Devin McCourty: Patriots Safeties Love Position Coach Steve Belichick

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FOXBORO, Mass. — Steve Belichick served as a coaching assistant for four years with the New England Patriots before being named safeties coach. Despite his experience, some national pundits still accused the Patriots of nepotism for promoting head coach Bill Belichick’s son as a position coach.

If there was any concern that Patriots players felt similarly, safety and defensive captain Devin McCourty dispelled it Thursday.

“He’s been good,” McCourty said. “I think we have a good group — especially once Nate (Ebner) gets back — a group that we have some experienced players, some young players, and I think Steve’s been able to mesh it together.

“I think with him being in his first year, he’s a younger guy that can really relate to all of us. It’s been fun, and on the field, he’s been out here on the field for a couple years now, so I don’t feel like it’s anything new to him or new for him. And we have a good relationship, so always just talking and trying to keep a good handle on the group. So far, I think we all love Steve.”

Ebner is taking a leave from the Patriots to pursue his dream of playing on the U.S. Olympic rugby sevens team. Safety Duron Harmon also missed OTAs and minicamp for undisclosed reasons. So, McCourty has been joined by fellow starter Patrick Chung, Jordan Richards, Brock Vereen and Cedric Thompson on the practice field this spring. Richards, Vereen and Thompson all are in their second years with the Patriots, while McCourty and Chung are entering their seventh seasons in New England.

Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images

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