Devin McCourty: Patriots 31st-ranked pass defense 'sounds about right'

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Devin McCourty: Patriots 31st-ranked pass defense 'sounds about right'

Devin McCourty: Patriots 31st-ranked pass defense 'sounds about right'

Devin McCourty knows the Patriots have not been playing good defense, especially against the pass.

The veteran safety was told Thursday that New England currently ranks 31st out of 32 NFL teams in pass defense after two games.

"Thanks for telling me. Sounds about right, though," he admitted. "We haven’t played the best football that we know we can. Obviously, if you give up big plays, that’s not going to rank you pretty high in pass defense. Like I said, obviously we have a lot of work to get done and it’s something we’ve just got to keep improving."

The Patriots are coming off a big win over the Saints, but still allowed Drew Brees to throw for 356 yards and two scores. That was after Kansas City's Alex Smith passed for 368 yards and four touchdown in the Chiefs' 42-27 victory to open the season.

As the Patriots prepare for Sunday's game against the Texans and rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson, McCourty said he feels "a little bit like a shrink" while trying to encourage struggling teammates like Malcolm Butler, who has admitted to being frustrated about his own play. The 30-year-old McCourty, who is in his eighth NFL season, said communication within the secondary is "still a work in progress."


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"I mean, each time, different things come up – it could be new, it could be something similar – and we just keep talking through it," he said. "I think one of the best things for us always is after practice in the meeting rooms. Defensively, we’re always communicating, talking, we’re making the calls we made out on the field. Sometimes we make a call that, at the moment, we thought was right, but we get in there, we watch it, it’s like, ‘Hey, I called this but I think this will work out better,’ and we’ll talk about that right in the meeting room.

"I think that allows us to develop communication off the field because, I mean, once you get in the season, we can’t practice everything that will come up in the game. But, just being able to sit through the practice film and to sit through some game film and decide exactly how we’re going to call stuff and then try to keep that consistent once we get out there in the game allows us to keep getting better at communicating. But, it’s something we’ve got to just keep doing and, hopefully, each week, each game it improves and we get to the point where it’s like second nature."