New England Patriots Opening Night Highlights: Devin McCourty Could Retire, Dante Scarnecchia Coming Back

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Opening Night is always one of the more interesting events in the lead up to the Super Bowl. Every player is available to talk to any outlet with a media pass. There were quite a few takeaways from the event, but one of the biggest surprises came from New England Patriots safety Devin McCourty. The longtime Patriots leader said that he could hang up the cleats for good if the Patriots defeat the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII

New England Patriots’ Devin McCourty Might Retire After Super Bowl LIII

NFL Network’s Deion Sanders brought retirement up to McCourty. He responded by saying he “[didn’t] know for sure”, then added that if he could “win it with [his] brother” nothing would top that. McCourty is referring to twin brother and first-year cornerback Jason McCourty, who played a pivotal role in New England’s secondary this year.

McCourty first entered the NFL as New England’s first-round pick back in the 2010 NFL Draft. Initially selected as a cornerback, the Rutgers product recorded seven interceptions en route to a Pro Bowl selection as a rookie. However, McCourty struggled during his sophomore season, eventually switching over to safety for the postseason run. McCourty returned to cornerback at the start of 2012 but switched the safety full-time once the Patriots acquired Aqib Talib from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

McCourty went on to be one of the best safeties in the league over the next few seasons. As a free safety, McCourty took away the deep parts of the field and was a crucial piece to at least two of New England’s Super Bowl championships. While he only made one Pro Bowl since his rookie season, McCourty has been the glue which held the secondary together for quite a few seasons.

Offensive Line Coach Dante Scarnecchia Will Return In 2019

On the brighter side, the New England Patriots will retain one of their best coaches. 70-year old offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia announced Monday that he will return for yet another season of work. Widely regarded as the best offensive line coaches in the game, Scarnecchia helped craft one of the best offensive lines in the league. The offensive line hasn’t allowed a sack this postseason and has played like one of the best units in football throughout the course of the regular season.

Scarnecchia actually retired a few seasons earlier and missed the 2014 and 2015 seasons. While the Patriots managed to end their then 10-year quest for their fourth championship without Scarnecchia, it’s no secret that the offensive line play dropped over those two seasons. Scarnecchia returned in 2016, fixing the offensive line and turning right tackle Marcus Cannon into a Second-Team All-Pro.

Aqib Talib, Tom Brady Still Good Friends

One of the best parts of Opening Night was watching former teammates Aqib Talib and Tom Brady take the stage together. The fun began when Brady jokingly said he wasn’t going to give Goff any advice on how to beat New England, eliciting a laugh from the crowd. Brady then added that “he’s gotta go against that guy” all night, motioning to Talib.

The fun still continued as Brady and Talib took turns reminiscing about Talib’s time in New England. Together, the duo shared a story about Talib lining up at wide receiver in his first practice with the Patriots.

“[Belichick] got me all excited, I thought I was gonna have a receiver package…so I could really say I caught passes from Tom Brady,” Talib said after Brady introduced the anecdote. Brady finished off the story by saying Talib “could’ve been as good a receiver as he is a cornerback”.

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