Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 12/31/12
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark

Fitzpatrick, Jets agree to one-year deal

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Data shows NFL-backed youth program that claimed reduced concussions is bogus

Report: Odom’s family working hard to get him to go to rehab

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

Robbie Keane rescued on highway after running out of gas

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

NFL 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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker