FOXBORO, Mass. — Rookie cornerback Devin McCourty was eager last week to sign his contract and get onto the field to help his teammates. The 2010 first-round pick probably didn?t think about inflating Randy Moss‘ ego while that ink was drying, though.
McCourty lined up opposite of Moss during Saturday afternoon’s practice, and the future Hall of Famer easily skated past the physical cornerback to swiftly haul in a touchdown reception. By now, Moss has likely forgotten about the grab, but McCourty looked at it as another reason to keep working to improve.
“Lining up against Randy Moss, you line up against that guy, you know you’re going against one of the best,” McCourty said Sunday. “Lining up against him day in and day out is just going to get me better as a player.”
Through four days of camp, McCourty has the edge on Jonathan Wilhite as the third cornerback on the depth chart — behind Leigh Bodden and Darius Butler — and the Rutgers product has some noticeable size on the field. It’s looking like he’ll receive playing time in nickel situations, both inside and outside, but there’s still an obvious need for improvement.
Mostly, McCourty needs to do a better job of reacting instead of thinking. That comes with time and studying, and it’s a tall hurdle for any rookie who doesn?t know the playbook. But of course, that?s what training camp is all about.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” McCourty said. “I’m just happy to be out here. Now that training camp has started, just having fun and learning a lot of different things just being out there on the field.
“I’m getting more comfortable day by day. Each day, something new goes in, but you get a good amount of time to go back and study at night so it’s coming along pretty good.”