Devin McCourty is currently dealing with a concussion after hitting his head off of another player’s backside against the Baltimore Ravens. The free safety is one of the best and most versatile defenders on the team. Losing him for any significant time would be a blow to Matt Patricia and the defense.
Right now, McCourty is the starting free safety for the New England Patriots. He was moved there last season after an up-and-down tenure at cornerback. Since then, McCourty has become an excellent player. Although it would be better to see McCourty play strong safety, he has shown good awareness and coverage skills at the free safety position.
McCourty’s versatility makes him even more valuable. The free safety essentially serves as the fifth cornerback as well and would likely see significant time at the position should anybody go down. So Patricia has a guy who can play either safety spot or either outside cornerback position. Losing him would mean losing the most versatile defensive back on the team.
Not only that, but McCourty is one of the most seasoned defensive backs on the team. Other than Kyle Arrington, McCourty has the most experience in Patricia’s defense so he knows who should play where and how to instruct other defensive backs on how to play their position. That is a lot intangibles to leave off of the field.
McCourty’s loss would mean that Duron Harmon would take the field as the free safety. While that is not half bad it would also mean that Steve Gregory would have to cover more, and that is not good. So there are many reasons why McCourty is needed for this defense to continue to function. If his concussion lingers long-term this defense could very well be doomed.
Philip Alexander is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @steely0906, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.