RICHMOND, Virginia - Monday’s joint practice session with the Redskins in Richmond, Virginia had an old school feel for the Patriots. Maybe that’s because Washington wasn’t at all prepared for the visitors. No parking, no visiting locker rooms, but for Devin McCourty, no problem.
“It was a little different,” smiled McCourty, “but it throws it back to high school, so that’s always fun to come off the bus in shoulder pads and helmet.”
Despite the somewhat spartan accommodations, at least off the field, McCourty loves the work that gets accomplished in these settings.
“Going versus other players is different from seeing the same guys days in and day out," he said. "Guys have to come, do fundamentals and work your technique. You don’t really know much about the other guy…[it] forces you to play hard and play your technique. We love it.”
It’s not just the challenge of facing a Robert Griffin III offense that McCourty is embracing. It’s also a sharp contrast to the first week of training camp, when friends are foes. Now, with the Redskins across the field, the 5th year safety believes the parts of the Pats become whole.
“It really builds us as team," McCourty said. "It changes from offense versus defense to Patriots versus Redskins. While they’re on the field, we’re cheering them on, yelling and screaming. When it’s the opposite, they’re cheering on the defense…you can probably see the sidelines, the guys are talking and yelling. It’s a lot of fun.”
That was evident on Day 1.