Among the offseason Patriots roster questions, there's an important one that has little to do with incoming rookies or free agents.
Which Devin McCourty will show up in 2012?
This, the exact query posed by NFL Network's Gregg Rosenthal on Wednesday morning.
"Bill Belichick is supposed to be great with defensive backs. But he's been mixing and matching with spare parts for too long," writes Rosenthal. "It's been a big weakness of the team for years. McCourty is the key to the whole operation. Belichick drafted him in the first round because McCourty is smart and versatile. He was supposed to reliable."
Instead, the rookie Pro Bowler and second team All Pro slumped himself into the free safety position as a sophomore. The Patriots appear to like McCourty enough to keep him around -- unlike former teammates Darius Butler, Leigh Bodden, Jonathan Wilhite, and Terrence Wheatley -- but the pressure is on.
Rosenthal has more on the secondary's "bellwether" here.