morning, going to meetings, going over to the facility, going to practice, guys started to go through their natural routine of the week. We get in routines and once we get in it, we don’t know anything else. So, as soon as we are able to get in our routine, it helps us get ready to go.”

(on his twin brother Jason being in town and them kind of going through their NFL careers together) “It’s pretty cool. For us, we have been there for each other in every situation. When I was in college at the end of my season, I got to go check out a game of his during his rookie year (with the Titans). We talk a lot, every day. We talk about things that have to deal with football and life. I think the biggest thing is we are still brothers through everything else. Playing football is secondary to being brothers, and our relationship.”

(on how they will manage being in one place for this long of a period of time) “We just kind of try to stay on our routine, even though you are in a hotel, you are not back at your house. I think the biggest thing now since we are in a hotel, guys are coming back, ‘Let’s get together. Let’s go eat. Since we are all in the hotel, let’s go down and watch some extra film.’ So, it kind of helps in a way, especially because we can kind of stick together and stay in our little bubble. Rather than being outside and being entertained by the circus of everything going on with the media and the fans, just staying in our bubble and getting ready to go.”

(on what he saw from Tom Brady today at practice) “Kind of what I see every day in practice. Guys have a certain way about going about everything, working hard, that’s Tom every day in practice. From the first minicamp I was here and I saw him, he was working hard. He was very competitive and that always sticks out. What we saw from Tom last week in practice and what we saw this week is always the same. He is a consistent guy. He works hard and he gets everyone to rally behind him.”

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