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McCourty among top comeback candidates

7/5/2012

After starring as a rookie in 2010, Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty experienced the proverbial sophomore slump in 2011.

He struggled in coverage and had just two interceptions, down from seven the previous seasons. He was moved to a platoon role between cornerback and safety, although he has been spotted exclusively at cornerback during on-field workouts this offseason.

The Patriots secondary is looking for an improved performance as a group in 2012 after surrendering the second-most passing yards in a single season in league history in 2011, and McCourty is viewed by CBSSports.com as a top candidate to have a comeback year.

Besides McCourty, the Patriots project to rely on 2011 standout Kyle Arrington, and second-year player Ras-I Dowling at the cornerback position.

The team has worked to fortify the secondary this offseason, adding defensive back Tavon Wilson out of Illinois in the second round of the draft, as well as veterans Steve Gregory, Will Allen, and Marquice Cole in free agency.