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New England Patriots Links 6/01/11 - Brady's Back In Town

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Mike Reiss reports Tom Brady is back in the area and will lead players-only workouts starting Wednesday, according to sources familiar with his plans.

Brady's return to New England is in conjunction with his charity work for Best Buddies International, as he is hosting a football game at Harvard on Friday night, before riding in the Audi Best Buddies Challenge on Saturday.

Brady has spent the majority of the offseason training in California as he works his way back from January foot surgery. Knowing he'd be in the region this week, he attempted to gather as many teammates as possible to join him, particularly pass-catchers.

Steve Wyremski (Pro Football Focus) Interview with CB Devin McCourty of the New England Patriots.

 Looking back at your rookie season, what was the biggest adjustment for you?

The biggest adjustment was consistency. In college, you make a play. Sometimes you make a great play and [others] a bad play, but your bad play won’t be [terrible] because athletically you were able to do something to stick right with a guy, or something. I learned quick in the NFL that any little mistake will be exploited. I felt like if you didn’t know what you are doing on a play, the quarterback and the offense always found a way to get to your side and exploit it. With the talent level so high and so many great players, you need to make sure you’re always consistent and on top of your game, especially at corner.

A lot of veteran quarterbacks target rookie corners. Did you feel that you were a victim of that?

Oh, definitely. Starting in the first game and the first play against the Bengals, I lined up against Terrell Owens and they went deep to try and throw a fade route. I remember coming into the season, my corner’s coach told me, "Get ready, you’re the rookie corner, you’re starting, and they’re going to attack you." I think it helped in practice going against guys like Randy Moss, Wes Welker and lining up against Tom Brady. I came into the season with some confidence as a rookie from going against those guys.

Take me through your most memorable rookie struggle.

The first struggle came right in training camp. It seemed like I was lining up against Randy Moss a lot. We were doing a two-minute drill and some other drills and he beat me deep maybe five times in two days. It felt like it was happening every other play. It was frustrating. My coach was trying to teach me different techniques and in my head I’m just like, "it feels like I’m playing it pretty good; he’s just making a great catch." That was a little bit of a learning curve – trying to understand that even though you’re in great position and playing pretty good, [you have to] finish to try and stop the guy from making a great catch. During the season, I would say week 2 when lost to the Jets playing one of the worst games of the year and learning how to rebound in the NFL after playing a bad game as a rookie cornerback. I think I gave up two touchdowns that game. The coaches helped me out a lot just talking to me about being in the NFL, having a bad game and watching film to make sure you come back strong so it doesn’t become a habit/a pattern and people start attacking you because you’re not playing well.

How were you able to adjust so quickly to the NFL game and succeed in just your first year in the league?

By not thinking about it. Being in New England, the coaching staff and some of the players are very precise. They’re on top of everything, so I just followed the lead of everybody else. [Whether it be] how they practice, how they took care of their body off the field, how they approach the game mentally, or how they watch film. In sitting in meetings with Coach Belichick and hearing how he explains film or how he looks at things, I was able to use that and transition it. I think of it as something simple: just having that mentality of listening to other people and believing in what they’re saying helped me out the most.