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."
- 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)
- Ian Rapoport has learned All-Pro guard Logan Mankins will definitely be tagged during the 14-day window given teams.
- Mike Reiss offers the transcript of his weekly online chat. Check it out.
- Christopher Price picks potential free agents for the Patriots: G Carl Nicks (Saints)
- Mike Rodak focuses on who would be a free-agent fit at each position: Running back.
- AP Tom Brady’s agent thinks he has a solution for an 18-game NFL regular season: Limit how many games each player can suit up.
- Mike Reiss notes ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay likes DE Cameron Jordan (California) and G Dan Watkins (Baylor) for the Pats first round picks.
- Tom E. Curran says the NFLPA's 50-50 offer isn't what it seems.
- Mike Reiss posts a video as Tedy Bruschi touched on the labor situation, recalling his days as a player and what the late Gene Upshaw would tell them.
- Jim Litke, AP points out one question in the labor dispute that fans have focused on: Who's really greedier, the millionaires or billionaires?
- Brian Dohn (Scout.com) Scarlet Report TV: Devin McCourty interview. (5.27 min. video)
- Mike Sando (ESPN) 2011 NFL free agents by team, position. Patriots have 11 (3 at RB, 3 at OL, 2 at DB and 1 each at DL, LB and ST).
- USA Today Power Rankings: Pats 4th behind Packers, Steelers and Jets.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Dilfer: NFL will drool over Cam Newton.
- Pete Prisco (CBS Sports) Mock draft: Plunging into the great unknown. Pats pick OLB Aldon Smith (Missouri) at 17 and DE Cameron Heyward (Ohio State) at 28.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Todd McShay flips picks in latest mock.
- Greg Gabriel (Nat'l Football Post) Scouting the Offensive Line: Breaking down the traits of a good prospect.
- Jack Bechta (Nat'l Football Post) $7.7 million spent on training rookie class: Combine training expensive, but it pays dividends.
- NFL.com 2011 NFL Scouting Combine participants list.
- Don Banks (SI) Answering the biggest offseason question for every team in the NFC.
- Dan Grazioano (NFL Fanhouse) NFL labor talks canceled as lockout looms larger than ever.
- Jason Cole (Yahoo! Sports) Solution to end owner, union stalemate.
- Clifton Brown (Sporting News) Time is running out on NFL, players.
- Jarrett Bell (USA Today) Analyst: Sluggish NFL labor dispute might not end til September.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) League, union sharply disagree on rookie wage scale, too.