Morning sports update: Devin McCourty says the Patriots defense had ’11 guys on the same page’

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 15: Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots celebrates with teammate Duron Harmon #30 after intercepting a pass from quarterback Josh McCown of the New York Jets in the third quarter during their game at MetLife Stadium on October 15, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Devin McCourty celebrates with teammate Duron Harmon after intercepting a pass from quarterback Josh McCown of the New York Jets in the third quarter. –Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Get Patriots game stats and the inside scoop on the season with The Boston Globe's Point After newsletter delivered for free to your inbox.

The Patriots are 5-2, Julian Edelman’s memoir is coming on Tuesday, and the Red Sox have a new manager.

Devin McCourty praised the Patriots defense for their performance on Sunday: The safety made five tackles against the Falcons and was extremely satisfied with the group’s execution, which has been subject to much criticism this season.

“I’ve said it all season. I thought we executed our game plan perfectly tonight,” McCourty said. “Our coaches have been on us about just make a team make a play to beat us. You know, Julio Jones catch in the end zone, [Mohamed] Sanu’s catch on the 1-yard line – like, those are great catches. I thought we competed and made them earn every yard.”

Advertisement

“When you go against good teams, that’s what you have to do,” he continued. “We made enough plays. We played really well on third down, which we talked about always helps us when we play well on third down. And then tonight happened to be where we had to play plays on fourth down, and I thought we handled that well. That’s always a little different. You’re thinking go punt return, the offense stays and I thought guys were calm and were able to execute on fourth down, too. So, [it was] just overall everyone understanding game plan and play-in, play-out, 11 guys on the same page.”

Cornerback Malcolm Butler added: “No big plays, tackled well. We just competed all the way through. We played good on offense, defense and special teams.”

McCourty also cited head coach Bill Belichick when praising the team as a whole for playing complementary football, saying “it was about time we played complementary football for four quarters.” While Belichick had noted that the team’s offense, defense, and special teams have previously shined at different times, both he and McCourty thought they all came together on Sunday.

Patriots continue mastery of Falcons 23-7: While Atlanta looked tentative, if not intimidated, Brady and his offense clinically tore apart the Falcons. Mixing runs and passes, New England controlled the clock and field position. And its defense, ranked at the bottom of the entire league through six weeks, stymied the NFL’s fifth-ranked offense. (Boston.com, via AP)

Advertisement

Patriots Dont’a Hightower, Malcom Brown injured vs. Falcons: Defensive tackle Malcom Brown left the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury and linebacker Dont’a Hightower injured his shoulder. Neither returned to the game. (Boston.com)

Julian Edelman’s memoir ‘Relentless’ is coming out this week: The book chronicles Edelman’s life from Pop Warner in California, through high school, his career as a quarterback at Kent State and his time with the Patriots culminating in his miracle diving catch of a tipped ball that kept the Patriots slim hopes alive in Super Bowl 51. (Boston.com, via AP)

Red Sox hire Alex Cora as new manager: The Red Sox announced the hire Sunday, a day after Cora’s Astros eliminated the New York Yankees in the AL Championship Series. With two days off before Houston opens the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston had a chance to hire Cora without running afoul of baseball’s ban on major moves during the Series. (Boston.com, via AP)

Here’s what the Red Sox front office had to say about their new manager Alex Cora: “He is a highly respected and hardworking individual who has experience playing in Boston,” Dave Dombrowski continued. “Alex also has a full appreciation for the use of analytical information in today’s game, and his ability to communicate and relate to both young players and veterans is a plus. Finally, the fact that he is bilingual is very significant for our club.” (Boston.com)