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New England Patriots Links 2/11/11 - Devin McCourty: I Expected To Do Good, But Not That Good

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<em>Devin McCourty with the ball in  his hand is always a good sign</em>.
Devin McCourty with the ball in his hand is always a good sign.

Tom Luicci (Newark Star Ledger) Former Rutgers star Devin McCourty didn't expect such a successful rookie season with New England Patriots.

Devin McCourty didn’t suffer many "rookie moments" once the NFL season began in earnest last year, but the former Rutgers standout cornerback wasn’t without a rude introduction to life as a pro.

He remembers it vividly.

"It was more training camp than a game," said McCourty. "Lining up against Randy (Moss), I want to say probably the first five or six times Randy went deep he caught all six of them. So it was ‘all right, am I really going to be good in this league? I think Randy Moss is great, but I’ve got to be able to stop him at least once if I’m going to play in the league.’ "That was probably the biggest rookie moment I had, trying not to give up every big play against him."

"It was a big deal," said McCourty, taken 27th overall in last year’s NFL Draft. "I have all the (balls from) the interceptions I had. When I look back I realize I had an interception off Brett Favre, Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers. When you think about that it’s amazing.

"It’s an incredible feeling being able to pick off the guys you enjoyed watching growing up."

He won’t lack for motivation as he prepares for his second year, either. The playoff loss to the Jets after a 14-2 season still stings that much.

"It was very tough," he said. "The way our team was we were all focused on winning and getting to the big show. Just losing was very disappointing.

"I know it gives us and myself a lot of drive for next year to get to that Super Bowl."

Mike Reiss tells us why CBS Sports' Pete Prisco was one of two voters who chose Wes Welker as Comeback Player of the Year.

"I voted for Welker because he came back from a devastating injury, while Mike Vick was coming back from what? Not starting? Welker came back in such an impressive way from an injury he suffered late in 2009. I thought he looked like the same player in 2010, which tells me he was aggressive in his rehab. That means something to me," Prisco wrote in an e-mail.

"I think Welker is a pro's pro. Add that all up, and it's why I picked Welker. I love players who love the game. It's evident to me that he indeed loves the game. Give me 11 guys like him on an offense and I'll take my chances against anybody."

TEAM TALK

  • The Hall at Patriot Place will feature Patriots CB Devin McCourty, who just completed one of the best seasons by a rookie in franchise history, as a Speaker Series guest on Tuesday, Feb. 15 at 6:30 p.m.
  • PFW in Progress - 2/10/11 Edition. Recent news reports about CBA negotiations, Patriots coaching changes and the possibility of the the team using the franchise tag on Logan Mankins. (2 hour audio)

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