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

Mark Sanchez says it ‘crazy’ to call Chip Kelly racist

Malcolm Butler daring Brady to throw his way in practice

Geno Smith confident worst is behind him and the Jets

Ronda Rousey knocks out Bethe Correia in 34 seconds

Von Miller earns dismissal from NFL’s drug program

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ian Kennedy watches birth of daughter on FaceTime before start

Matt Williams wants Bryce Harper to stop getting ejected

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Larry Lucchino stepping down as Red Sox CEO

Las Vegas Mob Museum to open FIFA corruption exhibit

Does NFL have a motive to settle with Tom Brady?

WATCH: Benches clear during Royals-Blue Jays game

Jim Harbaugh gives Nicki Minaj a shoutout on Twitter

The Kardashian sisters still call Caitlyn Jenner 'Bruce'

Tennessee fan recreates Neyland Stadium in backyard

Lolo Jones: I could last at least a minute against Rousey

Bears have very strict rules for media during training camp

Jamaal Charles: I feel like I'm the LeBron James of football

Ronda Rousey: I'll fight Cyborg if she stops taking steroids

Danny Garcia beats Paulie Malignaggi, remains undefeated

Bobby Wagner, Seahawks agree to contract extension

Blount won't talk about reported failed conditioning test

Greg Hardy helps pay Cowboys fans to fly anti-Eagles banner

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

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

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