Devin McCourty is a rookie defensive back who had seven interceptions and made the Pro Bowl for the Patriots this season. But as far he’s concerned, you can stop with all of the adjectives and superlatives once you get to rookie.
McCourty, the first-round pick of the Pats out of Rutgers, said he still expects to be treated like a first-year player despite his accolades.
“I think anytime you’re a rookie you’re going to get tested no matter what,” McCourty said when asked if he thought the Jets might shy away from his side of the field. “I’m ready.”
McCourty has shown that he’s ready for the NFL, even though there were many who scratched their heads when the Patriots selected him.
He started right away, including the Week 2 game against the Jets. He said he’s changed as a player since then.
“Just more experience,” he said. “That first time we played them in Week 2, so I’ve gotten some more experience. Each week in practice I think I’ve gotten better and I just keep putting that under my belt.”
McCourty also said that even as the season went on and his reputation as a pickpocket cornerback grew, he didn’t feel like teams were purposely throwing away from him.
“I think the gameplan is always different for each team and how they attack you is a little bit different,” he said, “but I still felt like teams were still throwing to both sides of the field.”
As for the rookie wall, McCourty seemed to think of it as a myth.
“If I hit it, I’m over it,” he said. “I’m just ready to go.”
McCourty was also asked about Mark Sanchez.
“He’s a guy who’s going to try to make big plays,” he said. “You’ll see him sometimes, he’ll start on one side of the field and still be able to come back, scrambling around and making a big play. All throughout the season he’s done that. I think you have to know in the secondary that his eyes are always downfield to make a big play.”
He was also asked what he thinks when he’s on the field for a third-and-long play.
“First formation and then second thing is realizing some type of vertical pass is coming,” he said. “The first thing I think is if I’m around the ball I get my hands on it trying to come down with it and get that turnover.”