Jason McCourty was a cornerback for nine seasons in a row. Roles changed, and McCourty played free safety during the Patriots’ game against the Carolina Panthers.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick had a conference call the day after his team lost to the Panthers, and gave his reasoning for McCourty and his new position.
“Jason is a very experienced player, and he understands football concepts and a lot of just basic defenses — pass defenses and run force concepts and the responsibilities that go with that. He’s taken more reps at safety, and those were good steps for him. He had some opportunities to play there in the game and had some positive plays. He had a couple tackles, made a good tackle on the goal line in run force and was involved in some coverage plays,” Belichick said.
“Like every player who played (Friday) night, there are some things that he’ll learn from and he’ll see on film and he’ll correct, and there are some things that he did well that he can build on and we can build on. So it’s a combination of those. We’ll see how that process unfolds going forward how much more we play him in those spots,” he added.
We don’t know if McCourty’s move to safety will be permanent as he also played at corner against the Carolina Panthers. The change of position was beneficial for McCourty’s teammates, as he helped the team challenge the depth and check the readiness of the roster.
Belichick said that players switch position to build depth on the roster. Maybe his plan will work. Preseason games are just a rehearsal, and Belichick may be right for taking the risk. The Patriots don’t need to win the preseason games. They have to win the Super Bowl. That’s the only thing that matters at the moment.