clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Patriots S Devin McCourty compares rookie Cyrus Jones to Dont’a Hightower on Quick Slants

The Patriots 2nd round pick will have lofty expectations in his rookie season.

New England Patriots free safety Devin McCourty joined CSN New England’s Quick Slants show with Tom Curran and new co-host Jerod Mayo to discuss the upcoming season. McCourty is one of the best interviews on the team because of how in-depth he gets with his responses and he didn’t disappoint.

One of the segments involve answering questions on Twitter and McCourty was asked about his new teammates: “Of all the newcomers to this team, who has caught your attention?”

McCourty listed the rookies that we’ve fallen in love with over the past few months, which makes me pretty happy. It’s always nice to know that the team loves players just as much as we do on the interwebs.

“It’s tough, I mean, the early part of OTAs is just helmets,” McCourty started, “but [4th round rookie wide receiver] Malcolm Mitchell made some pretty good catches, seeing him out there running.”

Mitchell is going to see an expanded role this preseason with Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. Hopefully he can continue on his upwards trajectory and have more of an impact than most of his early-round receiver predecessors.

“[2nd round cornerback] Cyrus Jones, one of the Alabama guys,” McCourty contined, “very similar to how [LB Dont’a Hightower] came in, understands the defense, knows what he’s doing out there. So, really excited about all these rookies.”

Hightower is a great comparison for Jones because they both came out of the same Nick Saban defense at the University of Alabama. Saban served as the defensive coordinator under Bill Belichick in Cleveland and the two coaches meet every offseason to discuss tactics. Hightower started 13 games at linebacker in his rookie season, so hopefully Jones can have a similar level of impact and upside.

“Got to work out with D.J. Foster, one of the running backs this year, he was out in Arizona, so [I’m] excited for him,” McCourty added. “But we’ll have to see. A lot happens once you put the pads on- the grind of training camp every day- you start to see guys separating themselves and that’s what training camp is for.”

McCourty trains out in Arizona during the offseason, which is how he crossed paths with Foster. I’ve probably banged the table for Foster more than anyone else because I love his versatility and his team-first mentality.

“Foster is also the only player in the College Sports Reference database dating back to 2000 to collect more than 2,200 receiving yards and 2,200 rushing yards in his college career,” I wrote after the draft. “He collected 1,081 rushing yards and 688 receiving yards in his electric 2014 season.

“But then the coaches moved Foster from running back to slot receiver in 2015 because the team had back-up running backs to spare, while the receiver position was devoid of talent. [#1 wide receiver] Jaelen Strong graduated and #2 receiver Cameron Smith needed knee surgery and was out for the season. Foster was the only returning player to post more than 205 receiving yards in 2014- so the coaches asked him to be the top receiver.”

Hopefully Foster can live up to the unfair expectations I’ve heaped at his feet. The fact that McCourty is a fan of his makes me feel a little bit better.

Check out the McCourty, Curran, and Mayo on set in the image below: