Devin McCourty has played both cornerback and safety in his NFL career, and according to the hardware, he’s pretty good at both. McCourty was an All-Pro at corner in 2010 and an All-Pro at safety in 2013.
Cornerback and safety may seem like similar positions, but they’re actually very different.
“Playing corner, I personally feel it’s the hardest position on the football field – having to cover people and do different things like that,” the New England Patriot said on The MoJo Show. “We have some animals that play receiver nowadays. You look at guys like Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall – they’re huge men that are able to play receiver, so I think that’s the toughest.”
“But safety’s a lot of fun,” McCourty continued. “You have full control over the back end, (and) you have some control over the defense as a whole. You can tell them to do different things and you can get people lined up how you want to. Playing safety’s been a joy, and I just want to continue to get better at the position to help my teammates and myself.”
Not only does McCourty enjoy his leadership role, but he also feels better-equipped to handle it.
“It’s hard to just step into it,” McCourty said. “The first year I moved, I felt there was so much more I could have done to help guys out. And now going into my fifth year (and) my second full season at safety, I feel way more prepared – not just to play good myself, but (also) looking for advantages I can give my teammates, especially younger guys.”
Those younger guys include Logan Ryan, 23, Duron Harmon, 23, Tavon Wilson, 24, and Alfonzo Dennard, 24. The Patriots also signed two of the top corners in the league this offseason in Darrelle Revis, 28, and Brandon Browner, 29.
“(I’m) very excited,” said McCourty, 26. “I think it gives us a chance to be a really good defense, but right now there’s a lot of work that has to be put into it. Adding Revis and Browner (is) great, but now we got to be able to play well and do some good things on defense as a unit.”
McCourty, of course, also has interests outside of football. In fact, he and his twin brother, Jason – who plays for Tennessee – have been involved with the Embrace Kids Foundation for the last two years to increase awareness of sickle cell anemia, a disease that has touched their family.
“We wanted to get involved in sickle cell,” McCourty said. “This has been very rewarding to be a part of it. (Our aunt) calls us and tells us how proud she is that we took our time and used our platform to help (not only) her, but also (people) she knows (who are battling) the disease. It’s been truly a blessing to team up with (the) Embrace Kids Foundation. We’ve just been so fortunate to get a lot of people aware of the disease. It’s a disease that doesn’t get a lot of attention.”