Stew Milne//USA Today Sports

Bill Belichick has tons of praise for Jason McCourty

Ryan Hannable
November 23, 2018 - 1:26 pm

FOXBORO -- Veteran cornerback Jason McCourty has integrated himself nicely into the Patriots' secondary.

During training camp and the preseason, McCourty experimented with safety to give himself more versatility, but since Eric Rowe was placed on injured reserve, it's been exclusively the No. 2 cornerback role where he's performed nicely.

When speaking Friday, Bill Belichick had plenty of praise for him, especially when it comes to moving around within the defense.

"He plays multiple spots on the defense, so he really has moved around probably more than any other player in the secondary over the 10 games we’ve played," Belichick said. "But even at corner, he’s played inside. He’s played outside, unlike really any other player we have. He played safety. He’s a smart guy. He’s a versatile player. He’s shown a lot of versatility considering he missed the spring, but from training camp on he’s done a lot of good things for us. He’s been very dependable, and tough, and durable and played multiple positions for kind of the newest member of the secondary, if you will. I mean, not counting J.C. [Jackson], but he’s had a lot of responsibilities that guys like [Patrick] Chung or Devin [McCourty] have had. As a corner, he’s actually taken the brunt of those."

McCourty was acquired via trade in the offseason so Belichick really didn't know for sure what he could do when it came to playing different positions.

"Well, he hadn’t done it before so, again, new players, until you have them you don’t really know," he said. "Some guys move easily. Some guys are better off in one spot. There’s certainly a place for both. We need both. We don’t need everybody to move. We can’t have everybody play just one spot, so somebody has to have some flexibility somewhere in there in your offensive and defensive system. That’s part of the process of learning your players and learning your team as you go."

Even though he's been a member of the team for several months, Belichick acknowledged he still has a hard time telling he and Devin apart, especially considering they dress alike.

"Yeah, no kidding," he said. "I don’t usually look at numbers. I can usually tell just from looking at the guy who it is. I don’t really look at a number and register the player. I can just recognize him. It’s hard with those guys."

Related: Tom Brady not spotted at start of Patriots practice Friday