McCourty move to safety? 'You've got to be ready'

McCourty move to safety? 'You've got to be ready'
October 19, 2012, 5:25 pm
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FOXBORO -- Last year Devin McCourty, whether because of a lack of depth at the position or because he was struggling at cornerback, was moved to safety. He played about 20-percent of his snaps in the back of the secondary.
After 2011 came to a close, New England moved to bolster the safety position behind starter Patrick Chung by bringing in free agent veteran Steve Gregory. The team also drafted surprise second-round pick Tavon Wilson. Defensive back Nate Ebner was selected in the sixth round, though his best chance to make the roster was thought to be as a special teamer.
McCourty was left to rebound at left corner.
But The Plan saw some setbacks. Gregory suffered a hip injury in Week 4. Chung hurt his shoulder last weekend against the Seahawks and left the game.
Who did that leave to defend Seattle's game-winning drive Sunday? A pair of rookies.
The Seahawks needed just four plays. Just under the two-minute warning, Russell fired a 46-yard missile downfield to Sidney Rice for the go-ahead touchdown.
It was not the first time this season the deep ball has wounded, even killed New England. McCourty was asked if, as critics have noted, the issue is as basic as the defensive backs failing to locate the ball in the air.
"In some cases, it is that simple," he admitted. "In other cases it's different; I wouldn't lie and say no. In some cases it's going and just making a play."
So here we are again: McCourty is getting beat on routes and New England needs help guarding the back door. Could the hard-hitting corner be moved back to safety? The idea seems to be gaining traction among fans and analysts alike.
"That's not my call," McCourty said Friday. "I'll do whatever Coach Belichick decides. We've got some young guys that I think are doing a great job of picking up the defense since they've been here. I think they've done a great job just responding and give them opportunities to show what they know and how they can play."
But would he be ready to play, if asked?
"On this team, you've got to be ready to go anywhere."