New England Patriots defensive back Jason McCourty is looking for ways to get on the field for the defense and he’s expanded his horizons in a familiar way- by looking at his brother.
Devin McCourty was an All Pro cornerback for the Patriots as a rookie before moving to safety and becoming an All Pro at his new position.
Jason is competing with Eric Rowe for the right to start opposite of Stephon Gilmore at cornerback, but Rowe has the inside lane. Jason doesn’t have much experience playing on the inside as the nickel, but neither do Gilmore or Rowe, so it’s unlikely Jason would get on the field against three-receiver sets.
As a result, Jason played free safety instead of cornerback at the start of the second half against the Carolina Panthers. The hope for Jason is that expanding his versatility would give him a greater opportunity to play. All it takes is one injury at either defensive back position and it’s likely that Jason would be the next player on the field.
Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, and Duron Harmon are the starting safeties and any injury to them would put Jason on the field at safety because, let’s be serious, the alternative would be Jordan Richards and that’s less than ideal.
And then if either Gilmore or Rowe is unable to play, then Jason would also get an opportunity to get on the field.
So while Jason is likely to be a starter in the first week of the season, his willingness to expand his versatility by playing safety for the first time in his career is a strong indicator that he’ll have a role on this team and an opportunity to play at some point in 2018.