Some news bits on New England Patriots second-year defensive end Jake Bequette and star free safety Devin McCourty from recent articles on ESPNBoston.com. On Musket Fire, I’ll be looking at more news on the Patriots from different sites and expanding on the thoughts originating on sites like ESPN Boston. It’s a way of getting some discussion flowing about the team, and it’s also a great way of banging out the offseason doldrums as we roll into the summer.
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
It’s time for the New England Patriots to see what Jake Bequette to do, and I found it interesting that former Boston Globe beat writer Greg Bedard wrote that the spotlight would be on Bequette in training camp. I don’t see the Patriots cutting this guy since he is such a project player, but you would obviously like to see the former Arkansas Razorbacks star show some tangible progress heading into year two. Bequette most likely won’t be “there” for at least another season, but the Patriots are hoping that he can be at some point in the near future.
ESPN Boston’s Field Yates wrote a piece detailing the Patriots 2012 NFL Draft class, and it was something of a post-rookie-year progress report. On Bequette, Yates wrote that we shouldn’t be surprised if Bequette ends up being similar to Rob Ninkovich, who is a top run-stopping DE and is currently in the final year of his contract. Yates notes that Bequette could be one of the players Bill Belichick referenced as players set to make a big jump in their second year in the league. Although I don’t see Ninkovich leaving at the end of the year, the fact that Ninko is in a contract year puts more pressure on Bequette. The Patriots could really use a pass rushing boost from Bequette, and I view him as a better pass rusher than Ninko but far less rounded overall than the current starter at LE.
Devin McCourty was a solid cornerback for the New England Patriots, but he blossomed into a potentially elite safety in year two once the Patriots made the switch. McCourty is an integral part of this Patriots team at FS, and somebody asked ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss if McCourty is in-line for a contract extension.
Reiss answered that the Patriots will at least wait and watch McCourty’s play through the first half of the upcoming season, and that it is more likely that the Patriots will wait until the season is complete and they have a full season of D-Mac at safety to evaluate. With McCourty signed through 2014, this is the wisest plan of action for the Patriots, but I feel like some people are too slow to realize how talented McCourty is. Even Reiss stated earlier in the chat that he doesn’t think of Devin McCourty as a Pro Bowl-caliber player based on what he saw last season, but he said he wouldn’t rule out McCourty getting to that level.
I don’t often disagree with Mike Reiss since he’s one of the best in the business, but I will disagree now. I think McCourty is clearly a Pro Bowl-caliber player at safety, and he would end up being a Pro Bowler at corner too. I wonder why people are either so slow to praise McCourty or think he stunk at CB. He had an awful second year- there is no doubt about that- but he was actually solid at CB in 2013. McCourty is a burgeoning talent at free safety, and he is already a Pro Bowl-caliber player at that spot.
Here is an article detailing how good McCourty is at safety.
But, as far as an extension goes, we’ll see that go down next offseason, in my opinion.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.