McCourty impressed Belichick because of his ability to explain the responsibilities of the defensive players around him while watching film of McCourty’s time at Rutgers.
After five seasons at Rutgers and sitting in on a number of meetings, McCourty said he began to retain more than just his assignments. Eventually, he said the process helped him in the game.
“It lets you know where everything is on the field, when you know that, it enables you to make plays and understand where you do have help and where you don’t have help,” McCourty said.
But explaining those details to an NFL coach like Belichick left McCourty a little nervous, he said.
“It was kind of nerve-wracking because you’re not sure what he was looking at and how he was evaluating,” McCourty said. “Going through that whole process, you hope he’s watching the film and liking what he sees. …”
Earlier this week, Belichick said it is unique for players to be aware of so much on the field and his meeting with McCourty was similar to experiences he had with Ray Lewis and Lawyer Milloy.
The Patriots took McCourty in the first round and he has become a starting corner this season.
With the Patriots, McCourty said he isn’t sure he could explain everyone’s responsibility at this point. He is more focused on mastering his assignments first.
“You do way more stuff on defense than in college,” McCourty said. “…Now there are a lot of different adjustments.”