By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @dannypicard
FOXBORO -- @font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; a:link, span.MsoHyperlink color: blue; text-decoration: underline; a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed color: purple; text-decoration: underline; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; With only two preseason games left, the Patriots officiallyopen up the regular season exactly three weeks from today, on a Monday night inMiami.
That said, it leaves the Patriots and every other team inthe league with not much time to make sure their engine is completelyready to go.
But three weeks is better than nothing, and as second-yearcornerback Devin McCourty described it on Monday, they are three weeks that NewEngland will certainly need.
I know right now, at this point, were not ready, saidMcCourty prior to Mondays practice at Gillette Stadium. But hopefully we keepworking, and these next three weeks, it will all come together, good enoughjust to go out there and play in that season opener.
Having played two preseason games, McCourty did acknowledgethat there have been improvements on the defensive end thus far. But movingforward, the main thing that needs to improve is the in-game unity of thatdefense.
It feels like were getting better, said McCourty. Ithink the important thing right now is, kind of, we grow as a unit, grow as adefense, just as a team going out there and taking the field together, being onthe same page.
I think thats coming along and thats encouraging when youcan take the field and hopefully well have all 11 guys on the field on thesame page.
McCourty will likely be lining up with Lions wide receiverCalvin Johnson on Saturday night in Detroit. Regardless of what the other 10Patriots are doing on defense, McCourty knows hell have his hands full.
Hes a great receiver, said McCourty. So anytime you goout there, youve got to prepare and be ready to go when youve got a guy ofhis caliber, especially the physical talents he has.
Hes a guy that can stretch you vertical down the field,and hes a guy that will make big, amazing catches, so every time I lined upwith him (last season), it was kind of tough.
Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.