CRANSTON, RI -- When Devin McCourty spoke with reporters after Monday's volunteer effort at Arlington Elementary, there was a lot to catch up on. New England's season ended some 78 days ago and free agency, alone, raised a few questions.
These are a few:
Q: Are you pleased that cornerback Aqib Talib re-signed for another season with the Patriots? And with the acquisition of 13-year veteran safety Adrian Wilson?
McCourty: "My biggest thing is I always say once I got to the NFL I learned having good and great players around always helps the team. Having a guy around like Aqib will be great; he's a great player and he helped us out a lot last year when he came here.
"And I'm going to love having Adrian Wilson here just because since I've been here we haven't had that one 10-year vet or that guy that's played a long time and been productive. I think the closest thing we had like that was my rookie year when we had guys like Meriweather, James Sanders, Leigh Bodden, and it will be cool just to have that veteran presence in our locker room and our defensive back room so I'm looking forward to learning a lot from him."
Q: Any concern for the report that tight end Rob Gronkowski has suffered an infection in his surgically-repaired forearm and could need a fourth operation?
McCourty: "He's not human. He'll be alright. Those things don't affect him."
Q: You've been outspoken on Twitter about the basketball scandal at your alma mater, Rutgers. Can you speak about that?
McCourty: "It was just such a shock. My initial reaction I think I was just kind of hurt when I saw a guy like Tim Pernetti, who I thought did an amazing job when he got to Rutgers. Especially I think athletic directors always did a great job with the students there. But he did a great job. He would reach out to all the former athletes and get us back to do different events, and not just in football, but you would meet women from women's soccer and lacrosse and they would be back as well. Just to see all that transpire, it really hurt, and to see what happened with him, but at the end of the day, I just wanted him to know that we fully supported him. So a lot of student-athletes believed in him and I respect him now. He took the fall by resigning and put it all on him and it was for the betterment for the university, so I have a great deal of respect for what he did."
Q: You're close with fellow defensive back Kyle Arrington. How happy for you when he re-signed to a four-year, $16 million contract?
McCourty: "It was great, and the way it happened, with him signing a new deal and his son being born, I think that's why you love playing this game, hopefully that you can take care of your family and then to start your own family, I was very happy for him. I went to visit him and the baby and he's doing well. It's a good time for him."
Q: Have you spoken at all with cornerback Alfonzo Dennard since he was convicted in February for assaulting a Nebraska police officer? Or about Dennard's upcoming sentencing on April 11?
McCourty: "Yeah, I spoke to him and he seems upbeat, he's seems like he's ready for whatever happens. Just told him if he needs anything to let me know, hit me up, but he seemed very upbeat and encouraged and ready for whatever happens in his situation."