Patriots

Devin McCourty believes Bill Belichick does treat players differently, despite Alex Guerrero’s claims

"Even if you take away age, I think each player is treated differently."

Devin McCourty Stephon Gilmore Patriots
Devin McCourty challenged the idea that veteran players are treated the same way as young players under Bill Belichick. Winslow Townson/AP Images

Bill Belichick’s treatment of players – specifically veteran players – was brought into question this week after Tom Brady’s personal trainer, Alex Guerrero, said the coach “didn’t evolve” in his treatment of Brady.

In an interview with WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” on Friday, safety Devin McCourty said he’s “got nothing for the Tom Brady connections.” But McCourty, who’s in his 12th season with the Patriots, did challenge the idea that veteran players are treated the same way as rookies and younger players.

“I remember hearing Jimmy Johnson speak my rookie year. He came to visit, and said every player will be treated fair, but not exactly the same,” McCourty said. “Even if you take away age, I think each player is treated differently, because of experience, because of what you lean off of from a signal-caller standpoint, like the quarterback position, middle linebacker, safeties, different guys on special teams, whether it’s the kicker or long-snapper. I think everyone is treated differently based on what the team is counted on to do, and what the head coach needs from you and expects from you.”

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McCourty, who was a key piece for the Patriots’ last three Super Bowl wins and is a three-time All-Pro, has stuck up for Belichick and the Patriots in the past when it’s come to the debates centering around Brady. In February, McCourty disagreed with Danny Amendola’s take that Brady was the caretaker of the “Patriot Way.”

“When I think about the Patriot Way though, I think about a team,” McCourty told ESPN in February. “Whether you want to call Tom the best player of the Patriot Way and the leader of it, no doubt about it. But you can’t tell me in all of those games and all of these years throughout that the defense and other guys haven’t had something to do with that. That’s all guys coming in and believing in that. We’ve had great players across the board, we’ve had guys like Darrelle Revis, Vince Wilfork, Tedy Bruschi, Willie McGinest, Ty Law — Ty Law is a Pro Football Hall of Famer; he is the Patriot Way also.”

“That was a little bit of a slap in the face to all the other guys who are not Tom Brady; the Julian Edelmans and the Gronks,” McCourty added. “I don’t think [Amendola] meant it that way. I think he wanted to really push Tom Brady’s greatness and what Tom Brady is because everyone puts us in this Brady vs. Belichick arena.”

Even though the highly anticipated matchup against Brady and the Buccaneers is less than 10 days away, McCourty is “focused on the Saints,” the Patriots’ opponent this Sunday.

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“Next will be here when next week is here,” McCourty said.

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