Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss the team's outlook heading into Sunday's game against Peyton Manning and the Broncos.
McCourty has come under fire for his struggles early this season. He acknowledged being aware of the widespread criticism.
"Yeah, a little bit, like on Twitter on stuff I'lll hear things. Then right after the game when I spoke to the media, you could just tell by the tone of the questions and everything coming at you," he said. "I think it's just something you've got to deal with when you play professional sports."
Added McCourty: "The biggest thing was just, it was a little frustrating, the plays that I thought I could make and I wanted to make, I didn't. For me, that was the most frustrating part about it. But that's a part of the game. It's not what you always do for three quarters, it's maybe the last two minutes, five seconds, even, of the game. We try to pride ourselves on that and just try to get it done."
McCourty acknowledged that a key to Sunday's game will be the Patriots defense's ability to disguise its coverages.
"When you play a great quarterback, especially a guy like Peyton, you don't want to make it easy for him," McCourty said. "You just want to try to make anything you can do harder for him. As a defense that's what we'll try to do all day, just try to make things tough. Our coaches and as players, we've got to try to do some things and do different things. Trying to make it tough on him will be key for us."
One of Manning's targets is 6-foot-3, 229-pound wide receiver Demaryius Thomas.
"He's a huge target," McCourty said. "And I think he plays to that physical ability, just trying to be aggressive and be overly physical to guys. He does a good job when the ball's thrown to him. When he gets his hands on it, he catches it. And I think he's just determined after that to get to the end zone. So, that's something that we're going to have to focus on and try to get him on the ground."
To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.