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Devin McCourty isn’t feeling added pressure with Patriots

Devin McCourty, Patriots

The New England Patriots suffered a pretty big blow this offseason. Superstar quarterback Tom Brady left in free agency to go play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

That leaves the Patriots without a real plan at quarterback. For the moment, Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer are on the roster.

Stidham threw four passes last season (his rookie year), completing two for 14 yards and an interception.

Meanwhile, Hoyer has completed 57.6% of his passes over the last three seasons, for eight touchdowns and eight interceptions.

In short, neither is exactly Brady.

Not having a set quarterback could absolutely lead to the defense being put in a tough spot.

New England’s defense was elite last year. A lot of people would likely say it was the best in the NFL. However, they still had Brady to keep things rolling on offense.

So won’t there be added pressure for the defense in 2020? According to Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com, superstar safety Devin McCourty doesn’t think so:

“No, I think for me, as a defense we should want to be great no matter what,” McCourty said. “For years, we always have talked about us being the reason we lost games and we knew how great Tom was. I still say the same thing because the defense, your goal has to always be the same when you take the field. If we get turnovers, we dominate and get the offense back on the field. For us as a defense, that’s something that we need to do. Last year, we didn’t go into the season and say, “We need to carry the team,” or, “We need to do this and that.” We said, “We need to be as good as we can.” The offense said the same thing, special teams said it, and then you see where you fall. I think we have to continue to do those same things as a defense, as an offense and overall, special teams, if you want to be a good football team.”

It sounds like McCourty is saying the Patriots’ defense is its own unit. They need to control what they can control, and that’s absolutely right.

Last season they were the best in the NFL and they didn’t feel the need to carry the team. So why change the strategy now? Keep doing what worked for you and control what you can control. The offense and special teams will do what they can as well. And if it all works out, the team will still win.

The defense already puts pressure on itself to be the best it can be. There’s really no going up from there.