Devin McCourty finally got into safety school and he believes his summer education should help him return to his attacking ways on the back end of the defense.

The fourth-year pro has gotten his first opportunity to spend training camp as a safety and he already feels the difference. McCourty switched to safety midway through each of the last two seasons picking it up on the fly which is a difficult chore. The Rutgers product really got into a rhythm as last season progressed and he admitted it was because of the consistent game experience.
With a steady chance to focus primarily on one position McCourty could re-emerge as the hawk who intercepted nine passes during his Pro Bowl rookie season.

“I don’t care what anybody says when you’re able to play a position for a while you start to pick up things and you get a feeling that you can’t get just from watching it or seeing it from another position” McCourty said. “You can just feel it happening when you’re out there on the field. All the work I’ve been able to play now at safety I think it will definitely benefit me come the season. It’s benefiting me now being out there on the field.
“When you play that position it’s always tough when you play good quarterbacks. Being able to see guys like Tom (Brady) every day in practice it will only make me better.”

McCourty quickly adapted in 2012. He provided some initial security when he made the switch from cornerback prior to the Jets game in Week 7. The maneuver was necessary to secure a secondary that had given up more 20-yard passes than any defense in the league. When it really began to click McCourty played with a noticeable level of confidence. One key performance came against the Bills in Week 10 when McCourty forced a fumble and snagged a game-sealing interception in the fourth quarter.
He acknowledged his on-field awareness and vision improved with those quality in-game reps.

“When your confidence is high you see things better. You have a different knack and a different feeling out there on the field” McCourty said. “When you’re feeling good and you’ve got confidence behind you especially at the defensive back position you’re seeing things you’re believing it and you’re just going. I think it’s key for not just myself but everyone in the secondary to play like that. Know where everyone is at. Know where your guys are where you’ve got help and just go out there and play.”

McCourty has been the leader of the secondary since being appointed captain in 2011 but he bounced around several times in the last two seasons. Even last year the Patriots pushed him back to corner for the final two regular-season games when Aqib Talib and Alfonzo Dennard dealt with injuries.
But the Pats have seen McCourty thrive again at safety in camp.