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McCourty is fast, has good ball skills, and understands the defense. None of his other actual...

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McCourty is fast, has good ball skills, and understands the defense. None of his other actual safeties fit that bill as well. On the flip side, McCourty was having trouble as a cover corner this year at least in part because he wasn’t getting adequate safety help. BB probably decided that, while he had a stable of adequate corners, he did not have a stable of adequate safeties. Any corner put in McCourty’s position would struggle the same way he had without an upgrade in the middle. But moving McC to the middle was an upgrade that could make barely adequate corners more serviceable. At the end of the day, it may have been an on-paper downgrade at one position, but on the field, it plays as an overall upgrade. McC is probably a better corner than he is a safety — IF he has an adequate safety behind him. Player X probably isn’t as good a corner as McC, but with McC at safety (rather than a player of lesser awareness and discipline), the combination of McC at FS and Player X at CB is an upgrade overall. That he happens to be a good tackler is a nice bonus.

JohnHannahRules