New England Patriots: Bill Belichick talks about Jason McCourty sitting
By Nick Ziegler
One of the surprises for the New England Patriots in Week 1 of the preseason was the absence of Jason McCourty.
Coming into the offseason, the New England Patriots certainly had a need at the cornerback. In the Super Bowl, the Patriots benched Malcolm Butler, making it very clear that he would not be back next season.
Butler did indeed sign elsewhere this offseason, and the Patriots needed to replace him. This offseason, instead of making a big splash signing at cornerback like they did with Stephon Gilmore the year before, the Patriots brought in a solid veteran in Jason McCourty.
McCourty is the twin brother of Patriots safety, Devin McCourty, as he should be very comfortable playing alongside his twin. Despite being expected to play opposite of Gilmore, McCourty was surprisingly absent for the Patriots against the Washington Redskins. Recently, Bill Belichick talked about McCourty not playing to Darren Hartwell of NESN.com.
"“The guys we play, we play. The guys who didn’t play, didn’t play,” Belichick said at a press conference. “We’ll play other guys this week, and we’ll see how it goes. “We all know I’m not talking about anybody’s injuries, so there’s no point in bringing that up or going through that. Can’t look at everybody every week. There’s just too many guys. Some guys will play one week, some guys will play more the other week.”"
Even though it was surprising to see McCourty not play, it doesn’t appear like he is in the doghouse. With a lot of young cornerbacks on the roster, the coaching staff might have wanted to see how they mixed in with the first unit on defense. As a veteran, the Patriots likely already know what they have with McCourty. Belichick did praise McCourty for doing a good job, and it appears like this was more of him wanting to see other players on the field.
"“Very professional,” Belichick said when asked what it’s been like to work with Jason McCourty. “He’s been great. He’s smart, has experience, picks things up well. He’s been good.”"
With no injury for McCourty, we should see him on the field for the Patriots in Week 2 of the preseason. Since Week 1 didn’t feature many starters for long, Week 2 generally is when things pick up a bit before the most important third week of the preseason.
On Thursday, the Patriots will be in a Super Bowl rematch against the Philadelphia Eagles. While this game won’t have as much meaning as that one, it will likely feature most of the starters for at least a quarter. Furthermore, McCourty should be on the field for this game.