FOXBOROUGH — The Associated Press All-Pro teams were announced on Friday and three Patriots were named to the second team: guard Logan Mankins, cornerback Aqib Talib, and safety Devin McCourty.
Mankins is an All-Pro for the fifth time. He was a first-team choice in 2010 and made the second team in 2007, ’09, and ’11. The cocaptain started all 16 games this season, 15 at left guard and one at left tackle.
McCourty now holds the distinction of being selected All-Pro at two positions: cornerback (second team, as a rookie in 2010) and safety. In 15 games, McCourty was credited with 75 tackles by Patriots coaches, with one interception and eight pass breakups. He also forced two fumbles and recovered one.
Talib, in his sixth season, was honored for the first time. In 13 games, he was credited with 44 tackles, four interceptions, 12 passes defensed, and a forced fumble.
McCourty was one of six safeties on the second team, meaning there was a tie in the voting. Seattle’s Earl Thomas and Kansas City’s Eric Berry were the first-team safeties.
McCourty distinguished himself in his first full season at safety.
He has started there since Week 7 of last season, when the Patriots moved him from cornerback to shore up a thin position.
“You can’t beat that, to be recognized,” he said. “More hard work has to be done for this season and we will try to put that in now.”
McCourty said it’s even more special to be joined by Talib, whom the Patriots acquired from Tampa Bay in a trade-deadline deal last season.
“I think when you’ve got two guys, not at the same position but both in the secondary, that speaks volumes to the work that you’re putting in as a group. For us two to be named means we’ve been playing pretty well,” he said.
Talib wasn’t ready to puff out his chest just yet.
“It’s an honor, I guess. I really didn’t know about it,” he said. “Just like that Pro Bowl, man — I’ll find a way to celebrate that after we finish our business. Simple as that.”
With both McCourty and Talib playing on expiring contracts, the All-Pro nods are a nice addition to the résumé when it comes time to head to the bargaining table.
Another member of the Patriots secondary, cornerback Logan Ryan, wound up leading the team with five interceptions. He started five of the final six games.
The third-round pick out of Rutgers believes the routine of the NFL season has helped him fend off fatigue.
“I just feel like I’m in a rhythm. It’s the same routine kind of week-in and week-out,” Ryan said. “It’s the first year I can just focus on football, so I don’t have to worry about school or about other things, so that helps out a lot, too.
“It’s a job now, and that’s how I approach it each and every day.”
Ryan and linebacker Jamie Collins were the only Patriots rookies to play all 16 regular-season games.
Ryan said that after that many contests, the rookie tag no longer applies.
“No, I don’t think anyone’s a rookie anymore once you have that many games under your belt,” he said. “Now it’s a whole [new] season.”
Patriots players were required to be at Gillette Stadium early Friday morning despite the snow that blanketed the region overnight.
“It was hard to drive in this morning,” Talib said. “Just left early, gave myself an hour to get here. I live about 10 minutes away, made it on time.”
Asked if he is a slow driver, Talib quipped, “Oh, real slow. Both lanes. I need both lanes, too. Definitely.”
The Patriots moved Friday’s practice indoors to the Dana-Farber Fieldhouse. After two days on the lower practice field, coach Bill Belichick must have been pleased with what he saw because Friday’s session was a walkthrough.
Because players weren’t in numbered jerseys, it made attendance-taking difficult during the media-access period. Mankins, receiver Aaron Dobson, and cornerback Alfonzo Dennard were not spotted at practice Wednesday or Thursday.