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New England Patriots Links 1/18/12 - Patriots Bring a Better Team to Ravens Rematch

Josh Boyer assesses what makes Devin McCourty a good fit at safety.

I would say Devin, like all of our guys, has position flexibility. I think he has worked really hard in the film room and on the practice field trying to improve his techniques. With some things that haven't gone so good, we work hard on those, and then the things that do go well, we try to improve upon those. Just from a position flexibility standpoint, we have a lot of guys that have done some of the stuff that Devin is doing. Sterling [Moore] has had positional flexibility for us, as well as Patrick Chung. So all of our guys back there, Kyle [Arrington] included in that mix, they are very aware of what is going on [and doing] what we feel is best for the team that week of who is going to be in what spot.

For the safety, one of the things you are looking for is a guy that can track the ball in the air, which Devin has been able to do. You have to have a little bit of range. You have to be kind of a physical player being able to step up in the box. Devin has done all of those things at points in times for us in the season. There are things that we can still improve on in all those areas.

Nick Caserio responds to a question about the way the Patriots have played a lot of guys at a number of different positions.

Until you actually put that player in that position you're not quite sure how it's going to turn out, but I think the most important thing is we kind of talk about it ad nauseam around here really the more you can do, the more you can do. The reality of it is you're either a starter on defense or on offense or a starter in the kicking game and those are really the 46 guys that end up going into the game. Now, if a guy can do one or two or three different things that's certainly going to enhance his ability on game days to make a contribution to the team.

Until you actually put that player in that position, some players can handle more relative to others, but I think it's a credit to the players and I think it's a credit to the coaches for investing the time and giving the player the opportunity and seeing what they can handle. The in the end they have to go out there and be able to perform whatever task that may be in a high enough level that you feel comfortable that if you put them in a different position that they're normal accustomed to not playing, that they're going to go out there and perform at a competitive enough level.