Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 10/13/14
Patriots-mccourty-strips
Count this youngster as a believer in the Patriot Way. Devin McCourty, who has endured his share of criticism and praise as he’s learned the ways of a Bill Belichick-coached secondary, had high praise for his coach Sunday night. The Patriots steamrolled the Dolphins, 28-0, setting up a first-round bye in which the team will rest up and look to continue the development that Belichick and his coaches have been working on all season. When McCourty was asked what was next for the Patriots, the defensive back sounded as though he had no worries that the Patriots would be prepared. “We’ll see,” he said. “Coach [Belichick] will come in here tomorrow, and he never falls short of having a bunch of things that we need to fix. He’ll go over the film. “I think since I’ve been here, there’s no coach that gets you better prepared to go into the playoffs. “So I think us as a team, we just need to be ready to come in here tomorrow and focus on whatever coach Belichick has for us and get those things done, because if we get them done, we’ll be in good shape.” McCourty and his unit, the secondary, get to see perhaps more than any part of the team how players are shepherded into distinct roles. Without tons of raw talent at safety and cornerback, Belichick uses specific schemes and techniques to make the most of his players’ abilities. The continued focus on each player fulfilling his role, and the unit getting the most out of itself, has turned around the Patriots’ defensive efforts this year. Whereas the Patriots’ defense allowed oodles of points and long pass plays earlier this season, the defense has evolved to the point where it can consistently make stops, force turnovers and limit point totals. McCourty said that improvement will have to continue in the playoffs. “Going into the playoffs, we won’t be the only team going to the next level,” he said. “I think everyone knows once you go into the playoffs, teams step it up a notch, so we’re going to have to do our part and try to step it up and match teams going into the playoffs. If we keep improving and getting better, we’ll be able to get there.” It’s not a new tactic for the Patriots, who always aim to peak around the time of the playoffs, no matter what happens earlier in the season. Belichick has built his success on getting his team clicking at the right time. It sounds like McCourty is buying in, and that’s not a bad sign this time of year.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LeBron: Bulls are 'much better' than Cavs right now

Redskins to stick with Colt McCoy over Kirk Cousins

Rick Pitino: Louisville will beat FSU in football

Report: Rams considered favorites to move to LA

Kobe to Julius Randle: You’re an idiot if you (expletive) this up

Slava Voynov arrested on D.V. charge, suspended indefinitely

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Ray Rice could be reinstated within next month

Earl Thomas: Refs need to stay out of it and let us dominate

Browns lament ‘unacceptable’ loss to winless Jaguars

Peyton Manning sets NFL touchdown passing record

Report: CJ Spiller suffers broken collarbone

DeMarco Murray sets record with another 100-yard game

WATCH: Jimbo Fisher gets annoyed, cuts interview short

WATCH: Les Miles has classic reaction to dumb question

WATCH: Tennessee coach tried to trip Ole Miss player?

News station congratulates Gary Payton for breaking TD record

Did Sidney Crosby troll Flyers fans with Halloween costume?

Why Dan Mullen is not leaving Mississippi State

12 amazing stats from Week 7

World Series preview: Will Giants or Royals win it all?

NFL tweets graphic of recipients of Manning's 509 TD passes

Hockey fights of the week

10 takeaways from NFL Week 7

Video: Alec Burks breaks Kobe Bryant's ankles

Patriots News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Angry Jimbo Fisher cuts off interview

Is Kobe's deal hurting the Lakers?

Tenn. coach tried to trip Ole Miss CB?

GGG continues his reign of terror

The 6 things that mattered this weekend in the premier league

News station congratulates Gary Payton for TD record

Ray Rice could be back by Week 10?

12 amazing stats from Week 7

World Series preview

Favre: I got calls about playing last season

10 takeaways from NFL Week 7

Report: Marshall calls out Jay Cutler

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.