Former Rutgers football defensive back Devin McCourty is playing in his first Super Bowl, as his current team, the New England Patriots, will face the New York Giants Sunday (6:30 p.m. on NBC) in Super Bowl XLVI. On Monday, McCourty fielded some questions from the media and mainly talked about how lucky he is for getting the opportunity to play in Super Bowl 2012 in just his second season in the NFL after playing at Rutgers for four years.
"...Talking to the other guys on our team and other friends that I have made that are veterans, to be at this level in only my second year, you have got to be grateful for it," said McCourty, who was picked 27th overall by the Patriots in the '09 NFL Draft. "I think the biggest thing, is just trying to take advantage of the opportunity of being here - working hard, studying hard and getting ready to go for this game."
McCourty, a native of Nyack, N.Y. and a member of Rutgers Football's famous recruiting class of 2005, which includes him and All-Pro running back Ray Rice, will be going up against two solid wide receivers in the Giants' Victory Cruz and Hakeem Nicks.
"It's a very difficult challenge," said McCourty. "I think it all starts with their offense, how balanced they are with a good running game, a good quarterback and they have three very good weapons outside at receiver. We are really going to have to prepare and come to play, because any of the three of those guys are capable of having big games."
As for trying to contain Giants' quarterback Eli Manning, McCourty said the Patriots secondary needs to contain his big-play ability.
"...A lot of times when it's time to make a big play, he is doing it. Whether it's scrambling or throwing a perfect pass. So, I think the biggest thing is we have to be disciplined and we have to do a good job covering guys because he is going to put the ball there."