The curious case of Devin McCourty

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The curious case of Devin McCourty

While perusing NFL Draft prospect videos of this year's cornerback crop, I stumbled upon Devin McCourty's 2010 selection analysis. The video began with commissioner Roger Goodell announcing New England's pick at 27 overall.

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock broke it down:

"He may be the best special teams player in the entire draft. He's a return guy that's a gunner and a jammer. He's sudden, quick, and physical. He'll compete for some time in your nickel and dime coverage.

"You know Bill Belichick, they're always cognizant and prioritize their special teams. This guy had seven career blocks. He returned punts and kicks for touchdowns"

Did he have the right McCourty?

Devin became an every down cornerback in New England. His seven interceptions, 13 passes defensed, and 82 tackles earned him a Pro Bowl berth. His second NFL season was a letdown: a separated shoulder; zero interceptions until the Patriots final two regular season games; the second-most surrendered yardage in the league.

But for all the numbers, good and bad, one category stands out: special teams. In two seasons McCourty has a single kick return to his credit (24 yards). McCourty averaged 25.43 yards per kickoff return (one he took 98 yards for a touchdown) his senior year at Rutgers.

True, it's a dangerous job for 2010's best Patriots corner. But the team ranked No 29 in kick return average (21.4 yards) last season.

And what about the gunner skill? McCourty had 23 tackles for the punt coverage unit and 27 for the Scarlet Knights kickoff coverage squad. As Mayock noted, he blocked six punts and one field goal. Maybe Week 10's shoulder injury limited his involvement. Maybe not.

Anyone remember the special teams work of the 2010 Draft's "best" asset? Enough to say he took the field at times. When and what he did, however -- no.

The question is why.

Draw with Earthquakes extends Revolution's winless streak

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Draw with Earthquakes extends Revolution's winless streak

SAN JOSE, Calif. - David Bingham had his sixth shutout of the season and the San Jose Earthquakes tied New England 0-0 on Wednesday night, extending the Revolution's winless streak to five games.

Bingham, who was tied for second in MLS soccer with 12 shutouts last season, had three saves - including a stop on Diego Fagundez's shot in the 86th minute.

The Revolution haven't scored since a 3-1 victory over Chicago on Aug. 9, a stretch of more than 270 minutes.

New England (6-11-8) had beaten San Jose three straight times.

San Jose (7-7-10) has just one loss in its last seven matches. 

Quotes, notes and stars: Ortiz the oldest to hit 30 home runs in a season

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Quotes, notes and stars: Ortiz the oldest to hit 30 home runs in a season

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays:

QUOTES:

"It's one of those freak things. You don't plan on it happening, but it's one of those things. So we'll just see what the results say and move on from there.'' - Andrew Benintendi on his knee injury.

"That's kind of a routine 3-1 play. Unfortunately, it comes at a time when you've got two outs and a guy on the move. But that's a routine play.'' - John Farrell on the deciding play in which Heath Hembree couldn't hold onto the ball at first.

"I felt good. I felt strong.I felt good out there the whole game.'' - Rick Porcello, asked how he felt going back out for the eighth inning.

"I think everybody in the ballpark knew that that ball was leaving.'' - Porcello, on the hanging curveball to Evan Longoria.

 

NOTES:

* The loss snapped a five-game winning streak against the Rays for the Red Sox.

* Three of the four Red Sox walk-off losses this season have occurred because of errors.

* The homer by Evan Longoria was his first off Rick Porcello in 40 career at-bats.

* Rick Porcello has now pitched seven innings or more in six straight starts, the longest run for a Red Sox starter since John Lackey did it in 2013.

* David Ortiz is now the oldest player to ever hit 30 homers in a season

* Ortiz has now reached the 30-homer, 100-RBI level 10 times with the Red Sox, including the last four years in a row.

* The loss was the first of Heath Hembree's career, in his 67th major league appearance.

* Dustin Pedroia tied a career high with two stolen bases, the 12th time he's swiped two bases in the same game.

 

STARS:

1) Evan Longoria

The Rays were down to their final five outs when Longoria struck, hitting a game-tying homer off Rick Porcello.

2) Brad Miller

Miller's two-run double in the third enabled the Rays to stay close until Longoria's homer tied things up five innings later.

3) Rick Porcello

Porcello gave the Sox length and was brilliant in getting out of some early jams before settling in through the middle innings.