Devin McCourty has been pressed into service at safety this year, as he was late last season, and while he seems more comfortable at the back of the defense, he also helps facilitate communication with his teammates.
Even though he was moved back to safety from cornerback this season out of necessity, he won’t be leaving the position. Two league sources said that McCourty will remain at safety through the rest of this season.
Steve Gregory, who missed multiple weeks to a hip injury, has been back on the field, and Patrick Chung, who has missed time with a shoulder injury, may be back soon. Pairing McCourty with Chung may be the best safety pairing for New England, with McCourty the free safety and Chung the strong safety.
When McCourty was drafted, coach Bill Belichick commented that McCourty’s ability to break down film and know not only what he has to do but also what all of his teammates are doing was among the best he’d ever seen in his years of pre-draft interviews. His on-field intelligence is a big plus in the deep part of the field.
The Patriots wanted to have McCourty start this season at safety after his performance there last year, but concerns over cornerback depth led the team to keep him at corner.
Now they’ll be making that move.