Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Belichick: DBs more versatile than in past


Thanks to some trial an error over the past couple years, the New England Patriots' defensive backs have gained experience playing in multiple spots.

And thanks to that experience, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Tuesday he thinks the secondary has "probably more [versatility] than what we've had in the past."

". . more guys that are able to play inside and outside at a higher level so far," he told reporters." A couple of guys that have also worked at safety; a couple safeties that have also worked at corner."

Devin McCourty is the team's starting safety after starting his professional career at cornerback, and Kyle Arrington played at nickel last season after a stint manning the perimeter. Arrington will remain in the slot with Aqib Talib and Alfonzo Dennard the projected starters outside, though he has experience near the sideline if the Patriots ever need to use him there.

While New England prefers to keep McCourty at centerfield, he also has a body of work to fall back on at cornerback if the team needed to shift him for a short period of time due to low resources.

"Depending on what type of scheme we're running or what type of team we're facing, what the challenges are or what situation it is in the game, I think that will give us some flexibility somewhere down the road, I'm not sure exactly where," Belichick said.

Belichick threw rookies Duron Harmon and Logan Ryan into the mix of players who give the team versatility.

Steve Gregory is listed next to McCourty on the team's unofficial depth chart with Adrian and Tavon Wilson behind the pair of returners. Arrington and Marquice Cole are listed as the second-team cornerbacks, with Ryan and Harmon on the third-team cornerback and safety charts, respectively.

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