Bill Belichick

Devin McCourty discussed why he’s enjoyed ‘every minute’ of playing for Bill Belichick

McCourty talked about what's "stood out" playing for Belichick over the years.

Devin McCourty
Devin McCourty playing for the Patriots in 2021. Winslow Townson/AP Images for Panini

The Celtics defeated the 76ers 88-87 on Wednesday, as Jayson Tatum led Boston with 26 points and 16 rebounds.

Major League Baseball owners immediately locked out the players after the sport’s collective bargaining agreement expired Wednesday night. It’s the league’s first labor stoppage in more than a quarter century.

Prior to the lockout, the Red Sox made a pair of moves. One was to bring back 41-year-old left-handed pitcher Rich Hill, who is now set for his third stint in Boston.

The other move was to trade Hunter Renfroe to the Brewers in exchange for three players, including former Boston outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr.

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And tonight, the Bruins are in Nashville to play the Predators at 8 p.m.

Devin McCourty on Bill Belichick: With the Patriots rolling after a slow start to the season, recent looks inside the Patriots’ locker room have shown a seemingly happier Bill Belichick, even bantering with players after wins.

So, does Belichick appear different this season to the players? One of the best people to ask is probably safety Devin McCourty, who has been with New England since 2010.

“My 12 years here, I think that’s one thing that has always stood out: How much he enjoys coaching the team,” McCourty explained, noting that Belichick has been no different this year than in the past.

In McCourty’s view, Belichick appreciates the work ethic of the team as a whole, and of players stepping up when needed. He cited the example of the Patriots’ makeshift offensive line in the win earlier this season against the Texans, when New England staged a comeback despite missing several starters.

“I think he enjoys what each individual puts into this to collectively be a team,” said McCourty. “I don’t think this year is any different than the other years. I think he’s always enjoyed it.”

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The team’s consistent level of preparation—which translates into on-the-field speed—is something the veteran defensive back doesn’t take for granted.

“I would say for all the stuff that gets talked about playing here, for me as a player in my 12 years, I’ve enjoyed every minute of playing for him,” McCourty told reporters. “The opportunity you get because of his dedication and his staff’s dedication to give you a chance on Sunday or Monday night to go play your best, because of the work they put in to prepare you. I’ve appreciated that a lot, and obviously I haven’t been anywhere else, but I don’t think there’s a coaching staff that works harder than our staff out there.

“I think that shows for us,” he concluded. “Us going out there and playing fast, that directly correlates to what they do during the week as a staff.”

Trivia: Devin McCourty made the first interception of his career on Oct. 24, 2010. Which quarterback’s pass did he intercept?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: He was the fourth overall pick in the 2004 draft.

More from Boston.com:

J.C. Jackson was named AFC Defensive Player of the Month: And Mac Jones won AFC Offensive Rookie of the Month.

A statement from the MLBPA after the owners locked out the players:

On this day: In 2001, the Patriots rallied from a 13-0 halftime deficit against the Jets to pull off a crucial 17-16 win. New England entered the day 6-5, while New York was 7-3.

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The Patriots’ win closed the gap on the Jets to just a single game lead in the AFC East. By season’s end, Bill Belichick’s team would pull ahead and win the division, opening a path to the team’s first Super Bowl.

Patriots Jets 2001

Daily highlight: J. T. Miller of the Canucks went right at the Senators defense, and ended up going right through it.

Trivia answer: Philip Rivers

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