Devin McCourty Sees a ‘Model Citizen’ in Fellow Patriots Safety Patrick Chung

Speaking with reporters after Sunday’s training camp practice at Gillette Stadium, Patriots safety Devin McCourty was effusive in his praise of teammate Patrick Chung. (Photo: Oliver Thomas)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

Patrick Chung’s return to Foxboro was much quieter than his departure.

But after a challenging season with the Philadelphia Eagles, the 2009 second-round pick is back where his NFL career began as a member of the New England Patriots.

He doesn’t know if he’ll start a game for New England in 2014. He doesn’t know if he’ll be on the 53-man roster come September. Yet the 26-year-old safety does know that his experience in the system, as well as his special teams and his leadership, can be invaluable to the youth around him.

Fifth-year Patriots safety Devin McCourty agrees.

“Pat’s a true pro,” McCourty said after Day 4 of Patriots training camp on Sunday. “He’s a guy who comes in every day ready to work. He understands the defense. I think he’s another model citizen for the younger guys.”

Chung wore No. 25 for 50 games and 30 starts over four seasons with the Patriots. He wore it for 239 tackles, three sacks, 19 pass deflections and seven interceptions. And he wore it through his coverage struggles and bevy of injuries.

But with that jersey now belonging to nickelback Kyle Arrington, Chung’s wearing No. 23, looking for a fresh start in an old place.

No. 23 Patrick Chung lines up for a drill during the first day of Patriots training camp. (Photo: Oliver Thomas)

So far, the 5’11”, 210-pound veteran has found just that. He’s been active on special teams and in the defensive secondary in practice. And, according to McCourty, his actions have helped guide the rookies learning next to him.

“I think just his work ethic, whether it’s in the weight room, being one of the stronger guys, whether it’s getting ready for practice, doing different things that a younger guy can see. ‘Hey, I can get in the hot tub, I’ll do this or that, just to make sure I’m ready, not just the stretch before practice and go,’” McCourty said. “As you get in this league, you get different aches and pains that you have to take care of on your own.”

When McCourty broke the league as a first-round cornerback in 2010, Chung, entering his second year at the time, was nearby. The two defensive backs went on to play three seasons together before the Chung fell out of favor and exited via free agency in March of 2013.

But he was back just over 365 days later. And as camp opened up July 24, he was back taking reps next to his old teammate.

“He’s a friend of mine,” McCourty said. “He was here the whole time I was here. He experienced something different for a year and now he’s back.”

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10 Responses to “Devin McCourty Sees a ‘Model Citizen’ in Fellow Patriots Safety Patrick Chung”

  1. steve earle says:

    I’m waiting to see Easley start praticing for real. Many of us that were hammered by his fans after questioning Bill drafted him #1 were assured he was running and cuting this past spring. Now Russell is suggesting he’s an IR prospect. What gives?

  2. Russell says:

    I think Chung makes the team, at least while Browner is out. My roster is;
    QB Brady, Mallett, Garoppolo, RB Ridley, Vereen, White, Bolden, Develin, TE Gonkowski, Hoomananui, Jones, WR Van Hooser, Edelman, Amendola, Thompkins, Lafell , Boyce, Dobson, OL Solder,Mankins, Stork, Connolly, Vollmer, Wendel, Cannon, Kline, Fleming
    DL Wilfork, Chis Jones, Candler Jones, Siliga, Smith, Buchanan, Vellano, LBer’s Mayo, Hightower, Collins, Ninkovich, Anderson, Beauharnoris, CB Revis, Browner, Arrington, Ryan, S McCourty, Harmon, Kannoris Davis, Chung, Spiecal teams, K Gostkowski, P Allen, LS Ott, Slater, Ebner .
    My Patriot PSquad; RB Finch, WR/KR Johnson, OL Halapio, OL Cave, DL Zac Moore, LB Davis, CB Swanson, S Thomas

    • Russell says:

      DL Easley will be on the roster while Browner is out, injuries will pay a role in player movement when Browner returns. If there are no major injuries, Easley may move to IR, or Kannoris Davis to the PSquad, when Browner returns.

      • Dylan.C says:

        Why would they only plan on playing Easley the first 4 games and then moving him to IR? I think he is expected to be ready later on in training camp and if anything his health should improve further down the road, meaning that PUP or IR with designation to return would make more sense.

        • Russell says:

          I don’t think Easley plays at all, the first 4 gmes on the rostr he will be inctive.

    • MaineMan says:

      Seven WRs and no Dennard?

    • DMC413 says:

      Unless there’s some medical issue with Dennard that I am unaware of other than his recovery from surgery he is a lock. It’s a toss up between him and Logan Ryan to play along side Revis while Browner is out.

    • steve earle says:

      Hay Russell, good to hear from you again. Your roster choices are quite likely though I do think Wendell is problematic after last years poor performance. Id also hate to risk Halapio to the waver process, rather risk Wendell. On DL I expect Kelly to make the 53 man roster unless his injury recovery prevents that and only then does Vellano make the 53. Not sure if Vellano is pratice sqd eligable after starting most of last yr. I suspect not and that’s too bad I like his energy and motor. Otherwise like the ps.

  3. John says:

    You guys do great work. Thanks for the camp (and draft) coverage.

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