McCourty building confidence in practice

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McCourty building confidence in practice

FOXBORO -- Devin McCourty is just one of those players whose every week will be scrutinized until he establishes consistency or falls off into oblivion.

Having a tremendous rookie year and following it up with a sophomore slump will do that to a guy.

The McCourty evaluations in Year Three so far sit on both ends of the spectrum. Some say he's played well, others say he's been awful.

McCourty rides neither too high nor too low on the ever-changing analysis. For example, after netting just two interceptions in 14 games last year, he pulled down that many just last weekend against Buffalo.

"As a defensive back it always feels good to come down with interceptions," he said Wednesday. "That's what we work hard for and that's really the biggest reward of playing defensive back. That's big. And defensively, turnovers always help."

Is he still on Cloud Nine? Not really. McCourty prefers to build himself up on the next week's work.

"It's probably sometimes a little overrated," McCourty said of reveling in one good Sunday. "Because a lot of things that we go into the game with are determined in practice. When we have a good week in practice, when we have a good week studying film, you go into those games confident.

"Just because you have a great game one week, it doesn't mean that you're going to go into that next game feeling like no one can attack you. There's different offenses, you see different guys each week. So that week in practice always determines a lot."

He can't worry about whether or not those two picks will be the only he brings down all season. McCourty can't even think about trying to triple the total by January.

Easy does it.

"We work hard in practice to go out there and try to perform well on Sunday. I think my confidence for this week will start today with going out and having a good practice and just keep building it throughout the week."

Clowney fined for hit on Brady; Rowe fined for unsportsmanlike penalty

Clowney fined for hit on Brady; Rowe fined for unsportsmanlike penalty

When Tom Brady complained to officials during the third quarter of last week's Divisional Round game against the Texans, he was wondering why Jadeveon Clowney wasn't penalized for a late hit. 

Not only did Brady get the call a little later in the game when Clowney hit him again in the fourth, but Clowney has now been fined for that hit. Per Pro Football Talk, Clowney was docked $18,231 for roughing the passer. 

Brady defended his on-the-field tantrum in the third quarter after Clowney's hit, insisting it may have helped lead to the Patriots being given extra yardage in the fourth. 

"Yeah, I would love to try to make sure the officials are paying close attention," Brady told WEEI's Kirk and Callahan show. "If we can get one of those 15-yard penalties, those are important."

Patriots corner Eric Rowe was also fined for his actions during the Divisional Round. He was hit with a $12,154 penalty after picking up an unsportsmanlike penalty for pulling a Texans player off of a scrum in the first quarter