TAMPA – Patriots cornerbacks coach Josh Boyer answered questions from reporters after Thursday’s practice, and it was a good chance to gauge his thoughts on the secondary.
A few highlights:
Gregory has confirmed what Patriots thought. With 20 practices of evaluating safety Steve Gregory and his overall impact on the secondary, Boyer was asked if there was anything that has surprised him. “You saw on film for San Diego that he was a disciplined player and was able to make plays on the ball. That has carried over,” he answered. “He’s been real professional. I think what we thought is what we got. He’s done a great job of being professional. If there was any surprise, it was that he was able to step into a leadership role fairly quickly for us.”
'Good camp' for McCourty. Devin McCourty has been locked in at left cornerback and hasn't missed a practice this preseason, and Boyer said he's had a good camp. "He's put himself in a position to have some success and make some plays," he said.
Allen and position flexibility. Asked a question about longtime cornerback Will Allen and his performance at safety in the preseason, Boyer touched on how the team looks for players with flexibility. “One of the things we’ll look for is versatility with guys, with position flexibility. Obviously the more you can do position-wise, it’s going to be more valuable to our team. Will is a good example. Kyle Arrington is a good example. Sterling Moore is a good example. Those are guys we’ve moved around a little bit,” he said.
Good review for Wilson. Second-round draft choice Tavon Wilson received a favorable review. Boyer noted that similar to Allen, he is doing multiple things to add to his value. “He’s learning the system and has done a good job there,” Boyer said. “He’s worked hard, stayed extra, spent some extra time in the classroom. The good thing with Tavon is that if he makes a mistake, he usually corrects it and we’re able to move on from that.”
Benefit of joint practice – 1 on 1s. Boyer made the point that the joint practices with the Buccaneers were beneficial for the team’s cornerbacks in part because they had a 1-on-1 session Wednesday. “A lot of times at the defensive back position, you don’t always have opportunities to play the ball [in practice],” he said. “We get the 1-on-1s like we did yesterday, it’s really good for our guys, and to compete against other guys.”