By TomE. Curran
FOXBORO -- With all the labor grappling going on, it's easy to lose focus on the fact that - at some point - a new CBA will get done and football will rev back up again.
The teams that are best able to replicate offseason training they would do at the facility while on their own will be the ones who get a jump on 2011.
Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty, speaking to media Wednesday night at The Hall at Patriot Place, talked about the uncertainty players are facing.
In a way, you worry about coming into a year a little different especially me, the way I went into my rookie year," McCourty said after being the featured speaker at the Patriots Hall of Fame speaker series. "One thing Im kind of confident in is that I believe in what we do here. Whatever happens, I feel like when we do get back here and were able to get back in our normal routine, well be ready to go."
McCourty noted also that being able to work out with his brother, Titans corner Jason McCourty, gives him an advantage in having someone to work out with.
"Between me and my brother, we push each other hard," Devin McCourty said. "Thats what he did last offseason, he worked out with me, I worked out with him, and I think having someone else to be able to go out there and attack and get better with, Im confident Ill be able to get better next year."
McCourty will have a new coach back in the secondary in 2011. Matt Patricia, formerly the team's linebackers coach, will be working with the safeties now that Corwin Brown has left the staff.
It will be cool," said McCourty (the corners will still be coached by Josh Boyer). "Matty P is crazy. With the linebackers last year, we were already close to them because the secondary and the linebackers, they have to be on the same page a lot of the time. So having Matty P back there will be cool. The only thing Im disappointed is that he cut all his hair and his beard off. That was kind of his mojo.
After such a brilliant rookie season (seven interceptions, Pro Bowl, second team All Pro), McCourty seems to understand offenses may avoid him in the future.
"At this position, your production is not always labeled by how many picks you have or how many tackles you have," he explained. "Its what you can do to shut down on that side of the ball. Nnamdi Asomugha of the Raiders) is barely thrown at. He cant get interceptions if the ball is not going his way. I think, for me, its watching film and seeing how I develop and what Im able to do in Year 2 that I couldnt do in Year 1, that will determine how I got better with that transition.
One thing he'd like to change in 2011. The ending.
"Watching the Super Bowl, not being in it, is no fun. You just do what you have to do work hard, because you know another season is coming and you know that feeling. Like everybody else, youll be working hard to avoid that feeling again.